Congress

New DNC Pick Puts J Street In Spotlight

Wasserman Schultz appointment hints of major 2012 campaign themes.

04/12/2011
Washington Correspondent

Only hours after she was appointed chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) was labeled “the girl from J Street” by several right-of-center blogs and blasted by the Republican Jewish Coalition for her connection to the pro-Israel, pro-peace process group — even though she had rejected its endorsement and its money.

Welcome to Campaign 2012.

New DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. getty images

Congressional Initiatives Targeting Goldstone Report

04/11/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Legislation calling on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone report is circulating in both houses of Congress.

A Senate resolution, introduced April 8 by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and James Risch (R-Idaho), calls on the U.N. Human Rights Council to "reflect the author’s repudiation of the Goldstone report’s central findings, rescind the report, and reconsider further Council actions with respect to the report’s findings."

Think last week's budget battle was ugly? Just wait.

Washington is taking bit of a breather this week after an expensive, disruptive government shutdown was averted at the last minute late Friday, but the respite will be short.

Before long lawmakers will start debating raising the federal debt ceiling and next year's budget, which could make the just-completed fight look like a romp in the park.

Nicholas Kristof pretty much nails what's going on here it in his New York Times column yesterday.

Jewish Groups, Lawmaker Rap U.S. House 2012 Budget Plan

04/07/2011

(JTA) -- Jewish groups and a key Jewish lawmaker condemned the U.S. House of Representative's budget proposal for 2012, saying it will hurt the Americans most in need.

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs said in a statement released Wednesday that the Republican-backed budget proposal unveiled the previous day, which slashes nearly $6 trillion from federal spending over the next 10 years, "relies on cuts which will be harmful to many of those in America who are most in need."

J Street lobbies Congress for Israel and Palestinian aid

 J Street, wrapping up its second national conference today, will fan out over Capitol Hill for a round of lobbying meetings that will deliver a message that could – at least in part -- could warm AIPAC's heart: don't cut aid to Israel.

That, along with a call to continue aid to the Palestinian Authority in the interests of a two-state solution, is the sole “ask” in about 250 Hill meetings – mostly local J Streeters going to their own representatives offices, taking another page out of AIPAC's play book.

Bipartisan Push In Congress For Tougher Iran Sanctions

02/18/2011
Assistant Managing Editor

Citing the movement of two Iranian warships toward the Suez Canal and a potential confrontation with Israel, a bipartisan group of members of Congress on Wednesday called for tougher sanctions against Tehran to thwart its nuclear ambitions.

"If we can bring greater transparency to any investment being made in Iran, we can defund nuclear development in one of the world’s most hostile nations,” said New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, in a conference call with reporters. “America can not and will not tolerate a nuclear Iran.”

The Budget Battle's Victims

02/17/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Though the coming battle over the 2012 budget will be waged across line items on spread sheets and political talking points, those most affected will be real people with real problems. 

Above it all looms the ballooning deficit and a new Congress replete with members from both sides who campaigned on cutting spending and lowering the budget. In such an atmosphere, the decisions facing the President are not easy ones: how to make the investments in our future and protect those suffering because of poverty and the recession while not contributing to the deficit.

It's baaack: the issue that won't go away

This one is so old it has whiskers: Orthodox groups are supporting, church-state separation groups are opposing and most other Jewish groups are ignoring the latest chapter in the perennial battle over a District of Columbia school vouchers program.

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, created in 2004, was the first school voucher program involving federal dollars, which made it a particularly explosive issue for supporters and opponents alike.

Congressman Expresses Regret About Holocaust Terminology

01/21/2011

(JTA) -- U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat, expressed regrets about his use of Holocaust terminology in attacking Republicans during the debate over health care reform.

"I would certainly never do anything to diminish the horror of the Nazi Holocaust, as I revere and respect the history of my people," Cohen said in a statement released Thursday. "I sponsored legislation which created one of the first state Holocaust Commissions in America and actively served as a Commission member for over 20 years."

Why B'nai B'rith Opposes Health Care Reform Repeal

Affordable Health Care: Why We Need it

01/20/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Health care reform is proving to be one of the most deeply divisive issues Congress has tackled in a long time. As a non-profit, non-partisan organization, the last thing we wanted to do was get in the middle of an increasingly partisan battle. But as an organization dedicated to the healthy aging of our nation’s seniors, we have no choice but to speak out on behalf of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, because of the good things in the law passed last March that will help all Americans age safely and healthily.

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