Archive for July, 2012
With two weeks to go until Congress takes a five-week summer holiday, here are a few things that lawmakers won’t be working on over the coming days: a meaningful fix to the so-called financial cliff that’s coming in January, when taxes will go up and over $100 billion in federal spending will be cut automatically; a Farm Bill important to employment in rural states; a response to the banking industry’s interest rate-fixing scandal known as LIBOR; final passage of the Violence Against Women Act; and anything else that stands a chance of being signed into law.
A bill to require more disclosure from big-money campaign contributors was blocked in the Senate July 16, as Republicans lined up against the measure. The DISCLOSE Act would not have ended the six- and seven-figure contributions unleashed by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. But it would have put a name to some of those contributions.
The bill needed 60 votes to move forward under Senate rules; it got 51.
It may come up again. Let your members of Congress know your opinion: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
The House and Senate vote this week on bills the other chamber won’t consider, an exercise in showmanship — and futility — that will continue until Congress adjourns in early August for a five-week break. After that, the House plans to be in session for just three more weeks before scattering to campaign for re-election. The Senate will likely follow the other chamber out the door.
On the July 14 edition of “Take Action News with David Shuster,” we spoke with Julia Sirota, a 16 year old from Flemington, NJ. Julia was one of more than 100 teenagers from Camp Tel Yehudah in Barryville NY who spent this past week in Washington, D.C. lobbying Congresss on issues including LGBT rights, environmental concerns, poverty, and human trafficking. What motivated these teenagers to spend part of their summer tracking these issues and taking action? Listen…
Things are still brewing on the post-SCOTUS ruling health care reform debate on Twitter.
Several hashtags swirl at the center of the discussion. While the progressives are still using the #HealthJustice tag to make their points, it has slowed down today. Meanwhile, the GOP’s #FullRepeal is going strong, although there are a number of progressives chiming in there with “NO #fullrepeal” tweets.
Listen online at We Act Radio, Saturday, 12pm-3pm, Rebroadcast Sunday, 5am–7am
The problem is that Issa’s latest report highlights benefits extended to just seven lawmakers, and only one of those — retired Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) — played a pivotal role on banking regulation. The value is that the report reveals the routine favors exchanged between corporations and lawmakers, out of view from the general public.
Can Congress get a winning streak going on big-ticket items?
After passing a hard-fought transportation bill in June, lawmakers hope to move a half-trillion dollar agriculture bill in July.
The House Agriculture Committee begins marking up the bill — adding amendments to shape the final contours of the legislation — on July 11.
President Obama this week gave the type of enthusiastic shout-out to healthcare reform that many supporters have been awaiting for two years. But Friday’s disappointing jobs report makes clear that the president’s electoral fortunes hang on employment — and offering a vision for future economic strength.