US Congress

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5 Myths About Health Bill Passage

Americans aren't undecided, and the public option was DOA: Cillizza

(Newser) - With health care reform seemingly headed for passage now that Bart Stupak's on board, Chris Cillizza looks back at the debate and finds five persistent arguments with little or no grounding in reality.
  • Scott Brown was a game-changer: "Yes and no," Cillizza writes for the Washington Post . Lacking
... More »

John Murtha Dead at 77

Powerful Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania was early opponent of Iraq War

(Newser) - Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a retired Marine Corps officer who became an outspoken critic of the Iraq war, has died after suffering complications from gallbladder surgery. The powerful Democrat, a close ally of speaker Nancy Pelosi, was 77. In 1974, Murtha became the first combat veteran of the Vietnam... More »

Obama Readies $3.8T Budget With Record $1.6T Deficit

Record shortfall in current fiscal year would shrink to $1.3T in 2011

(Newser) - President Obama's proposed budget predicts the national deficit will crest at a record-breaking $1.6 trillion in the current fiscal year, then start to recede in 2011 to $1.3 trillion, a congressional official said today. The new budget, out tomorrow, says deficits over the next decade will average 4.... More »

Obama Bites Off More Than He Can Chew

Solid first year falls short of president's ambitious agenda

(Newser) - In his first year in office, President Obama has done a more-than-acceptable job—but his own stated ambitions were so numerous and wide-ranging that by his own definition, his performance has been disappointing. The bar was simply set too high, writes Doyle McManus for the Los Angeles Times , "and... More »

Why Congress Can Boss Big-Time Sports Around

BCS playoff bill the latest in a long line of similar measures

(Newser) - A House subcommittee ushered through a bill that would keep the BCS from billing its title game as the “national championship,” unless the NCAA institutes a playoff system. Where does Congress get off telling college administrators what to do? Well, sports are considered interstate commerce, according to the... More »

Robert Byrd Now Longest-Serving Legislator Ever

By the senator's count, his career spanned 20,774 days

(Newser) - West Virginia Sen. Robert C. Byrd has become the longest-serving lawmaker in congressional history, a milestone to be marked today with a Senate resolution. "I look forward to serving you for the next 56 years and 320 days," Byrd said, adding that he was sorry his late wife... More »

Obama Lifts HIV+ Travel Ban

President extends bill funding care for low-income HIV/AIDS patients

(Newser) - HIV-positive individuals will no longer be banned from visiting or immigrating to the US, President Obama announced today. The president discussed the revocation of the ban, which has stood since 1987, at today's signing of an extension of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS bill. That bill provides funding for HIV/AIDS testing... More »

57% in Poll Back Public Option

Last-resort state-run plans gain 76% backing

(Newser) - A majority of Americans, 57%, support including a public option in health care reform legislation, according to a newly released poll. The public option had the backing of just 52% in a mid-August survey. Forty percent of respondents oppose the public option. And giving people who have no affordable alternatives... More »

Obama's Gandhi Act Ties Supporters in Knots

President seeks a fundamental change in our political discourse: Goodman

(Newser) - Even President Obama's fans are beginning to wonder when—or even if—his "inner fighter" is going to emerge, writes Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe. His collaborative style entranced many during the campaign, but supporters are groaning as the president listens calmly to the opposition rather than putting... More »

Economy Wallops Lawmakers' Fortunes

Combined, members of Congress sough off hundreds of millions

(Newser) - The 50 richest members of Congress are still rich, but their personal finances show they’re not immune to the economic downturn, Roll Call reports. Together, the pols on the list have lost $275 million in personal wealth since 2007. In 2008, the legislators' combined assets of $1.3 billion... More »

Wilson YouTube Video Sparks $200K Haul

But 'You lie' rep's foe raises $750K, leads in poll

(Newser) - Joe Wilson has raised more than $200,000 since he shouted "you lie" during President Obama's speech Wednesday—but his Democratic opponent has pulled in more than three times as much, CNN reports. Even worse for the Republican, opponent Rob Miller leads the incumbent, 44%-43%, in a poll conducted... More »

Leave Wilson Alone: Parker

Outbursts par for the course in partisan politics

(Newser) - After Joe Wilson's “you lie” outburst, we may need to add “Joewilsoning” to the lexicon, as in, “OMG, he Joewilsoned right in the middle of the sermon!” writes Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post. Still, the reaction to the outburst seems a wee bit overblown. Wilson... More »

'You Lie' Rep Essentially Right

Joe Wilson not wrong about Obama wanting to insure illegals

(Newser) - Give Joe Wilson a break. It’s hard to fit the complexities of policy into an outburst during a presidential address, but the South Carolina congressman has a point: If you connect two of President Obama’s top policy priorities, he does want to give insurance to illegal immigrants. It’... More »

Obama Speech Effective, No Game-Changer

Vitriol surrounding health care debate sure to continue

(Newser) - President Obama’s speech last night will probably prod Congress into passing health care reform, writes Joe Klein in Time. “But it will not end the public malignancy that has attended this debate, and threatens the democratic fabric of our nation.” Klein attended an Arkansas town hall recently... More »

To Dodge Obamacare, Turn Amish (or Mennonite)

Measure based on tax laws aimed at Amish

(Newser) - Backers of health care reform on Capitol Hill want a plan that mandates insurance for all—but they appear willing to bend the rules for some religious Americans, Maura Reynolds of CQ Politics reports. Current legislation contains a religious exemption based on tax laws meant to give leeway to the... More »

House OKs Credit Card Bill; Obama Up Next

(Newser) - Congress has sent President Obama a bill with sweeping new rules for the credit-card industry that will affect just about every American. The House approved the measure this afternoon, 361-64. The Senate OK'd it yesterday, 90-5. The new restrictions will protect debt-ridden consumers from many of the surprise charges common... More »

Burris: 'I Have Done Nothing Wrong'

He'll comply with perjury review, but no more interviews

(Newser) - Roland Burris today urged his constituents to "stop the rush to judgment" as he denied any wrongdoing in the process of gaining his Senate seat, the Chicago Tribune reports. "If I had done the things I’ve been accused of, I’d be too embarrassed to stand up... More »

Rahm Eyes Future Return to Congress

He warns contender he may be back one day

(Newser) - White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel may be enjoying his new White House gig, but he hasn't written off a return to Congress, reports the Chicago Tribune reports. Emanuel told Illinois State Representative John Fritchey—one of 11 Democrats bidding for his vacated  Chicago post—that "he may... More »

Senate Likes Shinseki for Veterans Affairs

War, economy burden system former Army general would inherit

(Newser) - Retired Gen. Eric Shinseki garnered bipartisan support for his Veterans Affairs Secretary nomination today in outlining his priorities before Congress, the Military Times reports. The former Army chief of staff admitted to little experience with veterans issues, but his vows to streamline the agency won support from the likes of... More »

Conyers Raps Obama Surgeon General Pick

Gupta 'lacks the requisite experience,' congressman charges

(Newser) - Barack Obama's apparent choice for surgeon general, Sanjay Gupta, is drawing fire from within his own party, ABC News reports. John Conyers of Michigan, the House Judiciary Committee chair, sent a letter to his fellow legislators today encouraging them to join him in protesting the nomination of the CNN fixture... More »

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