When Gridlock Works: Cybersecurity Bill Stuffed, for Now

By: Thursday August 2, 2012 11:06 am

The Senate, unable to come up with a schedule for amendments, blocked the cybersecurity bill today in an outcome that, despite being a result of Republican obstruction, satisfied Internet activists who had been urging a no vote. You can see from the roll call that this was generally a partisan vote. The backstory is that [...]

As Poll Shows Public Wants Higher Taxes on the Rich, Conservative Dems Waver

By: Tuesday June 19, 2012 10:38 am

A new poll from the National Journal shows that the principle of raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans by letting the Bush tax cuts expire remains extremely popular, even as some Democrats show trepidation about the idea. A new United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll shows that only 26 percent of the public wants to [...]

Now Everyone in Congress Wants to Pass the STOCK Act

By: Wednesday November 16, 2011 8:17 am

I thought the 60 Minutes piece on insider trading by members of Congress had quite a few holes in it, but it did call attention to the indefensible fact that members of Congress have no restrictions on insider trading. The conceit is that all hearings, votes, etc. in Congress are a matter of public record, [...]

American Jobs Act Fails First Senate Cloture Vote

By: Wednesday October 12, 2011 6:17 am

As expected, the American Jobs Act failed to pass a cloture vote last night. The vote was 50-49. Democrats held the vote open so “New Englander of the Year” Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) could return from Boston and cast the final vote in favor, giving them the talking point that a majority supported the bill. Tom [...]

Conservative Democrats Plan Vote Against Jobs to Save Their Careers (?)

By: Tuesday October 11, 2011 10:55 am

So far, we have one defection on the American Jobs Act, though it isn’t a Democratic defection. Joe Lieberman, the lame duck (emphasis on lame) Senator from the Connnecticut for Lieberman Party, plans to vote no today, because he wants more deficit reduction (the American Jobs Act reduces the deficit). In addition, New Hampshire Democrat [...]

Swipe Fee Battle Comes to a Vote Today

By: Wednesday June 8, 2011 8:00 am

We have 9.1% unemployment, but we can’t pass jobs bills because they’re too expensive. We have an unreformed financial sector still desirous of engaging in risky lending, but we can’t implement risk retention rules that would force financial institutions to keep a tiny sliver of the deals they make instead of packaging them up and [...]

Retailers Enter Swipe Fee Fight as Tester Backtracks

By: Thursday May 19, 2011 11:16 am

Retailers have finally begun to strike back on swipe fee reform, the underground issue that you would be nauseated to discover is taking up a striking amount of the Congress’ time. This is basically a battle between two large, competing interests. On the one side, you have banks who have collect $16 billion annually in [...]

Senators Try to Roll Bank Interchange Fee Limits

By: Wednesday March 16, 2011 8:40 am

Maybe the most surprising amendment to pass in the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform bill was Dick Durbin’s interchange fee amendment. The banks had collected this exorbitant fee for a long time, even on debit cards, where the transaction costs were almost nil. But Durbin somehow won the amendment on the floor of the Senate. There [...]

Handful of Senate Democrats Oppose Filibuster Reform

By: Wednesday July 28, 2010 8:35 am

Seemingly a counterpoint to all the momentum in recent days for Senate rules reform, a group of conservative and old-guard Democrats announced their opposition to changing the rules requiring a 60-vote threshold to clear a filibuster. Ten Democrats are cited in the article (though not all of them are named) as either opposed to or [...]

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