Tait Militana

House Committees Look at Fewer Resources on Top of Demands

House committee leaders face a dwindling pool of resources for the 113th Congress under budgets approved this week by the House Administration Committee.

The funding numbers, set by panel Chairwoman Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., in consultation with House leadership, trim an average of 11 percent off committee allocations from 2012 levels and come out to $120 million in total for the first session of the 113th Congress. That is down from the $135 million committees had to work with in the second session of the 112th Congress.

‘Kony 2012’ Mobilizes Legislative Response
YouTube Sensation Compels Lawmakers In New and Unique Way

The viral Internet video “Kony 2012” mobilized an unprecedented number of young people to support the campaign to counter Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. It may also have mobilized an unprecedented number of lawmakers.

Since March 2012, when “Kony 2012” was uploaded to YouTube, lawmakers introduced five resolutions, spoke multiple times on the House and Senate floors and introduced their own YouTube video condemning Kony and his commanders.

Democrats Fret About Stricter Voter ID Laws

Congressional Democrats are warning that stricter voter identification laws sweeping through state legislatures could suppress voters in the 2012 elections.

At least 34 states have introduced legislation, with varying degrees of restrictiveness, that would require voters to display identification at the polls before they are given a ballot. Some of these laws require voters to produce photo identification; some do not.

The Quirky Email Addresses of State Legislators

While email has become sophisticated in Washington, some politicians beyond the Beltway are still a little loose with it.

Dozens of state legislators across the country use personal email accounts in addition to or instead of their government-issued addresses when conducting state business. 

Balanced Budget Amendment Roadblocks Abound

Some conservatives in Washington, D.C., can’t wait to send a balanced budget amendment to the states. But it’s not clear whether the states would be excited to get it.

A constitutional amendment requiring the federal budget be balanced in most years would face a bruising and most likely fruitless fight in the states, 38 of which would need to approve the amendment.