OpenCongress will be shutting down on March 1st. But don't worry: We're doing so for a number of good reasons. From then on, we'll be redirecting users to the excellent GovTrack, where you can continue to monitor Congress.

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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.

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Last time Congress tried for comprehensive immigration reform, they spent more than two months in the summer of 2007 on a bitter, racially-tinged debate that ended in overwhelming defeat (see the OpenCongress wiki article). The final vote in the Senate that secured the bill's death went down 46-53 - fourteen votes shorty of the sixty that were needed to keep the debate alive.

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There's a lot happening on the Hill this week, and we'll be covering it all and providing links to others who are covering it as best we can. With so much happening, I thought it would be useful to take a step back for a big-picture look at how Congress' next few months are shaping up. Click through for an update on where things stand with four of the biggest issues currently before Congress -- health care reform, climate change, financial regulatory reform and immigration.

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Hot Bills This Week on OpenCongress

June 5, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Behind the fairly long shadow cast by growing interest around immigration and continued interest in firearms legislation, here are a handful of bills that have been heating up this week for voters and viewers on OpenCongress. This analysis is based on information from the OpenCongress Battle Royale, which gives an overhead view of what bills, senators, representatives and issues are popular in Congress.

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New in the #1 Spot: The Reuniting Families Act

June 3, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

For months, the Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act held the number one most-viewed bill slot on OpenCongress. But all of a sudden two bills, both dealing with immigration issues, but from starkly different angles, have surpassed it. The Reuniting Families Act is now the most viewed bill on OpenCongress.

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Bill Seeks to End Birthright Citizenship

May 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

We're getting a lot of traffic today for a bill in Congress that I must admit I hadn't noticed. The bill, the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009, would eliminate birthright citizenship for children born to undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Current U.S. law automatically recognizes any person born on American soil as natural born citizen. Under the bill, only children with at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen, a legal permanent resident, or an undocumented immigrant serving in the military ...

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Gay Rights, Meet Immigration Reform

May 27, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Here's a bill gaining support in Congress that takes two of the most heated political topics - immigration reform and same-sex marriages - and combines them to create a relatively mild but still controversial reform. The Uniting American Families Act of 2009 would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow U.S. citizens to sponsor same-sex permanent partners to immigrate legally to the U.S. and live and work here permanently.

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DREAM Act Coming Up Again

March 24, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

It looks like Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) is going to reintroduce the DREAM Act early next week. It's a controversial piece of legislation that would grant temporary residency for graduating high-school students who are immigrants and are not legal residents. Students who comply would be granted a six-year temporary residency, and if they obtain a degree or fulfill a military service requirement, they would earn permanent residency.

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