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Immigration's Clay Pigeon Dissolves

June 27, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Supporters of the Senate immigration bill today successfully killed five of twenty-seven pending amendments before their spree was abruptly cut short by the sixth. The bill's supporters, a small, bipartisan group of senators who are being reluctantly assisted by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, NV), hoped to dispose of the 27 amendments quickly using a rare parliamentary procedure known as a "clay pigeon." This procedure sets up a limited number of amendments to be considered and, ideally, sh...

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Congress Links

June 27, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

* The New York Times: "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has blocked appointment of Senate conferees on the stalled lobbying bill, casting doubt on the future of the biggest overhaul of ethics and lobbying legislation in a dozen years." (h/t OMBWatch) More on the lobbying bill here (House version) and here (Senate version). * "the Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon subpoenaed the Bush administration's family jewels: information on the origin and execution of President Bush...

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Yesterday, 64 senators voted to clear a 60-vote hurdle and take up consideration of the immigration bill. Finding a similar amount of support to bring it to a final vote on passage will be more difficult. If at least 60 votes in favor are still there for that vote on Thursday, the bill will surely pass the Senate because the final vote on passage only requires a 51-vote majority. Before then, the Senate will consider twenty-seven amendments and finding enough votes for it then will be determin...

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Congress Links

June 26, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

* The Employee Free Choice Act, the Democrats' big union bill for the 110th Congress, was killed in the Senate today. * "House Republicans are set to vote on a measure Tuesday afternoon rejecting the Senate immigration bill shortly after the upper chamber votes whether to proceed on that debate in yet another hurdle for backers of a comprehensive overhaul." - more at The Crypt. ...

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Senate Votes to Take On Immigration, Again

June 26, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Comprehensive immigration reform is officially back on the table. This afternoon, the Senate agreed by a vote of 46-35 to move forward once again with the immigration debate. They will debate a revised version of the immigration bill that died on a procedural vote on June 7th. The revised bill is numbered S.1639. It has all off the parts that people opposed in the previous bill -- namely a path to citizenship for current illegal immigrants and a temporary guestworker program -- with some ...

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Looking ahead to the week in Congress, our colleagues at Congresspedia have put together an overview of the action in the Senate. First up is the resurrection of the immigration bill (formerly S.1348, the second most-viewed bill on OpenCongress), now dubbed S.1639 -- Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) is pictured at right answering questions about the bill. Second is the Employee Free Choice Act, passed in the House as H.R.800, the fifth most-viewed bill on the site, introduced in the Senate as S.1041. Thi...

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Senate Passes Major Energy Bill

June 22, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

In Between rounds of immigration debate, The Senate managed to score a huge victory by passing a bill to update U.S. energy policy: >The Senate passed a sweeping energy legislation package last night that would mandate the first substantial change in the nation's vehicle fuel-efficiency law since 1975 despite opposition from auto companies and their Senate supporters. > >After three days of intense debate and complex maneuvering, Democratic leaders won passage of the bill shortly before midn...

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Congress Links

June 21, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

* A new Newsweek poll finds Congress's approval rating low, but a lot higher than the 14% reported yesterday by a Gallup poll. According to the poll, "Only 25 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing." More here. * "Robert C. Byrd, the most senior Democratic senator from West Virginia, has just cast his 18,000th vote in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is now delivering the hagiography. The gold watch will follow." - The Crypt * "The House aims to sla...

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Is the Energy Bill Congress's Saviour?

June 21, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

A new Gallup poll indicates that Congress's approval rating is at 14%. But if the Senate can pass the energy bill they've been considering, that number will almost certainly go up. >"All the right pieces are floating around," said Dave Hamilton, director for global warming and energy projects at the Sierra Club. "This Congress will be judged to a large extent on what happens at this moment." The bill would recoup lost taxes from big oil companies, protect consumers from gasoline price gaug...

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Congress Links

June 20, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

* "Just 14% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress. This 14% Congressional confidence rating is the all-time low for this measure, which Gallup initiated in 1973. The previous low point for Congress was 18% at several points in the period of time 1991 to 1994." - USA Today via Instapundit * "The Redistricting Game is designed to educate, engage, and empower citizens around the issue of political redistricting. Currently, the political system in most states a...

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The Senate will vote today on how far their energy legislation will go to raise fuel efficiency standards for automobiles. Philip Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, has called the vote, "the most important vote the Senate will cast in terms of reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil and providing consumers with some relief at the pump." As it stands, the bill calls for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for passenger cars and light trucks to be rais...

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Reid's Secret Immigration Deal

June 18, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, NV) let the immigration bill die once before. But now that it's coming back, he's trying hard to make sure that it passes. I reported last week about a deal he had brokered, guaranteeing 22 senators a vote on their amendments in exchange for their votes to end debate on the bill. When Reid pulled the bill from the floor last time, it was because the vote to end debate was rejected by a margin of 15 votes, meaning that the bill's opponents had successf...

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Energy Before Immigration

June 17, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Before the Senate can go back to working on immigration, they have to finish debating an energy bill that holds key Democratic proposals for improving energy productivity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Two contentious issues still need to be resolved: Tougher Fuel Efficiency Standards The energy bill will raise fuel efficiency standards for automobile manufacturers -- it calls for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for passenger cars and light trucks to be raised f...

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GOP Maximizes on Homeland Security Bill

June 15, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

After forcing Democrats to include all earmarks in 2008 spending bills as they go through the House, Republicans scored yet another victory. Today, while debating the first of this year's twelve spending bills -- which happened only after Democrats capitulated to Republicans on the earmark dustup -- the Republican minority approved an amendment in a display of solidarity against granting amnesty to illegal immigrants. >The U.S. House of Representatives this morning voted to withhold federa...

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Congress Links

June 15, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

* Today on CQ Radio, Ed Morrissey interviewed Senator John Ensign (R, NV), who disputed he notion that a deal had been reached on resurrecting the Senate immigration bill. * "Legislation passed by Congress would require all federal agencies in a state to comply with a governor's request that they fly their flags at half-staff to honor a fallen service member." - The AP. Learn more about the bill here. * LOUIS - "the Library Of Unified Information Sources, a project of the Sunlight Found...

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