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NEWS
December 23, 2014 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - It was a strange experience for Jim Gerlach: After more than 20 years in public office, he was sitting out an election. Gerlach, a Chester County Republican, had decided to leave office after a decade in the state legislature and 12 years in Congress - making for some odd feelings as he saw campaigns ramp up last fall without him. Gerlach, 59, is one of three local members of Congress who leave office Jan. 3. He, Jon Runyan (R.,...
NEWS
December 31, 2015
By Noah Feldman This was supposed to be the year President Obama would use unilateral executive action to accomplish major goals of his administration that had been blocked by Congress: relaxing deportations, closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and restricting access to guns. But all three goals stalled. Obama's executive action on immigration, announced in November 2014, was stymied in the federal courts, and the Supreme Court has yet to decide whether to hear the administration's appeal.
NEWS
July 1, 2012 | By Christine Armario, Associated Press
Congress may have averted a doubling of interest rates on millions of new federal student loans, but the fix is only for a year, leaving students on edge over whether they'll face a similar increase next summer. "It's scary," said Faith Nebergall, a student at Indiana University whose loans currently total upward of $20,000. "And it's unfair to kind of be kept in the dark as to how much money we owe. " Under the agreement, interest rates on new subsidized Stafford loans will remain at 3.4 percent.
NEWS
February 7, 1997 | INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
Despite the attention it gets every year, the President's budget is only a plan. Congress actually writes the laws that set taxes and spending. Here's a quick look at the process: Clinton's budget proposal now goes to Congress, where dozens of House and Senate committees will have a hand in picking it apart, keeping what they like and changing the rest. Virtually all 535 members of Congress become involved in one way or another. The first step will be a budget resolution, which sets a total spending level for the government, as well as maximums for broad categories of spending, such as transportation and housing.
NEWS
January 14, 1986
Early word from the White House reports that President Reagan intends to use his Jan. 21 State of the Union address to ask Congress to revise the way it sets priorities on taxing and spending. Obviously Congress needs to do better; its budget process hasn't worked as intended for years. Even so, President Reagan's proposal would take a flawed process and make it worse. Essentially Mr. Reagan intends to ask for more power to tell Congress what to do. Currently Congress sets priorities by having both houses pass an annual resolution establishing ceilings per category of spending.
NEWS
August 5, 2012 | By Kim Geiger, Tribune Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The American public increasingly favors allowing same-sex marriage, but most of the country's representatives in Congress are not convinced. A new survey by the gay-rights group Human Rights Campaign found that just 34 percent of House and Senate members support same-sex marriage while 44 percent oppose and 23 percent have unknown or unclear positions. The survey gauged each member's views on the issue by asking if the member believed same-sex couples should have the right to marry.
NEWS
October 21, 1986
I am deeply disappointed by the collapse of the Iceland summit because of our President's unwillingness to compromise over "Star Wars," a concept that seems to have more in common with science fiction than with the realities of our contemporary world. In this way a historic chance has been lost to lessen the danger of nuclear war and to curb the arms race. Let us all do whatever possible to urge our representatives in Congress to reverse this backward step, even at this late hour, and thus continue the momentum toward better relations with the Soviet Union.
NEWS
December 7, 2007
Another year, another "do-nothing" Congress. The only thing that has changed is the party in power. After spending most of the last 10 years in the minority, the Democrats took control of Congress in January with great fanfare. But on most issues ranging from war policy to health care, the new Congress has been more talk than walk. Lawmakers are two months late on the most basic task: passing annual spending bills to fund government operations. Failing to meet basic goals is bad enough.
NEWS
December 21, 1990 | By Charles Green, Inquirer Washington Bureau The Washington Post contributed to this article
The White House said yesterday that it would welcome a resolution from Congress endorsing the use of force in the Middle East, but Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell (D., Maine) predicted legislators would not approve such a measure because it would amount to a "blank check. " White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said President Bush feels that a congressional resolution similar to the one adopted three weeks ago by the United Nations would be "the way to go" if Congress wanted to be "helpful" in the Persian Gulf crisis.
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NEWS
September 15, 2016
ISSUE | TERM LIMITS Support Pa. bill for Constitutional Convention Elected officials ignore demands for term limits, taking the position that voters can limit terms by voting. The election system is stacked for incumbents. Article V of the U.S. Constitution authorizes two-thirds of the states to call a "convention for proposing amendments. " Eight states have approved a concurrent resolution that petitions Congress to call such a convention for amendments to "limit terms of officials and members of Congress" and to "impose fiscal restraints on the federal government.
