zoe lofgren

House Democrats Plan Alternative to Syrian Refugee Bill

Lofgren tried to get changes made to the GOP refugee bill due on the floor Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:15 p.m. | House Democrats will use procedural gambits to get a vote on their proposal aimed at easing concerns about Syrian refugees coming to the United States but without completely blocking their resettlement.  

The partisan maneuvering has the potential to weaken support for a Republican-backed bill set to come to the floor Thursday. President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the measure, but the bill is expected to pass with GOP votes and some from fiscally conservative Democrats.  

Members of Congress Jet to Japan for Free
Congress Gets Away With Free Foreign Trips (Updated)

Some members of Congress didn't stick around Washington during the cold month of February, but they found better places to be on free trips to foreign lands.  

The big free trips during February included eleven members on the trip to Israel sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation . Another nineteen went to Cartagena, Colombia, with expenses paid by the Aspen Institute, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund . Other members went to Japan, Australia, and Belgium. The trip to Australia for one member and his spouse was worth almost $50,000.