US Congress – How Laws Are Made

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113th US Congress - scoreboard

The One Hundred Thirteenth United States Congress is the legislative body of the United States federal government to be sworn in in January, 2013. It reflects the results of the 2012 Senate elections and the 2012 House elections. The seats in the House will be apportioned based on the 2010 United States Census. It is scheduled to meet in Washington, D.C. from January 3, 2013 to January 3, 2015, during the fifth and sixth years of Barack Obama’s Presidency. Senators elected to regular terms in 2008 will be in the last two years of those terms during this Congress. This will be the first Congress elected from congressional districts that were apportioned based on the 2010 census. At its outset, this Congress will have 43 African American members (all but 1 in the House of Representatives), a record high number of female (100) and LGBT (7) members, and one member of the Kennedy family returning to elective federal office after a brief pause from public service from the family.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/113th_Congress

Congress – A Pocket Directory app

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How Laws Are Made

A bill mandating seat belts on school buses.Let’s pretend the voters from Senator Jones’ state (constituents) want a law requiring seatbelts on school buses. He and his staff write a bill, which is a draft (early version) of the proposed law. The bill is then passed out to each Senator. A Standing Committee (a small, permanent group made up of legislators who studies and reports on bills) reviews the bill and does one of three things:

1. Sends the bill back with no changes.
2. Makes changes and sends it back.
3. Tables the bill — In other words, they can do nothing.

If the committee sends it back with no changes, then the bill goes on the Senate’s calendar to be voted on. When that day comes, the bill is voted on and over half of the senators (51 of 100) must vote yes to pass it.

The Senate must vote in favor of the bill in order for it to move on to the House.

If the bill is passed by the Senate, it then moves to the other branch of Congress, the House of Representatives. The bill goes to a House committee, which studies the bill, and then is voted on by the representatives. Just as in the Senate, over half of the representatives (218 of 435) must vote yes to pass the bill.

After being passed by the Senate, the bill moves through the House of Representatives for approval.

If the bill is passed in both the Senate and House, the bill goes to the President of the United States. If the president signs the bill, it then becomes a law. It may also become law if the president does not sign it for 10 days. If the president rejects (vetoes) the bill, it can still become a law if two-thirds of the Senate and two-thirds of the House then vote in favor of the bill.

Once a bill has been approved by both the Senate and House, it is sent for presidential approval and then becomes law.

A bill may begin in either the Senate or the House of Representatives. So, Representative Smith could introduce a bill of her own just like Senator Jones. This bill would take the same steps only it would begin in the House of Representatives instead of the Senate.

To learn more, choose from the following from Ben’s Guide:

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US Senate seat elections are every six years

Find  your Representative

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US House seat election are every two years

Find  your Representative 

 

** Here’s to HOPEing that the Congress can start to work with President Obama to help Americans.**

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59 Responses to US Congress – How Laws Are Made

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing
    Kailua, Hawaii

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    Dr Jill Biden joins the Delaware Army National Guard for the deployment ceremony of the 153rd Military Police Company.

    11:30 AM
    Vice President Joe Biden, members of Congress welcome the return of Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to the Senate chamber on after being absent nearly a year because of a stroke.
    Senate steps

    12:00 PM
    Vice President Biden administers the Oath of Office to newly elected and re-elected senators in the Well of the Senate.

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden attend an event with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute to welcome new members.

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      January 3, 2013

      WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

      7:00 PM ET
      Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden attend an event with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute to welcome new members.
      Washington DC

      —-

      ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/Live/

      12:00 AM ET
      The House convenes on the first day of the 113th Congress.

      12:00 AM ET
      Vice President Biden administers the Oath of Office to newly elected and re-elected senators in the Well of the Senate.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      12:00 AM ET
      The House convenes on the first day of the 113th Congress.

      12:00 PM ET
      Vice President Biden administers the Oath of Office to newly elected and re-elected senators in the Well of the Senate.

  2. CR says:

    The 113th Congress

    The One Hundred Thirteenth United States Congress is the legislative body of the United States federal government to be sworn in in January, 2013. It reflects the results of the 2012 Senate elections and the 2012 House elections. The seats in the House will be apportioned based on the 2010 United States Census. It is scheduled to meet in Washington, D.C. from January 3, 2013 to January 3, 2015, during the fifth and sixth years of Barack Obama’s Presidency. Senators elected to regular terms in 2008 will be in the last two years of those terms during this Congress. This will be the first Congress elected from congressional districts that were apportioned based on the 2010 census. At its outset, this Congress will have 43 African American members (all but 1 in the House of Representatives), a record high number of female (100) and LGBT (7) members, and one member of the Kennedy family returning to elective federal office after a brief pause from public service from the family.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/113th_Congress

    • CR says:

      10 facts about 10 new members of Congress

      12/27/12 By NCC Staff | National Constitution Center

      Which new member of the House is a former reindeer farmer? Who is the biggest new Tea Party name in the Senate? Here’s a look at 10 new members of Congress with unique backgrounds.

      The 113th Congress is sworn in on January 3, 2013, and it’s a diverse bunch.

      There will be 90 new members of Congress to start the New Year, with 13 new senators and 67 representatives making their appearances in Washington.

      The biggest names are in the Senate, with a superstar of the left and of the right getting top billing.

      Elizabeth Warren defeated Scott Brown in Massachusetts in one of the most publicized races in 2012. Warren is seen as a new leader of the left, but the former Harvard Law professor was a Republican until 1995.

      Ted Cruz is already being talked about as a 2016 presidential contender, even before he sets foot on the Senate floor. The Republican from Texas has Tea Party roots. He has also argued nine cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

      Tammy Baldwin is another high-profile name from the 2012 election making her Senate debut. Baldwin served 14 years in the House and is the first openly gay candidate elected to the Senate.

      Maine’s new senator, Angus King, isn’t a Democrat or a Republican. King is a former governor who ran as an independent candidate in 2012.Since the 1980s, King has been involved with alternative energy products.

      And Deb Fischer, the new senator for Nebraska, has a hands-on business background. She’s been in the ranching business since the 1970s, which could come in handy if votes need to be wrangled on the Senate floor.

      The House has some interesting new members, including that professional reindeer farmer.

      Kerry Bentivolio from Michigan is a newcomer to politics. Yes, he has reindeer and has worked as a Santa Claus portrayer, as well as a school teacher and engineer. He replaces Thaddeus McCotter in the House.

      A better-known name is Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts. Just 32 years of age, Kennedy is the son of Joseph P. Kennedy II and the grandson of Robert Kennedy. He will represent Massachusetts’s 4th congressional district.

      Florida’s Ted Yoho will represent the state’s 3rd district in Congress. Yoho’s career prior to politics was being a large-animal veterinarian and he used a grass-roots campaign to defeat incumbent Cliff Stearns in a primary.

      And there will be two doctors in the House – literally. Dr. Ami Bera will represent California’s 7th district. He is the former chief medical officer for Sacramento County. Raul Ruiz, also of California, has three graduate degrees from Harvard and has worked as an ER doctor in the past.

      • CR says:

        Senate Swears in a Historic 20 Female Senators

        1/13/13 By SUNLEN MILLER | ABC News – 27 mins ago

        Today the Senate will make history, swearing in a record-breaking 20 female senators – 4 Republicans and 16 Democrats – in office.

