Debate over the payroll tax cut remains heated as House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio, left) demanded from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) a year-long tax cut. The challenge threw another wrench into the negotiations on the deal, which, if not reached by the New Year, will result in an increase in payroll taxes as the present payroll tax reduction expires.

Trent FranksPro-life Congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) has introduced a bill that would prohibit abortionists from killing babies based on their sex or race. Under the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PreNDA), individuals convicted of coercing a woman into getting an abortion because of her baby’s sex or race could face up to five years in jail for the crime. Additionally, the abortionist facilitating the coerced killing could be prosecuted.

DEA moneyAs the “Fast and Furious” gun-trafficking scandal continues to grow, Congress is now investigating a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) program that was laundering money for Mexican cartels. Meanwhile, multiple cartel leaders and reports continue to suggest that the federal government is deeply involved in the narcotics and arms trades.

CongressThe House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill (H.R. 10) to prevent the President from imposing major regulations on the country without the approval of Congress . Entitled the REINS Act — Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny — the bill is intended to rein in the executive branch's usurpation of legislative power via issuing rules by executive fiat.

Congress will soon be consummating its most underactive session in recent decades, as both chambers of the legislature will have passed a meager number of bills compared with other non-election years. As debates over tax policy and government spending heat up Congress, Washington’s seemingly hyperactive legislative hearings are in fact rather fruitless, and many critics have taken the small amount of legislation as indicative of the federal government's waning degree of power.

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