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Former DeLay aide cops plea, makes deal (15:48) - A former top aide to Rep. Tom DeLay pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy and promised to cooperate with a federal investigation of bribery and lobbying fraud that has so far netted three convictions and prompted calls for ethics reform in Congress.
Immigration debate may dominate political landscape (06:57) - The heated issue of what to do about the influx of illegal immigrants into America is threatening to become a dominant issue in presidential politics. That would be dreadful for this nation. With 8 million to 12 million immigrants illegally living in the United States, the clamor is loud for changes in immigration law. But there is no consensus on whether there should be a guest-worker program or a dramatic new effort to keep out immigrants through enhanced border security or an all-out push to force those here without documentation to leave.
Conservatives pissed over immigration bill (06:37) - House conservatives criticized President Bush, accused the Senate of fouling the air, said prisoners rather than illegal farm workers should pick America's crops and denounced the use of Mexican flags by protesters Thursday in a vehement attack on legislation to liberalize U.S. immigration laws.
John Dean joins drive to censure Bush (06:26) - Former White House counsel John Dean, who helped push President Richard Nixon from office during the Watergate scandal three decades ago, heads to Capitol Hill on Friday to back an uphill attempt to censure President George W. Bush.
The big debate: Who hit who and why? (04:41) - Rep. Cynthia McKinney, the Georgia congresswoman who had a physical altercation with a police officer, is speaking out about the episode after saying she regretted the incident. But she has refused to apologize in a statement and a brief on-camera interview.
Thursday 30 March
Did a GOP Rep get a sweetheart deal on a House? (02:20) - Rep. Jim Ryun on Wednesday denied allegations by Democrats that he received a "sweet real estate deal" when he purchased a town house from a nonprofit group with connections to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Another DeLay aide caught in a scam (10:00) - Tom DeLay's underlings learned well from the boss. "The Hammer" got rich by ripping off taxpayers, constituents and taking bribes from lobbyists." Now his former top advisor is caught using proceeds from a charity to get rich....
Saturday 25 March
Republicans get down and dirty with a porn star (09:00) - Mary Carey is a porn star who ran for governor of California (she lost although she might have been better in the job than the Terminator).She's also a guest of the President and Republican members of Congress at fancy fundraising...
Wednesday 15 March
Feingold pissed at fellow Dems (02:43) - Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold accused fellow Democrats on Tuesday of cowering rather than joining him on trying to censure President Bush over domestic spying.
"Democrats run and hide" when the administration invokes the war on terrorism, Feingold told reporters.
GOP Senator moves to shut down Iraq intel probe (02:41) - The chairman of the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday urged lawmakers to begin wrapping up the second phase of its investigation into U.S. intelligence on prewar Iraq, despite fresh demands from Democrats for further scrutiny.
Monday 13 March
Dems run and hide from Feingold's plan to censure Bush (20:38) - Democrats distanced themselves Monday from Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold's effort to censure President Bush over domestic spying, preventing a floor vote that could alienate swing voters. A day of tough, election-year talk between Feingold and Vice President Dick Cheney ended with Senate leaders sending the matter to the Judiciary Committee.
Feingold wants Bush censured (06:17) - A liberal Democrat and potential White House contender is proposing censuring President Bush for authorizing domestic eavesdropping, saying the White House misled Americans about its legality. "The president has broken the law and, in some way, he must be held accountable," Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., told The Associated Press in an interview. A censure resolution, which simply would scold the president, has been used just once in U.S. history -- against Andrew Jackson in 1834.
Lobbying reform? Ain't gonna happen (06:02) - In January, within days of the breaking of the worst lobbying scandal in decades, congressional leaders pledged swift and bold reform. That hasn't happened, and Congress may be months away from coming together on the issue. The Senate, within sight last week of passing a tough lobbying and ethics bill, got sidetracked by the Dubai port-management controversy and has moved on to other topics. House Republicans, at odds over such issues as whether to ban privately funded travel, have yet to introduce a bill.
Saturday 11 March
California GOP Rep quits (02:22) - U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly abruptly announced Friday that he is dropping his re-election bid because of a medical condition, leaving Republicans without a candidate just before the state filing deadline....
Friday 10 March
John Boehner: Just another congressman on the take (07:14) - For House Republican leader John Boehner, not all roads lead back home. The Ohio lawmaker has taken more exclusive golf outings, lobbyist-funded vacations and fund-raising excursions over 6-1/2 years than trips back to his home state to visit with constituents, a public watchdog group said Thursday.
