Rep. Charles Rangel (D) of New York on Thursday may become the 23rd House member to be censured by his colleagues, in the history of the institution. For lawmakers who break the rules, censure is one of the punishment options specified in the US Constitution (the others are expulsion, reprimand, or a fine). A public verbal rebuke from the House speaker is usually the outcome of a censure vote – humiliating, yes, but much less draconian than expulsion. Mr. Rangel is in trouble for 11 ethics violations related to his personal finances and fundraising efforts for a New York college. A censure vote has not occurred in the House in 27 years. Here are the five congressmen censured most recently, for matters ranging from fraud to sexual misconduct to “unparliamentary language.”
Rep. Paul Ryan, soon to be House Budget Committee chairman, said he had no idea whether members of the White House were taking the national debt seriously, because he has little contact with them.
Thursday headlines note the failure of President Obama's bipartisan deficit commission to reach consensus, but the opposite is also true to some extent. Key Democrats and Republicans on the commission voiced agreement on some important things during the panel's public meeting Wednesday. Sooner or later, these points of common ground could help pave the way for legislation.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin praised Obama's debt commission report at a Monitor Breakfast Thursday, but said he wouldn't vote for it because it fattened health care.
Senate Republicans pledge not to take up any issues, including extending unemployment benefits, until the Bush tax cuts and federal spending bills are sorted out.
In the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, the Obama administration has decided to pull back from a plan to open Florida's Gulf coast and parts of the Atlantic seaboard to offshore drilling.
More than 2 million unemployed people awoke Wednesday to the prospect that they may no longer have unemployment checks to help them pay rent or buy food and gas. Congress on Tuesday failed to renew an extension of unemployment benefits that it passed at the end of July. Democrats have argued that with unemployment at 9.6 percent, many people still need help. Republicans say they would like to help the jobless, but want the $5 billion per month cost to be funded by a spending cut somewhere in the federal budget.
Ben Bernanke and the Fed are being lambasted, especially by GOP lawmakers, over policies to stimulate the economy. Some worry the criticism will sap the Fed's effectiveness.
Unable to agree on who should be eligible to continue to receive the Bush tax cuts, which expire Jan. 1, President Obama and congressional leaders decided to convene a panel Tuesday.
Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, who chair Obama's commission on reducing the national debt, delay a key vote. It's an indication how elusive consensus will be on cutting the deficit.
President Obama met with GOP leaders at the White House Tuesday. The gathering appeared long enough for little else but pleasantries – though, in the current climate, that's no small thing.
On Twitter and Facebook, Palin criticizes the Obama administration's handling of the 'WikiLeaks Fiasco' and asks why Julian Assange is not treated like an Al Qaeda or Taliban leader.
Lynn Kartchner heads to the border at nightfall with a spotlight to help the border patrol catch drug smugglers. It's a sign of the prevailing sense of urgency along the US-Mexican border.
Food Safety Modernization Act passed the Senate Tuesday on a bipartisan vote. The legislation, which gives the US added powers to inspect and recall, moves to the House, where hurdles remain, especially over cost.
President Obama will meet with GOP leaders from the House and Senate Tuesday for the first time since Election 2010. Some Democrats worry that he could be too willing to compromise.
Obama's proposed federal pay freeze is an idea whose time has come to a sector whose turn has come. It's also a nod to the GOP and recognition that deficit-cutting is a priority for the public.
Politicians in several states collect suggestions that they take before their fellow lawmakers. Some suggestions have succeeded in becoming law.
The lame-duck Congress returns to session Monday with a laundry list of things to do. Avoiding a government shutdown is top on the list. But there are other important items, too.
President Obama says the proposed federal pay freeze would save the federal government $2 billion in fiscal year 2011. The federal deficit is expected to be about $1.3 trillion.
TSA chief John Pistole cites 'determined, resourceful enemy' in defending airport body screenings and pat downs that some passengers say are too intrusive. But no plans for body cavity searches.