- 10:54 pm Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
Congressional negotiators on Tuesday night released the text of a deal to fund operations of the federal government through the end of next September, except for operations on the Department of Homeland Security, which would be on a temporary budget through February 27, 2015, giving Republicans time to respond to President Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration.
In a statement, top Democrats and Republicans labeled the agreement a “responsible, bipartisan and bicameral agreement on funding.”
- 1:35 pm Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report Tuesday that accused the CIA of going beyond the law after the 9-11 attacks, arguing the intelligence agency’s interrogation techniques were akin to torture.
“The implications of this report are profound,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “Not only is torture wrong, but it doesn’t work.”
Others from Reid’s side of the aisle joined in, as Democrats released an over 500 page summary of CIA interrogations.
You can read the entire report from Democrats on the webste of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The report found the CIA used techniques like waterboarding, sleep [More]
- 10:50 am Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
Taking flak from members of both political parties, MIT professor Jonathan Gruber apologized for what he said were “insensitive” remarks about how the Congress approved the Obama health law, though he joined Democrats in defending the health changes fostered by the reforms.
“I would like to begin by apologizing sincerely for the offending comments that I made,” Gruber said in his opening statement to the House Oversight Committee.
“In some cases I made uninformed and glib comments about the political process behind health care reform,” he added.
Gruber wasn’t skewered only by Republicans for his remarks, as the top Democrat on the [More]
- 5:39 am Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
While members of Congress struggle to wrap up their work for the year by the end of this week, they made sure to schedule a bit of down time at the White House on Monday evening, as lawmakers of both parties from the U.S. House enjoyed a pre-Christmas holiday reception.
“Beautiful decorations,” wrote Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) on Twitter. “The Obamas are gracious hosts.”
And thanks to social media, we can have a peek inside the festivities from outside the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
- 9:03 am Sunday, December 7th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
The expected weekend defeat of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) not only gives Republicans 54 seats in the U.S. Senate next year, but also what amounts to almost complete political control of the South, capping what has been a sweeping change in recent years.
In the aftermath of the Civil War and Reconstruction, white southerners flocked to the Democratic Party, Democrats had the “Solid South.”
But since Republicans made big gains in the 1980 elections that saw Ronald Reagan win the White House, the GOP has steadily chipped away at Democrats – and now, the takeover is almost complete.
15 years ago, Democrats [More]
- 4:34 pm Thursday, December 4th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
Angered by executive actions taken last month by President Obama, Republicans in the House voted to approve a bill designed to block the implementation of those moves, as GOP lawmakers said the President’s unilateral actions were unconstitutional.
“It was the President himself who had said over twenty times why this action is illegal,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA).
“Mr. Obama does not have the constitutional authority to grant amnesty by issuing work visas to five million people here illegally,” said Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL).
There were some members of both parties who broke ranks with their leaders:
+ 3 Democrats voted for the bill [More]
- 8:39 pm Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
At 1,648 pages, the National Defense Authorization bill up for a vote on Thursday in the House probably won’t be read by too many lawmakers or reporters – but a quick peek shows it’s about more than just the Pentagon.
Yes, there are major policy items in this bill, like a provision that bars another round of military base closures, as it authorizes $521.3 billion for military agencies, plus another $63.7 billion for overseas U.S. military operations.
But when you actually read through the bill – or the 513 page explanatory statement – you finally stumble on a number [More]
- 8:27 pm Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
Internal investigators say a contractor picked by the National Science Foundation to run a national ecological monitoring study has been wrongly spending millions in government funds, charging that taxpayer dollars may have been wasted on items that included a $25,000 Christmas party, booze for company executives and a nearly $1,000 a month coffee service.
“The NSF is out of touch and out of control,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who will chair the hearing of the House Science Committee.
“Federal agencies must be held accountable for their waste and misuse of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars,” Smith added.
A report issued just before Thanksgiving by [More]
- 4:06 pm Monday, December 1st, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
While waiting for Republican leaders to say how they’ll work through spending bills before Christmas, the White House made clear on Monday that any GOP effort to use those funding measures to limit the President’s executive actions on immigration would be met with a veto.
“There are a variety of proposals that we’ve seen floated on Capitol Hill,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, making clear to reporters that any limits on immigration actions would not pass muster with the President.
“It is the view of this administration that Congress should fulfill its responsibility and pass a year long budget,” Earnest [More]
- 8:13 pm Sunday, November 30th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
After being in session only four weeks since August 1, it’s no surprise that as the Congress returns from a Thanksgiving break, there is little chance of wrapping up work on a slew of major legislative items, as much of the work may simply be booted into the New Year.
“This is no way to do business,” said Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) just before lawmakers jumped on planes to go home for Thanksgiving.
But the late rush in the month of December has pretty much become standard operating procedure in recent years – no matter which party is in charge of the [More]