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Tag: Legislation


House Passes Bill Barring Federal Funds for Abortion

The House of Representatives voted last week to withhold federal financial assistance from Americans signing up for health insurance plans that cover abortion.

Posted on Feb 3, 2014 READ MORE


Pension Reform

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Posted on Nov 30, 2013 READ MORE



jeff_golden (CC BY-SA 2.0)

‘Surveillance State’ Legislation Would Bar Some NSA Decryption

Disclosures about the NSA’s secret campaign to undermine online privacy protections have prompted Rep. Rush D. Holt Jr., D-N.J., to propose legislation that would prohibit the agency from installing “backdoors” into encryption intended to protect email, online transactions and other communications.

Posted on Sep 6, 2013 READ MORE


Blockhead Congress

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Posted on May 6, 2013 READ MORE


Senate Speed Trap

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Posted on May 4, 2013 READ MORE


Immigration Plan

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Posted on Feb 22, 2013 READ MORE



Flickr/Sean

Mass Shootings Do Little to Change State Gun Laws

Following the mass shooting in Connecticut, the Obama administration and lawmakers around the country have promised to re-examine gun control in America. Here’s a look at what’s happened legislatively in states where some of the worst shootings in recent U.S. history have occurred to see what effect, if any, those events had on gun laws.

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 READ MORE



Flickr / Jeezny

The Tyranny of the Compact Fluorescent

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are set to vote on a measure aimed at repealing part of a 2007 bill that calls for phasing out those inefficient, old-style light bulbs. If passed, it’s unlikely the proposal would clear the Senate. (more)

Posted on Jul 12, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / mediacutts

Disappointment in Rhode Island

Same-sex couples suffered a bitter legislative defeat in Rhode Island on Wednesday night when a bill allowing only civil unions—but not marriage—passed the state Senate, less than one week after New York granted gays and lesbians the right to marry. (more)

Posted on Jun 30, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / United States Senate

Senate GOP Plans Bill-Blocking Spree

After a brief moment of bipartisan-themed grandstanding the day before, things got back to normal on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, with Senate Republicans plotting to make the most of the next few weeks by doing their darndest to derail any Democratic-backed legislation in the works.

Posted on Dec 1, 2010 READ MORE


SB 1070 sign
Flickr / Arasmus Photo

Prison-Industrial Complex Helped Write and Pass SB 1070

An investigation by National Public Radio has found that prison companies that were set to make significant gains from the criminalization of immigrants helped write and pass Arizona’s controversial law SB 1070.

Posted on Oct 31, 2010 READ MORE


Wall Street flags
AP / Mark Lennihan

Obama Makes Financial Overhaul Official

It remains to be seen whether the new financial reform legislation that President Obama signed into law on Wednesday will spare us another economic cataclysm like the recession we’re still in, but for his part, the president seems jazzed about it.

Posted on Jul 21, 2010 READ MORE


NYSE
AP / Henny Ray Abrams

GOP Drafting Rival Financial Reform Bill

Senate Republicans are hoping that, when it comes to their Democratic opponents, if they can’t beat ’em, they can at least make up their own financial reform bill to thwart ’em. One pesky problem with the GOP’s approach is ... (continued)

Posted on Apr 26, 2010 READ MORE


Obama
whitehouse.gov

Obama Signs Student Loan Legislation

President Barack Obama made the short trip to Northern Virginia Community College on Tuesday to put the final touch—his signature—on legislation that included additional action items on the health care reform list and an overhaul of the federal student loan system.

Posted on Mar 30, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / edEx

Senate Passes Jobs Bill

A better job market could be on the way for Americans looking for work if the job-creation bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday gets President Barack Obama’s approval, and if the legislation actually inspires employers to do some hiring.

Posted on Mar 17, 2010 READ MORE


Reid
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Senate Dems Go for Job-Creation Angle

Just a day after their motivational session with President Barack Obama, Senate Democrats got back to the task of regaining some lost political capital, making a bid to better their situation and that of out-of-work Americans by introducing a job-creation package—on the same day, the Los Angeles Times noted, that Massachusetts Sen.-elect Scott Brown was to be sworn in.

Posted on Feb 4, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / John Regas

Pro-Union Bill in Trouble

Sen. Arlen Specter gave the proposed Employee Free Choice Act the shaft Tuesday, severely wounding legislation that would make forming unions significantly easier. Labor leaders were depending on support from moderates such as Specter, but, facing a primary challenge, the Pennsylvania Republican chickened out.

