Lobbyists will be busier than ever in the next weeks and months ahead, trying to influence both the makeup and the recommendations of the new "supercommittee" that is supposed to recommend $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions over the next ten years. Under the terms of Budget Control Act of 2011 passed by the Congress and signed by President Obama on Tuesday, mandatory budget cuts will take effect if Congress cannot agree on the committee recommendations or some other plan to reduce the amounts being added annually to the nation's debt. The prospect of mandatory cuts has alarmed and aroused lobbyists and trade groups, especially those in the powerful defense and health care industries.
Texas Congressman and GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul continues to champion constitutional rights. His latest endeavor is a bill that would abolish “gun-free zones,” ultimately permitting teachers to carry firearms on school grounds. Predictably, anti-gun groups are calling the legislation “extremist.”
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's campaign for President announced that Romney has a committee of 63 lawyers advising his campaign August 2, and that list includes Bush administration torture lawyer Steven Bradbury. Bradbury, the Deputy Attorney General who approved the Bush administration torture policy written by John Yoo and Jay S. Bybee, is also known for telling congressional investigators, "The President is always right."
A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction against a Kansas law that bans funding of abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Court Judge J. Thomas Marten was “incredulous” at the state’s insistence that the law prohibiting abortion funding did not target Planned Parenthood specifically, ruling that the law was intended to punish the abortion provider and would eventually be overturned.