News, Senate News, Week in Review

Congressional Week in Review: 12/8-12/14

(Photo by Karen Bleier of AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo by Karen Bleier of AFP/Getty Images)

Our thoughts go out to Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) who fell and broke his hip this past Saturday. The outgoing, 88-year-old representative has served in the House for an incredible 59 years, first earning a seat in that body when Dwight Eisenhower was president, the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn, and gas was barely over 20 cents per gallon. Dingell’s wife Debbie ran for and won his seat in November. We wish Rep. Dingell a speedy recovery.

And now for this week’s Congressional roundup:

  • After a couple of days worth of delays, Congress finally passed the so-called “Cromnibus” spending bill. The Senate passed the bill Saturday, two days after the House barely got the bill onto the floor to vote. The $1.1 trillion spending bill covers nearly all government spending until September 2015. The House Appropriations’ website highlights some of what is actually in the bill.
  • Early last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the CIA’s interrogation techniques. The committee’s report (which you can read in full here if you have a few spare hours) claims that the agency lied to the Bush Administration and Congress about the what information gathering techniques were used on terrorism prisoners and where those prisoners were being held. Former CIA head Michael Hayden and former vice president Dick Cheney have blasted the report and defended the use of those tactics.
  • Looking to the week ahead, Congress will attempt to wrap up its business for the year in the coming days. Outgoing Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has even said he hopes to finish the Senate’s business as early as today but is prepared to stay the entire week. Some of that business includes ending Republican filibusters on 23 of President Obama’s nominations for positions such as surgeon general, assistant secretary of state, and assistant Homeland Security secretary.
  • And finally, a couple of interesting links for your reading pleasure:
    • Todd Purdum of Politico takes a look at what President Obama’s final two years in office what might be like as faces a Republican-controlled Congress. Purdum points to how President Clinton handled similar circumstances and the compromising that had to occur between Clinton and Congressional Republicans to get things accomplished. I highly recommend the article.
    • For anyone out there with presidential aspirations, Russell Berman of The Atlantic runs down the do’s and don’ts of denying a run for the presidency. It’s all about the present tense and leaving just enough wiggle room (although some apparently have still not gotten a good handle on how to do this).



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