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The 109th Congress only passed bills to fund the departments of Defense and Homeland Security for the next year. Every other area, covered by 9 other appropriations bills, is going to see major impacts in their funding. The areas where people will probably feel it the most would be covered under the Labor, HHS (Health and Human Services), Education Appropriations Bill. But since it didn't pass, and because of the 110th Congress' plan to deal with it, programs that affect the day-to-day for to...

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Earmark reform has been a major issue in the Democratic take over of Congress. Earmarks are inserted into bills by lawmakers to secure money for their own pet projects. They don't go through the normal process of approval. They slide by along side other, bigger issues that are being voted on. The 109th Congress has been criticized over and over as an example of their financial irresponsibility, and the Democrats are planning a major overhaul of the earmarking system before they begin their ow...

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New Info on Farm Subsidies Released

December 20, 2006 - by Donny Shaw

The USDA has just released detailed information on who has been receiving nearly $56 billion in farm subsides over the past few years. This information is coming out weeks before the 110th Congress is going to be drafting up a new six-year farm bill. Government subsidies for farmers have reached an all time high, and with lawmakers intent on reducing excess spending, it is likely that they will be looking closely at this information to see who it's going to, and where it can be cut. This i...

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Out-of-Business Congress

December 19, 2006 - by Donny Shaw

Today, we get a chance to take an inside look at a biennial Congressional phenomenon called "Moving-out Day", which is a day when those who were voted out of office or whose terms are ending have to get their stuff out of the Capitol Building. Today was moving day for Conrad Burns(R-MT). ...

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Pelosi Announces New Ethics Leader

December 19, 2006 - by Donny Shaw

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that Stephanie Tubbs Jones will be taking over as chairwoman on the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. This will be a crucial position in the shape of the Democratic party, as they have made ethics reform such a large part of their agenda. In fact, the Democrats won their majority in part because of corruption scandals in the Republican 109th Congress. You can get to know her starting with this picture: Stephanie Tubbs Jones general...

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Republicans See Hypocrisy in the 100-Hour Plan

December 17, 2006 - by Donny Shaw

Posted by Republican Rep. Tom Price on The Hill's Congress Blog: Democrats Have a Difficult Time With the Truth, December 15th, 2006 Hypocrisy reigns in the legislative process. The 110th Congress has yet to begin, but Democrats are putting in place plans to deny Republicans the opportunity to fully participate in the legislative process. Their claims of having the “most open and honest government in history” appear to be nothing more than election year rhetoric. During the Democrats’ ...

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Republican Senator Heading to Syria

December 16, 2006 - by Donny Shaw

As reports lately are indicating that President Bush is rejecting most of the dramatic options presented in the bipartisan Iraq Study Group Report, some Senators are starting to become more vocal on the issue. The Report suggested opening up communications with Iraq's highly influential neighbors Iran and Syria. Several Democrats are planning trips to the region to discuss options with area leaders, but Republican senatorArlen Specter is going as well. Bush has been very critical of these trip...

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Pelosi's Reform Plan

December 15, 2006 - by Donny Shaw

Congress Daily got a hold of some materials from a conference call briefing incoming House Democrats on Pelosi's plan for reform. The plans that were laid out will be voted on as soon as Congress convenes on January 4. The proposal, which is still in development, would with some exceptions ban gifts, meals and travel for members and staff from lobbyists and the organizations that employ them. Sponsored one-day trips to visit a site, attend a forum, and participate in a panel or to give a sp...

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John Murtha and Corruption

December 14, 2006 - by Donny Shaw

Check out Ken Silverstein's recent article from Harper's magazine to hear about John Murtha (D-PA) partying with his beneficiaries. A recent article in the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal alleges that Murtha is one of Congress' least ethical members. Reportedly he is infamous with his colleagues for wheeling and dealing in earmarks, trading votes in exchange for secretly funding his and his allies' pet projects. Rep. Nancy Pelosi's endorsement of Murtha for House Majority Leader bid br...

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OpenCongress Blog

December 14, 2006 - by Donny Shaw

http://www.sunlightfoundation.com/node/1567/599 > Every day there are new rumors about what Congress will and will not > do, but it appears that we have a specific opportunity to open up > Congress in the first few months of the next year. The Democratic > Leadership has announced that it is going to spend a week of floor > time allowing members 15 minutes each to propose parcels of a > transparency and reform Agenda. ...

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Executives' Plans to Cut Foreign Oil Dependency

December 13, 2006 - by Donny Shaw

A group of 16 corporate leaders have announced a plan to decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil in half by 2030. The plan basically contains two main points: increase the efficiency of cars and trucks, and increase drilling off the shores of the United States. Their plan's strength is not in their ideas necessarily, but in the people who are backing them. The group consists of executives from the chemical, trucking, and airline industries, as well as prominent ex-military leaders. Hei...

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Senator Suffers Stroke

December 13, 2006 - by Donny Shaw

Democratic Senator Tim Johnson has suffered a stroke. There is no word yet on his present condition. We sincerely wish him the best in his recovery. If he were to be unable to serve as Senator, his replacement would be chosen by the Governor of South Dakota. The Governor and state legislature are Republican, and if they chose a Republican to fill his position, the Senate would be tied at 50-50. But a tie actually gives an edge to Republicans, because a deadlock vote goes to Vice-Presiden...

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House Ethics Overhaul

December 13, 2006 - by Donny Shaw

As this editorial in the Houston Chronicle points out, the bipartisan House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct is proving itself time and time again as unable to actually discipline Representatives that violate the codes of conduct. Their latest failure was finding no one in violation of the rules in regards to the Foley page scandal. Their recent report concluded that "The requirement that Members and staff act at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House does not m...

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News on Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA)

December 12, 2006 - by Donny Shaw

The L.A. Times just posted this article outlining some of recently re-elected Rep. Gary Miller's (R-CA) ridiculous abuses of power. Four of his former staff members are dropping the inside scoop on the day to day around the office on what some are calling one of Congress' most corrupt members. "There was never a clear line in the office between what was congressional business and what was just business," one former aide said. "The expectation was that you would do both." My favo...

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