NEWS ABOUT: Congress

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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 »

Issa Apologizes After Cutting Off Critic's Microphone

Says he could have handled situation with Elijah Cummings better

(Newser) - The normally unrepentant Darrell Issa has personally apologized to a fellow congressman over a high-profile snub on the House floor, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune . The chairman of the House Oversight panel offered his mea culpa to Democrat Elijah Cummings after a testy exchange amid this week's grilling of... More »

After Dicey Vote, Senate Clears Hike in Debt Ceiling

Ted Cruz forces McConnell, other Republicans into tough spot

(Newser) - After a dramatic Senate tally in which top GOP leaders cast the crucial votes, legislation to allow the government to borrow money to pay its bills cleared Congress today for President Obama's signature. The Senate approved the measure by a near party-line 55-43 vote. All of those "aye"... More »

End of an Era? House GOP Skips Fight on Debt Cap

Republicans allow ceiling to increase without strings

(Newser) - House Republicans backed away from a battle over the government's debt cap today and permitted Democrats to drive quick passage of a measure to increase the government's borrowing cap without any concessions from the White House. The 221-201 vote came hours after Speaker John Boehner announced that his... More »

Lawmakers to NFL: Change Redskins' Name, or Else

League faces threat to tax-exempt status

(Newser) - The Washington Redskins' name is facing a new attack, this time from two members of Congress. Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell, who heads the Indian Affairs Committee, tells the New York Times that if the NFL doesn't take action, legislators will "definitely" review the league's tax-exempt status. "... More »

Clay Aiken: I'm Running for Congress

Will enter Democratic primary in North Carolina

(Newser) - The murmurs are true: Clay Aiken will today announce he is running for Congress. He'll enter a North Carolina Democratic primary whose winner will face incumbent Republican Renee Ellmers. He's running in the state's 2nd Congressional District as a political outsider, and intentionally so, the News and ... More »

Jack Lew: US About to Default on Its Debt

Treasury secretary asks Congress to extend the debt limit

(Newser) - US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent a message to Congress today: To wit, we need more money, and fast. Lew warned lawmakers that they'd better raise the country's borrowing limit before the current debt-limit suspension expires on Friday and reinstates a $16.7 trillion cap, the BBC reports.... More »

Loophole Lets Candidate Run for Congress in 4 States

Allan Levene realized that legal-residency requirement doesn't apply to primaries

(Newser) - Allan Levene is running for Congress in his home state of Georgia, but if he loses in the Republican primary in May, he's got a Plan B, a Plan C, and a Plan D. As Fox News explains, Levene is actually on the ballot for congressional seats in four... More »

Sandra Fluke May Run for Waxman's House Seat

Says she's 'strongly considering' bid for Congress

(Newser) - One favorite of the left may be replaced by another: Sandra Fluke says she is "strongly considering" a run for the House seat being vacated by Henry Waxman , reports Politico . "I'm flattered that I'm being discussed as a potential candidate," said Fluke, who praised Waxman'... More »

Congressman Threatens to Throw Reporter Off Balcony

Rep. Michael Grimm also tells NY1 reporter 'I'll break you'

(Newser) - After President Obama's State of the Union address last night, a reporter attempted to question New York Rep. Michael Grimm on 2010 campaign finance allegations—and faced a threat in return. NY1 reporter Michael Scotto interviewed the Republican in the Capitol Rotunda about the speech, the New York Daily ... More »

Syrian Peace Talks Hit New Stumbling Block

Meanwhile, country set to miss chemical weapons deadline

(Newser) - Geneva talks on Syria's future have been tense—and new US support for rebels isn't helping. On Monday, Reuters reported secret Congressional approval of funding to lightly arm "moderate" Syrian rebels through September. An opposition adviser reported an "outburst" by the Syrian government's lead negotiator,... More »

Report: Cocaine-Using Congressman to Resign

Trey Radel to submit resignation letter this morning, say sources

(Newser) - It looks like Trey Radel's "leave of absence" will become a permanent one. The freshman Republican from Florida, who in November pleaded guilty to cocaine possession, will send a letter of resignation to John Boehner today, multiple sources tell Politico . Radel is currently on probation for the drug... More »

Why Dentists Are Helping This Guy Get Re-Elected

Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho is one of 2 in Congress

(Newser) - As Rep. Mike Simpson braces for a tough re-election battle, he has some allies most members of Congress can't claim: dentists. Simpson is one of just two dentists in Congress; he even continued to practice in Idaho while serving in the Statehouse. This year he's trying to fend... More »

How Lawmakers, Lobbyists Vacation Together—Legally

Lavish fundraisers offer chance to schmooze

(Newser) - In 2007, Congress passed measures largely barring lavish lobbyist-funded trips and gatherings. But what the New York Times calls "destination fundraisers" haven't stopped, and, indirectly, they're still funded by the lobbyists, who schmooze with lawmakers in places like Napa Valley, Las Vegas, and Bermuda. The money for... More »

FBI Got 1K Tips a Year From NSA's Phone Program

Lawmakers divided over future of snooping

(Newser) - In an effort to boost transparency , declassified documents on the NSA's phone program were released late Friday. And though the Wall Street Journal reports they were "frequently repetitive" and heavily redacted, they did contain some standout numbers: Specifically, that the NSA furnished the FBI with an average two... More »

How 60 Words Created a 'War Without End'

A law approved after 9/11 has greatly expanded the president's powers

(Newser) - In the haze of 9/11, lawmakers empowered the US president to fight back—and may have given him more power than they bargained for, writes Gregory Johnsen at BuzzFeed . Congress overwhelmingly approved a 60-word law called the Authorization for the Use of Military Force , which empowered President George W. Bush... More »

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