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The Week Ahead in Congress

March 26, 2012 - by Donny Shaw

The big item on the agenda this week is the House Republicans' budget resolution for 2013. This is the Rep. Paul Ryan [R, WI] budget plan that you've probably been hearing about recently, and it's basically just a political statment of the Republican party's fiscal agenda.

The resolution calls for a range of tax cuts, new non-defense spending cuts beyond what Congress agreed to in the 2011 debt-ceiling deal, and a revamp of Medicare that includes an eventual increase in the age of eligibility. The lower tax rate on money earned from capitol gains would not be affected, which would mean that wealthy individuals would generally benefit more from the Ryan plan than middle-income and poor people. Below is a full look at the House schedule for the week.


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Affordable Health Care Act under SCOTUS review

March 26, 2012 - by David Moore

(Ed. - re-publishing this post from last week Monday.) You've likely heard this morning that SCOTUS is reviewing H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, i.e. the major health-care reform bill from the previous 111th U.S. Congress that was signed into law March 22nd, 2010. Full bill text (including most-commented sections), roll call results, money trailnews & blog coveragepublic comments

The relatively-under-appreciated (in my opinion) Memeorandum has the wide-ranging overview from blogs & news around the Webnet; the must-read-every-day Wonkblog by Ezra Klein et al chez WaPo brings (as expected & appreciated & admired) the accessible primer: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know About #hcr & SCOTUS

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A couple weeks ago, the House passed a bill that closes a security loophole to clarify in federal statute that it is a crime to trespass on White House property or any other federal property protected by the Secret Service. That's a relatively innocuous change in law, and it's probably just a response to the embarrassing White House party crashers incident back in 2009. But the bill also does something else that may have much broader implications, including an expansion of the government's ability to lock up protesters. It amends a long-standing law againt "willfully and knowingly" trespassing on restricted grounds without lawful authority so that criminal penalties can be applied in a case where a person "knowingly" trespasses. "Willfully" has been dropped from the law by the bill.

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Republicans Not Giving Up on Birth Control Issue

March 2, 2012 - by Donny Shaw

Despite losing a vote in the Senate yesterday, congressional Republicans are doubling down on their efforts to let employers to pick and choose which health services are covered by their insurance plans under the new health care law.

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Take the 12-Q OC User Survey

March 2, 2012 - by David Moore

OpenCongress is working with Brady Ambler, a volunteer digital researcher here in NYC, on a user survey to help improve our site as a free public service.

It's 12 questions, so should take just ten minutes at most, and respondents are entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift card from Brady. Head over to Survey Monkey to run 'er down. More info after the jump.


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