        As the 113th Congress is sworn in today on Capitol Hill, ABC “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer has an exclusive joint interview with the historic class of female Senators.
        Diane Sawyer’s complete interview will air on World News this evening.

        “I can’t tell you the joy that I feel in my heart to look at these 20 gifted and talented women from two different parties, different zip codes to fill this room,” Sen. Barbara Mikulksi, D-Md., said while surrounded by the group of women senators. “In all of American history only 16 women had served. Now there are 20 of us.”

        Senator-elect Deb Fischer, R-Neb., becomes today the first women to be elected as a senator in Nebraska.

        “It was an historic election,” Fischer said, “But what was really fun about it were the number of mothers and fathers who brought their daughters up to me during the campaign and said, “Can we get a picture? Can we get a picture?’ Because people realize it and — things do change, things do change.”

        The women senators all agree that women will be getting things done in this new Congress, a sign of optimism felt for the new Congress, after the bruising battles of the 112th Congress.

        “We’re in force and we’re in leadership positions, but it’s not just the position that we hold. I can tell you this is a can-do crowd,” Mikulski said of both Democrats and Republican senators in the room. “We are today ready to be a force in American politics.”

        For more: http://news.yahoo.com/senate-swears-historic-20-female-senators-154104805.html

        Thursday in politics: New Congress convenes to face old problems, and more

        1/3/13 By Phil Pruitt | The Ticket – 1 hr 21 mins ago

        It’s swearing-in day on Capitol Hill. The 113th Congress will convene at the constitutionally required time of noon.

        Democrats maintain control of the Senate with a 55-45 edge in the new two-year Congress, which means Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., will remain in charge. Republicans continue their majority in the House 235-199. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, despite a rocky stretch the past few weeks, seems likely to win another term as speaker.

        There are 12 new senators — eight Democrats, three Republicans and one independent – and 82 freshmen in the House — 47 Democrats and 35 Republicans.

        What’s ahead? Fights over what to do about government spending. Fights over what to do about the nation’s borrowing authority. Fights over the role of government in general. Sound familiar?

        One immediate bit of business will be a vote Friday in the House on $9 billion in Superstorm Sandy aid and another vote on Jan. 15 on another $51 billion in aid. House Republican leaders had decided Tuesday night to delay the vote, but there was a backlash from New York and New Jersey Republicans, and Boehner responded by scheduling the Friday vote.

        And then there is this: Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who suffered a stroke last January and has been absent for the past year, plans a dramatic return to the Capitol by walking up the 45 steps to the Senate’s doors.

        And this: Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has scheduled what is being billed as an “important announcement” Thursday related to the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

        And this, for a bit of political history: Thursday marks the 5th anniversary of Obama winning the Iowa caucus.

    • CR says:

      House members to Boehner: ‘Shame on you’ for not holding Sandy vote

      1/01/13 11:55 PM ET By Pete Kasperowicz – TheHill

      Republicans and Democrats in the House blasted Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) late Tuesday night for deciding against holding any vote on a Hurricane Sandy supplemental aid bill before the end of the 112th Congress.

      Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) started the discussion on the House floor by saying he was just informed that the House would not be taking any other votes in the 112th Congress and so would not be taking up a Sandy bill until the next Congress.

      “This Congress is apparently leaving town without responding to that emergency,” Hoyer said. “I am deeply disappointed … and the people who have been damaged by Sandy, including Gov. [Chris] Christie, a Republican, and Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo, a Democrat, should be deeply disappointed, and yes, angry, that this Congress would adjourn without addressing the pain of our fellow citizens.”

      Hoyer was followed by several angry Republicans and Democrats, many of whom said Boehner should be ashamed for not taking up a Sandy bill.

      For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/275119-house-members-to-boehner-shame-on-you-for-not-holding-sandy-vote

      • CR says:

        NJ Governor Christie blames Boehner for stall in Sandy relief

        1/2/13 Reporting By Hilary Russ Reuters – 3 hrs ago

        (Reuters) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Wednesday blamed U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a fellow Republican, for delaying a vote on federal disaster aid for Superstorm Sandy, calling the inaction “disappointing and disgusting.”

        “There is only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent (storm) victims – the House majority, and their speaker, John Boehner,” he told a news conference in Trenton, New Jersey.

        Christie said that he was doubtful lawmakers would vote on the $60.4 billion relief package before the new session begins on Thursday.

        Boehner has told the lawmakers he will make a Sandy relief bill his first priority in the new Congress, which will be sworn in on Thursday, an aide to Boehner said.

        ———

        Chris Christie Tears Into Boehner For Delaying Sandy Aid

        Published on Jan 2, 2013

        Chris Christie Tears Into Boehner For Delaying Sandy Aid: ‘This Was The Speaker’s Decision. His Alone’

        New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made it abundantly clear whom he blames for the delayed vote on the Hurricane Sandy aid bill: House Speaker John Boehner. In a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Christie tore into Republicans and Boehner for their inability to put politics aside and pass through legislation that would help the many people still dealing with the storm’s aftermath.

        “There’s only one group to blame,” Christie said. “The House majority, and their speaker, John Boehner.” The House response last night, he added, was “disappointing and disgusting to watch.”

      • CR says:

        Boehner sets House votes on Sandy aid after Republican attacks

        1/2/13 By David Lawder and Ian Simpson | Reuters

        WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House Speaker John Boehner made a U-turn on Wednesday to clear the way for approval of $60 billion in Superstorm Sandy relief by mid-January after drawing withering fire from fellow Republicans, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, for canceling an earlier vote.

        The Republican-controlled House of Representatives will now vote on Friday on a $9 billion down payment for storm-related aid to the National Flood Insurance program.

        Boehner also assured New York and New Jersey lawmakers that the House will take a second vote on January 15 on the $51 billion remainder of the Sandy package.

        “This procedure that was laid out is fully acceptable and fully satisfactory. It provides the full $60 billion that we require,” said Representative Peter King, a high-ranking House Republican from Long Island, New York.

        King had earlier condemned Boehner’s adjournment of the House before the Sandy vote, telling CNN it was a “knife in the back.” Sandy, the second-costliest storm in U.S. history, devastated the northeastern United States on October 29, with New York and New Jersey hardest hit.

        Christie, seen as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, said the vote’s cancellation reflected the “toxic internal politics” of Republicans in the House.

        “There is only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent (storm) victims – the House majority and the speaker, John Boehner,” Christie told a news conference in Trenton, New Jersey.

        For more: http://news.yahoo.com/house-skips-vote-sandy-aid-angering-members-storm-055321752.html

      • CR says:

        January 02, 2013

        Statement by the President on the Status of the Administration’s Supplemental Request to Congress for Response, Recovery and Mitigation Related to Hurricane Sandy

        It has only been two months since Hurricane Sandy devastated communities across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut as well as other eastern states. Our citizens are still trying to put their lives back together. Our states are still trying to rebuild vital infrastructure. And so, last month, working closely with the Governors of the affected states, I sent Congress an urgent request to support their efforts to rebuild and recover. The Senate passed this request with bipartisan support. But the House of Representatives has refused to act, even as there are families and communities who still need our help to rebuild in the months and years ahead, and who also still need immediate support with the bulk of winter still in front of us.

        When tragedy strikes, Americans come together to support those in need. I urge Republicans in the House of Representatives to do the same, bring this important request to a vote today, and pass it without delay for our fellow Americans.

