363 posts tagged with Congress.
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Strategy for calling your representatives

Emily Ellsworth once spent six years working as a staffer for Congress, and she tweeted about the ways to contact them that she observed were most effective for making a difference. She collected her tweets on Storify, here. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 12, 2016 - 48 comments

After the 2016 US election

The 2016 US election is over and most of the results are in. Barring incident, Barack Obama (#44) will hand over to Donald Trump (#45) at noon on January 20th 2017; transition activities are underway. Following a relentless campaign, Hillary Clinton conceded and called for unity. The Republican Party has also secured the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as electing more governors. Voter suppression during the election continues to be an issue. Reaction to Trump's victory has ranged from protests to shock, and there are many questions about what he will do in office regarding issues such as Obamacare. Some are drawing parallels between the election result and Brexit. The press is also contemplating the future of the Democratic Party and their road ahead. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 10, 2016 - 2648 comments

Of the people, by the people, and for the people: US election day

Today, the United States of America will - hopefully - determine its 45th President and 48th Vice President. Going into election day, Hillary Clinton holds a poll lead [538][YouGov][Time] over Donald Trump. Early voting has been busy, and voting has concluded in three New Hampshire towns. In addition to the presidency, there are elections for the Senate and the House and lots of local ballots - discuss in the "Senators, Representatives, and Referenda" thread. Polling stations close at various times, subject to queues and court orders. It is unclear when a result is likely; blanket coverage includes TV networks, the New York Times, Guardian, BuzzFeed on Twitter, YouTube and the BBC, though many say Pantsuit Nation is where it's at. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 8, 2016 - 2473 comments

♪♫ Ev'ry day you fight, like you’re running out of time

Just six days left before the election. Rebounding from FBI Director Comey's resumption of the email investigation (previously), Hillary has been galvanizing her base, while Trump has adopted an unusual strategy of encouraging people to change their vote. [more inside]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker on Nov 2, 2016 - 3373 comments

Casting our vote is the ultimate way we go high when they go low

Eleven days to go. Since last time, Donald announced his first 100 days of actions, but still dislikes Jeb and John, while Hillary considers Texas and (post-birthday) speaks with Michelle (post title from speech) in North Carolina, early voting is happening, and Barack has nice approval ratings (though not everywhere). In the polls, 538 reckons Donald needs a sweep of swing states, GOP "insiders" think there are secret Trump voters, another release shows ties in Georgia and Iowa, and in perhaps less reliable data, Donald has a huge lead. While social media rages and schools have concerns about being polling stations, Wikileaks continues to drip-feed mundane emails, the FBI writes a vague letter about other emails (rebuttal), Colin Powell declares for Hillary, a 'Victory Bus' tours (gallery), Evan and Mindy continue to draw support across Utah, and therapists and patients describe election stress. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Oct 28, 2016 - 3643 comments

“We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform,”

Three years ago, the Republican-led House was close to reaching a compromise on immigration. This is the inside story of what went wrong. - Alec MacGillis, ProPublica [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 15, 2016 - 2 comments

“...Mr. Obama’s strongest allies on Capitol Hill turned against him.”

Congress Votes to Override Obama Veto on 9/11 Victims Bill [The New York Times] “Congress on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to override a veto by President Obama for the first time, passing into law a bill that would allow the families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot. Democrats in large numbers joined with Republicans to deliver a remarkable rebuke to the president. The 97-to-1 vote in the Senate and the 348-to-77 vote in the House displayed the enduring power of the Sept. 11 families in Washington and the diminishing influence here of the Saudi government. The new law, enacted over the fierce objections of the White House, immediately alters the legal landscape. American courts could seize Saudi assets to pay for any judgment obtained by the Sept. 11 families, while Saudi officials have warned they might need to sell off hundreds of billions of dollars in holdings in the United States to avoid such an outcome.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 29, 2016 - 75 comments

