Fiscal Cliff Averted

Early this morning, the Senate rang in the New Year by approving legislation to avert the economic impacts of the fiscal cliff. The bipartisan agreement makes changes to tax policy by allowing for the first income tax rate increase in nearly two decades and also delays the sequester by offering $24 billion in other spending… Read More


STEM Jobs Act Approved

By a vote of 245 to 139, the House passed this afternoon the STEM Jobs Act (HR 6429) offered by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Lamar Smith (R-TX).  The bill, which previously failed in September on suspension of the rules, would create 55,000 STEM visas for graduates of Carnegie Foundation rated (very high… Read More


Alternative to Dream Act Introduced

As the Los Angeles Times is reporting, three republican senators introduced an alternative version of the Dream Act on Tuesday that would give legal status for young immigrants brought to the US unlawfully as children.  The effort, called the Achieve Act and launched by retiring senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) and… Read More


Today in Congress

The Senate’s in at 10:00am and will continue work on a veterans jobs bill. A series of votes are possible. The chamber will recess from 12:30 to 2:15pm for weekly caucus lunches. Then, the senate will hold a procedural vote on the House-passed six-month continuing resolution to fund the government. The House is in at… Read More


House Approves 6-Month CR

Yesterday, the House easily passed a continuing resolution (CR) that the Senate will likely vote on next week. The House voted, 329-91, to back the CR (H J Res 117) that would fund government through March 27, 2013 at the discretionary limit set by last year’s deal to raise the federal debt ceiling (Budget Control… Read More


Sequester “Fix” Discussed

There is growing pessimism on Capitol Hill that Congress will be able to reach a deal to avert the automatic spending cuts, known as sequesters, before – or even after – the November election. The “Gang of 8”, a bipartisan group of senators, continues to work on a comprehensive deficit reduction plan that most likely… Read More


Congress Back to Work

Congress is back in session this week after the long August break and political party conventions. There are few legislative priorities on the agenda before Congress breaks again at the end of the month through the November elections. This week, the House will release and then vote on a six-month continuing resolution (CR) for FY2013,… Read More


Sequestration Transparency Act Signed Into Law

On August 7th, President Obama signed into law HR 5872, the Sequestration Transparency Act (PL 112-155). As previously reported on this site, in July, Congress overwhelmingly cleared the bill which requires the Administration to report, within 30 days, the effects of the automatic budget sequester at the “program, project and activity level.”  The Administration will… Read More


CR Through March 2013

Well, it’s official!  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner have reached a deal to keep the federal government funded for six months, meaning there will be no threat of a government shutdown when the federal fiscal year ends September 30th. The funding deal would keep government spending at current levels through… Read More


Senate Committee Approves Bill Banning Invasive Research on Apes

Late last week, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee approved by voice vote the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S 810) that would ban “invasive” research on chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, or gibbons. The bill prohibits any research that “may cause death, injury, pain, distress, fear, or trauma” to the animal,… Read More