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January 21, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

It’s been a slow news day and I’ve been plagued by writer’s block. Let’s round things out with a bundle of essential links and call it a week, shall we?

  • House Republicans are holding a pre-SOTU vote Tuesday on a resolution to “reduce spending through a transition to non-security spending at fiscal year 2008 levels.” It’s going to be debated under a closed rule. (OC)
  • Remember, Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan [R, WI-1] already has all the power he needs to set 2011 spending levels without any input from the House or the Senate. Tuesday’s vote really is just more political theater. (Congress Matters)
  • “New GOP budget proposal targets federal employee unions, a strong source of funding for Democrats.” (Maplight)
  • New CBS/NYT poll — Americans strongly favor cutting the military budget. Of course military spending is the last thing either party wants to put on the chopping block. No wonder Congress has a single-digit approval rating. (NYT)
  • House Republicans have introduced a bill to delay the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” It’s called the “Restore Military Readiness Act.” (OC)
  • It’s been a year since the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court ruling that allowed for unlimited secretive campaign contributions from corporations and unions. Here’s a PDF to the best report out there on how the decision has changed politics. (Public Citizen)
  • More rumors of looming legislation to dodge state bailouts by letting them declare bankruptcy. Really? (NYT)
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce once again tops the list of top lobbying spender in 2010 (Open Secrets)
  • Sen. Al Franken [D, MN] and Sen. Rand Paul [R, KY] are friends. (Star Tribune)
  • No surprise here: “The new Republican leaders in the House have received millions of dollars in fresh contributions from banks, health insurers and other major business interests, which are pressing for broad reversals of Democratic policies that affect corporations, according to disclosure records and interviews.” (WaPo)
  • Sunlight Foundation is crowd-sourcing legislation for real-time, online lobbying transparency. Take a look and submit your comments, or suggest a name that compresses into a nice acronym. (Sunlight Foundation)
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