Senator Mike Enzi, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), confirmed May 21 that cigarette maker
AIG spokesman Nick Ashooh has defended the company -- which received $180 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds -- over criticism of its hiring of four PR firms. Michael Weisskopf reports that Sard Verbinnen & Co.
Congresspedia, the CMD citizen journalism project that has thrived inside SourceWatch since 2006, is no longer. Its funder the Sunlight Foundation decided to merge Congresspedia into their OpenCongress project. Much of Congresspedia's content will remain in some form inside SourceWatch but CMD's staff of editors will no longer be regularly updating the articles. CMD is proud to have created what quickly became the best and most extensive 'wiki' website on the US Congress. Our development of Congresspedia led directly to the creation of our growing number of other SourceWatch portals on issues including the tobacco industry, the coal industry, climate change, front groups, global corporations, and the nuclear power industry. We wish the website formerly known as Congresspedia well in its new incarnation at OpenCongress.
"At the same time the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) was paying one of [Senator Orrin G. Hatch's] sons, Scott, to be its lobbyist in Congress," it and its drug company members were making major donations to a nonprofit organization that Senator Hatch helped found and actively supports.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which was passed in the wake of controversy over the manufacturing standards of Chinese toy companies, set new lead limits for toys, clothes and other products which are aimed at children under 12. Associated Press reports that the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Childrenswear -- which it states "represents manufacturers and family business workers" -- is leading the protests against the new standards.
The Financial Times notes that "with precisely zero votes from Republican lawmakers for his $819 billion stimulus package, Barack Obama’s bipartisan aspirations may already be in tatters ...
By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas
With the 111th Congress in full swing (see Conor’s post on freshman members and Donny’s recent work on the first 10 bills in the Senate), we’re starting to see changes announced last year become formalized, such as the selection of committee chairs and ranking members in the House and Senate. With big policy debates on the horizon, you’ll also start to hear more about the caucus leadership.
Fortunately, Congresspedia has you covered. We detailed the leadership changes back in December, but we also have citizen-generated entries on the leadership in the House and Senate. These articles include background information on the various positions and links to profiles of individual senators and representatives.