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After Using Surveillance Outrage to Collect Personal Information, Alan Grayson Offers No Legislation

Two and a half months ago, Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida used outrage at the unfolding NSA surveillance scandal to declare his intention to offer an amendment to an otherwise unrelated piece of legislation. That amendment would have ended the NSA’s massive collection of personally identifiable information without a direct connection to terrorism. The idea [...]

Is Your Member of Congress Rewarding Corporations that Move Production Out of the U.S.?

As years pass, corporations have been cutting more and more manufacturing jobs in America and shipping those jobs halfway around the world to factories in Asia, which then ship their products back to the United States for sale. There’s nothing wrong in the abstract with people in Asia having jobs — it’s when we get [...]

OH-12: Pat Tiberi Talks Jobs But Does Nothing to Create Them

On the subject of jobs, congressman Patrick Tiberi likes to talk tough, declaring over and over again what Congress must do to bring jobs back to America:

Jobs, not health care, should be the focus of Congress and the president, U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Genoa Township) told the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.

“That’s [...]

LGBT Equality Caucus Expands, Constrains Members to Varying Effect

Since its re-registration as an official Congressional Member Organization of the 111th Congress, the LGBT Equality Caucus has expanded, welcoming additional members Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Steve Israel of New York and Chellie Pingree of Maine. The caucus boasts 79 members now, nearly one out of five members of the House of Representatives. By the [...]

Why Not Resign? Roland Burris Can't Even Pen an Original Senate Bill

Why, the plaintive tone in to-be-Senator Roland Burris‘ voice comes right off the page when you read of his November 2008 phone call to Governor Rod Blagojevich’s brother: “Tell Rod to keep me in mind for that seat, would ya?…. I know I could give him a check myself.”

How embarrassing. But I have to [...]

Who Follows John Murtha on Military Bills? Magliocchettites?

To date, Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania has been a central congressional figure in the FBI’s investigative hairs this year: Murtha is suspected of doling out military contracts in the form of earmarks to the clients of lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti, in exchange for campaign contributions to Murtha from Magliocchetti, his family, his employees and his [...]

101 Do Nothing Members of the United States Congress (3-2-2009)

As of today, 101 members of the 111th Congress of the United States have the dubious dishonor of not having introduced a single bill for consideration.

Let me be clear about what I mean by this. When I last reported on inactivity in the Congress two weeks ago, someone (a staffer?) gave me a hard [...]

Cosponsorship Networks in the U.S. Senate as of March 1, 2009

Cosponsorship, the act of registering one’s name as an official supporter of a bill, is a common activity in the United States Senate. Although the 111th Congress is less than two months old, 1753 cosponsorships for 495 Senate Bills and 11 Senate Joint Resolutions have been officially registered. That’s an average of 3 cosponsorships per [...]

150 Do-Nothing Members of the United States Congress

As of today, 150 members of the 111th Congress of the United States have the dubious dishonor of not having introduced a single substantive bill for consideration. The following members of the House of Representatives have not introduced a single House bill or joint resolution:

Rep. Robert B. Aderholt, Republican of Alabama District 4. District [...]

Frequency Distribution of Cosponsorship in the House through 2/8/09

For some time now, the writers of Irregular Times have been following the doings in the United States Congress with the kind of fascination that one sees in the occasional rubbernecker on the highway who actually stops to get a closer look at the carnage. We’re obsessed enough that we’ve branched out, in a manner [...]

What Legislation Matters in the 111th Congress?

While President Barack Obama remains just about the most popular politician in Washington, considerable public attention should be shifting to the Congress now that the presidential election of 2008 is past. Obama’s legislative agenda has to be passed through the House and Senate, after all, and there are some policy initiatives heading through those bodies [...]