Democratic Congress

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Bush Dismisses Gas Tax Hike for Bridge Repair

Prez blasts Congress, warns Iran over Iraq, asks Sarkozy to lunch

(Newser) - President Bush today rejected a gasoline tax increase that would raise money for bridge repairs across the country, saying Congress should reevaluate the way it allocates tax revenues now. In a wide-ranging press conference before departing for vacation in Maine, he continued to defend Alberto Gonzales and fielded numerous questions...

House OKs Renewable Energy Bill
House OKs Renewable Energy Bill

House OKs Renewable Energy Bill

Legislation faces likely presidential veto

(Newser) - The House passed a broad-based clean energy bill yesterday that redirects $16 billion in tax incentives from big oil and gas companies to renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. Democrats hailed the legislation as the first big step toward making the US a more environmentally friendly nation, but...

Bush to Congress: Not So Fast
Bush to Congress:
Not So Fast

Bush to Congress: Not So Fast

Prez calls on vacation-bound lawmakers to pass reform of eavesdropping law

(Newser) - Congress shouldn't go on vacation until it approves reforms to the current laws on government eavesdropping, President Bush said today. Lawmakers are working on a bill that would update the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act so that the US could spy on terror suspects overseas more effectively without impinging on...

Miers May Face Contempt
Miers May Face Contempt

Miers May Face Contempt

House panel finds former attorney to Bush was out of order in stiffing subpoena

(Newser) - In a 7-5 vote, a House panel found that former White House counsel Harriet Miers was out of order when she rebuffed a subpoena calling for her to testify about her involvement in the US attorney firings last year. Miers declined to appear before the Judiciary Committee  under orders from...

White House Iraq Report: Mixed Progress

Cites gains on military benchmarks, lack of progress on political goals

(Newser) - The White House's interim report on its progress in Iraq, to be released today, will cite "satisfactory" work on eight of 18  benchmarks set by Congress, insufficient improvement on eight more, and mixed results on the final two. Most of the positive movement  has been on the military front,...

Bush Kills Stem-Cell Bill
Bush Kills Stem-Cell Bill

Bush Kills Stem-Cell Bill

Wields veto for third time in presidency; Dems come out swinging

(Newser) - President Bush delivered the expected veto of a stem-cell research bill this afternoon, issuing instead an executive order to encourage the development of non-embryonic stem cells. "I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line," Bush said, setting off a predictable firestorm of protests from Dems....

Bush Prepares to Re-Veto Stem Cell Bill

Without override votes, Dems force prez to renew unpopular rebuff

(Newser) - President Bush plans to sic the third veto of his presidency on a new bill that would soften restrictions on stem-cell research. Congressional Dems sent the bill to the president this week, and it looks eerily similar to one Bush sent back to fail a congressional override in January.

Democrats Don't Live Up to Hype
Democrats Don't Live Up to Hype

Democrats Don't Live Up to Hype

New majority's accomplishments are few, and mostly symbolic

(Newser) - Seven months after wresting control of Congress from Republicans, Democrats have failed to make good on their promises, writes the Economist. Almost none of the bills introduced in the first "100 hours" has become law, AG Alberto Gonzalez still has a job, and an Iraq pullout is nowhere in...

Congress Hikes Minimum Wage
Congress Hikes Minimum Wage

Congress Hikes Minimum Wage

National minimum goes to $7.25 by 2009, small business gets tax breaks

(Newser) - Congress has raised the national minimum wage for the first time in 10 years, from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour. The hike, part of a compromise between the White House and Congress over Iraq funding, will take effect in three stages over the next two years. It will...

Dem Congress Still Dishing Out Pork
Dem Congress Still Dishing Out Pork

Dem Congress Still Dishing Out Pork

The new majority is not as kosher as they claim to be

(Newser) - Democrats in Congress pledged to cut the pork out of appropriations bills, but the new majority is already cheating on the diet, reports the  Washington Post. Using a technique called "phonemarking," congressmen are contacting federal agencies directly and asking them to fund their pet projects, all while boasting...