      • CR says:

        Good Riddance to Rottenest Congress in History

        Jan 2, 2013 3:17 PM PT By Ezra Klein – bloomberg

        On January 3rd, the 112th Congress of the United States of America finally ends. Thank God.

        To properly evaluate the 112th, consider the record of its predecessor, the 111th Congress, which ran from January 2009 to January 2011. The fighting 111th passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (better known as the “stimulus”), the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”), and the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. It passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and expanded both the Serve America Act for community service and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It created significant new anti-tobacco regulations, ratified the New Start nuclear arms reduction treaty, ended “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the armed forces and agreed to the 2010 tax deal, which extended the Bush tax cuts in return for the passage of middle- class stimulus.

        The laws passed by the 111th Congress were controversial, particularly among Republicans. They were also big, bold initiatives that, if not always fully equal to the size of our problems, surely perched on the outer edge of Congress’s capacity to deliver solutions. Love it or hate it, the 111th Congress governed. No Congress in recent history has a record of productivity anywhere near it.

        Terrible Policy
        What’s the record of the 112th Congress? Well, it almost shut down the government and almost breached the debt ceiling. It almost went over the fiscal cliff (which it had designed in the first place). It cut a trillion dollars of discretionary spending in the Budget Control Act and scheduled another trillion in spending cuts through an automatic sequester, which everyone agrees is terrible policy. It achieved nothing of note on housing, energy, stimulus, immigration, guns, tax reform, infrastructure, climate change or, really, anything. It’s hard to identify a single significant problem that existed prior to the 112th Congress that was in any way improved by its two years of rule.

        The 112th, which was gaveled into being on Jan. 3, 2011, by newly elected House Speaker John Boehner, wasn’t just unproductive in comparison with the 111th. It was unproductive compared with any Congress since 1948, when scholars began keeping tabs on congressional productivity.

        When it ends, the 112th Congress will have passed about 220 public laws — by far the least of any Congress on record. Prior to the 112th, the least productive Congress was the 104th, from January 1995 to January 1997. Not coincidentally, that Congress also featured a new Republican House majority determined to ruin a Democratic president in advance of the next campaign. The 104th, however, passed 333 public laws — almost 50 percent more than the 112th. The 112th stands alone in its achievement of epic failure.

        For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-02/good-riddance-to-rottenest-congress-in-history.html

      • CR says:

        Obama signs $9.7B bill to pay flood insurance claims from Sandy

        1/06/13 01:14 PM ET By Meghashyam Mali – TheHill

        President Obama on Sunday signed a law allowing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help meet new claims from damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

        The $9.7 billion bill will provide a short-term increase in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) borrowing authority for the flood insurance program. The NFIP was expected to run out of money by Monday without the authorization, FEMA warned.

        The bill was passed on Friday by the House and Senate. The House will vote on a second Sandy-related bill on Jan. 15, which could provide an additional $51 billion in storm recovery aid.

        Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had initially delayed votes on the Sandy measures after Congress passed a “fiscal cliff” deal to extend tax-rates for most taxpayers earlier last week. But sharp criticism from lawmakers in states affected by the devastating hurricane forced Boehner to schedule a vote on the flood bill Friday.

        The flood bill increases NFIP’s borrowing authority from $20.75 billion to $30.425 billion, but does not say how long the increase will be in effect or what Congress may do to reduce the borrowing limit in the future.

        Read more: hhttp://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/1007-other/275811-obama-signs-97b-bill-to-pay-flood-insurance-claims-from-sandy

    • CR says:

      Senate Swears in a Historic 20 Female Senators

      1/13/13 By SUNLEN MILLER | ABC News – 27 mins ago

      Today the Senate will make history, swearing in a record-breaking 20 female senators – 4 Republicans and 16 Democrats – in office.

      As the 113th Congress is sworn in today on Capitol Hill, ABC “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer has an exclusive joint interview with the historic class of female Senators.
      Diane Sawyer’s complete interview will air on World News this evening.

      “I can’t tell you the joy that I feel in my heart to look at these 20 gifted and talented women from two different parties, different zip codes to fill this room,” Sen. Barbara Mikulksi, D-Md., said while surrounded by the group of women senators. “In all of American history only 16 women had served. Now there are 20 of us.”

      Senator-elect Deb Fischer, R-Neb., becomes today the first women to be elected as a senator in Nebraska.

      “It was an historic election,” Fischer said, “But what was really fun about it were the number of mothers and fathers who brought their daughters up to me during the campaign and said, “Can we get a picture? Can we get a picture?’ Because people realize it and — things do change, things do change.”

      The women senators all agree that women will be getting things done in this new Congress, a sign of optimism felt for the new Congress, after the bruising battles of the 112th Congress.

      “We’re in force and we’re in leadership positions, but it’s not just the position that we hold. I can tell you this is a can-do crowd,” Mikulski said of both Democrats and Republican senators in the room. “We are today ready to be a force in American politics.”

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/senate-swears-historic-20-female-senators-154104805.html

  3. CR says:

    House GOP blocks Violence Against Women Act

    Wed Jan 2, 2013 2:13 PM EST By Steve Benen – maddowblog

    Congress had a lengthy to-do list as the end of the year approached, with a series of measures that needed action before 2013 began. Some of the items passed (a fiscal agreement, a temporary farm bill), while others didn’t (relief funding for victims of Hurricane Sandy).

    And then there’s the Violence Against Women Act, which was supposed to be one of the year’s easy ones. It wasn’t.

    Back in April, the Senate approved VAWA reauthorization fairly easily, with a 68 to 31 vote. The bill was co-written by a liberal Democrat (Vermont’s Pat Leahy) and a conservative Republican (Idaho’s Mike Crapo), and seemed on track to be reauthorized without much of a fuss, just as it was in 2000 and 2005.

    But House Republicans insisted the bill is too supportive of immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans — and they’d rather let the law expire than approve a slightly expanded proposal. Vice President Biden, who helped write the original law, tried to persuade House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to keep the law alive, but the efforts didn’t go anywhere.

    And so, for the first time since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act is no more. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Democratic point person on VAWA, said in a statement:

    “The House Republican leadership’s failure to take up and pass the Senate’s bipartisan and inclusive VAWA bill is inexcusable. This is a bill that passed with 68 votes in the Senate and that extends the bill’s protections to 30 million more women. But this seems to be how House Republican leadership operates. No matter how broad the bipartisan support, no matter who gets hurt in the process, the politics of the right wing of their party always comes first.”

    For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/02/16305284-house-gop-blocks-violence-against-women-act?lite

  4. CR says:

    Sen. Kirk’s return: Reid, McConnell asking senators to join him on Senate steps

    January 2, 2013 1:52 AM By Lynn Sweet – runtimes

    WASHINGTON–More details are emerging on the return of Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to the Senate chamber on Thursday after being absent nearly a year because of a stroke. On Sunday, I reported that if all goes as planned, Kirk plans to walk up the Senate steps to be greeted by Vice President Joe Biden.

    It turns out that in addition, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sent a “Dear Colleague” letter on Monday inviting the entire Senate to also hail his return on the steps.

    “As you know, Senator Mark Kirk has been working very hard to return to the Senate after suffering a serious stroke,” the letter says. “He has spent many months in intensive therapy in order to walk again. On January 3, he will return to the Capitol.

