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Capitol Briefing: February 8, 2009 - February 14, 2009

In the End, GOP Holds Firm on Stimulus

By Ben Pershing The House passed one of the largest pieces of legislation in the country's history today almost completely along party lines, giving President Obama a win on the first major plank of his agenda but without the bipartisan support he so dearly sought. The 246-183 tally on the...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 13, 2009; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Agenda , House  
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Today on the Hill

The House meets at 9 a.m. to vote on the economic stimulus bill. Meanwhile, the Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill this evening around 7 p.m. ET. If both chambers pass the legislation, it's expected to be signed by President Obama on Monday. -- Emily Kotecki...

By washingtonpost.com  |  February 13, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Today on the Hill

Today marks the 200th anniversary of former President Abraham Lincoln's birth and a celebration in Lincon's honor will commence in the Capitol Rotunda this morning. President Obama is expected to join lawmakers around 11:30 a.m. to observe the ceremony. The House and Senate meet at 10 a.m. to address legislative...

By Washington Post editors  |  February 12, 2009; 7:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Campaign , Dem. Leaders  
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Bipartisan Group Calls for End to Senate Appointments

By Ben Pershing A motley crew of Republican and Democratic lawmakers announced Wednesday that they are backing a constitutional amendment requiring special elections be held to fill all Senate vacancies, putting an end to the gubernatorial appointments that have sparked such controversy in recent months. Unusually for a constitutional amendment,...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 12, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Blagojevich , Senate  
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The Politics of 'Nothing'

By Ben Pershing As negotiations intensify on the economic stimulus package, the message battle between the two parties has become less substantive and more like an episode of "Seinfeld" -- it's about "nothing." Having been pummeled by Republicans at the start of the stimulus debate over pork projects and seemingly...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 11, 2009; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Agenda  
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Today on the Hill

Both the House and Senate are in session today, both convening at 10 a.m. ET. Noteworthy Senate Hearings Budget -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner continues testifying at 10 a.m. Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs -- The committee meets at 10 a.m. to consider S.160, also known as the District of...

By washingtonpost.com  |  February 11, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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No Pay Raise for Lawmakers Next Year

By Ben Pershing They're not exactly headed for the poor house, but members of Congress will soon be getting the same pinch from the economic downturn that millions of other Americans are -- a pay freeze. House Democratic leaders informed their members at a party caucus meeting this afternoon that...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 10, 2009; 4:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Dem. Leaders , House  
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A Difficult Stimulus Conference Ahead

By Ben Pershing House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) this morning predicted that the House-Senate conference on the economic stimulus package could stretch well into next week, though he pledged that negotiations would begin almost immediately this afternoon after the Senate passes its version of the bill. Hoyer said the...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 10, 2009; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Agenda , Dem. Leaders , Purse Strings  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate will convene at 10 a.m. A vote on the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act is expected around noon. As for Noteworthy Committee Hearings: Banking -- Meets at 2:30 p.m. to approve Austan Goolsbee and Cecilia Elena Rouse to be members of the Council of Economic Advisers. The Committee...

By washingtonpost.com  |  February 10, 2009; 8:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Kennedy Makes Brief Appearance for Stimulus Vote

By Ben Pershing The economic stimulus measure cleared a key procedural hurdle tonight, as the Senate voted, 61-36, to invoke cloture and pave the way for a vote on final passage tomorrow. The bill cleared the 60-vote requirement to proceed with one to spare, and one of those "aye" votes...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 9, 2009; 6:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Senate  
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Did Obama Tell an 'Out and Out Lie'?

**Correction appended** By Ben Pershing Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) just called President Obama a liar, right on the Senate floor. Okay, he didn't specifically say that, but that's what he meant. In the course of crafting the economic stimulus bill, which is about to face a key procedural vote in...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 9, 2009; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Agenda , Senate  
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Reid: No Recess Until Stimulus Is Done

By Ben Pershing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) just kicked off today's debate on the economic stimulus package by reiterating what most lawmakers, aides and reporters already expected and/or dreaded: The Senate will stay in Washington until a stimulus conference report has passed. "We're not going to leave for...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 9, 2009; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Agenda , Senate  
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DCCC Steps Up Stimulus Pressure on GOP

By Ben Pershing With President Obama set to do campaign-style events today and tomorrow to boost his stimulus package, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is escalating its own effort to pressure Republicans into supporting the bill. The DCCC announced this morning that it will make automated phone calls in the...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 9, 2009; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 Campaign , Agenda  
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Today on the Hill

The House convenes at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. The Senate takes a procedural vote at 5:30 p.m. on a motion to proceed with the economic stimulus package tomorrow. If 60 senators vote in favor, a final Senate vote on the package will be held at noon on Tuesday....

By Washington Post editors  |  February 9, 2009; 6:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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