Dems Ditch Iraq Timeline Demand
Dems Ditch
Iraq Timeline Demand

Dems Ditch Iraq Timeline Demand

New war spending bill won't include much-ballyhooed provision

(Newser) - Democratic leaders have quietly abandoned a cornerstone of their Iraq war platform: a timeline for withdrawal. Racing to pass a spending bill before the Memorial Day recess, they don't have the votes to pass a timeline, the LA Times reports, and they risk fallout for failing to fund troops in...

Bush, Dems Test Compromise Skills on Iraq

(Newser) - Congress' Democratic bosses and the White House are attempting diplomacy after six years of Republican neglect that has left the new majority uneasy, the Times reports. But this week's agreements on less thorny issues, trade and immigration, contrast significantly with a divided Washington's repeated, fumbled attempts at a compromise war...

Push to Oust Gonzales Loses Steam
Push to Oust Gonzales
Loses Steam

Push to Oust Gonzales Loses Steam

AG looks more confident as GOP defenders materialize

(Newser) - The Democrats' campaign to unseat Alberto Gonzales appears to have lost some luster, the Financial Times reports. As the House Judiciary Committee continues to grill the attorney general about the firing of nine U.S. Attorneys last year, Republicans are increasingly rallying behind their man, and are now calling for...

House Passes Short-Term War Funding
House Passes Short-Term
War Funding

House Passes Short-Term War Funding

Votes for another showdown with President Bush

(Newser) - Congress voted 221-205 last night to pump $40 billion into the war in Iraq—only enough to fund combat operations until July.  An additional $56 billion would be released contingent on the Iraqi government's progress. The bill omits any timetable for withdrawal, but sets the scene for another showdown...

Accord Reached On Trade Deals
Accord Reached On Trade Deals

Accord Reached On Trade Deals

Dems, White House agree to labor and environmental protection in pacts

(Newser) - Democrats have struck a deal with the White House that beefs up labor and environmental standards in pending free-trade pacts, clearing the way for agreements with Peru, Panama,  South Korea, and Colombia. Provisions will be written into future deals banning forced labor, child labor and workplace discrimination, the Washington ...

Bush Will Veto New Iraq Bill
Bush Will Veto New Iraq Bill

Bush Will Veto New Iraq Bill

(Newser) - President Bush will veto a second proposed Iraq appropriations blll, the White House said today, dashing hopes for an agreement on the controversial measure. The new bill, which House Dems unveiled yesterday, requires the President to report to Congress on Iraq's progress in order to receive full funding for the...

Comey Defends Fired Attorneys
Comey Defends Fired Attorneys

Comey Defends Fired Attorneys

Most were strong performers, former deputy AG tells House panel

(Newser) - Most of the U.S. attorneys axed en masse by the Justice Department last year weren't underperforming, former Deputy Attorney General James Comey told a House panel yesterday. Comey, who left Justice over a year before the firings, said he'd rated the attorneys' performance for Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson...

Democrats Move on to Benchmarks
Democrats Move on to Benchmarks

Democrats Move on to Benchmarks

Even some Republicans like them. But how would they be enforced?

(Newser) - Congressional Dems have dropped their demands for a timeline to bring home troops, after the House failed yesterday to override a Bush veto on their Iraq spending bill. Now the buzzword is benchmarks, and even some Republicans are signaling that they could get on board. But what, if any, muscle...

Big Business Turns Blue
Big Business Turns Blue

Big Business Turns Blue

Companies fill Dems' war chests, seeking traction with ruling party

(Newser) - Corporate America is shifting campaign contributions from GOP soulmates to Democrats, eager to bond with new legislative gatekeepers. Coffers aren't swelling across the board, though; a Wall Street Journal analysis shows pro-business Dems are pulling in most of it. General Dynamics, Honeywell International, Home Depot. and Aflac are among those...

Iraqi Slams U.S. Senate Vote
Iraqi Slams U.S. Senate Vote

Iraqi Slams U.S. Senate Vote

"We see it as a loss of four years of sacrifices"

(Newser) - The Iraqi government is blasting the U.S. Senate for approving the troop-withdrawal bill, saying it sends the wrong message to insurgents. "We see it as a loss of four years of sacrifices," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said yesterday of the legislation, which mandates an October 1 deadline...

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