    “Many members, from both sides of the aisle, have been a real encouragement to Senator Kirk during this time. We intend to welcome him back to his duties in the Senate at 11:30 a.m. on January 3. Please join us in welcoming him back to the chamber. We will gather on the East Front steps of the Senate at 11:25 a.m. to demonstrate our support as Senator Kirk returns to the Senate.”

    For more: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-search.cgi?search=mark+kirk&IncludeBlogs=25&limit=20

    • CR says:

      Sen. Mark Kirk climbs Senate steps: Sun-Times Photo gallery

      January 3, 2013 2:59 PM By Lynn Sweet – suntimes

      WASHINGTON–A year after a stroke, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) made a triumphant return to the Senate on Thursday, climbing the stairs to the chamber with Vice President Joe Biden and others as his colleagues applauded his come back. Sun-Times photographer Jon Sall captured the climb.

      ———-

      Sen. Mark Kirk Returns To Senate

      Published on Jan 3, 2013

      http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/sen-mark-kirk-climbs-capitol-step

  5. CR says:

    How Laws Are Made

    Let’s pretend the voters from Senator Jones’ state (constituents) want a law requiring seatbelts on school buses. He and his staff write a bill, which is a draft (early version) of the proposed law. The bill is then passed out to each Senator. A Standing Committee (a small, permanent group made up of legislators who studies and reports on bills) reviews the bill and does one of three things:

    1. Sends the bill back with no changes.
    2. Makes changes and sends it back.
    3. Tables the bill — In other words, they can do nothing.

    If the committee sends it back with no changes, then the bill goes on the Senate’s calendar to be voted on. When that day comes, the bill is voted on and over half of the senators (51 of 100) must vote yes to pass it.

    If the bill is passed by the Senate, it then moves to the other branch of Congress, the House of Representatives. The bill goes to a House committee, which studies the bill, and then is voted on by the representatives. Just as in the Senate, over half of the representatives (218 of 435) must vote yes to pass the bill.

    If the bill is passed in both the Senate and House, the bill goes to the President of the United States. If the president signs the bill, it then becomes a law. It may also become law if the president does not sign it for 10 days. If the president rejects (vetoes) the bill, it can still become a law if two-thirds of the Senate and two-thirds of the House then vote in favor of the bill.

    A bill may begin in either the Senate or the House of Representatives. So, Representative Smith could introduce a bill of her own just like Senator Jones. This bill would take the same steps only it would begin in the House of Representatives instead of the Senate.

    To learn more, choose from the following from Ben’s Guide:

    How Laws Are Made

    Let’s pretend the voters from Senator Jones’ state (constituents) want a law requiring seatbelts on school buses. He and his staff write a bill, which is a draft (early version) of the proposed law. The bill is then passed out to each Senator. A Standing Committee (a small, permanent group made up of legislators who studies and reports on bills) reviews the bill and does one of three things:

    1. Sends the bill back with no changes.
    2. Makes changes and sends it back.
    3. Tables the bill — In other words, they can do nothing.

    If the committee sends it back with no changes, then the bill goes on the Senate’s calendar to be voted on. When that day comes, the bill is voted on and over half of the senators (51 of 100) must vote yes to pass it.

    If the bill is passed by the Senate, it then moves to the other branch of Congress, the House of Representatives. The bill goes to a House committee, which studies the bill, and then is voted on by the representatives. Just as in the Senate, over half of the representatives (218 of 435) must vote yes to pass the bill.

    If the bill is passed in both the Senate and House, the bill goes to the President of the United States. If the president signs the bill, it then becomes a law. It may also become law if the president does not sign it for 10 days. If the president rejects (vetoes) the bill, it can still become a law if two-thirds of the Senate and two-thirds of the House then vote in favor of the bill.

    A bill may begin in either the Senate or the House of Representatives. So, Representative Smith could introduce a bill of her own just like Senator Jones. This bill would take the same steps only it would begin in the House of Representatives instead of the Senate.

    To learn more, choose from the following from Ben’s Guide:

    What is a Law? http://bensguide.gpo.gov/3-5/lawmaking/index.html

    Who Makes Laws? http://bensguide.gpo.gov/3-5/lawmaking/laws.html

  6. vitaminlover says:

    Wouldn’t it be good if Ms Pelosi becomes the Speaker of the 113th Congress in 2013?

    • CR says:

      That would be good or maybe Rep Steny Hoyer

    • CR says:

      We’re stuck with Boehner….
      .

      Boehner reelected as Speaker; nine Republicans defect in vote

      01/03/13 01:27 PM ET By Pete Kasperowicz – TheHill

      Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was reelected Speaker of the House on Thursday after a week of rumors of a possible GOP revolt.

      Boehner won a bare majority in a vote that saw nine Republicans vote for other GOP members, and several others who abstained from voting or voted “present.” Two years ago, Boehner won all 241 available GOP votes.

      n a vote that opened the 113th Congress, Boehner received 220 votes, compared to 192 for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the minority leader. Fourteen members voted for other candidates or present. Boehner needed 218 votes to win reelection assuming a full roster of 435 members voted, but only 426 voted, so he only needed 214 votes.

      Defectors from Boehner included Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who voted for Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho). Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) and two freshmen, Reps. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), all voted for Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), but Cantor himself voted for Boehner.

      Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/275419-boehner-re-elected-speaker-with-some-gop-defections

  7. CR says:

    Hillary Clinton released from the hospital

    1/2/13 By Laura E. Davis, Yahoo! News | The Ticket – 1 hr 20 mins ago

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been released from a New York hospital after being treated for a blood clot, the State Department announced on Wednesday.

    “Her medical team advised her that she is making good progress on all fronts, and they are confident she will make a full recovery,” State Department spokesman Philippe Reines said in a statement. A date has not been set for her to return to work.

    Clinton was admitted to the hospital on Sunday for treatment of a blood clot related to a concussion she suffered after fainting in December. Her doctors said the clot was located “in the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear,” and she was treated with blood thinners.

    Clinton is expected to step down as secretary of state this month. President Barack Obama has named Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry to succeed her.

  8. CR says:

    Motor Vehicle Sales

    Released On 1/3/2013 For Dec, 2012

    Prior Consensus Consensus Range
    Domestic Vehicle Sales 12.0 M 11.7 M 11.6 M to 11.8 M
    Total Vehicle Sales 15.5 M 15.1 M 14.8 M to 16.3 M

    Market Consensus before announcement
    Sales of total light motor vehicles in November surged a monthly 8.7 percent to a 15.5 million annual rate. Replacement demand tied to Hurricane Sandy boosted sales as did incentives during the month. Sales were led by imports, up 11.2 percent, versus domestics, up 8.0 percent. Sales of imported trucks were up a sharp 15.9 percent, likely reflecting demand due to Sandy.

    Source: http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=455391&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2013&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

  9. CR says:

    Challenger Job-Cut Report

    Released On 1/3/2013 7:30:00 AM For Dec, 2012

    Prior Actual
    Announced Layoffs – Level 57,081 32,556

    Highlights
    Layoff announcements were very limited in December which hints at strength for tomorrow’s employment report. Challenger’s count totals 32,556 vs 57,081 in November. December’s total is the lowest since August and is the third lowest of the whole recovery!

    Announcements in December were heaviest in the financial sector reflecting an 11,000 announcement from Citigroup. For 2012 as a whole, layoff announcements total 523,362, down from 606,082 in 2011 for the lowest annual total since 1997.

