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Economist Susan Woodward considers August to be, typically, "a month of unambiguous employment growth." But according to a report released today that she helped to put together with Intuit Inc., small businesses in August, though still hiring, are adding new employees at the slowest rate since January. According to the report, the number of jobs created in August is only one-third of how many were created in April.

Why the downturn? One possibility is that small business owners have put hiring and expansion on hold while they wait for the Senate to break a Republican filibuster and pass the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010.

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Congress Links

August 30, 2010 - by Hilary Worden

Boehner proposes spending cuts of about the same amount as an extension of the Bush tax cuts would cost, Merkley says immigration reform is unlikely to go anywhere this year, and more in today's Congress links.

We're here to make this crazy world of Congress more real-world accessible. Questions? writeus [at] opencongress.org. Surf along with our micropublishing account. Click through for the links and to have your say.

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Reading the Bill

August 26, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Sen. Max Baucus [D, MT] probably did more to craft the health care bill than just about anybody else in Congress. Still, he's catching flack for saying at a townhall meeting last week in Montana that he never actually read the full thing.

Click through for our take -- it might be a small surprise -- or bop over to our micro-publshing account to see what happened over the weekend.

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Congress Links

August 25, 2010 - by Hilary Worden

Cap-and-trade is declared dead in the Senate, the debate on extending the Bush tax cuts continues, and more in today's Congress Links. (Pictured right: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell [R-KY].)

We're here to make the baffling world of Congress more relevant and accessible. Surf along with our micro-publishing account, or check out our list of Hot Bills by Issue Area.

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RaceTracker is Up-To-Date for Aug. 24th Primaries

August 24, 2010 - by David Moore

Today is primary day in five states: Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, and Vermont. Up for grabs are eight U.S. Senate primaries, 67 U.S. House primaries, and eight gubernatorial primaries. (Pictured at right: U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-FL, candidate for the U.S. Senate. Photo via OC data partners, Daylife.)

Who's running where for the what now? We got it covered. RaceTracker is up-to-date with links to the declared candidates running in all of these races. This project on the OC Wiki offers helpful, granular views of everyone running in every Congressional district -- and not only in these five states, but in all 50 states nationwide. As always with our work, RaceTracker is a non-partisan public resource wiki, helping to build public knowledge and increase transparency in government. Click through for details on today's elections.

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The History and Future of the Filibuster

August 23, 2010 - by Hilary Worden

The filibuster has a long and controversial history. It's been used (and, quite arguably, abused) by Senators on both sides of the aisle since the time of the Whig Party. After a series of Republican filibusters blocking their legislation, some Democrats are suggesting changes to Senate rules to eliminate or restrict the filibuster.

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Congress Links

August 23, 2010 - by Hilary Worden

The Congressional Budget Office issues a report on the Bush-era tax cuts, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) forms a new opinion on Afghanistan, and more in today's Congress links. (Pictured at right: Doug Elmendorf, director of the CBO.) Click through for more.

We're here to make Congress easier to track and understand. Follow our official commerical micropublishing account for a continually-updating stream of info.

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A Breakthrough on Food Safety?

August 19, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Last week, an evenly bipartisan group of six senators from the Health, Education, Labor and Pesnsions Committee released a manager's amendment to the long-stalled Senate food safety bill (S.510) that they jope will provide the framework for moving forward. Hill folks are expecting this to come up before the Senate leaves for campaign season.

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Like most big pieces of legslation, the health care reform bill (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act) shunts a lot of specific policy decisions off to different agencies and regulators to be made after it becomes law. Yet, as soon as things move out of Congress and the big political battles end, hardly any attention is paid to to the process by which legislation actually starts to take effect.

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Congress Links

August 16, 2010 - by Hilary Worden

Schumer and Reid want to raise the issue of China's currency manipulation, former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) is cleared on ethics charges, and more in today's Congress links.

We're here to make Congress easier to understand. Have a question? Send us an email: writeus [at] opencongress.org.

You can also keep in touch with the never-ending flow of information about Congress on our micro-publishing account.

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September

August 13, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Chuck Schumer [D, NY] took time out of his day back in D.C. yesterday to talk with reporters at The Hill about the Senate's legislative agenda for when they come back into session on September 13:

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Schumer and Cardin Play Senate

August 12, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Acting on behalf of the full United States Senate, two senators took the afternoon out of their August recesses and returned to the Capitol this afternoon to pass a $600 billion border security bill, honor the late Sen. Ted Stevens, and advance legislation to protect guns from being taken by claimants in bankruptcy proceedings. You can watch the full 30-minute session and find more info about the legislation that inspired this mid-August-recess session by clicking through to read this post...

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A Quick Session for Strike Forces and Border Drones

August 11, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Congress just can't seem to give up legislating this August recess. Like the House did on Tuesday, the Senate is going to come back into session on Thursday after having adjourned last week for recess to pass a couple pieces of legislation. On the docket for the day are a border security bill and a resolution honoring the memory of former Senator Ted Stevens.

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Congress Links

August 11, 2010 - by Hilary Worden

Congress is set to convene a special session tomorrow, Obama signs a $26 billion stimulus package into law, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) voices his opposition to lame-duck sessions, and more in today's Congress Links.

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Last night, there were 44 House primaries, 4 Senate primaries, and 7 gubernatorial primaries.  You can track them -- in fact, every race in the country, every 2010 midterm -- on our non-partisan, publicly-editable wiki project: RaceTracker.  Click through for links to each individual race and a helpful one-sentence summary of exactly where things stand after last night.

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