On Sunday morning, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will be in Selma, Alabama to retrace the path of civil rights forbears over the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Gillibrand will be joining Rep. John Lewis, the Georgia congressman and former civil rights leader, who participated in the original march in 1965, one year before Gillibrand was born, and has led an annual recreation to commemorate the civil rights momvement.
Republican leaders emerged from their retreat in Williamsburg today pledging to pass a short-term extension of the debt ceiling.
"Next week, we will authorize a three month temporary debt limit increase to give the Senate and House time to pass a budget," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a statement.(1)
Long Island Rep. Peter King and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may be incensed at the House's inability to pass a $60 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill for the region, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg is somewhat more understanding.
"You know, it's easy to go criticize," he said this morning, during his regular Friday morning radio show. "Running a legislature, as anybody who has ever done it will tell you, it is not easy."
Naturally, Chuck Schumer arrived at the press conference with a tabloid-ready coinage to describe what the House did to the northeast states affected by Hurricane Sandy last night.
So perhaps it's no surprise that Boehner didn't bring another big spending bill—$60.4 billion in relief for the states affected by Hurricane Sandy—to the floor for a vote immediately after the fiscal cliff deal passed.(1)
Bloomberg says he'll talk about a commuter tax credit with Cantor, won't say what he talked about with Obama
"You know, the biggest thing that we really I think could get done with him, because it probably fits in with what the politics are on both sides of the aisle in Washington at the moment, I’d like to see if we can’t get some help in getting a tax credit for commuters," Bloomberg said during an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations. "The highway bill helps you if you drive, but it doesn’t help mass transit and we’re very dependent on that."(1)
Republican congresswoman Nan Hayworth, who won a close race in 2010 in a classic New York swing district, thinks the bishops who oppose President Obama's contraception compromise are right.(1)
The first question for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at this morning's Association for a Better New York breakfast was about the Republicans' latest transportation bill, which threatens the stream of dedicated funding the M.T.A. receives from the federal government.
After her insider-trading bill passes the Senate, Gillibrand invites Cantor to make it bigger and tougher
On a conference call with reporters this afternoon, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said she'd prefer to see the House pass the Senate version of her anti-insider-trading bill, the STOCK Act, which sailed through a cloture vote yesterday, but that she'd consider any proposed changes from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to make the bill even tougher on members of Congress who engage in insider trading.
I asked King why this Congress, in particular, seems to exist on the brink of crises.
"It’s just the way the schedule works," King said. "You have this difference in philosophy and how you address it."
Which is not to say King supports the Republican tactic of holding up routine spending bills and threatening shutdowns in order to extract cuts from the Democrats.
On Monday night, the Senate mapped a way around the congressional impasse that threatened to hold up federal disaster relief funds and shut down the federal government.
After FEMA said it had enough money to remain operational through the end of the week, Senate leaders agreed to a deal that doesn't provide any extra funding for the agency beyond levels that had already been agreed to, and therefore, doesn't require the controversial offsets that Republicans had demanded and Democrats had refused to consider.
Last night, Tea Party-aligned House Republicans bucked Speaker John Boehner and declined to pass a continuing resolution that would have funded the government beyond Oct. 1, raising the specter, once again, of a government shutdown. (The continuing resolutions, or "C.R."s, allow the government to sputter along for a finite amount of time. Congress never passed a budget for this fiscal year.)
On Thursday evening, shortly after President Obama implored a joint session of Congress to pass a new $447 billion dollar jobs bill, Representative Charlie Rangel said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the speech.
“The thing that impressed me the most was that instead of talking about Republicans and Democrats, he talked about American values,” Rangel said in a phone interview shortly after the address.
Eric Cantor put East Coast Republicans in an awkward spot this week, and handed Democrats what they hope might be a chance to regain some ground after an embarrassing end-of-summer defeat on the debt ceiling.
Asked about the potential costs of Irene-related relief efforts, Cantor, the House majority leader, told Fox News: "We will find the money if there is a need for additional monies … but those monies are not unlimited. And what we've always said is, we've offset that which has already been funded."