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Congress Links - Weekend Edition

June 1, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

* "The Senate and House Intelligence Committees are asking former attorney general John Ashcroft to testify about a March 2004 hospital-room confrontation during which he refused to sign off on a continuation of President Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program, according to congressional and administration sources." - Newsweek * A new study from the Washington Post shows that, during the five months that the 110th Congress has been in session, House Democrats have displayed an unprecedented ...

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Will the Immigration BIll Secure Our Borders?

May 31, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

John Hawkins of RIght Wing News conducted a survey among right-of-center bloggers on the Senate's immigration bill. Not surprisingly, they were in strong agreement with most of their responses, indicating that the bill is both bad bad policy and bad politically. But on only one question did everyone agree. When asked, "Do you believe that the bill in the Senate would, if passed, secure the border and stop the influx of significant numbers of illegal aliens into the United States," one hundred...

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The Senate's immigration bill is a compromise through and through. As such, we need to look beyond whether or not we like the bill, and instead ask: is it good enough to take, or is it so bad that we should wait and hope that a near-future political situation allows for a better bill? Or put another way, what weighs more heavily: the damage that could be done by not doing anything about the current immigration situation, or the damage that could be done by enacting the current bill? For most p...

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Guest Worker Program - Good or Bad?

May 28, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

The immigration debate this week moves out of the Senate and into the country at large. Having worked for a week on the immigration bill, the Senate -- and the House of Representatives -- are taking a week-long Memorial Day recess. Debate of the immigration bill, however, will not take a break. It will follow Congressmen home as they go to work in their districts and it will continue to evolve and mature through discourse and the media. This country-wide debate will no-doubt have a major impa...

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Congress Links - Weekend Edition

May 25, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

* The 110th Congress has been in session for 150 days. Check out this First-Session Scorecard from the New York Times for a clearly-organized outline of what Congress has accomplished and what still remains to be done. via ThinkProgress * The Politico's Sunday Talk Show Tip Sheet * The Internet Radio Equality Act, H.R.2060, gained its 100th co-sponsor on Friday. See also SaveNetRadio.org. * The AP's Immigration Bill FAQ * "Prodded by Democratic leaders and by freshmen elected par...

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Dems Throw in the Towel, Fund the War

May 24, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Ending a three-month-long standoff with the President, Congress on Thursday officially approved $95 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with no strings attached. Congress had already approved the funds once before, but with a timeline for troop withdrawal attached. That offer was vetoed by the President. This time they are providing the funds free of any timeline or other restrictions and the President, of course, will accept the offer. The AP: >Bowing to President Bush, th...

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There is a lot of posturing going on over a seemingly simple vote that just went down in the House of Representatives. On the surface, the vote appears to simply set the rules under which consideration of the war-funding bill will take place. However, because of some complicated parliamentary maneuvering, the vote on the rule for consideration is far more significant than the vote on the funding bill itself -- it ensures that Congress will send President Bush all the war funds he requested with...

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Congress Links

May 24, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

* "Today is the day House Democrats are expected to vote on Iraq - except, news out of Washington this morning says the leadership has come up with a nifty little trick to try to prevent the public from seeing who voted for giving Bush a blank check, and who voted against it." Full article at Sirotablog. * Surprise: Bush unhappy over U.S. attorney probe, says the probe was "Kind of being drug out." * "Under strong urging by Democratic leaders, the House on Thursday approved mandatory discl...

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Congress Links

May 23, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

In an attempt to cover more Congressional news each day, I am going to be putting up daily posts that will be updated throughout the day with links to blog and news stories as they are breaking. * Monica Goodling, the former Director of Public Affairs for the United States Department of Justice, is testifying before the House Judiciary Committee today. TPMmuckracker will be monitoring the testimony throughout the day, posting clips and updates. You can watch the testimony yourself on the...

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The Senate's compromised immigration legislation was barely birthed from months of strained behind-the-scenes negotiations. Now that it is officially on the Senate floor, it faces another grim battle to actually be enacted and replace our current immigration policies. Dozens of amendments are likely to be proposed to the bill, some of them poison-pills which, if approved, would alter the bill in a way to ensure that, in the end, it would not get the 60 votes it needs to pass. The first of...

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Stitched-Hand Link Roundup

May 21, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

I got some stitches in my right hand last night so I am going to type as little as possible (and only with my left hand) so that it can heal a bit. Here is a quick list of links to keep you up to date: First and foremost, the Senate is beginning their debate of comprehensive immigration reform legislation today. The full text of the bill is not up yet on OpenCongress, but N.Z. Bear has it all here, complete with comments sidebars for each section of the bill. The OpenCongress page for the b...

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Immigration Deal Set to Simmer

May 18, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

It has been more than a day since the above line-up of senators emerged from their closed-door negotiations to announce that they had struck a deal on a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Now that there has been some time to mull over the many facets of the deal, people are beginning to think strategy and take sides on how to proceed. Here is a taste of what is being said in the blogosphere: Greg Anrig, Jr. is categorically against the guest worker program that the bill proposes: ...

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Dems' Quiet Plan to Revise Sex-Ed

May 17, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Effective inaction: >Democrats plan to let a federal abstinence-education program die quietly next month, demonstrating that pursuit of their legislative agenda can sometimes be passive. > >The authorization for Title V abstinence-education grants expires at the end of June, and those on both sides of the sex-education debate agree that the $50 million-a-year mandatory-spending program — which draws an additional $37.5 million match from the states — stands little chance of winning an exten...

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Committee Swaps Out Lobbying Restrictions

May 17, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

In todays markup of two ethics bills, the House Judiciary Committee swapped out a provision to double the current one-year ban on ex-lawmakers taking lobbying jobs right out of Congress in favor of a bill to require bundling disclosure. From subscription-only Congress Daily: >During a markup, Judiciary Chairman Conyers (pictured at right) offered a manager's amendment to a comprehensive lobbying and disclosure bill [H.R.2316] that would keep the one-year "cooling off" period that prohibi...

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Immigration Deal a Relief for All

May 17, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

To the relief of all, a deal on immigration reform has been reached. At a lunchtime press conference, a group of senators who for months had been involved in tense closed-door negotiations announced they had finally settled on a comprehensive immigration reform bill to bring to the Senate floor next week. All parties involved -- Democrats, Republicans, and the President -- needed this agreement. The President and the Democrats in Congress are both looking to improve their low approval rating...

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