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Bill: No More First-Class Flights for Lawmakers

Taxpayers should only cover coach seats, House sponsors say

(Newser) - If federal lawmakers want to kick back in first-class, they'll have to do it on their own dime—or so hopes a new House bill. "At a time of massive deficits and with a national debt in excess of $17 trillion, members of Congress should not be using... More »

Israel Trying to Ban the Word 'Nazi'

Bill would make everything to do with the word illegal

(Newser) - In response to what it calls rising anti-Semitism abroad, Israel is pushing to ban the word "Nazi" from its lexicon. But it's not stopping there: Uttering any other slur related to the Third Reich would also be a crime, as would using any Holocaust symbol, from swastikas to... More »

Feds Look to Make Facebook, Google Allow Wiretaps

Privacy advocates slam proposal

(Newser) - Feds are working on a proposal to push big online companies to comply with government wiretapping orders. Under the measure, which hasn't yet gained White House approval, the likes of Google and Facebook would be fined increasing amounts if they refused to submit to the orders, the Washington Post... More »

Gun Rights Group Backs Toomey- Manchin Bill

Says legislation offers 'advances for our cause'

(Newser) - The NRA has slammed Sens. Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin's new background-check proposal , but another gun-rights organization is supporting it. Calling itself the country's second-biggest gun-rights advocacy group, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms says the proposal includes "advances for our cause,... More »

France One Step Closer to Gay Marriage

Measure poised to be law by summer

(Newser) - Gay marriage could be legal in France as soon as this summer. France's Senate has passed a bill to allow same-sex marriage as well as adoptions by gay couples, the AP reports. The country has faced widespread protest against gay marriage, already allowed in several other European countries. Today'... More »

Immigration Bill Will Ramp Up Border Security

Senate preps legislation as marchers gather in DC

(Newser) - Today, thousands are gathering in Washington to demand immigration reform—and with a Senate bill set for release as soon as tomorrow, "we are optimistic," an activist tells WCSH . Possible details of the legislation are emerging, and it may set some tough standards in terms of security, notes... More »

Canada Bill Would Ease Quebec's Secession

But don't expect opposition measure to pass

(Newser) - Under a new bill, Quebec could theoretically secede from Canada with a simple majority vote—but the bill isn't going to become law anytime soon, Reuters notes. The opposition New Democratic Party bill would revise standards set by the country's Clarity Act, which says secession would require a... More »

Congress OKs $50B Sandy Aid Bill

Lawmakers win battle against fiscal conservatives

(Newser) - Congress is sending a $50.5 billion emergency relief measure for Superstorm Sandy victims to President Obama for his signature. The Senate today cleared the bill, 62-36. Northeast lawmakers say the money is desperately needed to help recovery efforts from the one of the region's worst storms. The House... More »

Muddled GOP Demands '6% Employment'

Democrats gloat over pair of typos

(Newser) - House Republicans won't stand for any new regulations until the employment rate drops to 6%, thus putting unemployment at 94%. At least that's what a typo in a new bill suggested—they meant unemployment, the Hill reports. Democrats spotted the error, and the bill's sponsors rushed to... More »

Senators Want 'Lunatic' Deleted From Federal Laws

It's an outdated, offensive term, says proposed legislation

(Newser) - Two senators have introduced a bill to erase the word "lunatic" from the federal code because the term is considered outdated and offensive, reports the Los Angeles Times . "Federal law should reflect the 21st century understanding of mental illness and disease," says Kent Conrad of North Dakota,... More »

GOP Bill Clears Path for Obama's Impeachment

Republican Rep. Walter Jones says president violated war powers

(Newser) - Calls for President Obama's impeachment have come down the pike before, most recently from Grover Norquist . This time a Republican representative—North Carolina's Walter Jones—has introduced a House resolution that would authorize Obama's impeachment for using the military without official permission from Congress, RawStory reports. Jones,... More »

Wyoming Bill Prepares for Doomsday

Lawmakers plan for nationwide economic meltdown

(Newser) - Wyoming lawmakers are ready for anything—even the apocalypse. House legislators advanced a bill Friday to prepare for a possible nationwide economic or political meltdown, the Casper Star-Tribune reports. The legislation would create a task force to consider steps such as issuing a state currency, drafting a statewide army, and... More »

Byrd: Rename Health Bill for Kennedy

(Newser) - Senator Robert Byrd wants his colleagues to honor Ted Kennedy by renaming health care legislation in his honor, Politico reports. “As a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling,” said Byrd, 92, himself in poor health. "My heart and... More »

2 Words Could Clean Up 'Death Panel' Mess: Parker

'A simple amendment' would put debate to rest

(Newser) - Sarah Palin went way too far in suggesting “death panels” would kill her loved ones—but  the wording of the House health bill authorizing payment for end-of-life consultations is worrisome, writes Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post. “A simple amendment would do much to cool tempers.” The... More »

CBO Slams Dem Move to Lower Health Costs

Nonpartisan group says Medicare panel would save little cash

(Newser) - A White House proposal to give an independent panel the power to rein in Medicare spending would save the country almost no money over 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office declared today. The nonpartisan group’s findings—that savings would total only $2 billion from the $1 trillion program—dealt... More »

Toucan's Beak Really Outsized Thermostat

Toucans control blood flow to outsized bill to raise or lower body temperature

(Newser) - New research reveals an unexpected use for the toucan’s outsized bill, Wired reports. Thermal imaging shows that the bird can regulate its body temperature by increasing or restricting blood flow to its beak. “Bird bills are not ‘dead tissues’ incapable of playing a role in heat balance,... More »

Conservative Group Tried to Sell its Support for $2M

Offered to launch campaign backing FedEx in legislative battle

(Newser) - A major conservative group offered its backing to FedEx on a bill before the Senate—for a price tag of at least $2 million, Politico reports—and then, when FedEx didn't take the bait, switched sides. A letter to FedEx shows the American Conservative Union proffered services like writing op-eds... More »

Aug. Health Reform Looks Impossible

Divisions among lawmakers may make reaching goal impossible

(Newser) - President Obama has called for the passage of a health care bill by August—but that would require an unusually smooth few weeks on Capitol Hill, Politico reports. The Senate Finance Committee hasn’t released a version of the bill planned for early June; disagreements among Democrats in both chambers... More »

Mo. Lawmakers Fight to Rename McGwire Road

Steroid suspicions mean he doesn't deserve it, say some

(Newser) - Mark McGwire Highway leads out of downtown St. Louis—but some local lawmakers would love to see the road rechristened, the Chicago Tribune reports. Four years ago, the slugger said he wouldn’t “talk about the past” in congressional hearings, prompting suspicion over steroid use. A batch of politicians... More »

What Not to Put on Plastic

(Newser) - Credit card companies know more about you than you think—and if they think you're financially stressed, you're in trouble. American Public Media lists 10 "red-flag" purchases that you shouldn't make with plastic unless you want to give your credit card company the jitters.
  • Traffic tickets: These make you
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