Determining the true cost of war (07:02) - In a small, but symbolically significant move, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Judd Gregg. R-N.H., is considering treating the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a regular budget item.
Thursday 9 March
Congress wants age info on sex scenes on TV, film (02:18) - The U.S. House of Representatives has approved child-safety legislation that includes a provision bringing some legitimate film and TV productions under the same federal-reporting requirements as X-rated films. Under a provision inserted in the Children's Safety and Violent Crime Reduction Act, the legislation would require "any book, magazine, periodical, film, videotape or other matter" that contains a simulated sex scene to come under the same government-filing requirements that adult films have to meet.
Wednesday 8 March
The 'ex' factor (06:38) - There may be hope for Washington yet. We may have found a solution for reversing the partisan politics of hate that has crippled governance in the nation's capital.
Call it the X Factor. Or more accurately, the "Ex" Factor.
Patriot Act barely passes in House (02:04) - Law enforcement officials get to keep their antiterror tools, but with some new curbs, under the USA Patriot Act renewal passed by the House in a cliffhanger vote. The 280-138 vote Tuesday evening passed by just two votes more than needed under House rules requiring a two-thirds majority for legislation handled on an expedited basis.
DeLay an easy winner in Texas GOP primary (01:58) - Scandal-scarred U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay won handily in the Republican primary for his congressional seat on Tuesday, taking 61 percent of the votes against three opponents. The race had been seen as a barometer of his political strength since he resigned as House majority leader following indictment in Texas on campaign finance charges and his friendlobbyist Jack Abramoff was indicted in a Washington corruption scandal.
Tuesday 7 March
Things ain't looking too good for Katherine Harris (00:22) - Katherine Harris has seen better days. And those days were the days following the 2000 presidential election. At that time, the former Florida Secretary of State was labeled a Republican Party "hero" after overseeing the ballot dispute which handed George W. Bush a victory.
Monday 6 March
Congressional reform? Yeah, right (20:32) - The verdict is still out on whether Congress truly is the best money can buy, although the evidence is heavily weighted toward that being the case. There still is time to turn things around when the Senate takes up two major but watered down lobbying reform bills this week. But if the recent rejection by a Senate committee of a bipartisan proposal to establish an office that would oversee the enforcement of ethics and lobbying laws is any indication, redemption won't happen. The committee vote wasn't even close -- 11 to 5 against -- pretty much making it clear that even the shadow of Jack Abramoff isn't as long as one might imagine when it comes to what really counts, money.
Congress backs away from ethics reform (20:27) - A new set of ethics rules headed for a Senate vote this week is missing two big changes that many lawmakers pushed hard to get passed: a ban on privately financed travel and the creation of an independent watchdog office to oversee the conduct of lobbyists and members of Congress. After putting ethics atop its agenda amid an unfolding influence-peddling scandal two months ago, Congress has shown signs of retreat.
Hefley: DeLay 'dragged party down' (06:42) - Former House Ethics Committee chairman Joel Hefley got bounced from his job for daring investigate corrupt Majority Leader Tom DeLay but says that will not slow his drive to reform Congress.
Sunday 5 March
Murtha calls Pentagon's top general a liar (16:55) - Rep. John Murtha, the decorated ex-Marine turned Iraq war critic, Sunday called the Pentagon's chairman of the Joint Chiefs a liar for his rosy view of the war.
Cunningham goes from the House to the Big House (04:27) - Former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who collected $2.4 million in homes, yachts, antique furnishings and other bribes on a scale unparalleled in the history of Congress, was sentenced Friday to eight years and four months in prison, the longest term meted out to a congressman in decades.
Friday 3 March
Democrats and Republicans sell out to pass Patriot Act (06:24) - Republicans marched in lockstep while all but eight Democrats and one independent caved and voted to reauthorrize the rights-robbing USA Patriot Act Thursday, giving President George W. Bush the power he craves to ride roughshod over the Constitution. Those who sided with Bush included Democratic leader Harry Reid and every Republican member of the Senate, ending months of wrangling over renewal of the law that civil libertrarians call a major threat to freedom in this country.
Thursday 2 March
Odds improve for Democratic takeover of Congress (20:52) - A Democratic takeover of Congress, especially the House, appears possible this year despite conventional wisdom. Pundits and odds makers recently have upped the numbers of House districts they count as competitive despite a still common assumption that Congress is so carefully gerrymandered that challengers have little hope.
