The Week In ReviewJanuary 29, 2010 - by Eric Naing
Congress felt like the center of the universe this week with the State of the Union on Wednesday, continuing negotiations on a number of issues and even a couple tough votes going down. Here’s what we’ve been up to here at OpenCongress:
- In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, Congress began brainstorming ways to limit the expected surge in the already formidable influence corporation have in our political process. One proposed fix is the Fair Elections Now Act (H.R.1826) establishing a public funding system for federal elections. The plan is garnering the support of several influential liberal organizations.
- One subject dominating the Congressional agenda his week was the vote in the Senate on a measure (H.J.Res.45) raising the federal debt limit to $14.4 trillion. Passing along side the debt limit was a “paygo” amendment requiring future legislation passed by Congress to be deficit-neutral. Not surviving was a proposed deficit reduction commission, though President Obama pledged to to create one on his own. As Donny notes, the debt limit vote exposed a bit of hypocrisy among Republicans.
- The overriding message of the State of the Union was “jobs, jobs, jobs” and Congress took notice. The Senate discussed its jobs bill this week, though there were some notable exceptions that were not replicated from the accompanying House bill (H.R.2847).
- Sen. Jim DeMint [R, SC] is trying to pass a toothless “audit the Fed” bill (S.2939).
- The Senate began discussing the shocking discrepancy between sentencing for crimes related to crack cocaine versus power cocaine.
- Gay activists came away unimpressed with President Obama’s shout-out to them during the State of the Union. So did advocates for comprehensive immigration reform.
- Congress is once again trying to reform the way the government handles student loans.
- And finally, the Ghost Busters took on the Pac-Man crew – if by Ghost Busters you mean Rep. Alan Grayson [D, FL-8] and by Pac-Man crew you mean corporate money.
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