Despite being a slow day in Congress, it was a busy day on Capitol Hill. Here's a look at what you might have missed: Sen. John Kerry [D, MA] has joined Sen. Arlen Specter [D, PA] in calling for a constitutional amendment in response to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision lifting limits on corporate cash in campaigns. (The Hill) A group of centrist Senate Democrats including Sen. Jim Webb [D, VA], Sen. Mary Landrieu [D, LA], Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] and Sen. Blanche Lincoln [D, AR] ...Read Full Article
State of the Union Day is finally here. As the president sets the agenda for the coming year, many issues from climate change legislation to “don't ask, don't tell” could be affected, but none moreso than healthcare:Read Full Article
Despite being one day shorter than usual, this week felt like non-stop parade of big news – almost all of it bad for the Democrats. Click through for a point-by-point rundown of what's happened over the past week and how it effects the biggest issues in Congress going forward.Read Full Article
Scott Brown's upset victory in Massachusetts has rocked health care reform but the other big-ticket item on the Democratic agenda, comprehensive climate change legislation, has also been dealt a body blow.Read Full Article
Republican Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts is going to affect more than just health care. Climate change legislation is also likely to die now that the Republicans have the votes to filibuster just about anything the Democrats want to do.Read Full Article
The retiring Sen. Byron Dorgan [D, ND] says what most everybody's been suspecting given the political capital it tool for the Democrats to get even this far on health care reform. Reuters: U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan said on Tuesday he did not think the Senate would pass climate change legislation this year, but instead would focus on separate energy legislation that would require more electricity supplies to be generated from renewable sources and expand offshore drilling into the eastern Gulf ...Read Full Article
Congressional leaders may have decided which bills to bring in front of the C-SPAN cameras over the past year, but they didn't control what the public paid attention to and what bills got them talking. Nearly 10,000 bills have been introduced in Congress over the past year. In many cases the ones that have really caught the public's attention are different from the ones that were sanctioned and promoted by the congressional leadership.Read Full Article
Now that they're just about done with removing the public option from the health care bill, several of the same conservative Democrats in the Senate are working on removing the central component -- cap and trade -- from the climate change bill.Read Full Article
At OpenCongress, our core mission is to build public knowledge about what's really happening in Congress. All of the tools we've built on the site are designed to meet that goal. For example, we're crowd-sourcing discovery of the best articles and comments about bills in Congress, building community-edited wikis on bills, members and candidates, and providing context to legislation through social and media data. Another set of features we launched more recently is designed to facilitate more d...Read Full Article
Today begins what is probably the most important month in Congress and the Obama Administration's work on reforming the health care system and addressing the issue of climate change. On August 7, Congress will leave for a month-long recess. Between now and then, they hope to pass bills for both of those issues in both chambers, confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and finalize work on a number of appropriations bills that are necessary to keep the government up and running. Below is a quick update on where things stand with four of the biggest issues currently before Congress -- health care, climate change, financial regulatory reform and immigration.Read Full Article
The Waxman-Markley climate change bill (H.R. 2454) was brought to the floor of the House last week, and passed, with hundreds of pages of last-minute changes. Nobody in the House had the time to read, let alone understand, the final version of the bill before voting on it.
With the OpenCongress legislative versioning tool you can easily view all the changes that were made to bill at the last-minute. Click through to see some of the things that I've found in the version of the bill that was passed by the House.
Now that the Waxman-Markley climate change bill is out of the House, everyone wants to know what's going to happen with it in the Senate. There are a handful of reports today on the bill's Senate prospects form the big news agencies. The best one comes from Darren Samuelsohn of Greenwire, published by the New York Times. It's a good article, and fairly comprehensive, but at this point nobody has any idea what's going to happen. The Senate's version of the bill has even been written yet. As the...Read Full Article
As we reported last night, just before heading home for Independence Day recess and after a particularly tough floor debate, the House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey climate change bill (H.R. 2454) by a nail-biter vote of 219-212. Two-hundred and eighteen votes were needed to pass the bill. Click through for complete lists of all the Representatives that voted against their party leadership on passing the bill and on the Republican substitute amendment.Read Full Article
Update, 7:30 pm ET: "The House of Representatives passed a sweeping climate-change bill Friday – a major victory for President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi... the vote was extremely close – 219-212, with eight Republicans voting yes and 44 Democrats voting no." -- Politico. More explanatory links & background on this breaking vote...Read Full Article
In the past few days Democratic leaders in Congress and the White House seem to be taking a new approach to the two biggest issues in Congress - just get a bill passed.Read Full Article