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Texas Democrat gets praise for immigration efforts

November 27, 2006 As House Democrats begin to focus on who will assume the chairmanship of the Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is making a bid stressing her policy expertise on the issue despite a reputation as one of the more hard-charging, vocal members. Jackson Lee, who is ranking member...

Senate Democrats select committee leaders

November 15, 2006 Senate Democrats announced their anticipated committee assignments Tuesday, rewarding veterans with plum assignments, placing newcomers with specific policy expertise on panels to show off their knowledge, and tabbing more vulnerable members to serve on more high-profile rostrums. Most panels will have a ratio of 11 Democrats and 10 Republicans, the...

Dems must pick point person before immigration debate

November 10, 2006 The Democratic takeover of Congress might revive chances for passing a comprehensive immigration package that would include a pathway to citizenship for most of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States. Democrats have been more amenable to such legislation than congressional Republicans, even though President Bush has...

Business group wants more money to fight intellectual piracy

October 16, 2006 A business coalition is aiming to secure during the lame-duck session more federal funding to crack down on piracy of U.S. products and counterfeit goods. The Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy, which represents moviemakers, auto parts manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, has waged a campaign to lobby for more funding to...

Negotiators agree to cap interest rates for loans to military

September 29, 2006 Conferees on the fiscal 2007 defense authorization bill agreed to include an amendment that would cap annual interest rates on loans to U.S. military personnel at 36 percent, despite strong lobbying by banking lobbyists. Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., who originally proposed the language, complained that unscrupulous payday lenders were targeting...

Report: Insurance industry is limiting terrorism coverage

September 26, 2006 A Government Accountability Office study released Tuesday found that insurers are unwilling to expand coverage for terrorist attacks involving nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological weapons because the industry has determined such events are not an insurable risk. The study, requested by House Financial Services Chairman Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, found a...

Battle lines form over terrorism insurance program’s future

September 12, 2006 Interest groups are gearing up to lobby over the reauthorization of the federal government's terrorism risk insurance program in advance of a Treasury Department report scheduled to be released by the end of the month that will make recommendations for a long-term fix. The American Insurance Association, representing major insurance...

Compromise on immigration reform legislation appears elusive

August 18, 2006 As they continue to flog a Senate-passed immigration bill in field hearings across the country, House Republicans are still holding out hope that Congress can clear a more limited border security measure this fall. This week, House GOP members held field hearings to showcase their bill that would authorize money...

Lawmakers push insurance backstop for natural disasters

August 1, 2006 Claiming a crisis for coastal residents, House lawmakers have introduced a bill that would establish a national commission to examine whether the federal government should act as backstop for insurers in bearing costs for natural disaster claims. Sponsored by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the measure would establish a 17-member...

Lawmaker seeks to keep Mint from seizing rare coins

July 24, 2006 Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., has launched a crusade to free some the world's most valuable coins. Lucas has sponsored legislation that would mandate that any coin manufactured by the U.S. Mint before 1933 -- but not properly issued -- will no longer be declared the property of the federal government....

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