Congress

Budget Critics Say Furor Over Tax Provision Highlights Big Flaws in Process

For Immediate Release:

November 25, 2004

Contact:Joseph J. Schatz and Jill Barshay

Congressional Quarterly

The hasty and haphazard completion of nine overdue fiscal 2005 spending bills raised new appeals from lawmakers that Congress figure out a better way to enact its annual budget.

Lawmakers combined the nine appropriations bills into a huge $388.4 billion omnibus in the recently completed lame-duck session — a process that left some lawmakers expressing outrage. The new fiscal year began Oct. 1, and appropriators resorted to creating an omnibus package in an effort to enact the overdue spending bills as quickly as possible.

The Nine Bills at a Glance

House Democrats Endorse Their Leadership

For Immediate Release:

November 17, 2004

Contact:Jonathan Allen

Congressional Quarterly

Despite losing seats Nov. 2, House Democratic leaders said Wednesday their caucus is energized and ready to confront the Republican majority in the new Congress.

During a news conference following a meeting of House Democrats, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said leaders are not licking their wounds from this month’s election results, but instead focused on the future. “This Democratic Caucus is now ready to do that,” she said.

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Analysis: Cracks in the GOP power facade

For Immediate Release:

November 17, 2004

Contact:Christian Bourge

United Press International

Although the Republican leadership in the House and Senate has been emboldened by the gains made in the Nov. 2 election, cracks are begging to show in the veneer of party invulnerability that GOP leaders sought to promote over the last two weeks.

As Republicans move to protect their own from outside attacks and potential legal problems while setting their conservative agenda in motion, signs of potential problems in the 109th Congress have been seen over the last couple of days.

Posted in

House Republicans Act to Protect DeLay

For Immediate Release:

November 18, 2004

Contact:Charles Babington and Helen Dewar

The Washington Post

Emboldened by their election success, House Republicans changed their rules yesterday to allow Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Tex.) to keep his post even if a grand jury indicts him, and Senate GOP leaders continued to weigh changing long-standing rules governing filibusters to prevent Democrats from blocking President Bush's most conservative judicial nominees.

Democrats Blast New GOP Rule

For Immediate Release:

November 18, 2004

Contact:Ben Pershing and Erin P. Billings

Roll Call

House Republicans changed their Conference rules Wednesday to allow indicted party leaders and committee chairmen an opportunity to remain in their posts, even as Democrats moved to toughen their own internal guidelines on the subject.

The GOP rule change was devised as a way to prevent Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) from losing his leadership post if he is indicted by a Texas grand jury in connection with an investigation into corporate donations to state political campaigns.

Democrats Vow to Hold Bush Accountable

For Immediate Release:

November 10, 2004

Contact:Charles Babington and Dan Balz

The Washington Post

Congressional Democrats returned to Washington in a defiant mood yesterday, making no apologies for the campaign in which they lost congressional seats and the presidential race and vowing to hold President Bush accountable for his handling of the deficit, the Iraq war and other issues.

In his first public comments since conceding defeat to Bush, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) did not rule out a bid in 2008 and promised to keep pushing the issues he championed this year.

House Leadership Appears Largely Stable on Both Sides for 109th Congress

For Immediate Release:

November 12, 2004

Contact:Susan Ferrechio
Congressional Quarterly

As the 108th Congress prepares to take its final votes, this also will be the week that the 109th Congress starts to take shape.

House freshmen are getting an indoctrination in the way things work, returning members are deciding whether to trade up to the more spacious offices of the soon-to-be-departed, and the House’s Republican Conference and Democratic Caucus are renewing the leases on their leadership teams.

Each will meet this week to elect their leaders and vote on the rules that will govern their respective parties.

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Statement of the Family Steering Committee on Stalled Intel Reform Bill

For Immediate Release:

November 24, 2004

Contact:Afshin Mohamadi
202-225-7944

Last week, the American people saw Washington at its worst.  Partisan politics, turf battles and status quo complacency took precedence over Congress's most fundamental and sacred obligation - to protect the citizens of this country against our enemies. America saw members of Congress sent scurrying home by Speaker Hastert, leaving unfinished the most important legislation of all - fixing the core problems that allowed 9/11 to happen.

DEBACLE ON TAXPAYER PROVISION EPITOMIZES REPUBLICANS’ ABUSE OF PROCESS

Hoyer Says House Republicans Refuse to Let House Work Its Will on Omnibus and Other Bills

For Immediate Release:

December 6, 2004

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the House considered legislation directing the Clerk of the House to delete a provision from the Omnibus Appropriations Bill that could have given staff members of the Appropriations Committee broad access to Americans’ tax returns:

“This entire episode is the tip of the iceberg of a much more serious problem that ought to concern the American people: the abuse of power that has now become routine under this Republican House Majority.

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HOYER STATEMENT ON CONTROVERSIAL TAXPAYER PROVISION

Says Republican Abuse of Power Is At Fault, Democratic Objections Will Help Force Vote on 9/11 Legislation

For Immediate Release:

November 24, 2004

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON - House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer released the following statement today regarding the inclusion of a controversial provision which would have given certain Congressional staff access to taxpayers' tax returns in the massive 2005 Omnibus Appropriations Conference Report:

“This colossal blunder was anticipated. 

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