NEWS ABOUT: Congress

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US Strikes Iraq With Land-Based Bombers

President Obama updates Congress with a letter

(Newser) - The US has expanded its air campaign in Iraq with attacks aimed at helping Iraqi forces regain control of the strategic Mosul dam. The White House said President Obama notified Congress today that the widened mission would be limited in duration and scope. The administration's letter to Congress said... More »

Nasty Michigan Campaign Ends With Epic Speech

Victor Justin Amash denounces opponent's 'disgusting, despicable' campaign

(Newser) - If you weren't paying attention to last night's primary contests, you missed one of the more memorable victory speeches in a while. It came from Republican Justin Amash, a libertarian-leaning politician who defeated challenger Brian Ellis in Michigan's 3rd District. Candidates generally "kiss and make up"... More »

Of Mice, Pop Tarts: Congresswomen Who Bunk at the Office

They look to save money, avoid settling down

(Newser) - It's become fairly standard for some congressmen to spend both their days and nights in their offices. For what appears to be the first time, however, congresswomen are doing the same, the Wall Street Journal reports in a look at three House Republicans. "My poor staff, they have... More »

Lawmakers Strike Deal to Overhaul VA

Announcement today comes ahead of recess

(Newser) - Congressional negotiators have hit on a deal to address the serious issues reportedly plaguing Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals. The agreement in negotiations led by independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and Republican Rep. Jeff Miller comes in the wake of disagreements over dueling Senate and House plans, the Washington Post notes.... More »

Unlocking Your Cell Phone Will Soon Be Legal

...but the rules are still murky

(Newser) - The rules on unlocking your phone —allowing you to use it with any carrier—are hard to keep up with. Just two years after the US Copyright Office ruled that unlocking was illegal without permission from your carrier, Congress has turned things around again. Lawmakers have passed a bipartisan... More »

Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From the Capitol

They're onto you, 143.231.249.138—cut it out

(Newser) - Last week, Gizmodo and other tech-obsessed sites reported on significant Wikipedia edits regarding Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that were apparently made from a Russian government IP address ... and now, it appears someone in the US government is taking that idea and running with it. The online encyclopedia has blocked an... More »

US Might Finally Improve Your Sunscreen

Congress pushing bill that would speed up FDA backlog on ingredients

(Newser) - The US is way behind other countries when it comes to sunscreen, thanks to a backlog at the FDA, reports Time . For more than a decade, key ingredients used all over the world have been held up in the US waiting for government approval. Even 2002 legislation aimed at speeding... More »

Pentagon Aims to Train Small Syria Opposition Force

Program could start next year, slowly expand

(Newser) - The Pentagon has a plan to train some moderate opposition fighters in Syria, but it may struggle to win congressional approval. Administration officials want to start small, training just 2,300 people; the program would be "scalable" from there, a top defense official tells the Wall Street Journal . It... More »

Back to Iraq? It's Up to Congress

Founding Fathers' decision allows for 'vigorous national debate': Rachel Maddow

(Newser) - As the US debates its future in Iraq, all eyes are on President Obama—but where we should be looking is Capitol Hill. Yes, congressional leaders recently said Obama needed no new authorization for further military action in Iraq. "But they're wrong," writes Rachel Maddow in the... More »

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 »

House Opens New Benghazi Inquiry

Republicans vote to create special panel for hearings

(Newser) - The House has voted to establish a new investigation of the deadly assault in Benghazi, with Republicans vowing to dig deeper in a search for truth. Democrats say the election-year inquiry is a political ploy to raise campaign cash and motivate GOP voters, and they're weighing a boycott. As... More »

House Votes to Hold Ex-IRS Official in Contempt

GOP keeps the IRS scandal alive with party-line vote

(Newser) - House Republicans voted today to hold a former Internal Revenue Service official in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify at a pair of committee hearings about her role in the agency's tea party controversy. The House also passed a nonbinding resolution calling on the Justice Department to appoint... More »

Here's How Much We're Paying for Congress' Cars

63 House members spend $461,330 a year on auto leases

(Newser) - When the House voted against raising its own pay last week, it also quietly voted to keep a cherished perk: taxpayer-funded car leases. Rep. Rich Nugent had offered an amendment to disallow the practice, but it lost by 20 votes, the Washington Post reports. "Today, members of Congress can... More »

Voters Sour on Obama, Warm to GOP Congress

Poll: Obama's approval rating sinks to new low

(Newser) - President Obama's approval rating has sunk to a new low, and a majority of the public would now prefer that Republicans control Congress as a check on his power, a new Washington Post / ABC News poll reveals. Obama's approval dropped 5 points to 41%, his lowest ever... More »

NY Rep Grimm Turns Himself In to Feds

Michael Grimm investigated over campaign funds

(Newser) - US Rep. Michael Grimm has turned himself in to the FBI over charges linked to his New York City restaurant, the Washington Post reports. The Staten Island Republican—who is a former member of the FBI himself—has faced an ongoing federal investigation into his campaign finances. The expected indictment,... More »

Here's Why We Should Pay Congress $1M Per Year

Alex Pareene explains why we actually should make lawmakers rich

(Newser) - You were probably outraged when Rep. Jim Moran said members of Congress can't live on $174,000 per year , right? But over at Salon , Alex Pareene makes the case for why we actually should pay lawmakers more—say, a million bucks a year. Yes, we all hate Congress, but... More »

Congressman: We Can't Live 'Decently' on $174K

Lawmakers in pricey DC need a raise, says James Moran

(Newser) - Brave? Politically tone deaf? You pick: Democrat James Moran of Virginia says he and his fellow representatives in Congress are in dire need of a raise. “I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid,” Moran tells Roll Call . “I understand that... More »

Scott Brown Enters New Hampshire Senate Race

Former Massachusetts senator poised for official announcement

(Newser) - Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown is officially looking to head back to the Hill—this time representing New Hampshire. During a radio interview with New Hampshire's WGIR , Brown all but said he would run, Talk Radio News Service notes; News 9 has confirmed the news. Brown met with Senate... More »

Obama Approval at All-Time Low: Poll

WSJ /NBC finds just 41% back president's performance

(Newser) - President Obama's approval rating has dropped from 43% in January to 41%, an all-time low, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll . Some 54% disapprove of the president's performance, a figure that's on par with December's. Obama's approval rating on foreign policy is also at... More »

CIA Hits Back as Feinstein Says It Spied on Senate

John Brennan denies illegal searches of Intelligence Committee computers

(Newser) - CIA Director John Brennan is hitting back after Sen. Dianne Feinstein confirmed reports that the CIA illegally searched Senate Intelligence Committee computers. "We weren't trying to block anything," Brennan tells NBC . "The CIA was in no way spying on [the committee] or the Senate." Feinstein... More »

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