Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn announced that he will block the 9/11 Responders bill from coming to the Senate floor before Christmas. Coburn and his Republican colleagues have articulated numerous concerns with the bill, including the $6.2 billion cost.
The new START Treaty appears to be on its way to ratification as pressure to move forward on the treaty has increased. According to the AFP, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have targeted wary lawmakers to encourage support of the treaty. Meanwhile, a vote to end debate on the treaty is expected to take place today or tomorrow.
On Monday, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey signed an order commuting Brian Aitken's sentence from seven years to time served.
Aitken was convicted in early 2009 in New Jersey for illegally possessing two handguns, a "high capacity magazine," and hollow point ammunition, all of which he purchased legally from a Bass Pro Shop outlet in Colorado.
The Obama Administration is working behind the scenes to overturn a rule, implemented by President Bush in 2008, that re-enforces the rights of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers to refuse on moral or ethical grounds their professional involvement in abortions.
Last weekend, the United States Senate voted 65-31 in favor of repealing the 17-year military policy, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The Senate vote followed a Thursday night vote in the House of Representatives, where the repeal was passed by a vote of 250-175. However, though the policy was repealed through the legislative process, lawmakers have elected to allow the military to write the rules on the process of repealing the ban on homosexual service members.