Congress

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One Question Illustrates Why Congress Can't Fix Facebook

Lawmakers just don't seem to understand how the company works

(Newser) - Now that Mark Zuckerberg has finished two days of testimony on Capitol Hill, one clear theme is emerging in coverage after the fact: Members of Congress, particularly senators in their 70s and 80s, seem to lack a fundamental understanding of how the company works. That should "give everyone serious... More »

Mark Zuckerberg Gets Grilled in Congressional Hearing Round 2

Members of Congress seemed better prepared on Wednesday

(Newser) - Mark Zuckerberg appeared to endure a tougher round of questioning in the House of Representatives on Wednesday than he did Tuesday in the Senate. While CNN called Tuesday's Senate hearing on the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal "softball," the Facebook CEO received a more intense grilling in... More »

GOP Congressman Abruptly Quits

Blake Farenthold of Texas wasn't running for re-election anyway after harassment allegations

(Newser) - A Texas congressman beset by a slew of sexual harassment issues is leaving office sooner than expected. Republican Blake Farenthold, who previously decided not to seek re-election, has abruptly resigned—as of 5pm Friday, reports USA Today . “While I planned on serving out the remainder of my term in... More »

Embattled Congresswoman Won't Run for Re-Election

Elizabeth Esty will not seek re-election this year amid controversy over her chief of staff

(Newser) - Rep. Elizabeth Esty announced Monday she will not seek re-election this year amid calls for her resignation over her handling of the firing of a former chief of staff accused of harassment and violence against female staffers in her office, the AP reports. The Democrat from Connecticut and an... More »

Rand Paul Forces Government Shutdown

He blocks vote on budget deal

(Newser) - The US government stumbled into a shutdown at midnight as a rogue Senate Republican blocked a speedy vote on a massive, bipartisan, budget-busting spending deal, protesting the return of trillion-dollar deficits on the watch of Republicans controlling Washington. The shutdown—technically a lapse in agency appropriations—was the second government... More »

San Juan Mayor on FEMA Cutoff: 'There Is Need Still'

Members of Congress implore agency not to halt aid to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico

(Newser) - FEMA's plans to halt hurricane relief supplies to Puerto Rico effective Jan. 31 drew criticism Tuesday from members of Congress and the mayor of the island's largest city. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said many people in the US territory need the water and food they've... More »

It's Over: Trump Signs Bill to End Shutdown

House passed stopgap spending bill after the Senate did the same

(Newser) - The unexpected time off for hundreds of thousands of federal employees is over: Both the House and Senate passed a short-term spending deal to end the three-day government shutdown, and President Trump signed into law Monday night, reports the New York Times . The breakthrough occurred earlier Monday, when Senate Democrats... More »

GOP Senator Blames Trump Aide for Impasse

Government shutdown stretches into Monday

(Newser) - A deal to end the government shutdown before the beginning of the workweek failed Sunday night, meaning the first shutdown since 2013 will stretch into Monday—and possibly much longer. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Sunday night that a vote on a deal to fund the government through Feb.... More »

Moderates Cooking Up Deal to End Shutdown

Mitch McConnell would have to agree to a vote on immigration

(Newser) - A group of moderate-leaning senators say they're making progress toward a deal to end the government shutdown before it stretches through Monday. The group of nearly 20 centrists includes senators from both parties who have brought their plan to Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, Politico reports. Under the deal,... More »

Welcome to Day 1 of the Shutdown

A cheeseburger lunch wasn't enough to stop it

(Newser) - The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday. That has halted all but the most essential operations and marred the one-year anniversary of President Trump's inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunction. Last-minute negotiations crumbled as Senate Democrats blocked a four-week stopgap extension in a... More »

What to Expect If Government Shuts Down

Mail and Social Security checks would be OK, and maybe the national parks on a limited basis

(Newser) - The looming government shutdown has had one tangible effect so far: President Trump has put plans for a trip to his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort on hold, reports NBC News . "The President will not be going to Florida until the CR passes," the White House said, referring to a... More »

#MeToo Dress Code Is Moving to Capitol Hill

Rep. Jackie Speier, other Dems encouraging black attire for President Trump's State of the Union

(Newser) - The red carpet turned dark at the Golden Globes on Sunday, where the majority of celebrities dressed in all black to recognize the sexual misconduct issue in Hollywood marked by the "#MeToo" and "Time's Up" movements. Now it's Congress' turn, with an invite from the House... More »

GOP's Darrell Issa Won't Run for Re-Election

Republican firebrand's decision gives Democrats a chance to pick up seat

(Newser) - Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California says he won't seek re-election after serving out his ninth term in Congress. Issa's decision continues a string of GOP lawmakers who've decided to retire rather than take on what would be a difficult re-election battle. Democrats had made defeating Issa... More »

Tax Changes Have Some Homeowners Scrambling

Those in high-tax states might want to prepay their 2018 taxes this year

(Newser) - Congress is done with its tax overhaul and President Trump is thrilled to be able to sign it into law. Now comes the real-world consequences for payroll companies, accountants, citizens, and even the IRS, as the scramble begins to put the wide-ranging new rules into effect in a mere 12... More »

A Dozen Republicans Voted Against Tax Plan

Lawmakers from high-tax states join Democrats in opposition

(Newser) - When House Republicans vote on their tax plan for a second time Wednesday, it's likely that 12 of their own lawmakers will be joining Democrats in voting no. The House passed the measure 227-203 on Tuesday, but some parliamentary logistics mean they'll have to do it again on... More »

House Passes Tax Bill, but There's a Late Glitch

Chamber must vote again Wednesday because some provisions violate Senate rules

(Newser) - Republicans on Tuesday muscled the most sweeping rewrite of the nation's tax laws in more than three decades through the House. But they'll have to do it again on Wednesday because of a legislative hiccup. Tuesday's vote, largely along party lines, was 227-203 and capped a GOP... More »

Sex Harassment Investigation Prompts Move by Lawmaker

Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen says he won't run for re-election in 2018

(Newser) - Another lawmaker has announced a career shift in the wake of sexual harassment allegations. CNN reports Rep. Ruben Kihuen said Saturday he won't run for re-election in 2018. The House Ethics Committee announced an investigation into the Democrat from Nevada on Friday over allegations of sexual harassment from two... More »

After Slew of Complaints, Congressman Calls It Quits

Blake Farenthold will not run for re-election after sexual harassment allegations

(Newser) - The drumbeat of negative headlines has apparently become too much for Blake Farenthold: The Texas GOP congressman is withdrawing from his run for re-election and will not participate in the Republican primary on March 6, reports USA Today . Farenthold's office has not officially announced the move, but news is... More »

Talk in GOP Rep's Office, per Ex-Aides: Strip Clubs, Breasts

Blake Farenthold also accused of 'acts of aggression or rage'

(Newser) - It isn't just talk of "sexual fantasies" and "wet dreams" that allegedly permeates Rep. Blake Farenthold's office. Though the Republican congressman from Texas has denied wrongdoing after paying $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim three years ago, two former aides tell... More »

Trump Raises Possibility of Shutdown This Weekend

Deadline for a deal is Friday

(Newser) - It's an unusually busy time on Capitol Hill. GOP lawmakers are trying to get a tax bill to President Trump before the end of the year, but first they must contend with a Friday deadline to avert a government shutdown. On Wednesday, President Trump raised the possibility that the... More »

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