    Source: http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=456340&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2013&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

  10. CR says:

    ADP Employment Report

    Released On 1/3/2013 8:15:00 AM For Dec, 2012

    Prior Prior Revised Consensus Consensus Range Actual
    ADP employment 118,000 148,000 150,000 122,000 to 200,000 215,000

    Highlights
    ADP’s sample shows very significant strength in private payrolls with the December estimate at 215,000 which is above the top end of Econoday’s consensus range. Also a big positive is a big upward revision to ADP’s count for November which is 148,000 for a 30,000 upward revision.

    Even with the upward revision, December’s total is significantly above November and points to significant strength for tomorrow’s employment report. There’s very little immediate reaction to this report which however may prove to be a big positive for today’s market.

    Source: http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=456031&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2013&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

  11. CR says:

    Consumer Comfort in U.S. Climbed to an Eight-Month High

    Jan 3, 2013 6:45 AM PT By Lorraine Woellert – bloomberg

    Consumer sentiment last week reached an eight-month high, reflecting broad-based gains that indicated even wealthy Americans were less concerned about tax increases and fiscal policy challenges heading into 2013.

    The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 31.8 in the period ended Dec. 30, its highest since April, from minus 32.1 a week earlier. For the year, the index climbed 12.9 points, the biggest annual improvement since 1998. Americans earning $100,000 or more reported their most optimistic reading in more than two years.

    “The rebuilding of wealth and modest income gains permitted consumer sentiment to overcome slow growth and a politically divisive environment in late 2012,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. Rising home values and low interest rates in particular are buoying wealthier households, helping to overcome the threat of higher taxes in 2013, he said.

    The index finished the year at its best level since mid- April, less than half a point from the 2012 high it reached twice that month. It has held above its traditional trouble zone, the minus 40s, for 15 straight weeks, a positive run last recorded in early 2008.

    For the year, the index averaged minus 38.1, the most since 2007. It remains below its long-term average of minus 15.8.

    Stocks fell, pulling the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index down from close to a five-year high. The S&P 500 eased 0.2 percent to 1,459.38 at 9:35 a.m. in New York.

    Another report today from the ADP Research Institute showed companies added 215,000 workers in December, the most since February, after a 148,000 gain a month earlier that was larger than initially estimated.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-03/consumer-comfort-in-u-s-climbed-to-an-eight-month-high.html

  12. CR says:

    Good Riddance to Rottenest Congress in History

    Jan 2, 2013 3:17 PM PT By Ezra Klein – bloomberg

    On January 3rd, the 112th Congress of the United States of America finally ends. Thank God.

    To properly evaluate the 112th, consider the record of its predecessor, the 111th Congress, which ran from January 2009 to January 2011. The fighting 111th passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (better known as the “stimulus”), the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”), and the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. It passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and expanded both the Serve America Act for community service and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It created significant new anti-tobacco regulations, ratified the New Start nuclear arms reduction treaty, ended “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the armed forces and agreed to the 2010 tax deal, which extended the Bush tax cuts in return for the passage of middle- class stimulus.

    The laws passed by the 111th Congress were controversial, particularly among Republicans. They were also big, bold initiatives that, if not always fully equal to the size of our problems, surely perched on the outer edge of Congress’s capacity to deliver solutions. Love it or hate it, the 111th Congress governed. No Congress in recent history has a record of productivity anywhere near it.

    Terrible Policy
    What’s the record of the 112th Congress? Well, it almost shut down the government and almost breached the debt ceiling. It almost went over the fiscal cliff (which it had designed in the first place). It cut a trillion dollars of discretionary spending in the Budget Control Act and scheduled another trillion in spending cuts through an automatic sequester, which everyone agrees is terrible policy. It achieved nothing of note on housing, energy, stimulus, immigration, guns, tax reform, infrastructure, climate change or, really, anything. It’s hard to identify a single significant problem that existed prior to the 112th Congress that was in any way improved by its two years of rule.

    The 112th, which was gaveled into being on Jan. 3, 2011, by newly elected House Speaker John Boehner, wasn’t just unproductive in comparison with the 111th. It was unproductive compared with any Congress since 1948, when scholars began keeping tabs on congressional productivity.

    When it ends, the 112th Congress will have passed about 220 public laws — by far the least of any Congress on record. Prior to the 112th, the least productive Congress was the 104th, from January 1995 to January 1997. Not coincidentally, that Congress also featured a new Republican House majority determined to ruin a Democratic president in advance of the next campaign. The 104th, however, passed 333 public laws — almost 50 percent more than the 112th. The 112th stands alone in its achievement of epic failure.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-02/good-riddance-to-rottenest-congress-in-history.html

    • COS says:

      Hey CR and friends. Great thread for the occasion. I hope the new congress is a lot better than the 112th. They ceretainly can’t get any worse. Have a wonderful evening.

  13. CR says:

    Please join me in lighting a candle for our President, First Family and the Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  14. CR says:

    Democrats Send ‘Tea Party Membership Cards’ To GOP Freshmen

    JANUARY 3, 2013 BENJY SARLIN – tpm

    tea_party_membercard

    As new members of Congress are sworn in on Thursday, Democrats are looking to brand the incoming Republican class early on. The DCCC is sending out the above “Tea Party membership cards” to the offices of 35 freshman Republicans.

    Press releases in their individual districts identify each member as “the newest Tea Party House Republican who will put millionaires ahead of the middle class and dysfunction ahead of progress,” according to DCCC communications director Jesse Ferguson.

    Democrats aren’t the only ones sarcastically rolling out the red carpet for the other side’s incoming class. The NRCC sent out “offical lap dog kits” for freshman Democrats emblazoned with corgis on Thursday, claiming they would teach them how to graduate from “Nancy Pelosi’s obedience school.”

  15. CR says:

    7:00 PM ET
    Vice President Biden speaks at an Event for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
    Washington DC

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

  16. CR says:

    January 03, 2013

    Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 8

    On Wednesday, January 2, 2013, the President signed into law:

    H.R. 8, the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012,” which makes permanent the temporary rates on taxable income at or below $400,000 for individual filers and $450,000 for married individuals filing jointly; permanently indexes the Alternative Minimum Tax exemption amount to the Consumer Price Index; extends emergency unemployment compensation benefits and Federal funding for extended benefits for unemployed workers for one year; continues current law Medicare payment rates for physicians’ services furnished through December 31, 2013; extends farm bill policies and programs through September 30, 2013; and provides a postponement of the Budget Control Act’s sequester for two months.

    • CR says:

      Seven Things You Need to Know About the Tax Deal

      January 3, 2013

      1) As the President promised, income tax rates for middle-class families will stay low permanently. That’s good news for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses.

      2) As the President promised, for the first time in 20 years, a bipartisan agreement will increase tax rates on the wealthy. That rate increase will be immediate and permanent. Individuals making more than $250,000 will be asked to pay a little more to help reduce the deficit through a combination of increased tax rates and reduced tax benefits.

      3) This agreement cuts the deficit. It builds on the $1 trillion of spending cuts the President signed into law in 2011 through the Budget Control Act. This new agreement cuts the deficit by $737 billion by asking the wealthiest to begin to pay their fair share. Moving forward, the President is committed to reducing the deficit even more, splitting savings in a balanced way between spending cuts and even more revenue from the wealthiest

      4) As part of this deal, a group of tax cuts that help middle-class families keep more money in their pockets and afford to pay for higher education was also extended. The Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and the new American Opportunity Tax Credit will stay in effect for at least the next five years.

