NSA Scrambles To Stop Congress From Limiting Spying Powers Under Patriot Act

By: Wednesday July 24, 2013 5:55 am

All hell broke lose in Washington when, to the surprise of many, a bill to limit the NSA’s power to spy on Americans made it out of a House committee. The bill, known as the Amash Amendment for its cosponsor Representative Justin Amash, was attached to the defense spending bill. The law will limit the [...]

House Judiciary Chair Rolls Back Many Elements of SOPA

By: Tuesday December 13, 2011 9:35 am

Clearly responding to pressure from Internet giants and a growing coalition of activists, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) amended his legislation on Internet copyrights yesterday, rolling back some of the more dangerous elements. A HJC markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, will take place this Thursday. The original measure amounted [...]

The New, Old Mission in Afghanistan

By: Wednesday June 22, 2011 5:54 pm

Let me make some brief thoughts on the President’s address. First of all, it was a somewhat poorly written, bumper-sticker-laden speech. Obama clearly wanted to claim a position of success in Afghanistan, and use the withdrawal as an example of that success. But there were a couple things that can serve as markers for the [...]

Conyers to Introduce Amendment to Budget Bill Barring Funding for US Ground Troops in Libya

By: Friday April 1, 2011 2:24 pm

Antiwar Rep. John Conyers plans to try to attach an amendment to the continuing resolution that should emerge next week in the House which would “prevent appropriated funds from being used to fund any type of ground troop presence on Libyan territory,” according to a letter sent to colleagues. Conyers has three co-sponsors – California [...]

Tax Cut Bill Moves to the President

By: Friday December 17, 2010 6:20 am

Just to mop this up, last night around midnight, the House of Representatives gave final passage to the tax cut bill. The final roll call vote on the “Airport and Airway Extension Act,” the name of the shell bill used as a vehicle to move the legislation, was 277-148. Democrats wound up supporting the bill [...]

Gridlock the Ally as Cat Food Commission Reaches Home Stretch

By: Thursday September 30, 2010 11:29 am

House and Senate liberals expressed their desire on a conference call that they would vote against any set of recommendations from the Cat Food Commission if they included benefit cuts to Social Security. That included any increases to the retirement age or privatization. “[D]o not send Congress a plan that cuts Social Security benefits, raise [...]

Progressives Could Force Privileged Resolution to Floor on Social Security Cuts

By: Thursday September 2, 2010 4:14 pm

When Raul Grijalva and Lynn Woolsey told the co-chairs of the Cat Food Commission that they would 100% oppose Social Security cuts, it was pitched as the opening salvo in an aggressive pushback against any changes to benefits. There would be plenty of “CPC-wide follow up” in September, particularly when Congress returned to session, I [...]

House Democrats Fight Back on Housing Policy

By: Friday August 13, 2010 2:22 pm

After months of relative silence, House Democrats have finally begun to assert themselves on the issue of housing and foreclosures, which is directly harming millions of families and threatening economic recovery. Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) are circulating a blistering letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Acting Director of the Federal [...]

Progressive Dems: Fiscal Responsibility Means Opposing the War Supplemental

By: Thursday July 1, 2010 8:55 am

Progressive Democrats issued a challenge this morning to their colleagues in the House on the eve of a scheduled vote on the war supplemental: the only fiscally responsible stance is to end the emergency funding. It is disingenuous to say this is an “emergency” supplemental. The only “emergency” is this: In funding the longest war [...]

Cat Food Commission Will Be Carried Out Partially In Secret

By: Tuesday May 4, 2010 10:26 am

The Simpson-Bowles Fiscal Commission will hold their first working group meeting tomorrow. They plan once-a-week meetings on discretionary spending, mandatory spending and tax policy, and then a larger, once-a-month meeting to go over the reports of the working groups. But although the White House promised transparency and full public hearings for all fiscal commission activities, [...]

OPR Report, As Expected, Absolves Bybee And Yoo Of Professional Misconduct

By: Friday February 19, 2010 4:06 pm

With a Friday night news dump, the Justice Department has released the Office of Professional Responsibility report on the conduct of Bush Administration lawyers in crafting terrorism policy. The House Judiciary Committee has put the report up on its website. Marcy Wheeler has a working thread up; she and her commenters are well-equipped to do [...]

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