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Speaker of the House John Boehner Admits to Bribery

By Bud Meyers

John Boehner had admitted that congressional bribery has been going on for a long time. When the House minority leader was questioned about taking bribes from tobacco lobbyists in June of 1995 in exchange for taxpayer subsidies, and then redistributing them to other congressional members on the House floor, Boehner said, “They [the lobbyists] asked me to give out a half dozen checks, quickly, before we got to the end of the month — and I complied. And I did it on the House floor, which I regret, and should not have done. It’s not a violation of the House rules, but it’s a practice that’s gone on here for a long time that we’re trying to stop and I know that I’ll never do it again.” (more…)

Sen. Lindsey Graham to Netanyahu: Congress Will ‘Follow Your Lead’


By Evan McMurry
Mediate

During a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Sunday, incoming chair of the Senate Foreign Appropriations Committee Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told the foreign leader Congress would “follow his lead” on a bill to reinforce sanctions on Iran.

“In January of next year, there will be a vote on the Kirk-Menendez bill, bipartisan sanction legislation that says, if Iran walks away from the table, sanctions will be reimposed,” Graham said. “If Iran cheats regarding any deal that we enter to the Iranians, sanctions will be reimposed.” (more…)

Congress Overrides D.C. Voters, Keeps Marijuana Illegal Despite 70% Who Voted For legalization


By Linda Feldman
Yahoo News

When residents of the District of Columbia voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana last month, cannabis fans cheered. Then they quickly realized that Congress – which has oversight over D.C.’s affairs – could overrule the will of the voters.

Now, it appears, that fear will come true sooner than expected – not in the next Congress, when Republicans will control both chambers, but during the lame duck session currently under way. (more…)

Congressional Budget Leaves Door Wide Open For Bank Bailouts

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP

By Heidi Moore
The Guardian

Congress has agreed to use federal deposit insurance, which was designed to protect the savings accounts of consumers, to cover risky trading by the nation’s biggest banks.

In a small provision in the budget bill, Congress agreed to allow banks to house their trading of swaps and derivatives alongside customer deposits, which are insured by the federal government against losses.

The budget move repeals a portion of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act and, some say, lays the groundwork for future bailouts of banks who make irresponsibly risky trades. (more…)

Public Faith in Congress Falls Again, Hits Historic Low

www.gallup.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ confidence in Congress has sunk to a new low. Seven percent of Americans say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress as an American institution, down from the previous low of 10% in 2013. This confidence is starkly different from the 42% in 1973, the first year Gallup began asking the question.

These results come from a June 5-8 Gallup poll that updated Americans’ confidence in 17 U.S. institutions that Americans either read about or interact with in government, business, and society. (more…)

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