Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 12:28 pm
Updated at 10:05 p.m. ET
The Senate passed a $1.1 trillion spending package Saturday night on a 56-40 bipartisan vote, after overruling an objection from Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
Earlier Saturday, the Senate had voted on a short-term continuing resolution that extended their deadline to pass the spending bill. But in the evening, Senate leadership came to an agreement and the legislative body voted to move the bill forward sooner than anticipated, ending debate and allowing a vote Saturday night.
Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 12:21 pm
The spending bill in Congress is not just about money. Tucked inside the bill are provisions to change regulations affecting everything from banking to the environment. One regulatory rollback has those concerned about truck safety especially upset.
The regulation is part of a series of rules that spell out the number of hours that long-haul truck drivers, the ones behind the wheel of the big rigs on the interstates, can be on the road.
Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in history, was admitted to a hospital in Washington, D.C., as a precaution Friday, one day after casting the final vote in his nearly 60 years in Congress.
The Michigan Democrat's office didn't give details on Dingell's condition, other than to say he was under observation and "resting comfortably." Dingell visited a doctor's office earlier this week, after he fell down and bruised his hip.
As the CIA and Senate Intelligence Committee clash over whether so-called enhanced interrogation techniques are considered torture, another question arises: Have depictions of torture on TV and film helped convince us that it works?
Consider this warning that recently greeted viewers of ABC's political soap opera, Scandal:
"The following drama contains adult content. Viewer discretion is advised."
Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 3:20 pm
It started out as a seemingly harmless act: voters posting photos of their completed ballots on the Internet.
One wrote in his deceased dog's name for senator because he didn't like any of the candidates, then shared his message of frustration on Facebook. A state legislator, and another a candidate for the state House, also publicly published photos of their ballots.
Now they're under investigation by the New Hampshire attorney general's office.
Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 4:15 pm
Dozens of congressional staff members walked out of the Capitol at 3:30 p.m. ET Thursday, in a show of support for protesters angered by recent grand jury decisions not to indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 6:08 am
Post updated at 9:38 p.m. ET.
A massive federal spending bill finally won the House's approval Thursday night, less than three hours before a midnight deadline that threatened a federal shutdown. The measure's fate had been in doubt after it narrowly survived a rules vote earlier in the day. The final tally was 219-206.
Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:14 am
The costs of solar energy are plummeting, and now are about on par with the electricity generated at big power plants. This new reality intensifies a long-running business and regulatory battle, between the mainline electric utility companies and newer firms that provide solar systems for homeowners' rooftops. Sometimes the rivalry looks more like hardball politics than marketplace economics.
Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 9:00 am
The gargantuan budget bill that lawmakers on Capitol Hill are expected to vote on Thursday does more than dole out federal dollars to keep the government running.
It also tweaks federal nutrition rules.
For starters, the bill — aka, the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill — includes a provision that will give school food directors more flexibility when it comes to adopting 100 percent whole grain items, such as pasta and biscuits, in school breakfast and lunch meals.
Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 9:20 am
Negotiations over the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill Congress will consider this week included how to handle Washington, D.C.'s bid to legalize marijuana. Some 65 percent of the federal district's voters approved the move via ballot initiative last month.