Congress


Photo: Kai Schreiber./CC BY-SA (Flickr)

The Budget Process Shouldn’t Be a Playground for Special Interests

, Washington representative, Center for Science and Democracy

It’s appropriations season in Congress. And that means special interests. Read more >

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Will Spring Bring More Sunlight? Freedom of Information on Congressional Agenda

, sr. Washington rep., Center for Science & Democracy

There’s so much bad news about partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill, it’s refreshing to have some good news to report.

When it comes to improving the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), fifty years old this year, Republicans and Democrats are working together to achieve reform.  Indeed, both the House and the Senate have passed bills that would significantly strengthen FOIA.  The bills had overwhelming bipartisan acceptance. No Senator objected to the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, S. 337. The House FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act, H.R. 653, bill passed by voice vote. Read more >

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The Politics of Pizza: The “Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act” is Anything But

, sr. Washington rep., Center for Science & Democracy

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the House of Representatives on February 12 sent a calorie-laden heart-shaped pizza to Big Pizza, particularly Domino’s Pizza. It passed a bill, with an Orwellian title the House leadership loves, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act. The bill is designed to undermine a truly common-sense regulation that the Food and Drug Administration has been working on for years to ensure that consumers have access to understandable information about the calorie content of restaurant menu items. Read more >

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Hey Congress—Don’t Let Automakers Undercut Fuel Standards with Phony Credits!

, senior vehicles analyst

Whether it’s the Volkswagen debacle (which continues to get worse), the massive Takata airbag recall involving just about every car company on the planet, or the GM ignition switch scandal, automakers have been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. So it was no surprise when the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives recently held a hearing on draft legislation regarding vehicles and roadway safety. After all, Congress should hold deceitful automakers accountable for their actions, and they should help ensure access to safe, clean vehicles.

It was a surprise, though, to see hidden provisions that would award fuel economy credits for safety technologies. If you are asking yourself, “What in the world does safety have to do with fuel economy?” you are not alone …

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Bad Policies Should Not Get a Free “Ride” on Spending Bills

, sr. Washington rep., Center for Science & Democracy

I try hard not to be cynical about Congress. I believe that in the House and Senate, many men and women of good will and their staffs work hard to advance policies that they believe will benefit the people they represent. Our elected representatives may disagree about what the best solutions are. But they are motivated by the desire to do good, not ill.

That sentiment is being tested as the House and Senate vote on a series of spending bills to pay for government agencies and other expenses in the coming fiscal year. Read more >

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