General information, schedules and past Freshmen Forums.
Return to @the Capitol.
Scrutinize the work of several major Congressional committees in online forums with the chairs and ranking members.
Follow the first year in Congress of Freshmen Reps. Kay Granger (R-TX) and Jay Johnson (D-WI)
The halls of Congress were a buzz with talk of investigations, leadership coups and the resignation of one of the top Republican leaders. While the House continued to debate the upcoming final vote on a tax cut proposal, the behind the scenes fight in the GOP leadership had the press corps talking. All the palace intrigue came to a tumultuous head when Rep. Bill Paxon, the chairman of the House Republican Leadership, resigned his office after a stormy meeting with House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Regardless of the leadership woes of the Republicans, the work of the House continued. On Thursday, a bipartisan group of freshmen Members of the House introduced their version of campaign finance reform. The bill, which has drawn the ire of both the Democratic and Republican leaders, would ban soft money, require faster disclosure of contributions and would make groups who spend more than $25,000 in advertising in a congressional district disclose how much they are spending.
Representative Ellen Tauscher, a Democrat from northern California, was one of the first to endorse the new reform proposal offered by the freshmen. Tauscher was one of the freshmen who spoke at the bill's introduction. "Since the U.S. Congress is the only one who can change the federal campaign finance system, the American people are deserved cynical of a Congress that has failed to institute meaningful campaign finance reform in over twenty years," she said. "This is a balanced bipartisan approach that directly attacks two of the most egregious problems in our campaign system -- soft money and meaningful, timely, and assessable disclosure"
Congressman Mike Pappas (R-NJ) has been focusing on the tax cut bill currently being debated in conference. Pappas recently explained why he supports tax cuts. "As the old saying goes, Mr. Speaker, there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. Who among us thinks that we are undertaxed? How many of us think that we should be paying
more of our hard-earned tax dollars to the Federal Government?" Pappas said on the floor of the House. "We are taxed on every dime we
make, every purchase we make, every phone call we place, every gallon of gas we pump, every
home we sell. We are even taxed when we die. The people of central New Jersey have told me that
they are tired of paying more and more each year. They have told me to go to Washington and
work for real tax relief."
This forum addresses the following issues: Is the House GOP imploding? Will the freshmen campaign finance proposal get anywhere? What type of tax cut proposal should the House support?