The Court That Rules The World

International investors have a private court of appeal even in criminal matters - "A parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else, helps executives convicted of crimes escape punishment. [ISDS] operates unconstrained by precedent or any significant public oversight, often keeping its proceedings and sometimes even its decisions secret." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 31, 2016 - 39 comments

The US military industry _is_ 'complex'

U.S. Army fudged its accounts by trillions of dollars, auditor finds - "The Defense Department's Inspector General, in a [July 26 (pdf)] report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up... The report affirms a 2013 Reuters series revealing how the Defense Department falsified accounting on a large scale as it scrambled to close its books. As a result, there has been no way to know how the Defense Department – far and away the biggest chunk of Congress' annual budget – spends the public's money."
posted by kliuless on Aug 22, 2016 - 47 comments

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Protections For LGB People

"Sexual orientation discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people can only come from the Supreme Court or Congress, the federal appeals court in Chicago rules." [sl-buzzfeed article] [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jul 31, 2016 - 22 comments

A vocabulary fight turned constitutional crisis

Law professor Zephyr Teachout first rose to prominence as the director of internet organizing for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign. She's published the acclaimed political history book Corruption in America. In 2014 she primaried Andrew Cuomo from the left, winning half of NY's counties despite Cuomo refusing to even mention her name. And now? She's running for Congress. [more inside]
posted by galaxy rise on Jul 30, 2016 - 9 comments

No bill, no break

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and more than 40 Democrats are staging a sit-in on the US house floor. Occupiers are demanding a vote on gun control measures. In response, Speaker Paul Ryan has turned off the cameras.
posted by galaxy rise on Jun 22, 2016 - 385 comments

Welcome to Congress! Here's your cubicle, telephone and script.

What's a day in the life of a typical elected U.S. congressperson like? Do you imagine various committee meetings, constituent handshaking and House floor voting sessions? Well think again. Members of congress are increasingly expected to spend the majority of their working day holed up in a tiny cubicle in a call center down the street outfitted with a phone, a list of numbers and a telemarketing script. On April 24, CBS's 60 Minutes aired an exposé on the real business of congress: dialing for dollars. [more inside]
posted by bologna on wry on Jun 16, 2016 - 83 comments

"Let's drug-test the rich before approving tax deductions."

US Congresswoman Gwen Moore is tired of the "criminalization of poverty." Moore plans to introduce a bill on Thursday that she thinks will even the playing field or, at least, “engage the wealthy in a conversation about what fair tax policy looks like”. The bill, called the Top 1% Accountability Act, would force taxpayers with itemized deductions of more than $150,000 – which, according to 2011 tax data compiled by the IRS, would only be households with a yearly federal adjusted gross income of more than $1m – to submit to the IRS a clear drug test from a sample no more than three months old, or take the much lower standard deduction when filing their taxes. [more inside]
posted by pjsky on Jun 16, 2016 - 56 comments

Shame!

Today, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives took to the floor, shouting "Shame!" at their Republican colleagues, after the Republican members of Congress used an unusual method to defeat a bill that appeared to have passed and would have protected LGBT workers from discrimination by government contractors. [more inside]
posted by sallybrown on May 19, 2016 - 98 comments

Move Over, Sam

On Monday, President Obama signed HR 2908 into law, making the American Bison the National Mammal of the USA! (Bison bison bison and bison bison athabascae, as The New Yorker explains in its coverage.) At least some of the credit should go to the Vote Bison and Beards For Bison campaigns and affiliates.

Celebrate by reading up on Bison at the NWF, the WWF, the DOI, U of M, and Wikipedia, looking up some Bison on BISON, adopting a housebroken Bison, joining the NBA, visiting the Minnesota Zoo, or drinking a beer and having a burger.
posted by Going To Maine on May 13, 2016 - 54 comments

'Find lawmakers, votes and bills'

ProPublica has relaunched Represent, which " provides information on lawmakers, the bills they consider and the votes they take (and miss). You can browse the latest votes and bills, see how often lawmakers vote against their parties and compare voting records." This applies to federal representatives in the United States.
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 4, 2016 - 2 comments

"...and do equal right to the poor and to the rich..."

