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Congressional Dems Pushing Forward Bill to Fund 13 Federal Agencies

February 8, 2007 - by David Moore

Here’s a quick round-up of the latest news on several fronts in Congress. First, an important piece of news from Congresspedia: "Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-Ga.) [pictured at right] has decided to forgo further treatment for lung cancer which has now spread to his liver. He is leaving Washington immediately to receive hospice care at his home in Georgia. (AP story)."

Second, from the Washington Post politics blog, “The Fix,” comes this juicy list of Congressional endorsements already secured by 2008 GOP Presidential candidates. Interesting to see how many Representatives have already signed up with Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, while Sen. John McCain, as would be expected, holds a lead among Senators. There are certain to be similar lists published (or leaked) for the Democratic side as well.

Third, the WaPo’s political reporter Dana Milbank writes up a lighter view of the peculiarly lightweight legislative deliberations so far in the 110th Congress: The new Congress has a problem. The just-empowered Democrats have declared that lawmakers will work five-day weeks like most other Americans. But, at this early date, there isn’t much legislation ready for passage — so what little there is has to be stretched out to fill the week.

Milbank plays something of a gadfly role around Capitol Hill: a former White House correspondent who was perceived as hostile by the Bush press office, his new role at the paper finds him writing pieces that are equal parts Socratic examination and slice-of-life carciatures of life inside the Beltway. Shortly after the 2004 election, in fact, the media industry took notice of his new career move.

Finally, news on the big-picture issue of the federal budget. The Houston Chronicle reports:

>Democrats controlling the Senate are pushing through a huge spending bill funding 13 Cabinet agencies as they wrap up the unfinished budget mess inherited from Republicans.

>The $463.5 billion measure debated Thursday would pay for about one-sixth of the budget, combining nine spending bills that failed to pass Congress last year under GOP control.

>The bill enjoys bipartisan support — it passed the House last week by a 2-1 margin — but Republicans are angry that Democrats are pushing it through without giving them a crack at amending the bill.

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