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Capitol Briefing: July 5, 2009 - July 11, 2009

House Democrats Agree on Tax Hike to Help Revamp Health Care

By Lori Montgomery House Democrats agreed yesterday to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for a sweeping expansion of the nation's health-care system, proposing a surtax on the highest earners that could send the top federal tax rate toward 45 percent. Beginning in 2011, the plan would target all...

By Post Editor  |  July 10, 2009; 9:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Muted Reaction to Ensign Revelations

The revelation Thursday that Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) enlisted his wealthy parents to pay $96,000 to his mistress and her family has so far produced a few calls for Ensign's resignation from conservative activists back home in Nevada but little reaction among lawmakers of either party.

By Post Editor  |  July 10, 2009; 7:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Ethics and Rules  
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Congress Considers Beverage 'Sugar Tax' to Pay for Health Care

Congress is considering a tax on sugary beverages, such as soda, pay for health-care reform. A federal excise tax in the range of 3 cents per 12 ounces on beverages sweetened with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners would yield $51 billion in federal revenue over 10 years, according to Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation.

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 10, 2009; 5:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 10:00 a.m. ET. No roll call votes are scheduled. The House meets at 9:00 a.m. Roll call votes are expected around 2:00 p.m. Visit Today in Congress for more information on the House and Senate, including today's committee hearing schedules, plus vote history and member profiles....

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  July 10, 2009; 7:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Photos Released in Jefferson Corruption Trial

This photo presented on Wednesday July 8, 2009 as court evidence and provided by the U.S. Attorney's office shows contents seized on Aug. 3, 2005 from the freezer of the Washington home of then-Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's office) By Allison Klein The late-night jokesters have been having...

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 9, 2009; 4:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Ethics and Rules  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m. ET and will resume consideration of H.R. 2892, the Homeland Security Appropriations Act. The House is in session and will meet at 10 a.m. for legislative business and will take up complete consideration of H.R. 2997, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration,...

By washingtonpost.com  |  July 9, 2009; 5:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Coburn Says He Counseled Ensign to End Affair

By Dan Eggen and Philip Rucker Aides to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) acknowledged Wednesday that he counseled Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) to break off an affair with a staffer, but they denied allegations that Coburn suggested giving the woman and her husband financial assistance to start a new life. "Dr....

By Post Editor  |  July 8, 2009; 11:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  GOP Leaders  
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Reid Discusses Health Care With 4 GOP Senators

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) met today with four GOP members of the Senate Finance Committee: Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa), the ranking Republican on the panel, and Sens. Olympia Snowe (Maine), Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Mike Enzi (Wyo.). But barring a major breakthrough in negotiations, the timetable for passing a Senate bill appears to be slipping.

By Post Editor  |  July 8, 2009; 5:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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A Renewed Push to Ban Insider Trading on the Hill

On Monday, a House subcommittee will hold a hearing about a bill that would ban securities and commodities trading based on "material nonpublic information" by members and their aides, or people who obtained the information from members or aides.

By Ben Pershing  |  July 8, 2009; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Ethics and Rules , House  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m. ET and will resume consideration of H.R. 2892, the Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The House is in session and will meet at 10 a.m. for legislative business. Visit Today in Congress for more information on the House and Senate, including today's committee hearing schedules,...

By washingtonpost.com  |  July 8, 2009; 7:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Swing-State Senators Concerned About Tax on Employer-Paid Coverage

By Shailagh Murray Senate Democratic leaders are warning Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) that growing opposition to a tax on employer-provided health care benefits could prevent Senate passage of health-care reform, and are urging the chamber's lead negotiator to seek other revenue options. A Democratic source familiar with the discussions...

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 7, 2009; 6:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Dem. Leaders  
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A Little Legislative Intervention on the Almighty's Behalf

On Monday night, the Senate passed on a voice vote a measure requiring the engraving of the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" in the Capitol Visitor Center.

By Ben Pershing  |  July 7, 2009; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Senate  
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Franken Finally Sworn In, and Hugs Ensue

The Senate finally has its 100th member.

By Post Editor  |  July 7, 2009; 1:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Senate  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 10:00 a.m. ET and will proceed to the consideration of H.R. 2892, Homeland Security Appropriations. At around 12:15, Senator-elect Al Franken will be sworn in as the junior senator of Minnesota. The House is meets at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes are postponed until 6:30...

By washingtonpost.com  |  July 7, 2009; 7:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Mr. Franken Comes to Washington

Al Franken was finally greeted in the Capitol today as "Senator-elect," more than eight months after the November election that sent him to the Senate. The former "Saturday Night Live" writer and performer looked stern and serious as he joined Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) before a huge throng of reporters, a day before he will be sworn in officially as senator.

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 6, 2009; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Dem. Leaders  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 2:00 p.m. ET today and will resume consideration of H.R. 2918, Legislative Branch Appropriations. The House is not in session today. Visit Today in Congress for more information on the House and Senate, including vote history and member profiles....

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  July 6, 2009; 7:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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