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Capitol Briefing: April 26, 2009 - May 2, 2009

Specter Defection Leaves Committee in Flux at Crucial Time

By Paul Kane Sen. Arlen Specter's party-switching move is having even greater reverberations throughout the Senate, now that Supreme Court Justice David Souter is poised to retire this summer. For all his moderate stances Specter had been a loyal Republican soldier for the last 4-½ years as chairman and then...

By Paul Volpe  |  May 1, 2009; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Senate  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 9:30 p.m. ET to resume consideration of S.896, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009. No votes are scheduled. The House is in session as well, with no votes scheduled. Noteworthy House Hearings House Energy and Commerce (10 a.m.): Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection...

By washingtonpost.com  |  May 1, 2009; 7:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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House Wants Guidelines Set for Wiretapping of Members

By Ben Pershing House officials are hoping to restart dormant talks with the Justice Department on establishing guidelines for wiretapping and searching the offices of members of Congress, just days after the disclosure that federal investigators recorded the phone conversation of Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) sparked fresh controversy on the...

By Ben Pershing  |  April 30, 2009; 5:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Ethics and Rules , House  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m. ET. Following morning business, the Senate will proceed to the consideration of S.896, a bill that would prevent mortgage forclosures and increase credit access. Votes are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. The Senate will then consider the nomination of Thomas L. Strickland to be Assistant...

By washingtonpost.com  |  April 30, 2009; 6:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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House GOP Moderates Dismayed by Specter Move, But Won't Follow Suit

By Ben Pershing House Republican moderates call themselves the "Tuesday Group" because of their meeting schedule, and so it was that the dwindling band happened to get together for their weekly gathering yesterday at noon, at the exact moment a fellow centrist, Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), was announcing his defection...

By Ben Pershing  |  April 29, 2009; 3:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  GOP Leaders , House  
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Democrats Must Wait for 60 as Coleman Fights On

By Perry Bacon Jr. While Democrats are excited about the prospect of a supermajority of 60 senators after Sen. Arlen Specter joined their party, they will have to wait at least another month for that to become reality. Norm Coleman's campaign manager said yesterday that the former Minnesota senator would...

By Paul Volpe  |  April 29, 2009; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Senate  
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Today on the Hill

The House meets at 10:00 am ET to resume debate S. Con. Res. 13, the concurrent resolution on the budget, on Wednesday. The Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m. and will take up statutory debate on S. Con. Res. 13, with debate limited to 10 hours at the most. The Senate...

By washingtonpost.com  |  April 29, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Officials: Government Well-Prepared for Swine Flu, but Worst Is Yet to Come

By Ben Pershing A panel of experts reassured senators today that the government was well-prepared to cope with the widening swine flu outbreak, even as they warned that the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. At a hastily arranged hearing of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that...

By Ben Pershing  |  April 28, 2009; 4:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Purse Strings , Senate  
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Specter's Quick Identity Change

Well, that didn't take long. Within an hour or so of word leaking out that he was switching his political allegiance from Republican to Democratic, veteran Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) was huddling with and embracing his newly adopted party. Here's how it went: 11:55 a.m.: The Fix breaks the news...

By Eric Pianin  |  April 28, 2009; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Today on the Hill

The Senate and House are in session. The House meets at 10:00 a.m. ET for morning debate then again at noon for legislative business, with possible consideration of the conference report on S.Con.Res. 13, Congress' final version of the fiscal 2010 budget blueprint. The Senate convenes at 10:00 a.m. and...

By washingtonpost.com  |  April 28, 2009; 7:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Swine Flu Outbreak Revives Controversy Over Stimulus Funds

By Ben Pershing The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee announced today it will hold a hearing this Wednesday on the federal government's response to the swine flu outbreak, even as a controversy is brewing over the role a senior member of the panel played in blocking funds for...

By Ben Pershing  |  April 27, 2009; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Purse Strings , Senate  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 2:00 p.m. ET to eventually resume consideration of S.386, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act. Cloture votes on the legislation will follow at around 5:20 p.m. The House meets at 12:30 p.m. Committee Hearing Schedule: Senate Committees - Joint Conference Committee (1:00) Meeting of conferees on...

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  April 27, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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