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Capitol Briefing: January 27, 2008 - February 2, 2008

Democrats Mulling Strategic Shift on Iraq

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - As Capitol Briefing has noted, the primary theme of this year's House Democratic retreat was the economy, not Iraq. That focus continued this morning, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addressed lawmakers and party leaders pounced on a disappointing new jobs report. But there has been some...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 1, 2008; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  Agenda , Dem. Leaders , Iraq  
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House Democrats Trim Agenda

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Capitol Briefing wrote a story in this morning's Post about the scaled-down agenda House Democrats are crafting here at their annual retreat. What issues do you think the party should tackle this year? Weigh in with your comments below....

By Ben Pershing  |  February 1, 2008; 8:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Agenda  
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Senate Ethics Panel in Midst of Five Investigations

WILLIAMSBURG, Va -- While Capitol Briefing has been down here covering the House Democrats' annual retreat, the Senate Ethics Committee up at the Capitol has been putting in quite a bit of work, at least according to a new report. As part of last year's ethics and lobbying reforms, the...

By Ben Pershing  |  January 31, 2008; 7:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Ethics and Rules , Senate  
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House Democrats Feel Wind at Their Backs

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Their approval ratings may still be in the tank, but House Democrats are feeling pretty good about themselves right now, at least when it comes to their ability to hold and possibly expand their majority come November. Briefing reporters here at the caucus's annual retreat, Democratic Congressional...

By Ben Pershing  |  January 31, 2008; 5:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2008 Campaign , House  
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A Recommendation From Rahm

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Bored at work? Worried that you've reached the end of the Internet? Well, here's a Web recommendation from House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.). According to Emanuel, he showed this video -- of a kid mouthing along to a Will Ferrell impersonation of President Bush --...

By Ben Pershing  |  January 31, 2008; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Dem. Leaders  
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Economy Takes Center Stage at Democratic Retreat

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - While important work on the economic stimulus package is going on in the Senate, House Democrats have decamped here, 150 miles south of the Capitol, to begin crafting a legislative agenda and a majority-protecting message for this election year. Just as in the Senate, the focus here...

By Ben Pershing  |  January 31, 2008; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2008 Campaign , Agenda , Dem. Leaders  
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Chat About Tom Davis

Capitol Briefing will be doing a live chat about the retirement of Virginia Rep. Tom Davis (R) today at 4 p.m. Read it or join in here....

By Ben Pershing  |  January 30, 2008; 3:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Tom Davis and the 'Dying Breed' of Moderates

Last September, when centrist Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) announced his plans to retire, Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) was asked why so many of his fellow moderate Republicans seemed to be heading for the exits. "I think some of them are just tired," Davis told Roll Call, adding that the coming...

By Ben Pershing  |  January 30, 2008; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2008 Campaign , GOP Leaders  
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Despite Obstacles, Stimulus Will Get Done

Reading the coverage today of the Senate's plans to tinker with the economic stimulus package, it's easy to get caught up in the idea that divisions on a host of issues could end up stalling the entire bill. With the House having approved the plan by an overwhelming margin yesterday,...

By Ben Pershing  |  January 30, 2008; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agenda , Purse Strings  
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Do Democrats Have a Plan on Earmarks?

Over the last few days, we've learned quite a bit about what House Democrats don't like: • They don't like President Bush's vow during last night's State of the Union address to veto any appropriations bills that don't cut earmarks in half. • They don't like Bush's plan to issue...

By Ben Pershing  |  January 29, 2008; 4:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Dem. Leaders , Purse Strings  
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Bizarre Trial Begins in N.H.

Amid all the weighty talk of stimulus-this and Iraq-that, Capitol Briefing would like to pause and draw your attention to one of the more bizarre political trials in recent memory, kicking off today up in Dover, N.H. On trial -- Gary Dodds, a businessman and Democratic candidate in 2006 for...

By Ben Pershing  |  January 29, 2008; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  House  
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In Packed Statuary Hall, As Many Opinions As People

From amidst the crush of reporters, cameramen, photographers, cops, lawmakers, aides, clowns and circus elephants inhabiting Statuary Hall following President Bush's State of the Union speech tonight came two basic reactions -- pleasant surprise and abject disappointment. President Bush made a leisurely exit after Monday night's State of the Union...

By Ben Pershing  |  January 28, 2008; 11:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Agenda  
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Bush Hits on Stimulus, Earmark Reform

Early in his speech tonight, President Bush hit the brief portions of his speech targeted at two hot-button issues on the Hill -- the economic stimulus package and earmark reform. "The temptation will be to load up the bill," Bush said of the stimulus plan. "That would delay it or...

By Ben Pershing  |  January 28, 2008; 9:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agenda  
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SOTU Expectations Low on the Hill

Leading up to President Bush's final State of the Union speech tonight, expectations on Capitol Hill are low, though for reasons that are split along party lines. Democrats don't expect to hear much from Bush that they'll like tonight, for the simple reason that they've never expected much from him...

By Ben Pershing  |  January 28, 2008; 6:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Agenda , Branch vs. Branch , Purse Strings  
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Pots, Kettles and Earmarks

President Bush plans to throw down the gauntlet on earmarks in his State of the Union address tonight, vowing to veto appropriations bills this year that don't cut earmark spending by at least half. But many members of Congress have some earmark advice of their own that they'd like Bush...

By Ben Pershing  |  January 28, 2008; 2:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Branch vs. Branch , Purse Strings  
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Obama-Kennedy Move Will Reverberate in the Senate

The endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) presidential bid by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) is the talk of the campaign trail today. But Kennedy's political blessing of Obama over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) will also have intriguing implications in the Senate in the short term -- as the chamber...

By Ben Pershing  |  January 28, 2008; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2008 Campaign , Senate  
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