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Capitol Briefing: November 1, 2009 - November 7, 2009

The House health care debate: What to watch for

The House begins debate Saturday morning on a massive health-insurance overhaul, with a final vote likely to come in the evening. In the intervening hours, there will be several key moments that will provide a foreshadowing of the final outcome. Here's an insider's guide to those moments.

By Paul Kane  |  November 7, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Democrats to resolve abortion impasse on the House floor

Updated 1:29 a.m. By Lori Montgomery House Democratic leaders agreed Friday night to settle an impasse over abortion by letting the entire House vote on a proposed solution, a risky decision that could determine the fate of their trillion-dollar overhaul of the nation's health care system. Under the agreement, anti-abortion...

By Lori Montgomery  |  November 7, 2009; 1:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (153)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Ethics committee says Rep. Harman is not under scrutiny

By Paul Kane The ethics committee is not investigating Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), whose conversation with an Israeli operative four years ago drew scrutiny from the Justice Department and for a time from the committee. The committee's top lawmakers assured Harman that there is no investigation in a letter Wednesday,...

By Paul Kane  |  November 5, 2009; 6:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Ethics and Rules , House  
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Congress passes bill extending unemployment insurance, home buyer tax credit

By Perry Bacon Jr. and Dina ElBoghdady Congress on Thursday completed final approval of a bill that includes several measures designed to spur the economy and help people who have lost their jobs, representing its latest intervention as the country suffers through its worst recession in decades. The $24 billion...

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 5, 2009; 3:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Economy Watch  
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Ethics committee clears Rep. Shuler

By Ben Pershing The House ethics committee has informed Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) that he has been cleared of wrongdoing and is no longer under investigation by the panel for allegations that a real estate development in which he invested may have received preferential treatment from a government agency. Shuler,...

By Ben Pershing  |  November 5, 2009; 3:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Ethics and Rules , House  
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Nine arrested in Hart Building ahead of health care protest

Updated 12:51 p.m. By Philip Rucker As thousands of activists converged on the lawn of the Capitol for a midday rally against Democrats' health-care reform legislation, Capitol Police arrested nine protesters Thursday morning in the Hart Senate Office Building. The protesters were arrested about 10 a.m. on the seventh floor...

By Philip Rucker  |  November 5, 2009; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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AARP endorses House health-care bill

By Lori Montgomery The AARP, the nation's largest and most influential association of older Americans, endorsed the House health-care bill Thursday morning and vowed to lobby House members in advance of Saturday's historic vote. AARP vice president Nancy A. LeaMond said the House package, which would spend more than $1...

By Lori Montgomery  |  November 5, 2009; 11:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (268)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m. ET. There will be 40 minutes for debate with respect to H.R. 2847, Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations. At 12:15, the Senate will proceed to a cloture vote on the committee reported substitute amendment to H.R. 2847. The House meets at 10:00 a.m. for legislative...

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  November 5, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Senate Democrats ready to pass climate bill Thursday despite GOP boycott, sources say

By Juliet Eilperin Senate Democrats are likely to pass their climate bill out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee without amendments Thursday, several sources familiar with the plan said Wednesday night. Facing an ongoing Republican boycott of the committee's markup of the bill, the panel's chairman, Sen. Barbara...

By Juliet Eilperin  |  November 4, 2009; 11:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Senate  
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Budget analysts say GOP bill would do little to expand health insurance coverage

By Lori Montgomery The long-awaited Republican entry in the health care debate received its assessment late Wednesday from congressional budget analysts, who concluded that the proposal would barely dent the ranks of the uninsured. The measure would cover only 3 million additional people at a cost of $60 billion through...

By Lori Montgomery  |  November 4, 2009; 10:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Senate passes bill extending homebuyer tax credit, unemployment benefits

Updated 7:22 p.m. By Perry Bacon Jr. The Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that extends several measures designed to spur the economy and help people who have lost their jobs, including a provision that will extend unemployment benefits for up to 20 weeks in states with high unemployment rates....

