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Capitol Briefing: July 15, 2007 - July 21, 2007

The Iraq all nighter: 3 Up, 3 Down

With the trading deadline approaching in Major League Baseball - and training camps opening for the National Football League - sports metaphors abound on the state of Congress. If you could be general manager of your political party, who would you trade, who would you cut, which overpaid underperformer would...

By Paul Kane  |  July 20, 2007; 5:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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Members of Congress Shell Out $1 Million in Legal Fees

A pair of senators facing corruption probes shelled out more than $130,000 combined on legal bills in the 2nd quarter of 2007, bringing the total amount of ethics-related tabs to at least $1.1 million in the House and Senate from April through June. In addition, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) dished...

By Paul Kane  |  July 20, 2007; 11:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Ethics and Rules  
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Byrd on Michael Vick: Going to Hell

In a floor speech Thursday, Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W. Va.) lashed out, indirectly, at Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who was recently charged with running a dog-fighting ring in Virginia. The speech might have seemed unusually apocalyptic to those who don't know how much the octogenarian senator loves dogs...

By Paul Kane  |  July 19, 2007; 7:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Senate  
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Vitter, sitting on $1.2 million, raising $$ from Livingston

Despite getting hounded by the media all week long, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has at least 1.2 million reasons to feel politically secure: that's how many dollars he has sitting in his campaign war chest. Vitter's first day back in the Capitol Tuesday also coincided with the day his re-election...

By Paul Kane  |  July 19, 2007; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Long Night Over, Withdrawal Measure Falls Short

The Democratic effort to move toward final passage of an measure to bring home most troops from Iraq failed to clear the 60-vote hurdle, as just four Republicans crossed party lines to vote in favor of the Levin-Reed withdrawal plan. Those Republicans were Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), locked in what...

By Paul Kane  |  July 18, 2007; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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After Midnight, Passions High - Energy Waning

As the debate rolled on deep into the early morning hours of the round-the-clock consideration of a Democratic amendment to halt the Iraq war, speeches were still impassioned as ever. Just past 1 a.m., Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) took the floor pleading for a simple majority vote on the Levin-Reed...

By Paul Kane  |  July 18, 2007; 1:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Senate  
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Iraq Around the Clock

Shortly after 8:30 p.m., more than 5 hours into what Democrats hoped would be an historic debate on the future course of the Iraq debate, the Senate convened for its first procedural vote unofficially known as a live quorum call. The note at the clerk's desk on each side of...

By Paul Kane  |  July 17, 2007; 11:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Senate  
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Senate Pulls an All-Nighter

It's been nearly 4 years since the last round-the-clock Senate debate, and plenty of things are the same. Just like last time, when the issue was the minority party's filibusters of judicial nominations, the cots are here for senatorial napping. The speeches are high minded and, despite an early shrug...

By Paul Kane  |  July 17, 2007; 7:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Senate  
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Vitter Returns, With Coburn at His Side

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) finally returned to the Capitol this morning, eight days after fleeing his senatorial duties amid revelations that he had committed a "very serious sin" involving an escort service in Washington. With Vitter in attendance, photographers, television cameras and print reporters packed packing an otherwise not-very-newsworthy hearing...

By Paul Kane  |  July 17, 2007; 3:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Senate  
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Vitter: 'I Will Work Every Day to Rebuild That Trust'

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) emerged this evening from his week-long self-imposed isolation after admitting his involvement with an escort service facing federal prostitution charges, asking for forgiveness but vowing to continue his work as a senator. Sen. Vitter, standing with his wife Wendy, bows his head Monday at a news...

By Paul Kane  |  July 16, 2007; 7:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Senate  
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House Members Shell Out $1 Million in Legal Bills

Current and recently departed House members spent nearly $900,000 on legal bills in the 2nd quarter of 2007, largely fighting off criminal investigations regarding corruption allegations. When outstanding debts are factored into the picture, the political legal tab for the quarter hits just beneath $1 million. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska),...

By Paul Kane  |  July 16, 2007; 3:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  House  
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