At 11am Eastern time, President Obama will nominate Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, to the Supreme Court. Judge Garland is a centrist who was previously considered by the President for SCOTUS nomination in 2010, during the selection process which gave us Justice Sotomayor. He is reportedly "well known, well respected, and tremendously well liked in Washington legal circles; even Republicans have nice things to say about him." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 16, 2016 - 463 comments

akin to a Rorschach inkblot

A federal court panel has ruled that two of North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts were racially gerrymandered and must be redrawn within two weeks. Critics of the 2011 Republican-led redistricting contend the map lines were drawn to concentrate black voters in districts that reduced their overall political power. North Carolina is home to 3 of the nation's 10 most gerrymandered congressional districts.
posted by showbiz_liz on Feb 5, 2016 - 70 comments

Cut it out NASA, you don't have the money or a plan for Mars

"Members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology tore apart NASA's Journey to Mars initiative, claiming the program needs a much more defined plan and clear, achievable milestones to work. Those in attendance also doubted the feasibility of a long-term Mars mission; they cited the massive amount of money needed for the trip — much more than NASA currently receives year to year — as well as a significant leap in technological development. Because of these enormous challenges, a few witnesses at the hearing suggested that NASA either rethink its approach or divert its attention to a Moon mission instead."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 5, 2016 - 89 comments

Think you can tell a Democrat from a Republican?

Think you can tell a Democrat from a Republican? You are presented with a bill from 2005-2014, and have to decide if that bill was sponsored by a Democrat or a Republican. Some are obvious, some are tricky, and some are really surprising! [via mefi projects]
posted by aniola on Jan 25, 2016 - 19 comments

I refer of course to investigations of the so-called Metafilter affair

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET President Obama will give his final State of the Union address. (Barring unexpected developments.) He is expected to reflect on his legacy in office and also look towards the future with the same optimistic viewpoint which has always been a signature of his political identity. [more inside]
posted by Drinky Die on Jan 12, 2016 - 480 comments

Nobody ever pays a political price for targeting Iranian Americans

In response to the attacks on Paris and San Bernardino, on Tuesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed HR 158, a bill that bars Iraqis, Syrians, Sudanese, Iranians, and people who have traveled to those countries from participating in the visa waiver program which allows passport holders from 38 countries to travel without securing a visa. [more inside]
posted by BuddhaInABucket on Dec 10, 2015 - 57 comments

"I would say there’s a lot of wariness among scholars."

Lamar Smith continues waging his three-year war on the National Science Foundation. If Congress has its way, the next round of grants by the National Science Foundation, a hallmark of government funding for graduate students and scientists, will no longer be based on scientific merit. Proposals would not be reviewed by panels of preeminent scholars across the United States as they have been for more than a half-century; instead, they would all be “in the national interest,” with strict new rules adopted earlier this month by a Republican House committee. Previously. This is not the first time Smith has tried to impose Congressional control on the NSF's budget.
posted by sciatrix on Nov 5, 2015 - 37 comments

Boehner out

House Speaker John Boehner will give up his House seat and resign from Congress at the end of October. Boehner has been Speaker since January 2011, and has been a member of the House since January 1991. Boehner made the announcement this morning in an emotional meeting with fellow Republicans, according to the New York Times, which says that his resignation throws Congress and the federal government "into chaos" as Congress faces an imminent government shutdown, the first since 2013.
posted by blucevalo on Sep 25, 2015 - 507 comments

Abbreviations Carrying Resonance of Names Your Members Shortened

364 bills that have been introduced in [the US] Congress, ranked by acronym quality.
posted by threeants on Aug 3, 2015 - 39 comments

Nonpartisan Redistricting

Supreme Court rules against gerrymandering - "Ginsburg's opinion is now the law, and I suspect that, in a few decades, this case will be considered one of the most important of the term. Thus far, only California has copied Arizona and created an independent redistricting commission. But with the court's blessing, more states are likely to follow suit. These commissions have been hugely successful thus far, a real boost for representative democracy and a cure for the notoriously stubborn problem of gerrymandering. Had Justice Anthony Kennedy swung away from Ginsburg and aligned with his fellow conservatives, America would be facing down a distressingly undemocratic future."
posted by kliuless on Jul 7, 2015 - 62 comments

