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Capitol Briefing: January 11, 2009 - January 17, 2009

Follow the Leaders

GOP Leadership: Dear Obama... House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) sent a letter to President-elect Barack Obama last night summing up an economic plan to restore fiscal stability drafted by the House Republican Working Group. The letter to Obama came...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 16, 2009; 4:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Follow the Leaders  
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Farewell, Says Salazar

Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), President-elect Barack Obama's pick to become secretary of the Interior Department, bid farewell to his congressional colleagues from the Senate floor this morning. The senior senator's remarks followed his confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Michael Bennet, back, listens to the man...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 16, 2009; 1:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Kaufman Replaces Biden in the Senate

Ted Kaufman, a longtime aide to Vice President-elect Joe Biden, was officially sworn in to the 111th Congress this morning, filling his former boss's seat. Following Kaufman's swearing-in on the floor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delivered a statement of welcome. After providing some highlights from Kaufman's education and work...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 16, 2009; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. for a period of morning business. There will be no roll call votes today. Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) will deliver a farewell address as he prepares to assume the role of secretary of the interior in the Obama Administration. Former aide to Vice President-elect...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 16, 2009; 7:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Follow the Votes: Tied Up With TARP

The Senate took up three noteworthy pieces of legislation yesterday. • S.J. Res. 5 was defeated by vote of 42-52, resulting in the release of the remaining $350 billion of TARP funds for President-elect Barack Obama to inject in the economy. The resolution would have blocked the second half of...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 16, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Votes  
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Follow the Leaders

Reid on Burris: 'Our Concern Was Never With Him' Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid circulated a statement of welcome to Roland Burris today, as the appointee of embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was sworn in to the 111th Congress. Formerly a strong critic of the appointment, Reid explained that his...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 15, 2009; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Dem. Leaders , GOP Leaders  
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Hill Staffers and Policy Wonks Shuffled to Leg. Affairs

President-elect Barack Obama has announced 11 new members of his Legislative Affairs team. Most of his new picks have significant Hill experience and all are Democrats. The staff members will assist Obama, Vice President-elect Joe Biden and their policy teams "in continuing close collaboration with congressional leaders from both parties,"...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 15, 2009; 5:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Clinton Says Farewell, Addresses Senate

Hillary Rodham Clinton gave a farewell address to the Senate on the same day her nomination as President-elect Obama's secretary of state was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Following a farewell address by Vice President-elect Joe Biden, Clinton thanked her constituents and her colleagues for their support...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 15, 2009; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Senate  
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Biden Bids Senate Colleagues Farewell

Joe Biden (D-Del.) resigns from the Senate today, marking the end of 36 years in Congress, as he prepares to assume the vice presidency in the Obama Administration. From the Senate floor this morning, he thanked his colleagues for their collegiality and recalled his first time stepping into the...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 15, 2009; 2:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Senate  
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House Democrats Focus on New Spending in Stimulus Plan

The Post's Shailagh Murray and Paul Kane report: House Democrats unveiled a two-year stimulus package worth $825 billion that directs more to new government spending and less to tax cuts than president-elect Barack Obama proposed in his stimulus outline last week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the House bill as...

By Paul Volpe  |  January 15, 2009; 1:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  House  
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Today on the Hill

The House meets at 10 a.m. to resume consideration of H.R. 384, the TARP Reform and Accountability Act. The Senate convenes 10 a.m. Following a period of morning business the Senate will resume consideration of the lands bill (S. 22). Sens. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) will deliver...

