Elham Khatami

Judiciary Panel Delays Work on Gun Bills

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday postponed until next week consideration of several gun regulation proposals sponsored by Democrats, after days of speculation that action on the bills would be delayed due to GOP opposition.

The panel was scheduled to consider four bills — a universal background check measure, an assault weapons ban, gun trafficking penalties and a school safety bill — but Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., announced early in the markup that the panel will take up the measures on March 7. Committee rules allow any member of the panel to request that bills or nominations be held over until the panel’s next meeting or for one week, whichever occurs later.

First Sandy Disaster Relief Bill Sent to President

Quickly following House action, the Senate on Friday cleared an initial installment of aid for states damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

The chamber passed the bill (HR 41) by voice vote shortly after the House advanced the measure 354-67, more than two months after the storm devastated parts of the East Coast.

House Rebuffs Effort to Pass Bill to Restrict D.C. Abortions

The House today rebuffed a GOP measure to limit abortions in the District of Columbia as opponents voiced concern that it undermines women’s access to reproductive health care.

An effort to pass the bill fell short on a 220-154 vote because it was taken up under suspension of the rules, an expedited procedure that requires a two-thirds majority vote for passage.

Once More, With Feeling

While his one-time bosses, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, both released post-administration memoirs during the past two years, Colin Powell has largely shied away from the limelight.

The 75-year-old former secretary of State, four-star general and ambassador to the United Nations appears ready to break his silence. 

Heard on the Hill: Steve King Steamed Over Shower Restrictions

It’s not every day a lawmaker urges his constituents to break the law.

But during Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee markup, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) did just that.

HOH's One-Minute Recess: Rep. Markey's Soft Spot for Sea Lions

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is keeping an eye out for the sea lions.

At Wednesday's House Natural Resources Committee markup, the panel considered H.R. 3069, a bill that would allow Columbia River sea lions to be killed when they eat endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

Muslim Staffers Host Eid Reception Wednesday

While lawmakers were away from Capitol Hill during the summer recess, Muslim Americans celebrated Ramadan, the holy month of fasting from sunrise to sunset.

Ramadan, which commemorates the revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad, ended in August. Now that Congress is back in session, the Congressional Muslim Staff Association will host a reception Wednesday to belatedly celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the conclusion of the holy month.

Hill Staffers Commemorate Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

Many current Congressional staffers were barely teenagers when they witnessed the fall of the World Trade Center towers 10 years ago. Today, while they serve as aides to the nation's lawmakers, the memory is no less emotional.

"Although the attacks were a devastating tragedy unlike anything our generation had ever experienced, shortly after there was an outpouring of compassion, humanity and kindness," said Rachael Estes, a member of the Congressional Women's Staff Association.

Hillary Clinton Pushes Post-9/11 Muslim Outreach

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks reshaped views of the Islamic faith, sparking sometimes intense debate about Muslims in America.

That debate still rages today, with Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) holding a series of hearings on radicalization of Islam and Republican presidential candidates sparring over whether Muslims should be hired to work in the federal government.

Ellison, Carson Among Attendees at White House Iftar

Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and André Carson (D-Ind.) will attend President Barack Obama’s White House iftar on Wednesday evening, the daily meal when Muslims break their fasts during the holy month of Ramadan.

The dinner will take place after sunset, in observance of Islamic custom.

Required Reading to Understand Debt Ceiling
For Those Who Escaped College Without Taking Economics 101, Professors Offer Reading Recommendations Ahead of Debt Ceiling Debate

The debate over raising the nation’s debt ceiling from its current limit of $14.3 trillion has intensified as members of Congress prepare for the upcoming vote.

Democrats have insisted on raising the ceiling so the government can continue spending and avoid the possibility of defaulting on its debt. Republicans have said they will support the increase if reforms on future spending are included in the legislation.

Good Enough for Government Work?
Some in Public Sector Earn Pretty Penny

Correction Appended

How well do the best-paid federal employees do?

Libya 101: Read Up on Nation’s History, Politics

As NATO prepares to take over full command of military operations in Libya, many Americans are scrambling to learn more about the North African country, but it’s not easy. 

There is “shockingly little literature on Libya,” said Marc Lynch, associate professor of political science and international affairs and director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University.