Posted on Mar 25, 2009 READ MORE


Bernie Sanders
senate.gov

Bernie Sanders Wants Answers, Writes Legislation to Get Them

Fed chief Ben Bernanke may be able to dole out trillions in the blink of an eye, but on Tuesday he ran headlong into Congress’ only independent democratic socialist. Sen. Bernie Sanders demanded to know where all the Fed’s money was going. Bernanke said “no.” Sanders fired back by introducing a bill that would require such information to be posted to the Fed’s Web site.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


Making Him Do It

Intragovernmental squabbling probably makes the conflict-averse Obama uncomfortable. But the “make him do it” dynamic could finally bring the center of Washington’s political debate closer to the progressive center of American public opinion.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Obama signs Ledbetter bill
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Lilly Ledbetter Has Her Day

On Thursday, President Barack Obama signed his first bill into law—the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act—with the lofty aim of ensuring equal pay for equal work and eradicating workplace discrimination. The bill’s namesake, a former Goodyear employee, was on hand, as was first lady Michelle Obama, who at a reception after the signing ceremony called Ledbetter “one of my favorite people.”

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Economic Policy That Might Actually Work? Who Knew?

After eight years of trickle-down tax cuts that pushed the prosperous up and left most everyday Americans sliding further down, the stimulus bill now moving swiftly through Congress is more than a reversal of political course. Let’s hope it’s not too late.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Workers Laid Off, Executives Paid Off, Bernard Madoff

Bernard Madoff’s criminal pyramid scheme, in which losses are expected to be $50 billion, paints a grim picture—unless you are a corporate executive. Read the fine print. Of the TARP bailout funds, only those that were technically spent “in an auction” carry limits on executive pay.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008 READ MORE


We Told You So

With the release of three new reports, there’s no debate anymore about who was correct and who wasn’t concerning the economic collapse and the Wall Street bailout. The studies prove that progressive critics were right and the Washington ideologues and the pundits were wrong.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s E-Team

Obama’s selection of a team of highly skilled pragmatists has already been described as a move to the political center, but Obama advisers and longtime acquaintances say that this is a misreading of the incoming president and his approach.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / marcn

So Much to Do, So Little Hillary

Sen. Ted Kennedy has asked Sen. Hillary Clinton to take up an important post shaping landmark health care legislation. The offer comes as Clinton reportedly weighs continuing her work in the Senate against joining Barack Obama’s administration as secretary of state.

Posted on Nov 19, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

House Defies Leadership, Rejects Bailout

When it came to a showdown in the House, the $700-billion bailout scheme was considered to be as toxic as the securities it was supposed to save us from. Democrats and Republicans broke ranks Monday to vote down the measure, 228-205, against the wishes of both parties’ leaders.

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 READ MORE


Back in the USSR

In the late 1990s, Washington was in the throes of a deregulatory orgy. Many lampooned Rep. Bernie Sanders’ opposition to the grotesquerie, and his notoriety as the only self-described socialist in Congress. Nobody guessed that in a few years our country would become the United States’ Socialist Republic.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

They Claim the Bailout Is Necessary, but Is It Constitutional?

Wall Street will not trouble its collective consciousness with worry over the Constitution. But this bailout bill is virtually unprecedented in its assumptions and its reach for unchecked power.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE



hotflick.net

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Don’t Work

Congress is investigating the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for the first time in the rule’s 15-year life. Critics of the famously troubled compromise would like to take advantage of a troop-starved military to scrap the policy, but the opposition argues that openly gay soldiers would frighten away new recruits.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


for sale sign
Flickr / sfadden

Senate Slogs Through Housing Bill

Leading senators think they have made a bipartisan breakthrough on legislation aimed at the mortgage crisis. A parallel effort in the House met with Republican opposition, and it’s not entirely clear where President Bush and his veto pen stand on the matter.

Posted on May 19, 2008 READ MORE


The Power of a Stupid Idea

There’s something maddening about this presidential campaign. It has become irrelevant whether anything the candidates say actually makes sense. Case in point: cutting the gas tax.

Posted on May 2, 2008 READ MORE


The Plague of Potomac Fever

Congress is ravaged by a disease inside the Washington Beltway inhibiting emotions like compassion and integrity. As the housing crisis intensifies, this malady is getting worse.

Posted on May 2, 2008 READ MORE


Unequal Under the Law

By now the Tale of Lilly Ledbetter is beginning to sound like the Perils of Pauline or the Pre-Feminist Follies. At 70 years old, she’s the star of a long-running drama about how hard we have to run to keep from slipping backward.

Posted on Apr 30, 2008 READ MORE


Gore
tusb.stanford.edu

Gore: Change Laws and Lightbulbs

After “An Inconvenient Truth” hit theaters, Al Gore may have won a couple of trophies for his work in fighting climate change, but the former vice president doesn’t believe enough has changed where it counts—in national and international laws

Posted on Apr 21, 2008 READ MORE


Failing the Troops

The same kinds of mismanagement and dysfunction that are at work in Iraq continue to plague veterans when they seek medical care at home.