Librarian of Progress

Should the next Librarian of Congress be the Librarian of Progress? [more inside]
posted by metaquarry on Jul 1, 2015 - 33 comments

GOOGLE WAKA FLOCKA 2016

I'm Waka Flocka Flame, and I approve this message.
posted by not_on_display on May 29, 2015 - 13 comments

Self-Inflicted Wounds

Several recent developments reveal how political and institutional fragmentation in the United States has produced self-inflicted wounds for the U.S. abroad. In all of these instances, America’s ability to exercise economic power in the world has been deliberately curtailed through decisions made unilaterally in Washington by American political leaders.
posted by infini on May 20, 2015 - 19 comments

“When you consider investment priorities, safety comes last,” she said.

Technology to reduce speeding trains absent from many train lines, including the section of the most recent derailment. Just one day after the Philadelphia train derailment, the House votes against increased Amtrak funding [more inside]
posted by sio42 on May 14, 2015 - 29 comments

"I have never said these words before: good job, Florida."

Samantha Bee of The Daily Show reports on women the effort to get legislature passed to protect rape survivors from seeing their rapists during custody visits (for rape survivors who bring their pregnancy to term) TRIGGER WARNING: Parenting with the Enemy. " [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Apr 9, 2015 - 31 comments

Schocking!

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) has announced that he will resign from Congress. He has been recently been in the news for alleged ethics violations including a Downton Abbey office redecoration he didn't pay for, sketchy real estate deals, claiming 170,000 miles in reimbursement on a personal vehicle that he later sold with 80,000 miles on the odometer, and much much more! [more inside]
posted by Blue Jello Elf on Mar 18, 2015 - 83 comments

by A Member of Congress

Confessions of a Congressman: 9 secrets from the Inside
posted by andoatnp on Feb 6, 2015 - 72 comments

When the US president tells you not to come to US, you don't go.

Boehner, Netanyahu blindside Obama with speech to Congress
Controversy has erupted in America and Israel over an upcoming speech by Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to a joint session of Congress about the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran. [more inside]
posted by andoatnp on Feb 5, 2015 - 235 comments

Don't be scary

Republicans in state governments plan juggernaut of conservative legislation - "Enjoying a majority of unprecedented breadth, Republicans plan a new tide of conservative initiatives targeting the Common Core, abortion, income taxes, labor unions and the EPA." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 6, 2015 - 147 comments

Cards Against the Darkness

Cards Against Humanity + Sunlight Foundation team up, give the gift of financial disclosure.
posted by curious nu on Dec 23, 2014 - 24 comments

Congress ends federal government ban on medical marijuana

Congress quietly ends federal government's ban on medical marijuana Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy. Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so.
posted by joedan on Dec 17, 2014 - 64 comments

The River of Money

MapLight is a database that "looks at big industries and big interests, their elected beneficiaries and their votes." They also run Voter's Edge for personalized election information. Check out the contributions by vote on Net Neutrality and the Keystone XL pipeline. Maplight also contributes to the national law review. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 10, 2014 - 2 comments

It's time to fix our broken immigration system.

Tomorrow night, President Obama will address the nation on steps he will be taking by executive action in an attempt to fix the immigration laws. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 19, 2014 - 194 comments

Daschle, Frank, Lott, Livingston; they fight gridlock...

A bipartisan commission convened by Esquire magazine has reported its findings on how to make Congress work better. [more inside]
posted by Octaviuz on Oct 17, 2014 - 33 comments

When the Feds move away, statehood makes a play?

