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DoD Supercops

June 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

We're seeing a little surge of interest on OpenCongress in a relatively unnoticed piece of pending legislation, H.R. 675. It doesn't have a short/informal title, but the official summary explains it's a bill "To amend title 10, United States Code, to provide police officers, criminal investigators, and game law enforcement officers of the Department of Defense with authority to execute warrants, make arrests, and carry firearms." All the recent interest in the bill seems to be coming from this...

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Cap-and-Trade and Campaign Finance

June 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Center for Responsive Politics, the people behind the money-in-politics site OpenSecrets, have done an analysis of the House's vote last Friday passing the Waxman-Markley climate change bill. Based on campaign contribution data going back 20 years, here's what they found: Across the board, the industries that have opposed climate change legislation have given more money to the members of the House of Representatives who voted against the sweeping bill than to those who helped pass it. The ...

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Preview of OpenCongress Redesign

June 29, 2009 - by David Moore

Today, at the Personal Democracy Forum conference, OpenCongress is announcing our biggest update yet, coming this summer: a complete site re-design, more data on "the money trail" in Congress, and new tools to engage with your elected officials. Everyone can be an insider.

Currently, OpenCongress works as a hub of conversation about bills and issues in Congress, and the upcoming redesign will make the site a more powerful organizing platform. Here are some full-size screenshots of the redesign, along with quick ways for you to give your feedback and help spread the word...

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Cap and Trade in the Senate

June 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Now that the Waxman-Markley climate change bill is out of the House, everyone wants to know what's going to happen with it in the Senate. There are a handful of reports today on the bill's Senate prospects form the big news agencies. The best one comes from Darren Samuelsohn of Greenwire, published by the New York Times. It's a good article, and fairly comprehensive, but at this point nobody has any idea what's going to happen. The Senate's version of the bill has even been written yet. As the...

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Morning Reading

June 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Here's what I'm reading this morning on the train heading to the Personal Democracy Forum in NYC * Climate Plan Faces Challenge After Narrow U.S. House Victory (Bloomberg). * Obama Wary of Tariff Provision (WSJ). * Betraying the Planet (Krugman). * Congress Takes on Mountaintop Mining (Washington Independent). * Democrats Present Hurdles for Obama (WSJ). * Small businesses wary of health care legislation (USA Today * Recovery threatened by toxic assets still hidden in key ba...

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How They Voted on the Cap-and-Trade Bill

June 27, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

As we reported last night, just before heading home for Independence Day recess and after a particularly tough floor debate, the House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey climate change bill (H.R. 2454) by a nail-biter vote of 219-212. Two-hundred and eighteen votes were needed to pass the bill. Click through for complete lists of all the Representatives that voted against their party leadership on passing the bill and on the Republican substitute amendment.

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Congress Links

June 26, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The big news tonight is that the House has officially approved their landmark climate change bill. We'll have more on that over the weekend and next week. For now, here are some links on what's happening in Congress: * Cap-and-trade bill costs, state-by-state (538). * Rep. Broun calls global warming a hoax on the House floor, gets applause (Think Progress). * Kucinich's take: "passing a weak bill today gives us weak environmental policy tomorrow (Rep. Kucinich). * Sen. Rockefelle...

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Climate Change Bill Passes House

June 26, 2009 - by David Moore

Update, 7:30 pm ET: "The House of Representatives passed a sweeping climate-change bill Friday – a major victory for President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi... the vote was extremely close – 219-212, with eight Republicans voting yes and 44 Democrats voting no." -- Politico. More explanatory links & background on this breaking vote...

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ReadTheBill FAIL: Cap and Trade Edition

June 26, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

As Donny has been reporting, the House today is scheduled to vote on the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, a sweeping piece of legislation that will establish a program to cap emissions of pollutants and a system for trading emission permits. I won't go into too much detail for two reasons: for starters, Donny has covered it quite extensively. However the larger reason is because I have no clue what's actually contained in the bill being debated today.

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Introduced two weeks before this year’s Presidential Inauguration, H.J.Res.5 calls to amend the Constitution by removing the limit on the number of terms a President can serve. It would effectively repeal the 22nd Amendment, approved by Congress in 1947 and ratified by the states in 1951. Although providing ample room for contention, the bill has aroused next to no news coverage. Instead, other Internet voices can be heard linking the resolution to the current president.

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Congress Links

June 24, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Senate urges Obama to symbolically pardon the first black heavyweight champion. Chuck Schumer outlines his plan for getting immigration reform passed through the Senate. The Howard Koh nomination lurches forward. And Max Baucus expresses regret for not even considering a single-payer health care plan. That and more in today's roundup of links on Congress.

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Time to Pass Some Bills

June 24, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

In the past few days Democratic leaders in Congress and the White House seem to be taking a new approach to the two biggest issues in Congress - just get a bill passed.

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Congress Links

June 23, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

* Cool tool for comparing Congress' health care reform bills (Kaiser). * Sen. Baucus' health care lobbyist connections, visualized (Sunlight). * Obama defends a public health care plan (Ezra Klein). * Peterson gets his way with the climate change bill (Grist). * Dodd switches, says he now supports gay marriage (Glenn Thrush). * Cornyn says he'll support Coleman if he appeals to the Supreme Court (Washington Independent). Have a link to share? Send it to us here....

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More Health Care Negotiating

June 23, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

This is up for interpretation (from subscription-only CongressDaily): Snowe, Schumer Working On Public Option As the Senate Finance Committee continues to search for bipartisan compromises to complete its healthcare overhaul legislation, Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said today she is working on a tweaked fallback option for the public insurance plan with Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "Sen. Schumer and I have been working on sort of a guaranteed affordable care mechanism in the event that ...

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The American Clean Energy and Security Act appeared to be stalling out last week over concerns from conservative farm-state Democrats. But House leaders are pushing forward with their original schedule and are confident they can strike a deal in time to have the bill ready for the House floor by Friday.

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