Capitol Hillbillies

Gun control laws on shaky ground in Congress

Gun control laws on shaky ground in Congress

President Barack Obama’s prospects for winning near-universal background checks for gun purchases seemed shaky as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepared for Congress’ first votes on curbing firearms since December’s horrific shootings at a Connecticut elementary school. The Democratic-led panel had four bills on its agenda Thursday as lawmakers began shaping their response to the slaughter […]

Exiting Social Security boss faults President, Congress & others for agency’s problems

Exiting Social Security boss faults President, Congress & others for agency’s problems

Outgoing Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue has some parting shots for Congress, the White House and advocates for seniors. They have all “really walked away from Social Security,” he says, leaving the program “fraying because of inattention to its problems.” Instead of making the hard choices to fix Social Security’s financial problems, policymakers “use […]

Obama may bypass Congress, use executive action to impose gun control

Obama may bypass Congress, use executive action to impose gun control

Facing powerful opposition to sweeping gun regulations, President Barack Obama is weighing 19 steps that could be taken through executive action alone, congressional officials said. Those steps could include ordering stricter action against people who lie on gun sale background checks, striking limits on federal research into gun use, ordering tougher penalties against gun trafficking, […]

Sex, booze, drugs and the naked truth about members of Congress

Sex, booze, drugs and the naked truth about members of Congress

It’s no secret that members of Congress get drunk, screw around and do stupid things. They always have and they always will. Power is a natural aphrodisiac. “Washington is basically a very horny city,” former lobbyist Paula Parkinson once said. Parkinson should know. She was a free-spirited sort who cavorted with Republicans, including disgraced Illinois […]

Funding deal reached to avoid government shutdown

Funding deal reached to avoid government shutdown

House and Senate negotiators reached a last-minute deal late Thursday to fund the U.S.government through September 30 of next year — staving off a government shutdown that would have started at midnight Friday. “Houston, we no longer have a problem,” a relieved House aide told Capitol Hill Blue.  “We can go home for Christmas.” Both […]

Personal threats a job perk for Congress

Personal threats a job perk for Congress

Growing hazard for members of Congress: Threats — both real and perceived. Pennies tinged in red, purported to be in blood, arrive at the office of outgoing speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with a message that says “no more blood for war.” The red turned out to be paint but the message is clear. FBI documents […]

Happy birthday to us

Happy birthday to us

Capitol Hill Blue is 16 years old this morning. That’s right: 16. In Internet terms, that’s a lifetime…and more. This experiment in web political journalism began on October 1, 1994: Long before the Drudge Report, the Huffington Post, Politico and others. Many politcal news web sites that followed us vanished years ago in cyber ether. […]

And they’re off! Gridlocked Congress leaves town

And they’re off! Gridlocked Congress leaves town

Battle-weary members of Congress are coming soon to neighborhoods near you to press for re-election, more eager to campaign before angry constituents than compromise in Washington on tax cuts, child nutrition or a federal budget. Majority Democrats facing tough re-election fights rebelled in both chambers Wednesday against their leaders’ decisions to call off controversial votes, […]

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