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House GOP seeks quick lame duck session; Dems may object

November 3, 2004 House GOP leaders are planning a quick and clean lame duck session after Election Day victories strengthened the Republican majorities in both chambers, aides said Wednesday. With the concession of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, Republicans face significantly less pressure to push through legislation in the remaining...

House Government Reform chairman not among intelligence overhaul conferees

October 15, 2004 With little progress made on the intelligence overhaul bill this week, House and Senate conferees now face tighter time constraints to complete a final bill before Election Day. In a statement Friday, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., officially named House Intelligence Chairman Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich. to chair the conference, allowing...

Turf-conscious senators resist expansion of Governmental Affairs

October 8, 2004 The Senate spent much of Thursday cannibalizing a historic committee reorganization proposal, removing whole law enforcement agencies from the purview of a new Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee despite efforts by Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, along with GOP and Democratic leaders to beat back amendments. Senate leaders...

Problems loom in reconciling House, Senate intelligence overhaul bills

October 6, 2004 With the Senate poised to approve a bipartisan intelligence reform bill Thursday -- and the House soon to follow with a final vote expected Friday -- leaders in both chambers remain confident Congress can deliver a bill to the White House before Election Day. A Senate GOP leadership aide said...

Senators seek to replace Governmental Affairs with homeland panel

October 5, 2004 Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Whip Harry Reid, D-Bev., floated a major Senate reorganization plan Monday that would largely consolidate homeland security oversight and funding responsibilities in the Governmental Affairs and Appropriations committees and implement a significant change in the chamber's intelligence oversight duties. Reid called the...

Congress faces Sept. backlog, prospect of lame duck

August 13, 2004 With the Senate operating in a highly charged partisan atmosphere and fiscal 2005 appropriations bills lagging behind schedule, it appears doubtful that Congress -- once it reconvenes immediately after Labor Day --can finish work by its Oct. 1 target adjournment date. On appropriations, only one of the 13 annual spending...

Democrats step up demands for probes of administration, agencies

July 2, 2004 Over the last several weeks, Democrats have rediscovered one of the few politically useful tools available to the minority party under our two-party system -- the demand for congressional investigations. This time-honored activity has been used by Democrats and Republicans alike to harass and challenge an executive branch no longer...

Defense spending bill could delay Senate recess

June 17, 2004 Senate Republicans are discussing the possibility of postponing the July Fourth recess in order to complete work on the fiscal 2005 Defense appropriations bill, as part of Majority Leader Bill Frist's, R-Tenn., larger effort to set the Senate schedule through the end of July. At this point, Frist said he...

GOP blocks war-profiteering amendment

June 17, 2004 Republicans Wednesday blocked an effort by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Judiciary ranking member Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to create stiffer criminal penalties for war profiteering. The Leahy/Daschle amendment to the fiscal 2005 defense authorization bill would have created new penalties -- including up to 20 years in jail...

Congress, agencies set aside agendas to honor Reagan

June 7, 2004 The death of Ronald Reagan has largely cleared the House and Senate schedules this week, as leaders have postponed planned legislative action in a sign of respect to the former president. Reagan's body will arrive Wednesday evening at the Capitol where an arrival ceremony will be held with Reagan's family,...

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