US Congress

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Hatred of Congress Hits Historic New Level

For first time, most want their own representative out

(Newser) - "Throw the bums out" is a common refrain about Congress, but people usually apply an important qualifier in the voting booth: Except for my representative. Not this year, apparently. A new CNN poll shows that, for the first time, most Americans think their own member of Congress should get... More »

No One Wants To Be on Debt 'Super Committee'

Lawmakers say 'not it' as lobbyists chomp at the bit to influence panel

(Newser) - Legislators aren't exactly jumping to volunteer for the 12-man "super committee" created by the debt ceiling deal, which promises to be a thankless and heavily lobbied job, the LA Times reports. “I'm not that much of a glutton for punishment,” says Jon Kyl. “This... More »

Rep. David Wu to Resign

Oregon Democrat will step down after sex assault accusation

(Newser) - Well, this was probably inevitable: Rep. David Wu has resigned days after being accused of sexual assault (and months after being accused of mental instability and random tiger-suit-wearing ). The Oregon Democrat announced his resignation moments after the state's two Democratic senators called for it, the Oregonian reports. He... More »

What's Up With Our Ridiculous Bill Titles?

Just try to say any of these five times fast

(Newser) - Remember when bills had simple names like the Civil Rights Act or the Highway Beautification Act? Not any more. Lawmakers are increasingly using these titles as a political tool, saddling bills with cumbersome and partisan names like the Reducing Barack Obama's Unsustainable Deficit Act or the Repealing Ineffective and... More »

One Trend Among GOP Freshmen: Debt

Not the national kind, the personal kind

(Newser) - Republican freshmen in Congress say they're serious about tackling the US debt—but when it comes to their own personal debt, many have what the Washington Post amusingly calls “a more nuanced view.” At least 30 out of 87 had debts of $50,000 or more last... More »

Boehner to Obama: You've Got Til Friday to Justify Libya

House speaker warns president he may be violating War Powers Act

(Newser) - President Obama has until Friday to ask Congress for authorization of the US mission in Libya, or he will be in violation of the War Powers Act, John Boehner warned him yesterday. The House speaker, noting that Friday will mark 90 days since the US began attacking Libya as part... More »

Netanyahu Doesn't Back Down in Speech to Congress

Israeli PM gets very warm welcome on Capitol Hill

(Newser) - Benjamin Netanyahu got a warm welcome on Capitol Hill today, parading into a joint session of Congress with a gaggle of supportive lawmakers and earning applause after nearly every line. He emphasized the positive in US-Israeli relations—despite his recent flap with President Obama —praised the “courageous Arab... More »

Netanyahu to Unveil Peace Plan in US Speech

Move designed to counter push for Palestinian state

(Newser) - Benjamin Netanyahu will unveil Israel’s version of a Middle East peace plan in a speech before the US Congress next month, he and John Boehner each announced yesterday. The plan is seen as an attempt to push back against Palestine’s current campaign to be recognized as a state... More »

No. of Reps Who Donated to National Debt in 2010: 3

But even if they gave full salaries, they'd barely make a den

(Newser) - For a bunch of people so concerned with the growing national debt, the House of Representatives doesn't have a lot of members putting their money where their mouths are. The House has program that allows representatives to return a portion of their salaries toward debt reduction (the Senate doesn't even... More »

Inside Congress' Secret Nuke Bunker

For 30 years, this shelter in W. Virginia was ready to keep gov't running

(Newser) - For more than three decades, one of America's most famous luxury resorts was also home to a secret nuclear bunker for Congress, and now NPR takes a look at the secrets of the Walmart-sized shelter surreptitiously tucked into the hills of West Virginia. It's hidden in plain sight in the... More »

10 Freshmen to Keep an Eye On

Class of 2010 is full of characters

(Newser) - There will be plenty of fresh faces in Washington today. But which ones matter most? The Washington Post selects 10 freshman legislators to keep an eye on:
  • Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH: One of Sarah Palin's "mama grizzlies," Ayotte defeated a Tea Partier to become the only woman elected
... More »

Taliban Writes Letter to Congress

'Your military leaders are lying,' states missive

(Newser) - In a brazen bid to squeeze the US out of Afghanistan, the Taliban has written its first "open letter" to Congress detailing why America "can't win" the war. Letter author and Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousaf Ahmadi called on Congress to send a fact-finding mission to Afghanistan. The... More »

House Votes to Sanction China Over Currency

Bill passes with big majority, but Senate prospects unclear

(Newser) - The House has approved legislation that would allow the US to seek trade sanctions against China and other nations for manipulating their currency to gain trade advantages. The 348-79 vote yesterday sends the measure to the Senate, where its prospects are unclear. Senate supporters hope to get a vote on... More »

Reid Once Tried to Roll Back Citizenship, Too

Dem wanted to change 14th amendment rules in 1993

(Newser) - When Republicans started pushing to repeal or change the 14th amendment so that the children of illegal immigrants would not be citizens, Harry Reid said they’d “either taken leave of their senses or their principles.” Which is pretty awkward, because in 1993, Reid introduced an immigration reform... More »

10 Failed Celeb Political Bids

Wyclef Jean will be in good company if he loses

(Newser) - Wyclef Jean is running for president of Haiti , but already things aren’t going well for the controversy-plagued singer. If he loses, he won’t be the first celebrity to suffer a failed political campaign: Time lists 10 others:
  • Norman Mailer: Despite being a literary giant, the Pulitzer Prize- and
... More »

Burning Trash Made Us Sick: Troops

Hundreds sue contractors running burn pits

(Newser) - Hundreds of service members and employees of Kellogg Brown & Root have filed lawsuits against the contractor, which burns vast amounts of trash on US bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, saying the thick smoke from the burn pits has made them sick. KBR operates more than two dozen of the... More »

Robert Byrd Hospitalized; Senator, 92, 'Seriously Ill'

West Virginia lawmaker is longest-serving member of Congress

(Newser) - Robert Byrd, the Democratic senator from West Virginia who last fall became the longest-serving member of Congress, is hospitalized and in serious condition, his office tells MSNBC . The 92-year-old was admitted last week with what was believed to be a heat-related illness, but "other conditions have developed which has... More »

Obama Shows Congress Who's Boss

President takes more hands-on approach to legislation

(Newser) - President Obama is growing more assertive on Capitol Hill. Since he took office, the president's supporters have criticized him for not exerting enough control over the details of legislation, instead letting Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi hammer out specifics—even on major administration goals, like the health care bill. On... More »

Congress Arms Finance Reform With Big Guns

Unlike health care, bill is anything but watered down

(Newser) - After the pinball-esque drubbing health reform took before Congress spit it out, it's Wall Street's turn. But, reports Politico , the financial reform bill making its way through the Capitol is actually picking up fangs rather than being rendered toothless. Democrats know they have the wind at their backs, Republicans can't... More »

Dems Get Mojo Back: Here Comes Financial Reform

Suddenly, it looks like smooth sailing for Dodd's bill

(Newser) - Health care has given the White House and Democrats a serious dose of momentum, and it looks as though that will result in easy passage of a stronger-than-expected financial reform bill. Republicans are backing off, and Democrats are sticking together to fend off Wall Street lobbyists who assumed they could... More »

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