Republican Duncan Hunter vows to kill ports deal (20:10) - One of the most prominent House Republicans on military issues said Thursday he would try to scuttle a Dubai-based company's effort to manage U.S. ports as lawmakers' complaints about the Bush administration's handling of the issue continued to spread.
Cunningham begs for mercy (10:11) - Former California Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who showed no compassion for the voters who trusted him in office when he took bribes to enrich his lifestyle, is now pleading for mercy before the judge who is set to sentence him today.
Dems see Ohio as key to retaking control of Congress (05:51) - On Capitol Hill, Rep. Deborah Pryce is chairwoman of the Republican Conference, making her No. 4 in the House leadership structure and the highest-ranking woman in her party. But this year, back in her central Ohio district, those accomplishments could hurt as much as they help.
Conyers used staff as personal servants (04:37) - Three former aides to U.S. Rep. John Conyers say the lawmaker used them as baby sitters and personal servants while they were supposed to be working in his Michigan offices.
Election year jitters mean trouble for Bush's budget (02:12) - President Bush's Republican allies on Capitol Hill are nearing votes on his austere budget blueprint for next year, and it's clear it will look a lot different by the time they're finished. Nervous lawmakers are flinching from proposed spending cuts, and as GOP loyalists draft plans to implement the budget, election-year politics are driving their decisions.
Saturday 25 February
Santorum aides rip off charity (02:22) - Looks like self-righteous Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has some explaining to do as a review of expenses for his fancy charity Operation Good Neighbor charity shows less than half the money raised actually goes out in contributions while a big chunk goes to pay fat salaries to aides.
Contractor cops plea for bribing Congressman (01:04) - Defense contractor Mitchell Wade pleaded guilty on Friday to bribing former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham and illegally funneling money to two other lawmakers, a court official said.
Wednesday 22 February
Incredible. Just incredible (06:15) - After a spate of corruption scandals snared several House Republicans, the party declared its sincere intention to reform politics as usual on Capitol Hill. That they could make such declarations with a straight face is remarkable.
Monday 20 February
Frist: We don't need no stinkin' new spying laws (00:04) - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, standing firmly with the White House on the administration's eavesdropping program, said Sunday he doesn't think new or updated legislation is needed to govern domestic surveillance to foil terrorists....
Lawmakers pissed over port takeover by Arabs (00:01) - U.S. terms for approving an Arab company's takeover of operations at six major American ports are insufficient to guard against terrorist infiltration, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said Sunday....
Sunday 19 February
So much for ethics reform (08:39) - Ethics reform, seemingly on a fast-track in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal, has slowed to a crawl in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Saturday 18 February
Roberts waffles on domestic spying (17:36) - The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, breaking ranks with the president on domestic eavesdropping, says he wants a special court to oversee the program. But less than a day later, a top aide to Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., sought to clarify his position.
Prosecutors seek 10 year term for Cunningham (17:34) - Prosecutors sought the maximum 10-year sentence against former U.S. Rep. Randy Cunningham, citing a "bribe menu" in which the decorated Vietnam veteran detailed what a defense contractor must pay in exchange for Pentagon business.
A game of chicken on Capitol Hill (05:41) - Under White House pressure, the Senate Intelligence Committee flinched and backed away from an investigation of the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping program.
Specter faces an ethics problem (05:32) - Sen. Arlen Specter is defending a staff member against published charges that millions of dollars in special defense projects had been directed to companies represented by the lobbying firm led by the aide's husband.
Thursday 16 February
Patriot Act headed for permanent renewal (05:12) - The USA Patriot Act is headed toward renewal with most of its onerous individual rights violations intact and broad Senate support for a White House-brokered compromise that adds a few token new civil liberties protections to the terror-fighting law.
Wednesday 15 February
A lesson in old-fashioned politics (02:37) - With a shove from party leaders, Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett abruptly quit a key Senate race in Ohio and further exposed a disconnect between the Democratic establishment and Internet-fueled challengers.
Questions about project Able Danger (01:42) - Pre-Sept. 11 intelligence conducted by a secret military unit identified terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta 13 different times, a congressman said Tuesday.
Tuesday 14 February
The blame game: Lots of hype, no results (06:08) - As always, Congress is focusing on the sins of the past and not the present. From that standpoint, the current investigations into the Katrina disaster are a familiar repeat of the blame game that can serve little useful purpose because the chances are good the errors will be repeated.
