By a vote of 78-16 , the Senate last night approved a new rules package that keeps in place the procedural loopholes have turned the Senate into a brick wall for sensible legislation. Under the new rules it will still be possible for a single senator to halt progress on a bill, or even on a motion to proceed to a bill, simply by stating that they intend to filibuster. In recent years, this procedure, commonly known as the “silent filibuster,” has prevented the Senate from passing even the most routine, non-controversial legislation.Read Full Article
One year ago today, thousands of websites and millions of internet users took action to stop major internet censorship bills in Congress, SOPA and PIPA. The protests changed the way many people think about politics by proving that bringing together an educated public to take action, online, can defaet the corrupt agendas of the most powerful interest groups and members of Congress. To celebrate this enormous, ground-shaking victory, we (PPF) are joining a bunch of the other groups that were involved in the SOPA fight in declaring today, January 18th, a new holiday -- “Internet Freedom Day.”
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Since 2007, the year the Democrats re-gained control of Congress, the filibuster has turned into standard procedure for virtually everything that happens in the Senate. What was once considered a special rule to be used on rare occasions for personal dissent on an issue has become a routine matter of course for obstructing the other side of the aisle and gaining a political advantage.Read Full Article
Welcome the 113th U.S. Congress: systemically-corrupt, historically-gridlocked, incredibly unpopularJanuary 3, 2013 - by David Moore
Update, 7pm ET, Friday Jan. 4th, 2013: Data from the 113th Congress is now live on OpenCongress. We have a fresh blog post coming soon on brand-new bills introduced over the past two days. Latest bill & member info for both chambers seems to be displaying fine, let us know if you see any glitches or have any questions, david at opencongress.org. OK cool.
Previously: The 112th U.S. Congress ended, as you likely know, with a sadsack pratfall of unaccountable public policymaking - a compromise between the two major parties avoiding the "fiscal curb" - via a vote on H.R. 8, specifically the House roll call 659 (257 aye, 167 nay, 8 abstain) - and previously by Senate roll call 251 (89 aye, 8 nay, 3 abstain). More info & fiscal what-cha-ma-call-'er links after-the-jump.Read Full Article