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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor went into damage control mode after giving $25,000 to a super PAC devoted to defeating incumbent House members.
The news of Rep. Cantor’s contribution to the Campaign for Primary Accountability took party leaders by surprise.
By Friday evening, Rep. Cantor launched an outreach effort to quell the damage caused by his donation to the super PAC that has tried to unseat members of both parties. The Virginia Republican had begun phoning colleagues who the Campaign for Primary Accountability targeted to smooth over hurt feelings.
Rep. Cantor’s contribution came during last month’s primary between Republican Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Don Manzullo, a contest where Rep. Manzullo was targeted with more than $200,000 in CPA spending. The super PAC ran TV ads against Manzullo, a twenty-year-incumbent who was drawn into the same district as the freshman Rep. Kinzinger, whom Cantor supported.
United States Representative Betty Sutton (D-OH) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have introduced the Josh Miller Heart Act, which would provide AEDs for every school in our country. It has passed the House twice but has not made it through the Senate.
The same people who are blocking this bill are happy that the halls of Congress are lined with AEDs. Since Rep. Sutton introduced the Josh Miller Heart Act, 206 students have died of cardiac arrest in U.S. schools because no AED was available.
The U.S. House of Representatives
today approved a bipartisan deal that extends the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits for the rest of the year.
The measure, which also avoids cutting Medicare fees for doctors for the rest of the year, now goes to the Senate.
Without congressional action, all three measures are set to expire at the end of February.
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Representative Gabrielle Giffords resigned from Congress today in a House session during which an anti-drug smuggling bill that she championed passed by a 408-0 margin.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz read Rep. Giffords’s resignation letter on the House floor. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called her “an inspiring symbol of inspiration and courage to millions of Americans.”
Rep. Giffords was shot in the head on January 8, 2011, during a rampage that killed six people during an event in Tucson. She still is recovering from her injuries.
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The Supreme Court on Friday rejected elections maps drawn by a federal court in Texas that had favored Democratic candidates there.
The unanimous decision said that redistricting is a job for elected state officials, and that the lower court had not paid enough deference to maps drawn by the State Legislature, which Republicans control. The justices sent the case back to the lower court.
The maps to be drawn by the lower court could play a role in determining control of the House of Representatives. Democrats need twenty-five seats to take back the House from Republican control. Experts in election administration said the new maps could influence outcomes in perhaps three Texas districts.
The changes to the electoral maps were required because Texas grew by more than four million people in the last decade. The growth entitled the state to four more House seats.
Justice Clarence Thomas concurred only in the result and said he would have instructed the elections to go ahead under the Legislature’s maps.
The justices acted eleven days after arguments. Primaries in Texas had been moved back to April. For those primaries to go ahead, an answer was needed by February 1.
Much of the language in the Supreme Court’s opinion was conditional, and its criticism of the lower court was mostly indirect.
Via The New York Times.
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On Tuesday, the House of Representatives, led by Republicans, voted 234-192 to extend the payroll tax cut and speed the process for government approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Approval by the Senate appears unlikely given strong opposition from the Democratic majority.
President Obama said he would veto the measure, which attached pipeline approval to the payroll tax cut, setting up further brinkmanship before Congress‘s holiday recess begins.
Congress had debated the payroll tax cut extension and a spending bill that must pass to keep the government funded after Friday and avoid a shutdown.
Ronald Reagan's support for women's autonomy would make him downright radical in 2011. What? Image via Wikipedia
Last week, 236 Republican and 15 Democratic members of the House of Representatives voted in favor of the so-called “Protect Life Act,” which would allow any hospital or healthcare provider that receives government funds to refuse to give abortion care, regardless of the circumstances. In addition, the act would ban federal funds from going to any healthcare plans that cover abortion services and make it very difficult to prevent funds from going to health organizations that do not support abortion. Thus, hospitals could legally refuse to perform abortions that would save women’s lives.
The depressingly nicknamed “Let Women Die” bill would override laws established to protect pregnant women. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), which was passed in 1986, requires hospitals to stabilize a pregnant woman experiencing an emergency condition or life-threatening pregnancy, guaranteeing treatment, including abortion.
On his website, the bill’s sponsor, Representative Joe Pitts, writes, “Taking someone’s life because we don’t regard their life as valuable takes the dignity away from our own lives as well.” Yet apparently it’s only fetuses whose lives are valuable and deserving of respect.
How did we get to this place in our society, that the health and life of a pregnant woman is worth so little? When EMTALA was debated and passed, it garnered widespread bipartisan support, and Ronald Reagan signed into law as part of an omnibus budget.
President Obama has already said that he will veto bill.
In a rare public appearance on Thursday, Representative Gabrielle Giffords attended an event to mark the retirement of her husband Mark Kelly. She pinned a medal on Kelly’s jacket and, while she didn’t make a statement, offered plenty of smiles.
Of Rep. Giffords and her astronaut husband, Vice President Joe Biden offered the following:
It’s not every day you encounter examples of sheer, sheer courage and selflessness and dedication like you see in this couple.
In his remarks to the audience, Kelly said of his wife, “Gabby, you remind me every day to deny the acceptance of failure. I look forward to the next phase of our life together and watching all of your future achievements.”
The next phase includes plans to release a memoir together next month.
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A week after the Agriculture Department announced wider testing for deadly E. coli in meat, Republican Presidential candidate and science skeptic Representative Michele Bachmann said that regulations are overburdening food producers.
Rep. Bachmann visited a 140-year-old meatpacking plant in Des Moines and railed against regulations for food makers and other businesses. In keeping with the ethics of her party, Rep. Bachmann did not name any specific regulations she would cut.
The Agriculture Department, meanwhile, said expanding testing of E. coli in meat from one strain to seven would hasten recalls of tainted products and help officials find foodborne illnesses.
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On Monday, a Rasmussen Reports survey released information showing that Iowa Republican caucus-goers rank Texas Governor Rick Perry as their favorite among the 2012 Republican field.
Gov. Perry was the first choice for 29% of respondents and 45% of those who described themselves as Tea Party activists.
Mitt Romney led Gov. Perry 24% to 20% among those who did not describe themselves as members of the Tea Party.
Overall, Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann received 18% support, Mr. Romney received 17%, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul received 14%.
Gov. Perry’s rank at the top of the poll in Iowa reflects recent national polling.