Congress

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Congress Is Back, as Shutdown Deadline Looms

Zika funding is another big issue

(Newser) - Congress is back to work Tuesday after its summer recess, and the Washington Post reports that one issue is paramount: avoiding a government shutdown in an election year. The fiscal year ends September 30, meaning the House and Senate will need to pass a continuing resolution in less than a... More »

Delegate Accuses Rivals of Leaking Racy Home Video

Democratic Rep. Stacey Plaskett calls computer hack 'shockingly disgusting'

(Newser) - The Virgin Islands' non-voting delegate to Congress says she was the victim of a "shockingly disgusting" computer hack at the hands of her political rivals: Personal files were posted online Wednesday, including a topless selfie and a video of her husband naked, reports Politico . They were later removed. Democratic... More »

GMO Food Label Bill Passes Congress

Pro-labeling groups are calling it a sham

(Newser) - A bill requiring food packages to carry information on genetically modified ingredients has passed Congress—and NPR reports that neither side of the debate is thrilled about it. Farm groups and food industry lobbyists are opposed to any kind of mandatory labeling, while those calling for GMO labels complain that... More »

Congress Just Passed a Huge Environmental Law

Rules on chemicals get first update in 40 years

(Newser) - It may have gotten lost in all the election news, but a substantial piece of legislation has just managed to clear Congress: A massive overhaul of federal laws regulating chemicals sold in the US is headed to President Obama's desk for his signature—the first such update in 40... More »

House: Confederate Flags Only Twice a Year at Some Graves

Amendment vote included almost all Dems, 84 Republicans

(Newser) - Republicans and Democrats came together Thursday in a House of Representatives vote that agreed to limit the use of Confederate flags in national veterans cemeteries, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Per the approved amendment to a veterans and military spending bill, the controversial flag won't be able to be... More »

Congressman Vapes During Hearing

He argued against vaping ban on planes

(Newser) - In what may be a House first, Rep. Duncan Hunter pulled out his e-cigarette and blew out a cloud of vapor during a hearing on banning use of the devices on planes. "So this is called a vaporizer," the Republican from California said, per CNN . "There's... More »

While Spying on Israel, NSA Recorded US Lawmakers, Too

Agency did keep 'trash talk' against administration out of reports: US officials

(Newser) - In 2013, after Edward Snowden dropped his NSA bombshell, President Obama called for an end to spying on certain world leaders. But Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli bigwigs remained on the "keep an eye on" list for "compelling national security" reasons, current and ex-US officials tell the Wall ... More »

Congress Gives Thumbs-Up to $1.14T Spending Bill

Obama will sign it next to avoid shutdown

(Newser) - Congress on Friday sent President Obama a bipartisan but deficit draining year-end budget package that boosts federal agency spending and awards tax cuts to both families and a sweeping array of business interests. A 65-33 Senate vote on the measure was the last act that shipped the measure, combining $1.... More »

GOP: Trump Is Screwing Everything Up for Us

Party members fear Trump will cost them seats in the House and Senate

(Newser) - Jeb Bush has floated the idea of Donald Trump being a Hillary Clinton plant to help her take the White House, and seemingly never-ending Trump controversies might have Republicans starting to believe it. Politico reports that GOP leaders are stressing out about the negative impact that Trump's candidacy is... More »

47 Democrats Buck Obama on Syrian Refugees

House easily passes measure to tighten screening

(Newser) - The House overwhelmingly approved legislation Thursday to make it harder for Syrian and Iraqi refugees to enter the United States. The AP calls the 289-137 vote a "stinging rebuke" to President Obama, and the Hill points out that 47 Democrats bucked the White House and supported the measure. It... More »

Paul Ryan's Election as Speaker Unique in 2 Ways

Boehner gives a tearful goodbye

(Newser) - He gets the gavel: Paul Ryan captured enough House votes Thursday to become the chamber's next speaker. In a slow-moving roll call that mixed politics with pageantry, 236 lawmakers called out the Wisconsin Republican's name as their pick for the job. That assured that Ryan will become speaker,... More »

Paul Ryan on Budget Deal: Process 'Stinks'

He blasts Boehner, system, ahead of becoming speaker

(Newser) - The late budget deal struck by leaders of both parties and the White House means that Paul Ryan will have one less major hassle to deal with when he becomes House speaker later this week. In fact, the Washington Post says John Boehner gave him a "parting gift" in... More »

House Creates Panel on Planned Parenthood

Expect issue to stretch into election year

(Newser) - John Boehner's resignation may have avoided a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding, but the issue now seems likely to remain in play well into the 2016 election year: The House on Wednesday created a special committee to investigate the handling of fetal tissue and other abortion-related issues, reports... More »

Boehner Explains His Decision to Quit

Visit by Pope Francis helped push him to final decision

(Newser) - John Boehner today elaborated on his stunning decision to resign from Congress, saying that while he'd been considering it for a while, he didn't decide for certain until this very morning. He reiterated that he did so to save the House from turmoil, and here, via the Washington ... More »

5 Takeaways From the Pope's Speech

He hits everything from the death penalty to the state of the family

(Newser) - Pope Francis hit a wide-ranging number of topics in his address to Congress today. Here are five getting attention:
  • Death penalty: He implored Congress to abolish it, reports ThinkProgress . “Every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the
... More »

History on Capitol Hill: Francis Speaks to Congress

First pontiff to address Congress gets a warm welcome

(Newser) - Pope Francis summoned US lawmakers today to defend and preserve the dignity of all Americans, introducing himself as "a son of this great continent" as he became the first pontiff in history to address a joint meeting of Congress. Entering a House chamber packed with Supreme Court justices, Cabinet... More »

What to Expect in Pope's Historic Address to Congress

How far will he go on hot-button issues such as abortion and climate change?

(Newser) - Pope Francis offered up something for both the left ( climate change ) and the right (a call to protect the institution of marriage) in his White House remarks yesterday, reports CNN , so what's in store for his historic address to Congress today? Probably a little more of the... More »

12 Days Left, and Shutdown Looms Large

Impasse over Planned Parenthood funding remains

(Newser) - Twelve days remain in the fiscal year, and the threat of a second government shutdown in three years remains very much in play. The big problem remains a showdown over funding for Planned Parenthood, with conservative Republicans who are upset about recent undercover videos demanding that the group lose all... More »

Obama's Iran Deal Now Looks Safe in Congress

Numbers just aren't there for the GOP to override a veto

(Newser) - The numbers are adding up for President Obama on Iran. It now appears that his nuclear deal—which he defended in a letter last week—will make it through Congress because it's "nearly mathematically impossible for GOP leaders to build a veto-proof majority in either the House or... More »

Obama Interrupts Vacation to Send Letter to Congress

Hopes letter to Democrats will erase lingering doubts about Iran deal

(Newser) - President Obama is hoping to calm concerns among Democrats still undecided or against the Iran nuclear deal. In an Aug. 19 letter to New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler written in the midst of Obama's vacation on Martha's Vineyard , the president maintains the deal itself cannot be changed,... More »

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