All Articles Tagged "Congress"
(Washington Post) — The Columbia Heights couple planned to spend the holidays mulling over seating assignments and experimenting with apple pie recipes for the 80 guests invited to their spring wedding. Instead, William Neville and Daniel Rehbehn will head to the courthouse in the next few days to file their marriage papers, concerned that the newly elected Congress could undo the District’s recent law that allows gay couples to marry.
(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Congress passed an $858 billion bill extending for two years all Bush-era tax cuts, sending the measure to President Barack Obama for his signature. Before the House voted 277-148 for final passage on the tax-cut agreement, members defeated an amendment crafted by some Democrats to express their displeasure with the bill and especially with a Republican-backed estate-tax proposal. Enough Democrats voted with House Republicans to accept the deal that Obama negotiated with congressional Republicans who gained scores of seats in last month’s election. Republicans said the bill would provide certainty about tax rates and would create jobs.
(Wall Street Journal) — Rep. Maxine Waters, in response to a delay in her ethics trial, will ask the House to investigate the ethics committee’s decision to place two of its lawyers on administrative leave. The personnel action has played a role in the indefinite delay of her case. She introduced a resolution Tuesday that asks for the inquiry, and the House could vote as early as Wednesday. The committee attorneys are still on the payroll, but their absence ensures that Ms. Waters’s demand for a trial this year won’t be met. Both women worked on her case, and one was the lead attorney.
(New American Media) — Politics does, indeed, make strange bedfellows. How else to characterize one of Congress’s loudest, most outspoken ultraconservatives, Rep. Peter King of New York, protesting the House vote to censure Harlem congressman Charles Rangel, an African-American, a Democrat, and a longtime paragon of liberalism? Of course, King’s defense of Rangel had nothing to do with political affection, identification, outrage over his treatment, or even fear that the censure vote could set a dangerous precedent. No, the point was to ensure that the corruption spotlight shone brightly on the Democrats. That’s exactly what’s happened.
(Wall Street Journal) — The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to censure New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel for ethics violations, in a rarely applied punishment to publicly shame a fellow lawmaker. The vote for censure—the most severe form of punishment short of expulsion from Congress—was 333 to 79. Mr. Rangel was the first lawmaker to be censured in nearly three decades. After the vote, Mr. Rangel stood on the House floor as Speaker Nancy Pelosi read a short statement decrying his conduct.
(New York Times) — With the hour of his reckoning drawing near, RepresentativeCharles B. Rangel on Wednesday morning asked thousands of his supporters to call the Capitol switchboard and ask their congressmen to vote against a measure that would censure him for an assortment of ethical violations. The last-minute appeal, e-mailed to 25,000 people on the congressman’s campaign mailing list, includes an apology for his transgressions, but asserts that “censure is excessive and that my lapses do not rise to the level of transgressions of those censured in the past.” Invoking his decorated service in the Korean War and half a century as a prosecutor and elected official, Mr. Rangel, a Democrat from Harlem, said he hoped his supporters would show similar resolve toward him during this dark moment.
(Wall Street Journal) — Two House ethics committee investigative aides were placed on leave last month, including the lead investigator in the panel’s probe of California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters. Morgan Kim, the committee’s deputy chief counsel, who was directing the Waters probe, and Stacey Sovereign, a lower-ranking counsel, were put on leave the Friday before Thanksgiving. That was the same day the ethics committee announced it was restarting the Waters probe.
(Black Voice News) — As recently reported in the Wall Street Journal, While centrist Democrats bore the brunt of the mid-term election losses, members of the Black and Hispanic caucuses won 56 of 60 re-election bids. The more than 40 returning African American members of Congress and at least five new ones are coming to Washington fired up and determined to beat back the coming attacks on the progressive agenda the country voted for in 2008. As a result of the elections, seven new African Americans will be sworn-in as new House members on January 5th. These include two Tea Party endorsed Black Republicans — Tim Scott, of South Carolina, and Allen West, of Florida, — and the first Black woman ever to represent the state of Alabama , Terri Sewell.
(Roll Call) — Top Congressional Black Caucus members are rejecting suggestions that an unprecedented number of public embarrassments in recent months have diminished the group’s clout. CBC veterans have dominated the news lately, but not for their successes. Monday was supposed to mark the start of the ethics trial of Rep. Maxine Waters, but the House ethics committee opted 10 days ago to return the case to investigators, citing “materials discovered that may have had an effect” on the case, according to a statement.
(New York Times) — The House has given final Congressional approval to a bill that would provide more than $4.55 billion to settle tens of thousands of longstanding claims brought by African Americans farmers and American Indians. The bill provides $1.15 billion to African Americans left out of a 1999 settlement of a lawsuit, Pigford v. Glickman; in that settlement the federal government agreed to compensate black farmers and would-be farmers who said Agriculture Department officials denied or cheated them out of federal aid. To be eligible for money now, claimants must have farmed or attempted to farm between 1981 and 1986, have filed a discrimination complaint before July 1, 1987, and have filed a claim after the deadline in the original settlement.