Capitol Hillbillies

Wind-powered energy gains momentum

By LEE BOWMAN

Although thousands of giant windmills are generating power at wind farms in 36 states, a new government-sponsored environmental study says more attention needs to be paid to potential impacts on wildlife and humans as new complexes are built.

Democrats ponder revised war funding bill

050407dems.jpgDefiant Democratic leaders in the House are considering a proposal that would pay for the Iraq war at least through July but could cut off funding after that if the Iraqi government does not meet certain political and security goals, congressional officials said Thursday.

Congress to VA: About those bonuses

Congressional leaders on Thursday demanded that the Veterans Affairs secretary explain hefty bonuses for senior department officials involved in crafting a budget that came up $1 billion short and jeopardized veterans’ health care.

Bush, Congress still looking for deal on Iraq

President Bush’s top aides restarted negotiations with Democrats Thursday in a quest to find bipartisan consensus on how to bankroll the protracted war in Iraq.

No deal was immediately struck and lawmakers said they planned to continue discussions early next week.

Why did cops kill a 92-year-old woman?

A botched drug raid that ended the life of a 92-year-old woman in a hail of police gunfire is drawing questions from House members about the use of informants.

Police burst into Kathryn Johnston’s Atlanta home last fall using a no-knock warrant they obtained by lying to a judge about drug activity there, according to prosecutors.

Vacations? During a war?

Lawmakers divided over whether to keep U.S. troops in Iraq are finding common ground on at least one topic: They are furious that Iraqi politicians are considering a lengthy break this summer.

"If they go off on vacation for two months while our troops fight — that would be the outrage of outrages," said Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn.

GOP Rep settles back taxes

Arizona Rep. Rick Renzi avoided federal campaign penalties by paying $323,830 in back taxes last year to reassure regulators that loans to his political committee came from his own pocket.

Lawmakers want gun data

When handguns with bullets that can pierce body armor showed up on the streets of New Jersey, Sen. Frank Lautenberg asked federal regulators to share data that could help local police figure out where the weapons were coming from.

That information, the New Jersey Democrat was told, is off-limits.