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Saturday, Apr 25th

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CBO Says Senate Health Bill Would Expand Coverage, Reduce Deficit

The assessment by Congress's nonpartisan auditors has been awaited by committee members as they prepare to vote on the bill, perhaps as soon as Thursday. And the CBO report lends a huge political boost to the Finance Committee's work: distinguishing it as the only one of five bills drafted by various congressional committees that meets every important test established by President Obama and key Democratic leaders.

-- It would cost less than $900 billion over the next decade;

-- It would vastly expand coverage; and

-- It would keep Obama's pledge that health reform will not increase budget deficits by "one dime" now or in the future.

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GOP Senators Pull Out of Inquiry Into CIA Program

Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said Friday that they will no longer participate in an investigation into the Bush administration's interrogation policies, arguing that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s decision to reexamine allegations of detainee abuse by the CIA would hobble any inquiry.

The intelligence committee launched a review in March of CIA interrogations of high-value detainees such as Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who describes himself as the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

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Rep. Frank caves: exempts many businesses from CFPA oversight

The bill explicitly exempts many businesses from CFPA oversight, including securities, commodities, investment and general insurance products; accountants and tax preparers; real estate brokers and agents; lawyers; auto dealers; communications providers; and providers of retirement and pension plans.

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Traficant speaks out against the powers that be on Fox News

In his first interview after being released from prison last week, former congressman James Traficant let the cat out of the bag about the strangle hold that the Pro Israel Lobby has over Washington DC.

Traficant says that he was the  number one target of American Israeli Public Affairs Committee" and the Justice Department. He goes on to say that "he believes that Israel has a powerful stranglehold on the American government. They control both members of the House, the House and the Senate. They have us involved in wars in which we have little or no interest. Our children are coming back in body bags. Our nation is bankrupt over these wars. And if you open your mouth, you get targeted. And if they don't beat you at the poll, they'll put you in prison."  He says "Israel gets approximately $15 billion a year from the American taxpayers. That $15 billion is $30,000 for every man, woman and child. And people in my district are losing their pension benefits."

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UnitedHealth Lobbyist Announces Pelosi Fundraiser As She Begins Backing Off Pub Option

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the first time yesterday suggested she may be backing off her support of the public option.

This announcement came just hours before Steve Elmendorf, a registered UnitedHealth lobbyist and the head of UnitedHealth's lobbying firm Elmendorf Strategies, blasted this email invitation throughout Washington, D.C. I just happened to get my hands on a copy of the invitation from a source - check out this OpenLeft exclusive:

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The Best Congress AIPAC Can Buy

Many Americans who thought that the health care debate was important must have wondered where their congressmen were in early August during the first two weeks of the House of Representatives recess.  It turns out they were not hosting town hall meetings or listening to constituents because many of them were in Israel together with their spouses on a trip paid for by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

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Frank: Bill Mandating "Complete Audit" Of The Fed Will Pass House In Fall

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told a Massachusetts audience at a recent town hall that the House will pass legislation this fall mandating a "complete audit" of the Federal Reserve.

The bill to audit the Fed, H.R. 1207, was introduced by libertarian Fed critic Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and is backed by well over a majority of the House. Frank's comment suggests it won't just be left to languish in committee.

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TVNL Comment: Do YOU know who owns the Fed?  Find out here....

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