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Bill Seeks to End Birthright Citizenship

May 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

We're getting a lot of traffic today for a bill in Congress that I must admit I hadn't noticed. The bill, the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009, would eliminate birthright citizenship for children born to undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Current U.S. law automatically recognizes any person born on American soil as natural born citizen. Under the bill, only children with at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen, a legal permanent resident, or an undocumented immigrant serving in the military ...

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Congress Links

May 28, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Speaker Pelosi talks climate change in China. A key conservative Democrat in the Senate flips on public healthcare. Despite switching parties, Arlen Specter has re-election trouble coming at him from all sides. And the Obama admin puts forth a single giant bank regulating agency. That and more in today's roundup of links on Congress.

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Poor Little TARP Banks

May 28, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The big banks, like Bank of America, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase, have been getting just about anything they want out of Washington these days. There is one thing, however, that so far they have been denied: the ability to get instant refunds on taxes paid on past profits up to five years back, or "carry-back" relief. But they have begun lobbying to get a piece of the relief.

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Food Safety and Local Farming

May 28, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The two food safety bills in Congress - H.R. 875 and H.R. 759 - are very unpopular. Both bills, people say, would put small organic farms and CSAs out of business by forcing them to jump through the same set of hoops as big agribusiness companies like Monsanto. Details of a new bill being promoted by Rep. Henry Waxman have just been released and it looks fairly similar to the others. This new bill is the one that ultimately will move in Congress

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Congress Links

May 27, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

* David Waldman looks at the possibility of a successful Sotomayor filibuster. * Sen. Sessions (R-AL) says a Satomayor filibuster is "not in the works." * Memeorandum has all the best Sotomayor commentary. * Sen. Burris (D-IL) caught on tap offering Blagojevich money. * The life and death of bills in Congress, visualized. * Senator Nelson's (D-NE) move to the right. * Fight for your right to fix your own car. * Sen Chris Dodd (D-CT) - saved by the credit card bill? * The ...

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Gay Rights, Meet Immigration Reform

May 27, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Here's a bill gaining support in Congress that takes two of the most heated political topics - immigration reform and same-sex marriages - and combines them to create a relatively mild but still controversial reform. The Uniting American Families Act of 2009 would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow U.S. citizens to sponsor same-sex permanent partners to immigrate legally to the U.S. and live and work here permanently.

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Southern Perspective

May 27, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Blue Dog Rep. Gene Taylor [D, MS-4] sums up coal-state Democrats' opposition to the big energy bill in Congress, the American Clean Energy And Security Act of 2009: I think of the whole cap-and-trade idea as a Ponzi scheme. I don’t like the idea that one factory is cleaner than it has to be so that another a factory is dirtier than it should be, because historically that factory that’s dirtier than it should be ends up in the South. ... If the vote was today, I’d vote "no." via NYT. ...

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Obama's Global Poverty Bill is Back

May 26, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

This time last year, with the presidential race in full swing, the RNC put out an aggressive fund raising pitch: “Good for America – or Good for Obama?” They called out Obama on one bill in particular that he had introduced in the Senate, the Global Poverty Act of 2007, which they said "would raise the amount of American tax dollars allocated to United Nations’ redistribution efforts to $845 billion." That bill has finally be reintroduced into Congress and is now on a clear course towards becoming law.

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District Work Period

May 26, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Just a quick note to say that Congress will not be in session this week. It's the Memorial Day district work period, which means that your senators and representative are, likely, around your area holding meetings and public events. The OpenCongress Wiki has addresses for every member of Congress' district office. Just find your senators and your representative, click the "wiki" tab at the top of their page and then click the "phone numbers and addresses" link located below their head shots on th...

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Congress Links

May 22, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

President Obama signs the credit card bill. Some major loopholes are found in the cap-and-trade bill. Lobbyists skirt Congress' bundling disclosure rules. And the Senate gets ready to debate regulating tobacco. That and more in today's roundup of links on Congress.

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Cap and Trade Basics

May 22, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Marketplace's Paddy Hirsch goes over the basics of cap and trade. This is the, essentially, the policy mechanism at the center of the climate change bill going through Congress, the American Clean Energy And Security Act of 2009. Meet Cap 'n Trade from Marketplace on Vimeo....

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I was expecting this to take even longer than it did, but apparently Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee backed off their threats and posturing to delay progress on the Waxman-Markley climate change bill and it has now been approved by the committee. It's a big step forward for the bill, but it will face many bigger challenges later on in the legislative process.

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Democrats Stick Up for Pelosi

May 21, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

When's the last time the Democrats voted unanimously on anything? A unanimous bloc of House Democrats voiced their support today for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, rejecting a Republican resolution calling for an investigation into the California Democrat's assertion the CIA misled her about the nature of terrorist interrogations in 2002. By a vote of 252 to 172, the House rejected the resolution. All 250 Democrats who cast votes supported Pelosi, joined by two Republicans, Reps. Walter Jon...

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Congress Links

May 21, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

* Full text of Obama's national security speech. * Full text of the Republicans anti-Pelosi resolution. * Rep. Allan Grayson (D-FL) wants to make sure you get a vacation. * Grayson's rounding up more Dem support for auditing the Fed. * H.R. 1207 - Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 * Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) reach oil-and-gas deal. * A little unrelated, but our colleagues at Sunlight Labs are giving away $25,000 in a contest about Data.gov. ...

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Cap-and-Trade Speed Read

May 21, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

After seeing the absurd list of amendments Republicans submitted to the American Clean Energy And Security Act during committee markup, it's pretty obvious that they are going to try to delay the process however they can. One dilatory tactic they could use would require the entire 496-page bill and all its 450+ amendments to be read aloud.

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