2Day in #OpenGov 7/22/2013

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by Justin Lin, policy intern

NEWS:

  • Good news for the future of the Senate? Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Dean Heller (R-NV) wrote a letter to Majority and Minority Leader Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to ask for more activities amongst Senators on both sides of the aisle. Reid has previously said that he would like to have more meetings involving both parties. (Roll Call)
  • The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $5.3 million the past month, more than $1.5 million more than the Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which raised $3.7 million. The DSCC has $9.6 million in the bank and $12.5 million in debt, as compared to the NRSC, which has $7 million in the bank and $6.5 million in debt. (Roll Call)
  • Currently 94 of all current senators have a leadership PAC, and 2/3 of all House members have a leadership PAC as well. Members are particularly eager to form leadership PACs because it allows people who contributed to their campaign to then make another contribution to the leadership PAC as well. Leadership PACs were originally used by  leaders of Congress but is now commonplace. (National Journal)
  • One measure that is sure to raise a lot of attention among senators is the business expensing write-off, which allows businesses to receive tax deductions for purchases in equipment. This does, however, means to a loss of $21 billion in revenue each year; despite this, this measure is being heavily lobbied by big and small businesses. (Politico)
  • Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has taken to calling on lobbyists to pressure House GOP to act on immigration reform. However, the House has not taken kindly to such calls, and Marco Rubio, a noted member of the “Gang of Eight,” has refused to pressure the House to act. Lobbyists also find McCain’s calls dubious and potentially ineffective. (National Journal)
  • The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is looking to interview Christine O’Donnell, who was allegedly unfairly investigated by the IRS during her campaign for the Delaware Senate seat. O’Donnell claims that she was previously notified in January by the TIGTA that her tax information may have been inappropriately accessed by a Delaware state employee but that the case was later closed without her knowledge why. (Politico)
  • Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) travelled to Iowa to encourage evangelical leaders to become active politically. Both attended an Iowa fundraiser by Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, and said they would return for the Iowa GOP Summer Picnic. (Washington Post)
BILLS: 
  • H.Res. 310. Calling for more accountable foreign assistance for Cambodia.
  • H.R.2736Government Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013.

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