Senate Passes Patent Overhaul Bill

By a vote of 95-5, the Senate approved S. 23, a measure aimed at updating the nation’s patent system for the first time in decades.  Supporters of the bill believe it will foster innovation and bolster US economic growth and competitiveness around the world.  The debate now moves to the House where it faces an… Read More


FY11 Debate Continues…

After approving another continuing resolution (CR) last week to run through March 18th, Congress must now get serious about how to fund the remaining six months of FY11, which has been operating roughly at FY10 levels since the start of the fiscal year on October 1, 2010.  The Republican controlled House and the Democratic controlled… Read More


Congress Works to Finalize FY11 Budget

The Republican effort to roll back non-security discretionary spending to FY08 levels officially gets started this week with the return of House lawmakers from their one-week recess.  On Tuesday, House Republicans will set their new, enforceable spending limits for FY11, and later in the week unveil their package to cut spending for the remainder of… Read More


Federal Spending Cuts Planned

House Republicans are still considering options for how best to keep their campaign promise to cut federal spending and the overall size of government. Today they will consider a resolution that would require the House Budget Committee Chairman to set FY11 non-security discretionary spending limits at FY08 levels. The full House expects to vote on… Read More


Tucson Tragedy Puts Legislative Schedule on Hold

The shooting over the weekend of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 19 others has prompted House leaders to cancel pending action on legislation this week, including their plans to vote on repealing health care reform. Instead, the House will be in session for two days this week but the only business will occur Wednesday when… Read More


Fiscal Issues Dominate First Days in Congress

The 112th Congress convened Wednesday amid ceremonial pomp in the House with the election of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). Their first order of business was to adopt a rules package for the 112th Congress that is designed to advance Republican priorities to control federal spending, cut the deficit, and makes the chamber more accountable to… Read More


112th Congress Convenes Today

The 112th Congress convenes today, reinstating an era of divided government with Republicans in control of the House and Democrats in control of the Senate and White House.  Republicans will have a 242-193 majority in the House, while Senate Democrats and their two independent allies will hold a majority of 53 seats, compared with 47… Read More


Congress Passes Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act

On Friday Congress passed an altered version of the existing Post 9/11 GI Bill, which is designed to address issues that arose with the previous legislation. The updated bill will:  -  provide full tuition for those attending a public school in their home state and up to $17,500 in tuition payments for those attending private schools… Read More


Rep. Adam Smith Likely Ranking Member on House Armed Services

Yesterday, the Democratic Policy and Steering Committee voted to recommend that Washington Congressman Adam Smith serve as the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee. The vote essentially guarantees Congressman Smith the Ranking Member post in the 112th Congress. The Armed Services Committee has oversight of the operations of the Department of Defense as… Read More


Rep. Dicks Selected for Appropriations Post

Washington’s Norm Dicks is on course to serve as Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, after winning a vote of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee yesterday. The full Democratic caucus is expected to approve the nomination later today. The vote gives Cognressman Dicks the top minority party spot on the appropriations panel in the 112th… Read More