Campaign reform frenzy overlooks leadership PACs (06:04) - Many campaign finance experts see leadership PACs as part of the problem, a way to skirt campaign limits and hide special-interest ties. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., have said leadership PACs should be included in the reform debate, especially in terms of how involved in them lobbyists can be.
Sunday 12 February
House committee chair says Bush's spying program is useless (20:35) - The House Intelligence Committee chairman Sunday said President Bush's secret eavesdropping program on Americans is useless because al-Qaida undoubtedly has changed its means of communication to avoid Washington's monitoring.
Republicans join Democrats in wanting probe of Cheney (20:33) - Republican and Democratic senators want Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate Vice President Dick Cheney and others in the CIA leak probe to determine if they authorized an aide to give secret information to reporters.
Scandal-scarred Republicans question Bush's actions (05:12) - President Bush came under fire from fellow Republicans Friday on his failed policies on Irag, health care, immigration and other hot-button issues in a closed meeting meant to rally party members for this year's congressional elections.
Saturday 11 February
Newest Senator nails Bush on budget (15:53) - The budget proposed by President Bush adds to middle-class burdens while providing greater benefits for the wealthy and oil companies, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said Saturday.
Pombo billed taxpayers for RV vacation (05:49) - House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo took his family on a summertime tour of national parks in a recreational vehicle and billed taxpayers for the entire vacation. Pombo, another Republican living large at taxpayer expense, claims it was appropriate to charge the $4,935 two-week rental of an RV to the government because of his committee oversees the nation's parks and public lands.
Lobbyist says Abramoff bills exaggerated Reid contacts (04:11) - One of Jack Abramoff's ex-colleagues confirmed Friday he contacted Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid's office on behalf of the influential lobbyist but says Abramoff's billing records inflate the amount and extent of his work.
"When Abramoff first arrived at Greenberg Traurig, I did a new colleague a favor by simply asking Reid staffers about when the minimum wage legislation affecting the Mariana Islands would be voted upon by the Senate. I communicated this to Abramoff," Platt said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. Ronald Platt, a lobbyist who worked with Abramoff at the Greenberg Traurig firm between 2001 and 2004, said he contacted Reid's office in 2001, as the billing records show, about the timing of minimum wage legislation affecting Abramoff's Northern Mariana Islands client.
Hastert, Reid back Patriot Act compromise (00:19) - Legislation to renew the anti-terror Patriot Act was cleared for final congressional passage Friday when House Speaker Dennis Hastert blessed a day-old compromise between the White House and Senate Republicans. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid also indicated he will vote for the bill when it comes to a vote, possibly next week.
Friday 10 February
Democrat Reid also took Abramoff client money and went to bat for them (06:08) - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid portrays convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff's activities as involving only Republicans. But Abramoff's billing records and congressional correspondence tell a different story. They show Abramoff's lobbying team billed for nearly two dozen contacts with Reid's office in a single year to mostly discuss Democratic legislation that would have set the minimum hourly wage for the Northern Mariana Islands, an Abramoff client, initially almost $3 lower than other U.S. states and territories. Reid, D-Nev., also wrote at least four letters to the Bush administration helpful to Indian tribes Abramoff represented, often collecting donations from Abramoff-related sources around the same time.
Thursday 9 February
Republicans reward DeLay with plum committee seat (01:08) - House GOP leaders proved Wednesday that they reward, not punish, corruption by giving scandal-scarred Rep. Tom DeLay, forced to step down as the No. 2 Republican in the House, a coveted seat on the Appropriations Committee....
Tuesday 7 February
Bush's budget headaches (03:33) - President Bush sent his GOP allies in Congress an austere budget for next year that is filled with political land mines and flush with difficult choices....
Monday 6 February
Congress reluctant to give up junkets (06:16) - The public outcry over abuses of Congressional travel has not deterred members of Congress from resisting efforts to limit their junkets to exotic lands. Even the man picked to replace the system's biggest abuser wants the practice of Congressional junkets...
Republicans running scared (04:25) - Republicans are running scared in a number of key House and Seante race. In Pennsylvania, Sen. Rick Santorum (R) has been running behind his challenger for months. In Montana, Sen. Conrad Burns (R), linked to the Jack Abramoff scandal, is...
Saturday 4 February
Is John Boehner just another Tom DeLay? (22:14) - Over the years, new House Majority Leader John Boehner (right) has built a political empire with similarities to the fundraising machine of the man he's replacing, Rep. Tom DeLay. The Ohio congressman, who won an upset victory for the House...