      5) We’ll continue making investments that create jobs in domestic clean energy and innovation because the agreement extends the Production Tax Credit and the Research & Experimentation Tax Credit.

      6) Lawmakers agreed to extend emergency unemployment insurance for 2 million people looking for work.

      7) This agreement doesn’t cut Social Security benefits, Medicare, or Medicaid. That’s because the President stood strong against reducing our deficit on the backs of seniors, students, the poor, and working families.

      ————-

      White House White Board – American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

      Published on Jan 3, 2013

      Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, explains the bi-partisan deal that was recently completed in Washington and outlines what the deal means for the economy and how it met President Obama’s key economic priorities.

  17. CR says:

    WH

    Friday, January 4, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing
    Kailua, Hawaii (50th State)

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    Vice President Biden presides over a Joint Session of Congress at the United States Capitol

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden depart for U.S. Virgin Islands for a post holiday break and will return on January 8.

  18. CR says:

    White House Office Hours: Agreement to Extend Middle Class Tax Cuts

    Kori Schulman January 03, 2013 06:54 PM EST

    This week, President Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 into law. That means middle-class families won’t see an increase in their income tax rates, and the fiscal cliff has been avoided.

    Do you have questions about the deal and how it will impact you? Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, will be on hand to answer your questions during a session of White House Office Hours on Twitter with Yahoo! Finance.

    Join us on Friday, January 4th at 11:30 a.m. ET for a live Twitter Q&A. Here’s how it works:

    * Ask your questions now and during the chat with the hashtag #fiscalcliff411
    * Follow the Q&A live through @WHLive and @YahooFinance
    * If you miss the Q&A, the full session will be posted on WhiteHouse.gov

    Want to learn more about the deal? Here are seven things you need to know:

    READ MORE: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/01/03/white-house-office-hours-tax-deal

  19. CR says:

    West Wing Week: 01/04/13 or “Welcome to 2013: The Annual Resolutions Edition!”

    Published on Jan 3, 2013

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President spent several days in talks with Congressional leaders in an ultimately successful effort to reach a bipartisan compromise around the central promise of the president’s re-election campaign: preventing an income tax increase on middle class families while asking the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans to pay more to help deal with our deficit. Also White House staffers shared some of their New Year’s resolutions.

  20. CR says:

    Steady US hiring expected last month despite cliff
    US hiring likely held steady last month even as White House, Congress battled over budget

    1/4/13 By Christopher s. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers likely kept hiring last month at a modest but steady pace, despite tense negotiations that pushed the economy to the brink of the fiscal cliff.

    Economists forecast that employers added 155,000 jobs in December, according to a survey by FactSet. That would be slightly higher than November’s 148,000. The unemployment rate is projected to remain at 7.7 percent.

    Stable hiring would mean the job market held up during the talks between Congress and the White House over tax increases and spending cuts that were not resolved until the new year.

    A trio of encouraging reports Thursday on private hiring and layoffs suggested companies did not panic last month, although the Labor Department report will offer a more accurate measure of how businesses responded to the uncertainty in Washington.

    “Given that we have restraints, the labor market data do appear to be improving,” said Dana Saporta, an economist at Credit Suisse.

    While Congress and the White House reached a deal this week that removed the threat of income tax increases on most Americans, they postponed the more difficult decisions on cutting spending. And the government must also increase its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit by around late February or risk defaulting on its debt.

    Congressional Republicans are pressing for deep spending cuts in return for any increase in the borrowing limit. President Barack Obama has repeatedly said he wants the issues kept separate.

    Depending on December’s figure, hiring may finish the year slightly below its 2011 pace.

    Employers added 1.84 million jobs in 2011, the most in five years. In the first 11 months of 2012, employers added 1.67 million. Job gains would have to top 170,000 in December to push 2012 ahead of the previous year. Some economists do expect gains at that level or higher.

    For more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/steady-us-hiring-expected-last-050213494.html

  21. CR says:

    President Obama Visits ‘Island Snow’ For Shave Ice, With Daughters And Pals

    JANUARY 03, 2013 obamafoodorama

    The President enjoys the ‘Snowbama’ during his repeat treat run to a favorite haunt…

    President Obama on Thursday afternoon made his annual pilgrimage to shave ice nirvana Island Snow, a surf shop in the town of Kailua that does a brisk business in the Hawaiian frozen treat. He brought daughters Malia and Sasha, who were last spotted at Island Snow on New Year’s Eve while their dad was stuck in Washington dealing with the fiscal cliff legislation. The President emerged from the shop carrying a cup filled with his favorite half-and-half juice blend poured over the shave ice: Mele Melona and Choo Choo Cherry. Island Snow long ago dubbed this combo the “Snowbama,” thanks to the President visiting each time he vacations in Hawaii.

    For more: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2013/01/president-obama-visits-island-snow-for.html

    • CR says:

      Golf time

      1/4/13 5:14 PM EST POLITICO44

      President Obama is hitting the golf course again Friday, this time at Turtle Bay on Oahu’s North Shore, according to a pool report.

  22. CR says:

    Housing a Sweet Spot for U.S. Economy as Recovery Expands

    Jan 4, 2013 6:26 AM PT By John Gittelsohn – bloomberg

    At Lambert Ranch, an Irvine, California, housing development where prices start at $1 million, just two of 98 homes are unsold since the project opened in May.

    The builder, New Home Co., is opening 14 neighborhoods in California this year for buyers who want to seize on low interest rates amid a scarce supply of homes for sale.

    “Everywhere we are, we can see it,” Larry Webb, chief executive officer of Aliso Viejo, California-based New Home, said in a telephone interview. “Talk about pent-up demand.”

    U.S. home sales and prices are poised to rise in 2013, solidifying a recovery that began last year after a half-decade slump that was the deepest since the Great Depression, according to analysts and economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Record-low mortgage rates and attractive prices, supported by declining unemployment, are luring buyers as the inventory of distressed homes shrinks.

    Homebuilders are responding by adding supply, bolstering economic growth.

    “Increased new residential construction activity will lead to employment gains, which should translate into higher consumption and modest GDP growth,” Robert Wetenhall, a homebuilding analyst with RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York, said in a telephone interview. The U.S. budget deal reached this week removes a cloud to that outlook, he said.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-04/housing-a-sweet-spot-for-u-s-economy-as-recovery-expands.html

  23. CR says:

    An economic recovery is on track, unless Congress screws it up

    Fri Jan 4, 2013 9:48 AM EST By Steve Benen – maddowblog

    The new monthly jobs report wasn’t quite as strong as some had hoped, but it wasn’t necessarily awful news, either. As Matt Yglesias noted, [M]ake no mistake — this economy is growing and has been growing steadily for months. It’s not booming and it’s not undoing the damage of the prolonged labor market weakspot, but it’s definitely growing and the situation is definitely improving.”

    I think that’s right, but I also wonder whether Congress will screw it up.

    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said something the other day that stuck with me: “Something has gone terribly wrong, when the biggest threat to our American economy is the American Congress.”

    That’s profoundly true. Americans elect officials to serve and advance their interests, not act against those interests, and yet, arguably the single greatest threat to a more robust economic recovery in 2013 is posed by congressional Republicans.

