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The Next Iran Vote

June 23, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Following on Congress' approval last week of a pair of symbolic resolutions in support of the Iranian protesters, Rep. Mark Kirk [R, IL-10] is pushing for a vote on legislation that would actually put some economic pressure on Iran.

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Fed Transparency Will Get Hearings

June 22, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

I've been tracking Rep. Ron Paul's [R, TX-14] bill to allow the GAO to audit the Federal Reserve as its support in Congress has grown from 11 co-sponsors to 237, more than a half of all the members of the House. As I reported a couple weeks ago, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank [D, MA-4] now seems to be tentatively supporting the bill. Jane Hamsher spoke to Frank and got little more information: I asked him if he supported the bill. "Not in every exact detail," he...

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A new poll showing overwhelming support for a public health care option has some powerful Senate Democrats pushing harder to include it in their bill.

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Congress Links

June 19, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

* Congress starts thinking about online privacy legislation (Forbes). * Rep. Burton wants to protect the House from terrorists by enclosing it in Plexiglas (The Sleuth). * Sen. Ensign cancels his golf fundraising event (Party Time). * The Obama Admin helped the House tone down its Iran resolution (Glenn Thrush). * House intelligence committee approves NSA oversight bills (WaPo). * House impeaches federal judge from Texas (AP). * Car dealers are excited for "cash for clunkers" (W...

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Compare Health Care Bills

June 19, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

As I reported earlier, the House released a draft of their health care bill today, which means that there are now three variations on reform working their way through Congress - Senate Finance, Senate HELP, and the tri-committee House. Igor Volsky at Wonk Room has done us all a nice favor by taking the main features of each of the variations and put them in a chart for comparison's sake. The chart certainly makes the Senate Finance version look like the oddball in the bunch, assuming that all ...

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Maverick Watch: Iran Edition

June 19, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Iran, Foreign Policy

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Last time Congress tried for comprehensive immigration reform, they spent more than two months in the summer of 2007 on a bitter, racially-tinged debate that ended in overwhelming defeat (see the OpenCongress wiki article). The final vote in the Senate that secured the bill's death went down 46-53 - fourteen votes shorty of the sixty that were needed to keep the debate alive.

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House Health Care Reform Draft Bill

June 19, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Today, the three House committees that have been working on a House version of a health care reform bill released a discussion draft version. Expectation was that the House bill would go further than either the Senate HELP or Senate Finance versions by including a robust public option, and that does in fact seem to be the case.

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(This post by Isabelle Cutting, OpenCongress Research Assistant) In January, Rep. Henry Waxman [D, CA-30] replaced the more moderate Rep. John Dingell [D, MI-15] as the Chairman for the Energy and Commerce Committee by a secret vote of 137-122 held amongst House Democrats. The motivation was to have a progressive at the helm of the committee that would hold jurisdiction over some of the most important legislation that would be coming up in the 111th Congress. Indeed, as Chairman, Rep. Wax...

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Congress Links

June 18, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Geithner defends his regulatory plan. Reform-minded commentators bash it. The Senate officially apologizes for slavery. And a Republican "birther" bill is gaining support. That and more in today's roundup of links on Congress.

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House to Vote on Iran Resolution (Read it Here)

June 18, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Howard Berman [D, CA-28] and House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Mike Pence [R, IN-6] have come to an agreement on resolution language in response to the events in Iran, and the House is set to take a vote on it tomorrow.

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How to Hide the Torture Photos

June 18, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Lieberman-Graham amendment to block FOIA disclosure of detainee torture may have been dropped from the supplemental, but that didn't stopped the Senate from making quick work of passing it again, unanimously, as a stand-alone bill (S. 1285).

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More on the Ensign scandal

June 17, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

As you likely know, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) admitted yesterday to an extramarital affair, and has since resigned from his leadership position with the Senate Republican Conference. On its face, the scandal is bad enough for the Ensign: he admitted to an affair with the wife of one of his staffers. As Donny wrote earlier, Ensign's chances of advancing within the Republican Party appear to be slim. But there's more to the story than the affair. Several reports surfaced today regarding the sala...

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As you no doubt have heard by now, Sen. John Ensign [R, NV] yesterday fessed up to having had an extramarital affair last year with one of his campaign staffers, who also happens to be the wife of one of his Senate staffers.. Today he relinquished his leadership position as chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.

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Troop-Support Calculus

June 16, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

By some bizarre turn of events, House Republicans are expected today to vote almost unanimously against a bill to fund the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their opposition to the bill, coupled with the House progressives' opposition to funding the wars in general, has thrown passage of the bill, and funding for U.S. troops overseas, in doubt.

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