By Perry Bacon Jr.  |  November 4, 2009; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Economy Watch  
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Kerry, Graham, Lieberman announce a "dual track" on the climate bill

By David A. Fahrenthold Even before a Senate committee could begin marking up the "Kerry-Boxer" climate bill, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) himself announced a new "track" of negotiations over climate policy that makes his original bill look somewhat irrelevant. Kerry, appearing at the U.S. Capitol with Sens. Lindsay O....

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 4, 2009; 3:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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NY-23 and the blame game

NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions couldn't keep NY-23 in the red column. (AP Photo/LM Otero). By Ben Pershing As top Republicans busily gloated Wednesday over the party's convincing victories in New Jersey and Virginia, there was one GOP leader who wasn't holding any press conferences -- Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas). As...

By Ben Pershing  |  November 4, 2009; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2010 Campaign , GOP Leaders  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m. ET and will resume consideration of H.R.3548, the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009. The House meets at 10:00 for legislative business. The House will address H.R. 3639, the Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act of 2009. For a list of Congressional committee hearings,...

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  November 4, 2009; 7:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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House releases final bill--vote possible by weekend

House leaders released the final version of their nearly 2,000-page health package late Tuesday, clearing the way for a vote by the full chamber as soon as this weekend.

By By Lori Montgomery  |  November 4, 2009; 6:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Health Reform , House  
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Hoyer: number of investigations proves Congress is "most ethical" in history

By Paul Kane House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday said that Democrats are living up to their promise to run the "most ethical" Congress in history, despite a new ethics committee document showing that his party's lawmakers have drawn far more scrutiny than Republicans. Hoyer cited the release...

By Paul Kane  |  November 3, 2009; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Dem. Leaders , Ethics and Rules  
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Tuesday's other House race

John Garamendi is very likely headed to Congress. (AP Photo). By Ben Pershing With the special election contest between Democrat Bill Owens and Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman in New York's 23rd district drawing so much attention, it's easy to overlook the fact that a second new member of Congress will...

By Ben Pershing  |  November 3, 2009; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2010 Campaign , House  
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Merkel on climate change, and the partisan divide

By Juliet Eilperin German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Congress and the Obama administration to take bold steps to address global warming Tuesday, even as Senate Democrats and Republicans feuded over whether to press ahead with their chamber's version of a climate bill. Speaking at a joint session of Congress, Merkel...

By Kendra Nichols  |  November 3, 2009; 1:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Senate  
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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 10:00 a.m. ET. At 10:30, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will address a Joint Meeting of Congress. Following the Joint Meeting, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R.3548, the Unemployment Benefits Extension Act of 2009. The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business and recess...

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  November 3, 2009; 8:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Senate health-care debate still weeks away

by Shailagh Murray Although the House appears on track to begin a floor debate on health care this week, the Senate showdown looks to be several weeks off. Senate Democratic leadership aides said they don't expect the Congressional Budget Office to deliver an official cost analysis of the Senate health-care...

By Washington Post Editor  |  November 2, 2009; 6:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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House GOP prepping alternative health-care reform bill

By Ben Pershing After months of criticizing Democrats' health-care proposals without offering one of their own, House Republicans are preparing to unveil a reform bill this week to compete with the majority's ideas. Having lambasted the bill unveiled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for being nearly 2,000 pages long with...

By Ben Pershing  |  November 2, 2009; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  GOP Leaders , Health Reform  
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Civil rights groups open K Street office in final health-care push

By Krissah Thompson After some small-scale, disjointed efforts to push for health care reform, civil rights groups are renting temporary office space on K Street and combining their efforts to run an operations center with the sole goal of lobbying on health care policy. The office will be run by...

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 2, 2009; 5:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Boxer: Climate bill markup will go forward Tuesday, with or without GOP

Updated 4:31 p.m. By Juliet Eilperin Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) will go ahead and mark up climate legislation in her committee Tuesday, she announced Monday morning, even if the Republicans try to block her. Under committee rules and precedent, two members of the minority...

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 2, 2009; 12:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Senate  
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