    Last week, before the fiscal agreement was crafted and approved, Neil Irwin reported:

    The pieces are in place for 2013 to be a year of solid economic gains. But the big, dark cloud on the horizon is located right in the middle of the District of Columbia. Look for the building with the giant dome.

    It is not simply that the federal government could mess up what should, by all rights, be a good year. It is that there are so many different ways that government policy could mess things up, a long menu of options for how things could go awry in Washington, with gloomy consequences across the United States. As economists at Goldman Sachs put it in their title to a research note last week, the story of the United States in 2013 is one of “Economics vs. Politics” — and the open question is: Which one will prevail, the improving economic fundamentals or the rapidly deteriorating political fundamentals?

    For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/04/16348808-an-economic-recovery-is-on-track-unless-congress-screws-it-up?lite

  24. CR says:

    House approves funding for Sandy insurance claims

    1/4/13 By Chris Moody, Yahoo! News | The Ticket – 11 mins ago

    Still under pressure to provide federal aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy, the House on Friday voted to increase the borrowing limit for the National Flood Insurance Program, which will pay out 140,000 insurance claims for property damage.

    The federal program offers subsidized insurance plans to homeowners who live near the nation’s coasts, and it was on track to run out of money by next week if Congress did not act. The payouts in the bill will cost the federal government $9.7 billion.

    Local leaders from areas hit hardest by the storm were outraged this week that the congressional vote on the extended funding did not come sooner.

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday lashed out at Congress for failing to act, placing particular blame on House Speaker John Boehner.

    “There’s only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims, the House majority and their speaker, John Boehner,” Christie said.

    Now the bill has passed the House, the Senate intends to pass the measure on to President Barack Obama using an expedited process that requires no vote.

    The funding increase to the insurance program is just the first step in a series of votes related to Sandy. The House plans to vote again later this month on a $51 billion package in relief aid to state governments still rebuilding after the storm.

    • CR says:

      Congress approves some Sandy storm relief amid anger over delay

      1/4/13 By David Lawder | Reuters – 1 hr 45 mins ago

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Congress on Friday approved $9.7 billion in initial relief for victims of Superstorm Sandy, but New York and New Jersey lawmakers seethed over delays in passing the rest of a $60.4 billion federal aid package.

      The House of Representatives voted 354-67 to keep the National Flood Insurance Program solvent and able to pay claims of thousands of homeowners who suffered flood damage in coastal New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from the October storm.

      The Senate then quickly passed the measure by voice vote, and it now moves to President Barack Obama to be signed into law on his vacation in Hawaii.

      House Speaker John Boehner drew scathing criticism this week – including blasts from New York and New Jersey Republicans – when he canceled a House vote on the full $60.4 billion aid package passed by the Senate.

      The frustration continued on Friday as lawmakers from both parties complained that the flood insurance infusion would do little to help the bulk of those suffering more than two months after the devastating October 29 storm.

      “It took only 10 days after Katrina for President (George W.) Bush to sign $60 billion in Katrina aid,” said New Jersey Democratic Representative Bill Pascrell, referring to the 2005 hurricane that devastated the Gulf Coast. “How dare you come to this floor and make people think everything is OK.”

      Boehner, re-elected on Thursday for another term as House speaker, canceled the earlier vote on the full Sandy aid package amid Republican discontent on Tuesday over the “fiscal cliff” deal. That legislation prevented tax hikes on most Americans but did not achieve the significant spending cuts House Republicans wanted.

      An aide to Boehner said Tuesday night was “not a good time” to hold a vote on another massive spending bill.

      But after coming under fire from Republicans, including Representative Peter King of New York and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie a potential presidential contender for 2016, Boehner scheduled Friday’s vote on the piece of the package.

      He also promised a second vote on January 15 for the remaining portion of nearly $51 billion in aid. The House is not in session next week.

      “This is a crisis of unimaginable proportions,” King said. “If you saw the suffering that’s going on, if you saw the people who don’t have food and shelter, you’d realize how horrible this is.”

      The federal flood insurance program will run out of money next week to pay claims without the $9.7 billion increase in borrowing capacity, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

      Putting more money into the program would come months after Obama signed a law aimed at improving its finances. Congress bailed out the program after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and it is nearly $20 billion in debt.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/house-passes-sandy-insurance-bill-amid-anger-over-164013036–sector.html

  25. CR says:

    Services in U.S. Expand at the Fastest Pace in 10 Months

    Jan 4, 2013 7:39 AM PT By Alex Kowalski – bloomberg

    Service industries in the U.S. expanded in December at the fastest pace in 10 months, helping spur the world’s largest economy at the end of 2012.

    The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index climbed to 56.1 last month from 54.7 in November, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. Economists projected the gauge would drop to 54.1, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Readings above 50 signal expansion.

    A brighter holiday shopping season for retailers and an improvement in the housing market helped propel the industries that make up almost 90 percent of the U.S. economy. Faster services growth may depend on how quickly more Americans can find the jobs needed to boost incomes and spur spending, helping assuage higher taxes this year.

    “The economy is going to do better in 2013,” said Brian Jones, a senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York, whose ISM forecast of 56 was the highest in the Bloomberg survey. “The service sector seems to be fine. Housing is going to continue to help. The labor market continues to improve.”

    Stocks maintained gains after the figures, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index poised for its biggest weekly rally in 13 months. The S&P 500 climbed 0.1 percent to 1,461.33 at 10:38 a.m. in New York.

    Estimates in the Bloomberg survey of 66 economists ranged from 52 to 56. The index, which includes industries ranging from utilities and retailing to health care, housing and finance, has averaged 53.6 since the recession ended in June 2009.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-04/ism-services-gauge-in-u-s-unexpectedly-climbs-to-10-month-high.html

  26. CR says:

    Please join me in lighting a candle for our President, First Family and our Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  27. CR says:

    Ten gun bills on Congress’s first day

    1/04/13 09:44 AM ET By Pete Kasperowicz – TheHill

    Members of the 113th Congress introduced 10 bills on Thursday relating to gun violence, most of which came from Democrats seeking new restrictions on gun ownership.

    The flurry of legislative proposals show that members are likely to push the issue in the wake of the December shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that left 20 children dead.

    Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), whose husband was shot to death in 1993, introduced four of the bills. The congresswoman has vowed to seek changes in federal law in response to the school shooting.

    H.R. 137 and 138 from McCarthy would require people prohibited from buying firearms to be listed in a national database, and would prohibit the transfer or possession of large capacity ammunition clips.

    McCarthy’s H.R. 141 would require criminal background checks on all firearms transactions at gun shows, which would close the so-called gun-show loophole. Her H.R. 142 would require face-to-face purchases of ammunition, the licensing of ammunition dealers, and the reporting of bulk ammo purchases.

    Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and Rush Holt (D-N.J.) each proposed their own bills tightening firearms licensing requirements — H.R. 34 and H.R. 117, respectively. And Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) proposed H.R. 65, which would raise the eligibility age to carry a handgun from 18 to 21.

    Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) reintroduced his bill, H.R. 21, to require background checks for all gun sales, and to require gun owners to report when their guns have been stolen. Moran argued in December that while the National Rifle Association objects to these changes, members of the powerful group support them.

    “The NRA as an organization is out of step with its membership on many commonsense gun safety measures,” he said. “Polling shows nearly two-thirds of NRA members support the five simple ways to improve gun safety included in this bill.”

