All Articles Tagged "Congress"
(New York Times) — The all-Democrat Congressional Black Caucus welcomed its first Republican member in 14 years on Wednesday, with the swearing-in of Representative Allen B. West of Florida. The newly elected congressman is the first Republican to join the black lawmakers’ group since Representative Gary A. Franks of Connecticut left office in 1997. The other black Republican elected to the House in November, Timothy E. Scott of South Carolina, declined to join the group. Mr. West, a former Army lieutenant colonel who represents a swath of Florida’s southeastern coast, called the group “monolithic” shortly after his election during orientation for new members on the Hill. But on Sunday, he said he hoped to bring “intellectual debate and discourse” to the caucus.
(LA Times) — Rep. Maxine Waters is questioning whether Bank of America’s $2.8-billion settlement withFannie Mae and Freddie Mac this week was a little too sweet — even “a backdoor bailout” by the government, as Waters (D-Los Angeles), a longtime member of the House Financial Services Committee, put it. The settlement with Fannie and Freddie, the government-sponsored mortgage buyers that collapsed into federal conservatorship because they lost so much money, was announced Monday. The deal would put an end to most of Fannie’s and Freddie’s demands that BofA buy back mortgages they claimed were misrepresented when they bought them from Countrywide Financial Corp.
(New York Times) — Companies spend millions of dollars each year complaining to Congress about burdensome laws and regulations, pressing their concerns in public campaigns and in private meetings. They rarely wait for invitations. Last month a senior House Republican, Representative Darrell Issa of California, nevertheless dispatched letters to 150 companies, trade groups and research organizations asking them to identify federal regulations that are restraining economic recovery and job growth.
(New York Times) — When the Obama administration wakes up next month to a divided capital, no cabinet member will be facing a more miserable prospect of oversight hearings and subpoenas than Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. Mr. Holder is a particularly juicy target because he presides over issues that have served as recurrent fodder for political controversy — including using the criminal justice system for terrorism cases, and federal enforcement of civil rights and immigration laws. More than most administration officials, he has served as a proxy for Republican attacks on what they see asPresident Obama’s left-leaning agenda. At least two possible 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls have already called for Mr. Holder’s resignation.
(Wall Street Journal) — Rep. Charles Rangel has established a defense fund that will allow supporters to contribute as much as $5,000 a year to help pay his legal bills. The New York Democrat still owes money to his former lawyers, who represented him in an ethics case that ended with his censure. The Charles B. Rangel Legal Expense Trust was approved by the House ethics committee, the same panel that successfully recommended that the House censure Mr. Rangel for financial and fund-raising misconduct. Mr. Rangel announced the establishment of the fund on Tuesday. H. Carl McCall, the former New York State comptroller, will serve as trustee. Contributions will be reported quarterly and disclosed publicly.
(New York Times) — No one was more critical than Representative Mark Steven Kirk when President Obama and the Democratic majority in the Congress sought passage last year of a $787 billion spending bill intended to stimulate the economy. And during his campaign for the Illinois Senate seat once held by Mr. Obama, Mr. Kirk, a Republican, boasted of his vote against “Speaker Pelosi’s trillion-dollar stimulus plan.”
(New York Times) — Frustrated by routine filibusters and other procedural blockades, Senate Democrats are urging their leadership to negotiate with Republicans to change the rules that govern how the Senate does business. The Democrats would leave intact the ability of the minority party to filibuster legislation and nominations, meaning that in most cases it would still take 60 votes to get anything done. But they want to require senators to be on the floor if they intend to try to debate a bill to death and would make other changes to streamline the Senate’s operations, including ending the practice of secret “holds” by a single senator on legislation or nominees.
(Politics365) — A new compensation study released by the U.S. House of Representatives Chief Administrative Officer shows a distressing, but expected picture of failing minority recruitment on Capitol Hill – much lower than the previous year. In its annual 2010 House Compensation Study, the Chief Administrative Officer of the House reports that minority recruitment on the Hill – particularly for African Americans and Latinos eagerly searching for top political jobs in Congress – is nearly 10 percent lower than 2009. In 2010, only 24% of about 133 Congressional offices surveyed by the CAO reported efforts in recruiting minority applicants or reaching out to such groups as the Congressional Tri-Caucus, which is a consortium of the major minority-focused Congressional Caucuses such as the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. That figure is down from 33% in 2009. And, only 39% of offices surveyed responded that they had prioritized creating an office environment that was reflective of their district’s cultural make-up.
(Washington Examiner) — In the last century, Maryland and Virginia residents have had to share their congressmen with more and more people as the states’ populations have jumped but their number of U.S. representatives has not. And with the national population shifts, neither state appears to be in line for more U.S. representatives, although Maryland’s population grew 9 percent and Virginia’s 13 percent in the past 10 years.