Capitol Hill (CNN) – We now have the first expense reports for the 112th House of Representatives. The 3293-page Statement of Disbursements shows how much of their office budgets each House member spent in the first three months of the year. We've read it (you can read yourself, here) and will bring you highlights this week.
Who spent the most? A longtime congresswoman ending her Capitol career. Who spent the least? A fiscally-conservative freshman from Illinois.
Listen to our podcast for more, including something few people realize: when the House put expense reports online two years ago it also cut back on much of the detail in those reports. We now know far less about what members are spending than we did when the reports were done exclusively by hand.
Listen here. Comment below or keep reading.
Capitol Hill (CNN) - There are few hotter topics in Washington or on the campaign trail than jobs. And we just got a new, gloomier report. To save you time, here's your cheat sheet to Friday's U.S. unemployment report.
Obvious headline: U.S. created just 54,000 jobs in May, below the meager expectations.
Bigger Headline: Average length of unemployment hits record high of 39.7 weeks.
Capitol Hill (CNN) - Where are members of Congress in week two of recess? Working more on their jobs resume. A sampling from Monday: Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-North Carolina, signed up for the classic tour of a manufacturing plant, Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-New Jersey, checked in with a local economic group (bonus points that the group has "Main Street" in its name) and Sen. Kay Hagan, D-North Carolina, tweeted from a hope-inducing announcement of a multimillion research/technology project.
Congress is certainly talking jobs and standing near jobs. But what are lawmakers doing about them?
In this week's American Sauce, we dig into issue number one. No, not the royal wedding. We look at: 1. What exactly could Congress be doing, right now, about jobs? and 2. What has this Congress done? What have lawmakers even proposed?
Listen to our show, devoted to substance over soundbites (with good music and a little snark) here. And comment below.
UPDATED 4:45 p.m. ET with new HIV, Hepatitis, STD, TB prevention figure (below).
Capitol Hill (CNN) – This is not a simple deal, folks, but here is a first bottom-line American Sauce take at the cuts and some of the policy in this budget proposal. (The one funding government through September.)
Note, there is still some significant confusion about a few of the biggest numbers. Meaning, confusion within government itself. So read carefully.
Read the bill: here.
Listen to our American Sauce, "what is going on?" podcast on the budget deal here. Or keep reading for what others might miss as well as the biggest cuts and biggest budget increases in the deal.
Capitol Hill (CNN) – Here it is folks. The American Sauce easy-to-scan bullet points, from my reading of the 78-page ten-year plan from House Budget chief Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin. Add comments below.
This is important stuff. (Duh.):
Capitol Hill (CNN) – Oil has just hit a 30-month high, Japan is battling with a potential nuclear disaster and this week marks the anniversary of the deadly Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion.
The potential energy crisis of future years may be sending early transmission signals. Yes, last week (you missed this?) President Obama announced a new(er) energy policy. But still no significant action from Congress or Washington.
Where does the U.S. stand with energy? Listen to this week's American Sauce for a highly-efficient look at the major forms of energy we use, how much we have and quick hits of the pros and cons of each. And we also give you a mental map of nuclear energy in America.
Listen here. Or keep reading.
Capitol Hill (CNN) – Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden beamed that Congress and the White House were circling around “$73 Billion” in budget cuts. http://podcasts.cnn.net/cnn/services/podcasting/audio/americansauce/americansauce0328.mp3
But that’s not $73 Billion in real-people dollars. That’s $73 Billion in imaginary, government-speak dollars.
How much is it actually? Keep reading.
Capitol Hill (CNN) - Top Republicans and Democrats are spending most of the day criticizing or supporting the President, questioning or applauding the Libya mission and attacking or undermining each other when it comes to a possible government shutdown.
Don't let the heated air distract you from the actual work, the real votes happening in Congress today.
Here are two votes that will hit the House floor Tuesday that many others will miss:
Capitol Hill (CNN) – Consider this a spending battle intervention. Congress has two weeks to come up with another spending bill or government will shut down, sending millions of federal workers home and delighting producers of Sunday talk shows.
Instead of focusing on the potential Smithsonian-closing drama, this week American Sauce offers a cut-to-the-chase map of the spending battle reality.
Congress may get its closest yet to a shutdown and we explain why, without adding exclamation marks about passport offices shuttering.
Want to cut through all the jibber jabber and get your hands around the spending battle that could shut down government? Listen to our podcast here.
Or keep reading for a few bullet points.
Capitol Hill (CNN) – One year ago today, the House of Representatives narrowly but decisively passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 221-219. Within days, the health care bill was signed by the president and became, as it is now, Public Law 111-148.
But implementation of some of the bigger health reform chunks is not going as expected.