Posted on Apr 9, 2008 READ MORE


Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

The real John McCain is re-emerging: a politician who rakes in big bucks by being a hired gun for the corporations.

Posted on Apr 3, 2008 READ MORE


Ethical Progress at Last

Elections do matter. Some people who win office really do keep campaign promises. And legislation the public wants—but which the politicians, by and large, don’t—actually can be enacted, even if the kicking and screaming can practically be heard coming from behind those infamously closed doors.

Posted on Mar 18, 2008 READ MORE


The Next Florida

Election Day began with voting machines refusing to start up. It ended with them refusing to shut down.

Posted on Jan 23, 2008 READ MORE


Digging in the Right Place

It is state legislators—not those celebrities of Capitol Hill—who are the innovators in seeking remedies to problems such as the health care mess.

Posted on Jan 17, 2008 READ MORE


Dodd

Dodd to the Rescue

Sen. Chris Dodd just put his money where his mouth has been in the presidential campaign, filibustering a nasty bit of legislation the Senate tried to push through before the Christmas break. Here he tells MSNBC why giving retroactive immunity to the telecom companies for spying on Americans is a bad thing.

Posted on Dec 18, 2007 READ MORE


When Barbarians Take Hostages

Henry Kravis is the king of private equity, the Wall Street sector that buys and bleeds companies.  He and his ilk, to preserve their huge tax advantages, are making sure that millions of Americans won’t get a fair deal.

Posted on Dec 13, 2007 READ MORE


Our Offspring Fontanel

Oooh. He’s clever. And obviously knows exactly what he’s doing. This is all a setup, people. Has to be. Yes, I’m talking about George Bush’s veto of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Who but a total stoned horned ogre would do that? Maybe an ogre with something up his sleeve, eh?

Posted on Oct 17, 2007 READ MORE


Barney Frank

Barney Frank Pleads for Realistic Expectations and Practical Activism

Though he referred specifically to the gay non-discrimination bill, Rep. Barney Frank made an impassioned plea for realism among activists that could be applied to the war, the environment or any other major issue of the day. He warned that imperfect legislation can help millions of people, unless “ideologically committed single-issue groups” are given a veto.

Posted on Oct 12, 2007 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
btinternet.com

Bush: Protect America, or at Least Its Telecom Companies

First we had “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Then came the Patriot Act.  And now, President Bush has co-opted another vague term that’s hard to argue with, emptied it of its intended significance, and altered it to mean “let big telecom companies that aided the administration in its dubious wiretapping activities off the hook.”  Yes, folks, this latest round of rhetorical gymnastics has brought us “the Protect America Act.”

Posted on Oct 10, 2007 READ MORE


Congress Tries to Close Blackwater Loophole

The House voted 389 to 30 to pass a bill that would make private contractors working for the U.S. government in Iraq subject to United States law. It’s the second time Congress has attempted to apply some sense to the legal vacuum created by the Bush administration and its Coalition Provisional Authority, which pushed through what amounts to blanket immunity for mercenaries.

Posted on Oct 5, 2007 READ MORE


Ignoring the Other Victims of 9/11

When the National Guard helicoptered her husband, Mark, to Staten Island to work as a wireless technician setting up a communications network for thousands of emergency workers who were descending upon Lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, Jeanmarie DeBiase did not know this would begin the unraveling.

Posted on Sep 10, 2007 READ MORE


The Unflappable Speaker

Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have the demeanor of someone who leads a Congress suffering from the worst public disapproval in contemporary polling history.

Posted on Aug 2, 2007 READ MORE


drivers' license
secureidnews.com

States Revolt Against ID Law

The Real ID Act of 2005 requires all states to meet a national standard for identification cards and participate in a shared database, but some have objected, citing privacy and budget concerns. Maine has led the charge of about a dozen states that may pass laws objecting to and opting out of the federal mandate.

Posted on Feb 4, 2007 READ MORE


Minimum-Wage Boost Stalled in Senate

The first minimum-wage increase in 10 years took a hit in the Senate Wednesday, failing to get the 60 votes necessary to end debate. Republicans have been fighting to include tax cuts for businesses, and will probably succeed unless the Dems can get six more defections.

Posted on Jan 24, 2007 READ MORE


Pelosi Wants Energy Independence Laws by July 4th

A day before the House voted to end subsidies to the oil industry, Nancy Pelosi announced the formation of a committee on energy independence and global warming. The speaker set a deadline of July 4th for “a package of legislation to truly declare our energy independence.”

Posted on Jan 18, 2007 READ MORE


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