By Paul Volpe  |  January 15, 2009; 6:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Follow the Leaders: The Whip Team Grows

Kyl: And Then There Were Seven Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) has named the members of his whip team in the 111th Congress. The new team members will help Kyl push the Republican legislative agenda. Here's the list: Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Jeff...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 14, 2009; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Dem. Leaders , GOP Leaders  
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SCHIP Easily Passes in the House

The House voted overwhelmingly to pass the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (H.R. 2) this afternoon, 286-138. More commonly known as SCHIP, the program provides low income children access to health care. President Bush twice vetoed similar legislation during the 110th Congress. The bill would reauthorize SCHIP...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 14, 2009; 4:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Dem. House Committee Assignments Are In

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has announced the names of freshman members nominated by the House Democratic Steering Committee to the following House committees: Agriculture, Education & Labor, Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Natural Resources, Oversight & Government Reform, Science & Technology, Small Business, and Veterans' Affairs. Her announcement comes a day...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 14, 2009; 1:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  House  
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Rangel Probe Awaits New Ethics Chair

By Ben Pershing Next week, Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) will play a key role in shaping the first major legislative initiative of the Obama administration, as his committee is set to write the tax portion of the president-elect's massive economic stimulus bill. Working in concert with a...

By Ben Pershing  |  January 14, 2009; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Ethics and Rules , House  
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Baucus Postpones Geithner Hearing

Updated 12:28 p.m. By Shailagh Murray Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said the confirmation hearing for Timothy F. Geithner would be held by next Wednesday, but added that the delay does not signal that Barack Obama's pick for treasury secretary is in jeopardy. "He'll clearly get confirmed -- that's...

By Paul Volpe  |  January 14, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Hearing Watch , Senate  
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House Considers Bill Aimed at Curbing Agency Waste

Ed O'Keefe reports that the House is expected to consider a bill today that would require each House committee hold at least three hearings each year on the topic of waste, fraud and abuse in federal agencies and departments. Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), who has proposed similar measures in the...

By Paul Volpe  |  January 14, 2009; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Branch vs. Branch  
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Dem. Senate Committee Assignments Are In

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid circulated a letter last night announcing his selection for Democratic seats on key committees in the 111th Congress, although he's carefully calling his list merely an "anticipated" rundown. Reid says three more Democrats than Republicans will be seated per committee, save Appropriations and Armed Services,...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 14, 2009; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Senate  
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Today on the Hill

The House meets at 10 a.m. to consider under suspension of the rules H. Res. 40 which would require periodic committee hearings on the topic of waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement in government programs. The House also will consider H.R. 2, SCHIP reauthorization and H.R. 384 TARP Reform and Accountability...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 14, 2009; 7:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Follow the Leaders

Reid's Read on Geithner As the news that Timothy Geithner -- President-elect Barack Obama's pick to become treasury secretary -- did not pay his taxes broke this afternoon, Reid circulated the following statement in support of Obama's selection: "While I do not know Mr. Geithner well, I do understand honest...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 13, 2009; 5:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Today on the Hill

Between Senate confirmation hearings, House hearings on economic policy and legislation hitting the floor, it's looking like a tightly packed Tuesday. The House meets at 12:30 p.m. for an hour and considers legislation beginning at 2 p.m. All votes are postponed until 6:30 p.m. The Senate convenes at 10 a.m....

By Washington Post editors  |  January 13, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Burris Will Be Seated

Shalaigh Murray reports the Senate will swear in Roland W. Burris as the junior senator from Illinois later this week, ending a legal showdown that had become an embarrassment for Democratic leaders and for President-elect Barack Obama. "The Secretary of the Senate has determined that the new credentials presented today...

By Paul Volpe  |  January 12, 2009; 5:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Senate  
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Congress Comes To YouTube

By Jose Antonio Vargas It's not just the Obama presidency that has gone YouTube. So has Capitol Hill. In a video message titled "Welcome to Congress, YouTube," congressional leaders from both chambers -- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), together with...

By Paul Volpe  |  January 12, 2009; 5:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Voinovich Announces Retirement

Chris Cillizza reports that Ohio Sen. George Voinovich is retiring in 2010, the fourth Republican to announce he is stepping aside at the end of his term. Voinovich announced his retirement this morning after a weekend filled with speculation that he was planning to step aside. "This has not been...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 12, 2009; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Campaign  
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Today on the Hill

The House is not in session. The Senate will convene at 2:00 p.m. Confirmation hearings for cabinet positions in the incoming administration begin Tuesday. Weekend Highlights On Sunday, the Senate voted 66-12 on a motion to invoke cloture on a motion to proceed to S. 22, Omnibus Public Land Management...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 12, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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