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/275587-10-gun-bills-introduced-in-first-day-of-the-house#ixzz2H2DQ2SJg

  28. CR says:

    WH

    Saturday, January 5, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing
    Kailua, Hawaii

    Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden are in U.S. Virgin Islands for a post holiday break and will return on January 8.

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
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  29. CR says:

    January 05, 2013

    Weekly Address: Working Together in the New Year to Grow Our Economy and Shrink Our Deficits

    Remarks of President Barack Obama
    The Weekly Address
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    January 4, 2013

    Hi, everybody. Over the past year, as I traveled across the country campaigning for this office, I told you that if I was fortunate enough to be re-elected, I’d work to change a tax code that too often benefited the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

    This week, we did that. For the first time in two decades, we raised taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Americans in a bipartisan way, while preventing a middle-class tax hike that could have thrown our economy back into recession.

    Under this law, more than 98% of Americans and 97% of small business will not see their income taxes go up one dime. We also made sure that millions of families will continue to receive tax credits to help raise their children and send them to college. Companies will continue to receive tax credits for the research they do, the investments they make, and the clean energy jobs they create. And two million Americans who are out of work will continue to receive unemployment benefits so long as they are actively looking for a job.

    But all this was just one more step in the broader effort to grow our economy and shrink our deficits. We still need to do more to put Americans back to work while also putting this country on a path to pay down its debt. And our economy can’t afford more protracted showdowns or manufactured crises along the way. Because even as our businesses created 2 million new jobs last year – including 168,000 new jobs last month – the messy brinksmanship in Congress made business owners more uncertain and consumers less confident.

    We know there’s a path forward. Last year, I signed into law $1.7 trillion in deficit reduction. This week’s action further reduces the deficit by $737 billion, making it one of the largest deficit reduction bills passed by Congress in over a decade. And I’m willing to do more.

    I believe we can find more places to cut spending without shortchanging things like education, job training, research and technology all which are critical to our prosperity in a 21st century economy. But spending cuts must be balanced with more reforms to our tax code. The wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations shouldn’t be able to take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans.

    And as I said earlier this week, one thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they’ve already racked up. If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic. The last time Congress threatened this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it. Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again.

    I congratulate the newly sworn-in Members of Congress, and I look forward to working with the new Congress in a bipartisan way. If we focus on the interests of our country above the interests of party, I’m convinced we can cut spending and raise revenue in a manner that reduces our deficit and protects the middle class. And we can step up to meet the important business that awaits us this year. Creating jobs and boosting incomes. Fixing our infrastructure and our immigration system. Promoting our energy independence while protecting our planet from the harmful effects of climate change. Educating our children and shielding them from the horrors of gun violence.

    These aren’t just things we should do – they’re things we must do. And in this New Year, I’ll fight as hard as I know how to get them done. Happy New Year, everybody.

  30. CR says:

    Please join me in lighting a candle for the President, First Family and the Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  31. CR says:

    WH

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    2:00 AM
    The First Famiy depart Honolulu, Hawaii

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing
    in transit to Washington DC

    3:00 AM
    4:00 AM
    5:00 AM
    6:00 AM
    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:30 AM
    The First Famiy arrive at Joint Base Andrews.

    10:45 AM
    The First Famiy arrive at the White House
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • CR says:

      WH

      Sunday, January 6, 2013

      All Times Eastern

      2:00 AM
      The First Family depart Honolulu.

      President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing
      in transit to Washington DC

      Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden are in the U.S. Virgin Islands with family members.

      3:00 AM
      4:00 AM
      5:00 AM
      6:00 AM
      7:00 AM
      8:00 AM
      9:00 AM
      10:00 AM
      10:30 AM
      The First Family arrive at Joint Base Andrews.

      10:45 AM
      The First Family arrive at the White House.

      11:00 AM
      12:00 PM
      1:00 PM
      2:00 PM
      3:00 PM
      4:00 PM
      5:00 PM
      6:00 PM
      7:00 PM
      8:00 PM
      9:00 PM
      10:00 PM

  32. CR says:

    Sunday talk show tip sheet

    1/4/13 5:27 PM EST Updated: 1/5/13 12:22 PM EST By KATIE GLUECK – POLITICO

    “Meet the Press” on NBC
    • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
    • Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), co-founder, Campaign to Fix the Debt, co-chairman, National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
    • Erskine Bowles, co-founder, Campaign to Fix the Debt; co-chairman, National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
    • Sen. Angus King (I-Maine)
    • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)
    • Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.)

    “Face the Nation” on CBS
    • McConnell
    • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
    • Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
    • Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
    • Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.)
    • Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.)
    • Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.)

    “This Week” on ABC
    • McConnell
    • Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)
    • Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas)
    • Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)
    • Robert Reich, former labor secretary in the Clinton administration

    “State of the Union” on CNN
    • Heitkamp
    • Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.)
    • Sen. Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
    • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
    • Neera Tanden, president and CEO, Center for American Progress

    “Fox News Sunday” on Fox
    • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
    • Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)
    • Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)

    “Political Capital” on Bloomberg TV
    • Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman, House Ways and Means Committee

    “Newsmakers” on C-SPAN
    • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), chairwoman, Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee

    “Al Punto” on Univision
    • Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)
    • Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.)
    • Alejandro Garcia Padilla, governor of Puerto Rico

  33. CR says:

    Obama Returns From Hawaiian Holiday to Second-Term Challenges

    Jan 5, 2013 9:00 PM PT By Margaret Talev & Carter Dougherty – bloomberg

    President Barack Obama returns to Washington today from his annual family vacation in Hawaii for a week that includes a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, deliberations about new cabinet members and preparations for his second-term inauguration.

    Obama is scheduled to return to the White House before noon Washington time. Before his departure last night from Honolulu, the president was gearing up for a political fight next month with Republicans over raising the U.S. debt limit. In his weekly radio address, taped in Hawaii and aired yesterday, the president reiterated a warning that he won’t negotiate with Republicans over borrowing authority.

    The president will probably name former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, 66, as his choice to be the nation’s next defense secretary as early as tomorrow, according to a person familiar with the cabinet-selection process.

    The president is to meet with Karzai on Jan. 11. As the U.S. war in Afghanistan winds down, Karzai is visiting Washington to discuss concerns including the size of U.S. troop levels in his country after 2014 and the future U.S. financial commitment to his country.
    Obama has yet to name a new head of the Central Intelligence Agency. John Brennan, the president’s counterterrorism chief, is said to be among the leading candidates.

    Other future decisions include a replacement for Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, and may include a new chief of staff if Jack Lew is named as Geithner’s replacement. In December, Obama announced his choice of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

    Two-Part Vacation
    Obama was to have spent two weeks in Hawaii, where he was born and raised, to recharge following his re-election campaign and work on the Jan. 21 address he is to deliver for his second- term inauguration.

    His plan was interrupted by the congressional standoff over how to prevent automatic tax hikes and spending cuts from going into effect beginning Jan. 1 that forced him to cut short his trip on Dec. 26.

    Obama returned to Hawaii Jan. 2 and signed the law raising income-tax rates on couples to 39.6 percent for annual income above $450,000 while extending tax cuts for lower incomes and delaying automatic spending cuts until March 1.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-06/obama-returns-from-hawaiian-holiday-to-second-term-challenges.html

  34. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Happy and HOPEful Sunday, CR and all friends!

    >^..^<

  35. CR says:

    ********************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” President Obama’s 2013- 2017 Cabinet”

    ********************

    To get to the newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the thread

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