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Musical Committee Chairs

September 9, 2009 - by Paul Blumenthal

Sen. Chris Dodd has decided to remain as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee rather than take over control of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee chairmanship left vacant by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

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OpenCongress Hiring a Programmer + Seeking Interns

September 8, 2009 - by David Moore

(Right: cc-licensed image of the NYC skyline by joiseyshowaa.) Good news: OpenCongress is growing. We're hiring a full-time web programmer to join our non-profit development team. We're also seeking to bring aboard three Fall interns in our offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. Please forward this widely to anyone who may be interested, not to mention re-Tweet, share on Facebook, all appreciated. Programmers: Work On a Project You Believe In (cross-posted to 37Signals J...

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The Baucus Healthcare Bill

September 8, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Ezra Klein has dug up and posted a link to the healthcare reform outline (pdf) that Sen. Max Baucus [D, MT] is shopping around today to the other members of the "Gang of Six." He's also posted a little more analysis of the outline here. Basically, the bill has a co-op, no public option, an individual mandate and less subsidies for individuals. This is interesting: The Baucus plan de-emphasizes the employer mandate in favor of the individual mandate. Importantly, this mandate comes with an a...

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The Latest Healthcare Rumor: Microchip Implants

September 8, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

There's a new rumor going around about the Democrats' healthcare bill that's so absurd and off-base that I hesitate to even bring it up here in order to debunk it. The rumor, which is being spread mostly in online forums and hasn't yet received any kind of validation from a national political figure, is that the bill would require all Americans to get a microchip embedded in their body so the government can track them.

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Congress Retuns to Take on Healthcare Reform

September 7, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Senate and the House both return to work on Capitol Hill today after a five-week summer recess that was dominated by a bitter debate over the Democrats' plans to reform the health insurance industry and the broader U.S. health care system. This week's big event as the legislators settle back in will be President Obama's healthcare speech on Wednesday night to a joint session of Congress.

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Congress Links

September 4, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The White House is drafting their own healthcare bill. The Finance Committee says they'll unveil their bill soon. The House Majority Whip is pushing public option compromises. And cracks begin to for in Labor's support for the public plan. That and more in today's round-up of links on Congress.

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As the summer of the Democrats' discontent winds to a close, the head count for health care reform in the Senate begins in earnest. One of the key Democratic senators on the fence is Sen. Blanche Lincoln, a member of the Senate Finance Committee and one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the 2010 election. Lincoln jumped into the news today with a quote to a reporter stating her opposition to a public option plan in a health care reform bill. "I would not support a solely government-funded public option. We can't afford that," Lincoln said. The senior Arkansas senator is also the top recipient of campaign contributions from the health industry among senators this year.

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New Poll Finds Approval of Congress at 24-Year Low

September 2, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

As Congress gets ready to return from the August recess to their work in D.C., they'll be doing so with the lowest level of public support that they've had in decades: Americans are extremely displeased with Congress, and there are already some signs that this could take a toll on the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections. Currently, 37% express a favorable opinion of Congress, while 52% hold an unfavorable view. Positive opinions of Congress have declined by 13 points since April and are n...

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First Senate Dem Comes Out Against the Public Option

September 2, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Yesterday, Sen. Blanche Lincoln [D, AR] became the first Democrat in the Senate to say flatly that she would vote against a health care bill that includes a public health insurance option.

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Finance Regulatory Bill to Move in Fall

September 1, 2009 - by Paul Blumenthal

The television and Internet are plastered with health care coverage, but there are other issues bound to move through Congress this fall. One issue that appears to be moving soon is a package of new financial regulations, which include the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 (H.R. 3126). House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank has tentatively scheduled a vote in committee for the CFPA Act on September 23.

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August Has Lead to a More Progressive Healthcare Bill

September 1, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

With no Republicans still on board for a compromise, Democrats in the Senate are now looking to pass a healthcare bill with only Democratic support under a procedure that will require it to include a strong public option. But can they keep the support of enough conservative Democrats to pull it off?

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