Washington Weekly
May. 27, 2014

Last Week

The House spent the majority of the week debating national security legislation. They amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, reforming how the NSA (National Security Agency) collects intelligence. According to supporters, under the legislation, the NSA would no longer collect and store metadata about the phone numbers people call, how often and for how long. Those records would stay with private phone companies that already have to hold onto them under federal regulations, and NSA officials would need a court order before searching for data about a specific phone number. The bill also bans bulk collection of information, creates a panel of legal experts to weigh in on matters at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and allows additional judicial oversight. In addition, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes personnel programs, and military activities and construction for the Department of Defense. The Senate cleared the Water Resources Development Act as well as a controversial nominee for the federal court, who had previously authored the legal justification for the use of drones.More

This Week

The House returns for a shortened week and will continue debating veterans' affairs issues, along with appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice. The Senate is in recess.More

Item of Interest

Following on another successful Small Business Week, the Small Business Administration will be hosting a free webinar on growing your business with simple marketing strategies. Viewers will learn new ways to engage current customers along with potential customers, and how to make the most of email and social media. To learn more, click here.More

Democrats Just Threw Down a Deadline For Immigration Reform. Here's What Happens Next.
Their message: Act by July 31, or President Obama will take strong executive action.More

House GOP to Senate: Act on Tax Breaks
The Hill
The quicker the Senate moves on extending popular tax breaks the better, GOP tax writers in the House say. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and his allies are pushing to revive and make permanent some of the dozens of incentives that expired at the end of last year, like the credit for business research.More

First Incumbent Could Lose in Tuesday's Texas Runoff
Roll Call
Could Ralph Hall be saying goodbye to Congress Wednesday morning? It's fight night in Texas and that's the biggest question of Tuesday's runoff.More

The Politics of White House Firings: Would Giving Shinseki the Ax be Good for Obama's Poll Numbers?
When presidential popularity sags, the predictable calls begin: Off with their heads! The heads, of course, belong to key administrators and Cabinet officials who are perceived to have contributed to whatever woes are besetting the president.More