Congress

Dems angry over GOP relations in the House

Media don’t cover outrage, Dems claim; joint conferences a source of contention

For Immediate Release:

November 5, 2003

Contact:Hans Nichols

The Hill

Enraged House Democrats say that bipartisan relations in the House — especially regarding joint House-Senate conferences — have reached an all-time low, far worse than when they controlled Congress for 40 years.

But they conceded that their anger is not necessarily registering with either voters or the media and vowed to be strategic in how they stage their public outrage.

Senate Republicans Weighing New Tactics to Advance Bills to Conference

For Immediate Release:

November 4, 2003

Contact:Allison Stevens and Jonathan Allen

CQ TODAY

Escalating a partisan dispute, Senate Republicans said Tuesday they are weighing procedural tactics to override Democratic efforts to prevent two bills from advancing to House-Senate conferences.

Thad Cochran, R-Miss., said Tuesday that if he could not reach agreement with Democratic leaders to proceed to conference on the "Healthy Forests" Act (HR 1904), he would urge Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., to file a motion to shut off debate on a motion to appoint conferees to negotiate the final legislation.

US House passes aviation bill as Democrats object

For Immediate Release:

October 30, 2003

Contact:John Crawley

Reuters

WASHINGTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $60 billion aviation bill on Thursday after Democrats fought a losing battle to preserve a proposed ban on the expansion of air traffic privatization.

The 211-to-207 vote along party lines sent the measure to the Senate. It capped a day of rarely used procedural moves by furious Democrats to forestall consideration and a nearly two-hour interruption over a Capitol Hill security scare.

House Races - Hoyer: Dems Poised For Gains In '04 Election Environment

For Immediate Release:

October 31, 2003

Contact:Mark Wegner

CongressDaily

House Minority Whip Hoyer this afternoon predicted next year's elections would be less dominated by security issues than the 2002 elections, and Democrats could win the House in 2004 if they get the political wind Republicans received in 1994. "We're

US Congress Resumes Negotiations On $60 Bln FAA Bill

For Immediate Release:

October 30, 2003

Contact:John Godfrey

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

WASHINGTON -- U.S. House and Senate negotiators reopened talks Wednesday on the four-year, $60 billion reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Negotiations began following an unanimous vote by the House Tuesday night to send negotiators back to the bargaining table.

Locked Out of Conferences, Democrats Start to Retaliate

For Immediate Release:

October 23, 2003

Contact:Jonathan Allen

CQ

Democrats frustrated about being excluded from final negotiations on energy and Medicare legislation are striking back by blocking less prominent bills and accusing the GOP of abusing its majority power.

Several Senate Democrats said Wednesday that their votes to block a GOP bill (S 1751) to overhaul rules for class action lawsuits was, in part, a protest against the way Republican leaders are conducting conference committees on energy and Medicare.

Foes Hope to Block Bush Plan for Limiting Detailees in Congress

For Immediate Release:

October 23, 2003

Contact:Stephen Barr

The Washington Post

T wo area House members said yesterday they would offer an amendment to block the Bush administration from tightening control over government employees assigned to work in Congress.

Reps. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) said they would seek to attach their proposed amendment to the fiscal 2004 spending bill that covers the Office of Personnel Management. The amendment would prohibit the use of appropriated funds to carry out a proposed regulation that places control of "detailees," as they are called, in the hands of Kay Coles James, the OPM director.

Senate approves additional $1 billion to overhaul election system

For Immediate Release:

October 24, 2003

Contact:JIM ABRAMS

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) --

Intent on avoiding a repeat of the 2000 presidential election debacle, the Senate has added $1 billion to the president's request for funds to carry out improvements in the national voting system.

"In a time when we are committing billions of dollars in federal resources to build democracies around the world, we simply cannot afford to shortchange our own," said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., before the Senate voted 63-31 Thursday to waive budget caps and increase funds for election reform in fiscal year 2004 from $500 million to $1.5 billion.

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Obey letter seeks deal with Regula

For Immediate Release:

October 28, 2003

Contact:Hans Nichols

The Hill

Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) sent a highly personal letter to his “friend” Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) Friday, offering to ease the tension over the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education spending bill.

At the end of a three-page, single-spaced letter, Obey, ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee, pledged his party’s support for a package that Democrats had vigorously and uniformly opposed, in return for two proposed changes.

Transportation - Privatization Language Likely To Be Stripped From FAA Bill

For Immediate Release:

October 28, 2003

Contact:Zach Patton and Mark Wegner

CongressDaily

The FAA reauthorization will likely be sent back to a House-Senate conference committee tonight, potentially paving the way for Republicans to strip language from the bill that allows privatization of some air traffic control workers. The House Rules Committee will vote tonight on a motion to recommit the reauthorization, which sources close to the conference said they expect will pass. While in theory both Democratic and Republican conferees want to reopen the legislation to discuss