US Congress Resumes Negotiations On $60 Bln FAA Bill

For Immediate Release:

October 30, 2003

Contact:John Godfrey


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.

Transportation - Privatization Language Likely To Be Stripped From FAA Bill

For Immediate Release:

October 28, 2003

Contact:Zach Patton and Mark Wegner


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

As Congress Readies To Recess, GOP Agenda's Stuck In Neutral

Democratic filibusters, Republican infighting can cause the gridlock

For Immediate Release:

October 29, 2003


Investor's Business Daily

It's not just Red Sox and Cubs fans who are shouting, "Wait till next year!" So are Republicans in Congress.

With adjournment set for Nov. 7, most of the GOP's legislative agenda is stalled or otherwise in limbo.

The list of unfinished items is long: a prescription drug bill, an energy bill, tort reform and school vouchers, among others. Prospects for passage grow dimmer each day.

Lawmakers are working furiously to beat the clock.

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Locked Out of Conferences, Democrats Start to Retaliate

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


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

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.


Responds to Reports that White House Will No Longer Entertain Questions from Democrats

For Immediate Release:

November 7, 2003

Contact:Stacey Farnen

WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to a news report in today’s Washington Post that the Bush White House will “not entertain any more questions from opposition lawmakers,” effectively preventing “Democrats from getting questions answered without the blessing of the GOP committee chairmen.”


House Democrats on Edge of Forcing Vote on Extending Unemployment Insurance for Millions of Out of Work Americans

200 Members Sign Discharge Petition, 18 More Needed for Floor Action

For Immediate Release:

November 7, 2003

Contact:Stacey Farnen

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after House Democrats succeeded in collecting 200 Democratic signatures on a “discharge petition” to force House consideration of H.Res.398, a rule which would allow consideration of H.R. 3244 (sponsored by Reps. Rangel/Cardin) and H.R. 3270 (Sponsored by Rep. Dunn).



“This Policy of Exclusion Offends Our Democratic Tradition”

For Immediate Release:

November 4, 2003

Contact:Stacey Farnen

WASHINGTON, DC – In a letter delivered to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (TX) this afternoon, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) expressed his deep concern with the tactics being utilized by Republican leaders in the House to exclude Democratic members from conference negotiations.  Representative Hoyer requested that Democratic conferees, as is tradition, be included in the conferences to which they were appointed.  Currently, many Democratic conferees are shut out of “conference” meetings.  The text of the letter is as follows: