House Republicans ‘Will Be History in 2014’ Over VAWA, NOW Chief Vows

Even as top Senate Democrats criticized as “simply unacceptable” the House GOP version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a prominent women’s group promises to make the legislative impasse an issue in the 2014 congressional elections. Senate Democrats and House Republicans are at loggerheads over reauthorization of VAWA, a law that dates back two decades aimed at providing assistance to victims of domestic violence  and other violent crime. President Obama highlighted the need to approve a new VAWA in his recent State of the Union address, noting that Vice President Biden authored the original bill when he was in the Senate. The Senate overwhelmingly approved a version of VAWA on a bipartisan basis with 78 senators of both parties–including all women senators. House … Continue reading

Citizens United Called Opportunity For Billionaires ‘To Own the United States Government’

As polls begin to show that the current and unprecedented torrent of negative TV attack ads are taking their toll on both presidential candidates, a leading opponent of the Supreme Court decision which makes such unlimited campaign spending spoke out Tuesday to overturn the ruling. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the left-leaning Vermont independent, appeared before a Senate committee to reiterate his long-held and fierce opposition to the high court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, a ruling which swept aside decades of bipartisan regulation of campaign finance. Sanders revealed for the first time that at least 23 billionaire families have contributed a minimum of $250,000 each so far in this year’s campaigns. “My guess is that number is really much greater because many … Continue reading

Eric Holder Hero, Not Villain, Sen. Leahy Says

He may be facing a contempt-of-Congress vote next week in the House of Representatives, but Attorney General Eric Holder deserves praise — not contempt, according to one prominent Senate leader who oversees federal law enforcement. The full House is expected to vote next week on whether to find Holder in contempt of Congress for the Obama administration decision to invoke executive privilege to withhold some documents related to the controversial former Justice Department program “Fast And Furious.” A House committee dominated by Republicans voted on party lines Wednesday to find Holder in contempt. The administration invoked executive privilege for the first time in declining to offer some documents related to the so-called Mexico “gun-walking” program begun under the Bush administration. … Continue reading

Congressional Sponsors Angry After SOPA/PIPA Votes Delayed

Wednesday’s massive Internet protest against two controversial anti-piracy bills appeared to have some effect, as congressional leaders agreed to put off a vote on the legislation. However, it’s obvious that the fight isn’t over for opponents who contend the bills are so broadly written that they could lead to unchecked online censorship. Although lawmakers bowed to the extraordinary pressure of Wednesday’s protest — in which many popular websites “went dark” in protest over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate twin, the Protect IP Act (PIPA) — it’s clear they aren’t happy about it. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Friday that he would delay the upcoming vote on PIPA. “In light of recent events, I have … Continue reading

Gun Lobby Helps Bring Down An Obama Judicial Nominee

The issue of gun control has helped to derail one of President Obama’s nominees to a key federal appeals court. A gun-rights group helped take credit after Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked the nomination of Caitlin Joan Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Republican filibuster left top Senate Democrats fuming. A gun group, known as the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), says it sent out a mailing which identified Halligan as a “liberal agitator and a fervent gun hater” who “pushed to bankrupt gun manufacturers in New York with frivolous lawsuits.” Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa specifically invoked the gun issue in a floor speech defending … Continue reading