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Capitol Briefing: July 6, 2008 - July 12, 2008

Player of the Week: Edward Kennedy

Capitol Briefing must admit that on some Fridays, when the sun is shining and the weekend beckons, he has trouble figuring out whom he should select as Player of the Week. Not so today. On Wednesday, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) made what was widely hailed as a "dramatic" return to...

By Ben Pershing  |  July 11, 2008; 4:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Player of the Week , Senate  
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Scandals Hit Members Where They Live

UPDATE 2:35 PM: After generally refusing to address the Times' questions, Rangel held a press conference today on what he called a "puzzling" story and released a lengthy statement strongly denying that there is anything inappropriate about his housing situation. Rangel's full statement is now appended to the end of...

By Ben Pershing  |  July 11, 2008; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Ethics and Rules  
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Capitol Visitor Center to Open Dec. 2

Eight years and more than $600 million after ground was first broken on the Capitol Visitor Center, congressional leaders are expected to announce today that the massive project is slated to open for business on Dec. 2. At 580,000 square feet, the underground center on the East Front of the...

By Ben Pershing  |  July 10, 2008; 4:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  House , Senate  
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No Impeachment Vote Today; Hearings to Come?

UPDATE 2:45 PM: At a press conference this afternoon, Kucinich did not shed any additional light on what form Judiciary Committee proceedings on his impeachment resolution might take, but he did express hope that the Democratic leadership's willingness to allow some sort of action was a step in the right...

By Ben Pershing  |  July 10, 2008; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Branch vs. Branch , Dem. Leaders , House  
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Kennedy Returns for Medicare Vote, McCain Doesn't

Ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) made a dramatic return to the Senate today, interrupting his cancer treatments to travel to Washington and cast the decisive vote in favor of proceeding to final passage on a Medicare bill. Kennedy's return was a closely-guarded secret up until the moment he walked up...

By Ben Pershing  |  July 9, 2008; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Senate  
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Keeping Up With Gen. Jones

Attention, ticket-watchers: A potential vice presidential candidate with questionable party loyalties will be at the Senate Democratic Policy Committee lunch tomorrow. No, we're not talking about Joe Lieberman (Conn.), though he may be there too. We're referring to retired Marine Gen. James Jones, who will be the guest speaker at...

By Ben Pershing  |  July 9, 2008; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2008 Campaign , Senate  
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Ventura Complicates Minn. Senate Race

UPDATE 11:55 AM: Ventura is now denying, sort of, that he will run for Senate. He tells the Associated Press he was only speaking hypothetically when he told NPR why he would run for the seat. "I gave [the NPR reporter] the reasons why I would run. But I said...

By Ben Pershing  |  July 9, 2008; 10:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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Kucinich Bringing Back Impeachment This Week

Keeping true to his word, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) informed his colleagues today that he would bring one article of impeachment against President Bush "for taking our nation and our troops to war based on lies" to the House floor Thursday. In early June, Kucinich introduced 35 articles of impeachment...

By Ben Pershing  |  July 8, 2008; 5:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (157)
Categories:  Branch vs. Branch  
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'War Powers' Plan Faces Steep Odds

Former secretaries of state James Baker and Warren Christopher held a press conference on Capitol Hill this morning to unveil the fruit of their most recent bipartisan commission labors, a proposal to repeal the dysfunctional 1973 War Powers Act and replace it with a new framework to govern how and...

By Ben Pershing  |  July 8, 2008; 4:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Branch vs. Branch  
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Banning 'the Next Karl Rove'?

During his nearly seven years on the White House staff, Karl Rove became famous (and to his critics, infamous) as a supposed political puppet-master, influencing everything from the legislative agenda to candidate recruitment in order to extend and expand Republican power across the land. But if one key congressional Democrat...

By Ben Pershing  |  July 8, 2008; 10:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Branch vs. Branch  
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The Week Ahead: Top Hill Aides Weigh In

Appropriately enough for a week that will be dominated by legislative items left over from before the July 4th break, aides to the top four congressional leaders foresee a continuation of debates over housing and high gas prices. Democrats plan to resume blaming the GOP for obstructing their agenda, while...

By Ben Pershing  |  July 7, 2008; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Agenda , The Week Ahead  
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Webb Takes Himself Out of VP Race

Virginia Sen. Jim Webb has taken himself out of the running to be Barack Obama's vice presidential pick, telling the Democratic nominee's campaign that he would not accept an offer to join the ticket if one was forthcoming. "Last week I communicated to Senator Obama and his presidential campaign my...

By Ben Pershing  |  July 7, 2008; 3:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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Report: Kennedy Coping Well With Treatment

Five weeks after he underwent surgery on a malignant brain tumor, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) is said by his wife to be recovering well as he copes with radiation and chemotherapy treatment, according to the Associated Press. The AP obtained an email sent out by Vicki Kennedy last week to...

By Ben Pershing  |  July 7, 2008; 1:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Senate  
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The Week Ahead: Leftovers on the Menu

Congress returns from it's week-long recess today with five weeks until the next break and a to-do list of items left over from before July 4th. The Senate will immediately return to the housing bill that stalled before the break, mostly due to an effort by Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.)...

By Ben Pershing  |  July 7, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agenda , The Week Ahead  
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