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Guide to Congress 2008

Record Mixed on Democrats’ Follow Through

Campaign promises are a tricky thing for candidates to any office, but none more so than the Senate, where short of a filibuster-proof 60 votes, majorities have long found their agendas stymied by even a lone Senator.

Republicans Look to Bench for Rising Stars

The ranks of House Republicans were decimated in the 2006 elections, and the party stands to lose even more seats when voters go to the polls in November. But on Capitol Hill, the GOP’s odds of rebounding and reversing their fortunes may depend on drafting a new team of rising political stars. Here are a few of the up-and-comers within the Republican Conference:

Departing Members Plot Their Next Career Moves

When the lights go off on this legislative session, Congress will lose eight cardinals on the House Appropriations Committee, at least two former presidential candidates, four women and the Resident Commissioner for Puerto Rico.

Democrats Dream About a 60-Vote Majority

It’s every Republican’s worst nightmare — waking up Nov. 5 to the horror of a House stocked with fresh new Democratic recruits to pad Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) control of the chamber and, even worse, a Senate under the control of 60-Member-strong Democratic majority.

Speaker Adjusts Power-Sharing Relationships

House Democratic chairmen have spent the past year and a half learning that a gavel isn’t everything. On debates from children’s health insurance to auto efficiency, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has demonstrated that when big issues are in play, she sees no problem forgoing the regular order Democrats pledged to restore when they gained control of the chamber.

The Roll Call Fabulous Fifty

The movers and shakers behind the scenes on Capitol Hill.

Lobbyists Gear Up to Play Defense in 2009

In the spring of this year, Ralph Hellmann, the top lobbyist at the Information Technology Industry Council, could already see the future. Much of the group’s lobbying agenda — free-trade deals, a health IT bill, more high-tech immigration visas — was likely going to be scuttled by the intensely partisan environment and dwindling election year calendar.

The 50 Richest Members of Congress

Everything that you are about to read might be wrong. Roll Call’s annual attempt to rank the riches of Members of Congress is hampered by one fundamental flaw: It is based on the lawmakers’ financial disclosure forms, which are extraordinarily unreliable sources of information.

Video: How the 50 Richest Are Determined




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