Days after President Obama announced an alleged compromise between the White House and Republicans on the Bush era tax cuts, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters that the Senate is still in the process of working out the final details of the bill, but should be voting on the final package shortly. In fact, Senate floor debates on the tax cut deal may begin as early as today. (House Democrats, in a voice vote in a closed caucus meeting on December 9, rejected President Barack Obama's tax deal with Republicans in its current form, but it was unclear how much the package might need to be changed to secure approval, after which the bill would be sent to the Senate.)
The lame duck session of the 111th Congress is determined to make a reputation for itself as it continues to pass unpopular legislation for self-satisfactory purposes. The latest installment is the DREAM Act, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representative on Wednesday evening by a vote of 216-198.
With time running out on the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress, Democrats have bundled over 100 land-grab bills into one omnibus land bill, to be voted on as early as next week.
A bipartisan group of Senators are charging the Obama administration with knowing that the latest round of proposed regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will cost many Americans their jobs, while suppressing that information from the public.
FCC commissioner Michael Copps said the state of television news in America is in an "hour of grave peril," telling the Betty Kay of the BBC's World News America that TV is not "producing the body of news and information that democracy needs to conduct its civic dialogue." In fact, warns, Copps, because of this lack the current state of public discussion could be putting the nation's "democracy" in serious jeopardy.
The Illinois legislature has passed a bill legalizing civil unions in the state, including homosexual partnerships. When Democratic Governor Pat Quinn signs the bill, which he indicated he would do early next year, the law will make Illinois one of the few states granting rights to same-sex partners, and will push the state closer to legalizing homosexual "marriage." Quinn called the measure a "landmark law" that will become "the law of the land of Lincoln in the coming year." The statute is set to go into effect in June 2011.
It appears as though Minnesota’s new governor will be Democrat Mark Dayton, and it only took a little bit more than a month to come to that conclusion. On Wednesday, Republican Tom Emmer finally conceded the Minnesota governor’s race to the Democrat, who held a 9,000 vote election night lead.Fox News explains, “He could have sued over the election outcome but decided against it after a key state Supreme Court decision went against him. He cited the court’s opinion in his concession, but also alluded to major issues facing the state.”
Today, the lame-duck session of Congress has four cloture votes scheduled: the DREAM Act, the 9/11 health bill, a piece of legislation providing a one-time payment of $250 to senior citizens, and collective bargaining legislation in regard to firefighters. Likewise, Senate leadership is expected to bring to the floor the military defense authorization bill that holds a provision which would repeal the military policy “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
President Barack Obama held a live press conference Tuesday to announce the bipartisan compromise on the expiring Bush tax cuts. He also took the opportunity to target the Republican position on the tax cuts as detrimental to the middle class tax cuts, as well as accuse the Republicans of political maneuvering and obstructionism.
Despite the public backlash against “net neutrality” and the “Fairness Doctrine,” the Left and the federal government continue to push for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to grab further control of news programming. In a speech at the Columbia University School of Journalism, FCC Commisioner Michael Copps indicated his intent to impose a “public values test” and change relicensing requirements to every four years instead of the current eight years.