Raising fresh questions about his appointment to Congress, Sen. Roland Burris admitted in a document released Saturday that former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother asked him for campaign fundraising help before the governor named Burris as Illinois' junior senator.
The disclosure reflects a major omission from Burris' testimony in January when an Illinois House impeachment committee specifically asked if he had ever spoken to Robert Blagojevich or other aides to the now-deposed governor about the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.
Handing the new administration a big win, the House Friday passed President Barack Obama's $787 billion plan to resuscitate the economy.
The bill was passed 246-183 with no Republican help. It now goes to the Senate where a vote was possible late Friday to meet a deadline of passing the plan before a recess begins next week.
Economic stimulus legislation at the heart of President Barack Obama's recovery plan is on track for final votes in the House and Senate after a dizzying final round of bargaining that yielded agreement on tax cuts and spending totaling $789 billion.
Obama, who has campaigned energetically for the legislation, welcomed the agreement, saying it would "save or create more than 3.5 million jobs and get our economy back on track."
Negotiators hoped to seal agreement on President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package Wednesday after making good progress in the first rounds of closed-door talks.
Obama's negotiating team insisted on restoring some lost funding for school construction projects as talks began Tuesday in hopes of striking a quick agreement, but by late in the day it appeared resigned to losing up to $40 billion in aid to state governments.
Top Democrats plan to add a big increase in highway and mass transit funding to President Barack Obama's economic recovery program Tuesday, even as others in the president's party hope to rein in the plan's almost $1 trillion cost to taxpayers.
A move by Patty Murray, D-Wash., to add $25 billion in infrastructure projects is first in line as the Senate begins thrashing through dozens of proposed changes to the sprawling $885 billion measure.
Tom Daschle's former Democratic colleagues were rallying to his defense after he met behind closed doors with the Senate Finance Committee to discuss problems with back taxes and potential conflicts of interest, but lawmakers promised he will face more questions.
Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader, is President Barack Obama's nominee to oversee the Health and Human Services Department.
True to his pledge on the campaign trail, President Obama, in the spirit of bipartisanship and a more civil tone in Washington politics, ventured to Capitol Hill this week for separate closed-door meetings with House and Senate Republicans to sell his $825 billion stimulus plan.
It was a trip he didn't have to make. The stimulus plan will ultimately pass, although getting it through the Senate might be a bit of a chore. In any case, Obama failed in his mission. He changed no Republican minds, but the president got high marks for trying.
Congressional Republicans, seeing bipartisanship as a one-way street that serves their needs, plan to throw up roadblocks to President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plans unless he gives in to their demands.
GOP leaders in both the House and Senate say they will urge their followers to vote "no" unless Obama caves in.
So much for the spirit of bipartisanship.
Congress is set to tackle the economy this week by considering President Barack Obama's choice to head the Treasury Department and by acting on legislation to spur economic growth.
The Senate could confirm Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary as early as Monday, after delaying a vote because Geithner failed to pay some of his federal taxes earlier this decade. Geithner settled his delinquent taxes shortly before Obama nominated him, and senators from both parties have said they expect him to be confirmed. Geithner would oversee the financial industry bailout approved by Congress.
Why is filling a vacant Senate seat suddenly so difficult?
Barack Obama's victory in the presidential race left his Senate seat vacant and there were a host of qualified Illinois politicians eager to fill it. Gov. Rod Blagojevich had a plan to simplify the selection -- sell it to the highest bidder. Unfortunately, this didn't sit well with federal prosecutors.