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We're Hiring a Software Developer

January 11, 2010 - by David Moore

Good news - we're looking to hire a Software Developer to join our non-profit, open-source team. For more info on the position, head over to our job posting. Or, help spread the word by re-tweeting our announcement.

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The second session of the 111th session of Congress will officially begin this week as the House of Representatives returns to Washington for legislative work. The Senate remains in recess until after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but some, including Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] will be in town to continue negotiating a final health care bill with House Democrats and the Obama Administration.

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Jobs Bill on the Senate Backburner

January 8, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Sometime after finishing up health care reform, Senate Democrat will shift their focus to jobs. An aide to Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Democrats are looking at proposals in those four main areas. But the aide said that senators have yet to finalize their specific proposals. [...] They are considering new transit and highway spending and efforts to help stave off public employee layoffs, as well as a new tax credit for businesses hiring new workers and a program providing ...

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A Busy Year

January 8, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The 111th Congress "worked more days in 2009 than they have in any year since 1995, when the Republican party took control of both houses of Congress," according to research from the Sunlight Foundation.

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FInancial Crisis Commission Starts Work Next Week

January 8, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Next week, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which Congress created last spring to look at 22 specific issues in the financial markets and what impact they had on the crisis, will begin holding public hearings. The lead Republican on the commission, former House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas, wants to look specifically at Glass-Steagall. Thomas said the commission's inquiry should include a look at the consequences of the 1999 repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act that f...

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A Final Possibility for a Public Option Compromise

January 8, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Igor Volsky at the Wonk Room suggests that the Senate could strengthen their provision that allows states to set up their own public options by providing start-up funds

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Tracking Retirements, Tracking Races

January 7, 2010 - by Avelino Maestas

As Donny has noted, there have been a number of retirement announcements this week. That must mean it's an election year. OpenCongress has two great resources for keeping track of the electoral picture in 2010: one for prospect candidates, and another for incumbents dropping out.

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Progressive health care reform advocates are attacking a provision in the Senate health care bill that could make employment-based insurance plans up to two times more expensive for people who smoke, are overweight, or have high cholesterol levels.

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The '#1 Priority' for House Dems on Health Care

January 6, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) said on Wednesday that he has at least 190 Democratic signatures on a letter opposed to the Senate's excise tax on high-end “Cadillac” insurance plans. He said that stopping the tax was the “#1 priority” of Democrats in the House as they begin reconciling the House and Senate health care bills.

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Fewer Earmarks

January 6, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

In addition to the progress that's been made in recent years on making information about earmarks in appropriations bills more transparent, USA Today reports that there have been fewer of them in the bills recently as well. The 2010 federal spending bills disclose $10.2 billion for pet projects inserted by members of Congress, a drop of nearly a third since 2008, an analysis of the bills shows. The 9,297 "earmarks" reported in spending legislation for 2010 were down from 11,282 reported fo...

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The retirement plans of these two key players in the Senate won't just change things electorally for the Democrats; they will change the environment that the Democrats will be working in this year as they try to complete their legislative agenda.

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Dodd Retiring Too

January 5, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Just hours after Sen. Byron Dorgan [D, ND] announced on Tuesday that he would be retiring from the Senate, news broke that eighth-term Democratic Senator Chris Dodd [CT] would be announcing his retirement as well.

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Dem Byron Dorgan to Retire from the Senate

January 5, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

In a statement published on his website this afternoon, Sen. Byron Dorgan [D, ND] announced that he will not be seeking re-election to a fourth term. His retirement makes the North Dakota Class III seat a likely pick-up for Republicans in the next Senate session.

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Where the Bills Differ

January 5, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

If the intra-party Democratic health care negotiations that are happening right now were televised, this would be your TV Guide. The link is to an 11-page .pdf that House and Senate Democrats have created to describe the major differences between the House and Senate versions of the health care bill. It was designed to serve as an internal document for the Democrats' negotiations to reconcile the bills, but it leaked. This is the most detailed run-down of the differences you can find. ...

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Ping Ponging Bills is Not Uncommon

January 5, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

As we've been reporting, Democratic leaders in Congress have decided to skip conference committee negotiations on health care and instead will send an amendment back and forth between the Senate and the House until both chambers have approved the same exact bill, a process known sometimes as "ping-ponging." They've gotten a lot of pushback on from people arguing that their decision to eschew the conference committee is an attempt to push the bill through without full deliberation and transpar...

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