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Rest Up From the Budget Fight, Because There's a Debt Ceiling One Around the Corner

December 17, 2013 Don't expect the relative fiscal peace on the Hill engendered by the budget deal to last for long. Top Republicans are already looking ahead to the next fight: the debt ceiling. "I doubt that the House, or, for that matter, the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean ...

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Turkeys -- and Chimps -- Saved by Washington This Thanksgiving

November 27, 2013 A couple of turkeys getting pardoned isn't a big deal, compared with the hundreds of research chimps about to be spared a lifetime of living in research labs. After President Obama pardons the turkeys Wednesday, he will sign into law a bill passed by the House and Senate that frees ...

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How Senate Republicans Can Retaliate on the Filibuster

November 27, 2013 If you're looking for a coordinated Senate Republican tactical response to Harry Reid's nuclear detonation, you're not likely to find it any time soon. Republicans have no proportional counterattacks now that the majority leader has scorched the filibuster on nominees. But that doesn't mean they don't have any means to ...

Iran Agreement's Unsettled Timetable Adds to Tensions in Congress

November 26, 2013 Confusion over the actual start date of an interim agreement with Iran is complicating lawmakers' attempts to police negotiations over the country's nuclear program. Policy leaders are still combing through the details of the accord struck with Iran over the weekend that would pause its nuclear enrichment program and provide ...

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In the Aftermath of a Post-Nuclear Senate, Everyone’s Dug in Deeper

November 22, 2013 The sun had not set on the post-nuclear Senate, when Democrats began looking forward to confirming a slate of White House nominees as Republicans dished out doomsday forecasts on the future of the institution. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., invoked the rules change—first dubbed the "nuclear option" and later ...

I Lost My Seat in Congress, and All I Got Was This Broken Website

November 15, 2013 Vulnerable House Democrats back in 2009 knew that they were risking their political careers by casting votes for the Affordable Care Act. And more than 60 of them--including some who didn't even vote for the bill--lost their seats the following year. So there's an extra psychological twinge for those forced ...

Obamacare Enrollment Data Subpoenaed

November 6, 2013 House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., has subpoenaed the administration for data on Obamacare enrollment, making good on an earlier threat. The subpoena to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency managing the rollout of the insurance exchanges, demands all the data it has on ...

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Budget Conference: A Committee of Two?

October 31, 2013 It's supposed to be a committee of 29 separate voices from the House and Senate. But the early signals from the inaugural meeting of the bipartisan House and Senate budget conference are that it may operate more like a committee of two: Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray. Ryan ...

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Chimps Endure Congressional Monkey Business

October 30, 2013 If Congress doesn’t act soon, humans won’t be the only primates frustrated with the political process -- chimpanzees will take a hit, too. Specifically, research chimps owned by the National Institutes of Health. The federal government has decided it won’t use the animals for research anymore and has plans to ...

from govexec

Finally Over, Shutdown Showdown Tees Up New Battles

October 17, 2013 The debt-ceiling stalemate and 16-day government shutdown cost the economy billions, put tens of thousands out of work, made some little-known congressmen famous and tested the balance of power in Congress. Yet as lawmakers ended the standoff with a hard-fought agreement, many pointed to a landscape left largely unchanged, with ...