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)
Congress returns from its week Memorial Day break and prepares to wade into two contentious issues. It will first address the nuts and bolts of the balanced budget agreement. They must begin implementing the plan by passing appropriations bills to fund the government and that are in line with the budget agreement. Congress will also prepare for next month's investigation into the campaign financing scandal that has engulfed the White House and several members of Congress, including the man slated to head up the House inquiry Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN).
While on break, the President and others criticized House Republicans for leaving town without passing the emergency appropriations bill to fund natural disaster clean-ups in North Dakota, California and some 30 other states.
Representative Ellen Tauscher, a Democrat from northern California, fought hard against one of the several Republican amendments offered to the emergency appropriations bill. The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), would have repealed large sections of the recently passed bill to deny firearms to those convicted of domestic violence. "What makes this amendment even worse is that Rep. Barr is trying to hold hostage all of the urgently needed flood relief funding for California and the Dakota's," Tauscher said. "Doing an end-run around the normal Congressional hearing process is no way for us to be doing business. If Rep. Barr feels so strongly about his proposal, let's debate the bill on its merits instead of trying to sneak it into a completely unrelated and urgently needed piece of legislation."
Congressman Mike Pappas (R-NJ) has taken the lead on two major initiatives, balancing the federal budget and allowing people who work at home to claim their residence for tax purposes. "Whether it is the father who wants to be there for his children or the mother who works as a consultant, working from home has become increasingly appealing," Pappas said. "The advent of fax machines, the Internet, and teleconferencing has changed the face of doing business. Each of us know people who work from their homes; consultants, sales people, lawyers, doctors, accountants. Many of the people that we deal with each day, sometimes unbeknownst to us, are working out of their home."
Issues Addressed in this Forum Include: Was Congress irresponsible in the handling of the emergency appropriations bill? Should Congress be considering tax incentives for small business in this time of budgetary belt-tightening? Can Congress investigate campaign financing in a bipartisan manner or will these investigations be purely political?