NEWS
August 2, 2016 | By Emma Platoff, Staff Writer
On June 7, in a funky upstairs office at the SoHa Arts Building in Haddon Township, Alex Law choked back tears - not entirely successfully - as he thanked a room full of volunteers for their efforts on his congressional campaign, an effort that he had just learned failed by 40 points. In the eight weeks since he lost a hard-fought primary to incumbent Rep. Donald Norcross, Law, 25, has moved into a new apartment in Collingswood, free-lanced as a consultant for small businesses in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, and made public appearances with likely 2017 gubernatorial candidate Steve Fulop.
NEWS
June 23, 2016
CONGRESS is covered in shame today. Or should be. And extra shame goes to Pennsylvania. Why is this day different from the last, oh, 10 years? For one thing, today the body count of victims of mass murderers is higher than ever, with last week's Orlando shooting adding 49 deaths to the total. And yet, Monday night, four gun-control proposals failed in the Senate. Again. Senate Republicans, many of whom put special interests ahead of the American people, rejected a measure that would prohibit those on the terrorist "no-fly" list from purchasing guns.
NEWS
June 20, 2016
Pat Toomey is the Republican U.S. senator from Pennsylvania The issue of gun violence has been with us for a long time, but it has clearly and painfully gotten worse in recent years. Our response to the devastating attack in Orlando must be part of our broader war against violent Islamist extremists and is by no means limited to the issue of guns. Nonetheless, the Orlando attack highlights the critical need for us to do more to prevent criminals, those with dangerous mental illnesses, and terrorists, from obtaining weapons.
NEWS
June 9, 2016 | By Chris Brennan, Staff Writer
T. Milton Street Sr.'s path to appear on an Election Day ballot may pass through a Philadelphia courtroom for the third time in five years. Street, a former state senator who served time in federal prison for unpaid taxes, and ran for mayor in 2011 and 2015, announced Monday that he will run as an independent for the Second Congressional District seat in the Nov. 8 general election. Just one problem: Street has been a registered Republican since January. The Pennsylvania Election Code says independent candidates must leave their political parties at least 30 days before the primary election to be eligible to appear on the general election ballot.
NEWS
June 8, 2016 | By Chris Brennan, Staff Writer
T. Milton Street Sr., the Pennsylvania-state-senator-turned-federal-inmate-turned-two-time-Philadelphia-mayoral-candidate, has a new challenge in mind: Running as an independent for the House. Street on Monday said he would run for the Second Congressional District seat in the Nov. 8 general election. He would face State Rep. Dwight Evans, a Democrat, and Republican James Jones. Street, 77, said a formal announcement would come in two weeks. He must collect by Aug. 1 nomination petitions signed by 3,623 people registered to vote in the district, which covers parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County.
NEWS
May 19, 2016 | By Dana Milbank
In February, when Rep. David Jolly introduced his quixotic plan to ban members of Congress from soliciting campaign contributions, the Florida Republican had only six cosponsors. Then, three weeks ago, 60 Minutes did a sympathetic piece on Jolly's idea, giving national attention to the scandal of lawmakers spending 30 or more hours a week dialing for dollars. And now? The number of cosponsors on Jolly's bill has jumped from six all the way up to - um, eight. No senator has come forward with similar legislation.
NEWS
April 27, 2016 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Staff Writer
CAPE MAY - When Curtis Bashaw and his resort company took on the restoration of historic Congress Hall in the early 2000s, even his closest friends thought he had a screw loose. "A lot of people thought this was just never going to work . . . that it was just too big of a project to ever be successful," Bashaw said. "Friends tried to talk us out of doing it. People even went to City Council to try to stop it from happening. " It wasn't the first time locals doubted the prudence of the place.
NEWS
April 21, 2016
DEMOCRATIC VOTERS will have a lot of strong choices on the ballot in Tuesday's primary. The headliner is Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination for president. We will have more on that race later this week. Voters also will be asked to choose among three candidates running for their party's nomination for U.S. Senate. The winner will face Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey in November. Three Democrats also are running for attorney general and the right to face whoever the Republicans choose as their nominee in the fall.
NEWS
April 20, 2016 | By Justine McDaniel and Jonathan Tamari, STAFF WRITERS
In a corner of Pennsylvania where farmland meets mansions and forsaken factories, the state's fiercest race for a House seat is playing out. The Bucks County-based Eighth District is the only truly open seat across the region, thanks to the retirement of Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick. Three Republicans and two Democrats are vying for their parties' nominations in next Tuesday's primaries. The Eighth is one of two districts in the closely divided Philadelphia suburbs where Democrats are hoping to gain ground in the fall, particularly if the top of the GOP ticket turns off moderate voters.
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