Lately, Washington DC has been abuzz with the FBI's plans to relocate outside of the District. But for some, the movement of major government agencies to the Maryland and Virginia suburbs means something potentially revolutionary: legal grounds for DC to finally achieve statehood. [more inside]
posted by a fiendish thingy on Oct 1, 2014 - 48 comments

"he succeeded at shifting the immigration debate"

The Method To Steve King's Madness
"Sahil Kapur takes a look at how rank and file congressman Steve King (R-IA) came to call the shots on one of the most important issues of the modern era [immigration]."
posted by davidstandaford on Sep 29, 2014 - 10 comments

Alone on the Hill

Angry Letters to the One Member of Congress Who Voted Against the War on Terror
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Lee's story is how little credit she or her constituents receive for what they got right. Even though a majority now considers the war most understood the AUMF to authorize to be a mistake; even though it has been used to justify military interventions that no one conceived of on September 14, 2001; even though there's no proof that any war-making of the last 13 years has have made us safer; even though many more Americans have died in wars of choice than have been killed in terrorist attacks; even though Lee and many of her constituents were amenable to capturing or killing the 9/11 perpetrators, not pacifists intent on ruling out any use of force; despite all of that, Representative Lee is still thought of as a fringe peacenik representing naive East Bay hippies who could never be trusted to guide U.S. foreign policy. And the people who utterly failed to anticipate the trajectory of the War on Terrorism? Even those who later voted for a war in Iraq that turned out to be among the most catastrophic in U.S. history are considered sober, trustworthy experts.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 23, 2014 - 109 comments

The McDonald's Cocaine Spoon Fiasco

How U.S. drug laws destroyed the McDonald's coffee stirring spoon.
posted by reenum on Sep 19, 2014 - 76 comments

Of certain people, by certain people, for certain people

The class war in American politics is over. The rich won. [more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses on Sep 13, 2014 - 128 comments

"I like sardines so this was a good dinner."

Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, Rep. Tim Ryan (OH), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL), and Rep. Barbara Lee (CA) are among those have been participating in the Live the Wage Challenge, posting on social media about their experiences. The Challenge (pdf) "asks elected officials, community leaders, advocates and anyone concerned about the growing inequality in this country to walk in the shoes of a minimum wage worker by living on a minimum wage budget for one week. That’s just $77."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 28, 2014 - 96 comments

Marilize Leguana

The New York Times came out today endorsing marijuana legalization. The New York Times’ editorial board on Saturday called on the federal government to legalize marijuana. Citing alcohol prohibition, social costs and states’ movements, the board argued “after a great deal of discussion” that “the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization.”
posted by toastchee on Jul 27, 2014 - 153 comments

"A debilitating brain drain has actually been under way in Congress"

The Big Lobotomy: How Republicans Made Congress Stupid
A quick refresher: In 1995, after winning a majority in the House for the first time in forty years, one of the first things the new Republican House leadership did was gut Congress’s workforce. They cut the “professional staff” (the lawyers, economists, and investigators who work for committees rather than individual members) by a third. They reduced the “legislative support staff” (the auditors, analysts, and subject-matter experts at the Government Accountability Office [GAO], the Congressional Research Service [CRS], and so on) by a third, too, and killed off the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) entirely. And they fundamentally dismantled the old committee structure, centralizing power in the House speaker’s office and discouraging members and their staff from performing their own policy research. (The Republicans who took over the Senate in 1995 were less draconian, cutting committee staff by about 16 percent and leaving the committee system largely in place.) Today, the GAO and the CRS, which serve both House and Senate, are each operating at about 80 percent of their 1979 capacity. While Senate committee staffs have rebounded somewhat under Democratic control, every single House standing committee had fewer staffers in 2009 than in 1994. Since 2011, with a Tea Party-radicalized GOP back in control of the House, Congress has cut its budget by a whopping 20 percent, a far higher ratio than any other federal agency, leading, predictably, to staff layoffs, hiring and salary freezes, and drooping morale.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 27, 2014 - 27 comments

Hong Kong, on the ocean. Snowden and Greenwald, in Hong Kong.

In what early press reports call a "surprise vote" in a "late night session," the US House of Representatives voted to defund controversial NSA surveillance activities. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Jun 20, 2014 - 57 comments

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