National Journal Online

Democrats Sign Conference Report

Democratic members of the appropriations conference committee finally signed the conference report Thursday night after withholding their John Hancocks in hopes of negotiating a better deal on a payroll-tax cut package.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., released the conferees, apparently confident a deal with Republicans on a package that would extend the payroll tax holiday and federal unemployment insurance while also ensuring that doctors who see Medicare patients do not take a 27 percent pay cut was close at hand.

Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 10:40pm

Davis Announces Retirement

Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., announced Thursday evening he would not seek reelection in 2012, becoming the first Republican this cycle to retire outright rather than seek higher office.

Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 10:40pm

Goss Recuses Himself From Ethics Panel

The chairman of the Office of Congressional Ethics, former CIA Director Porter Goss, has recused himself from his post probing the alleged misdeeds of House members because his son is running for Congress in Florida.

The elder Goss, a Republican who represented Florida for 16 years in the House, has served as cochairman of the outside investigatory panel since its creation in 2008. He was jointly appointed by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and then-Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 8:40pm

Saying Goodbye: Change in the 112th Congress

Not every representative and senator who is sworn in at the beginning of a Congress is around for the end of their terms. Some step down for other jobs or in the wake of scandal, and a few, sadly, prove all too mortal. Others may stay until the end of their terms, but don't plan on seeking reelection out of a desire to retire from politics or to seek other elective positions.

Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 8:40pm

Rep. Geoff Davis to Retire

Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., will not seek a fifth term next year, according to a statement posted to his website on Thursday evening.

Davis, 53, who was first elected in 2004, says he's retiring "in order to devote more time to my family," according to the statement. Davis is a member of the influential House Ways and Means Committee. He has a solidly conservative voting record, especially when it comes to foreign policy.

Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 7:40pm

Hate Washington? Join the Club

Welcome to my hometown. There are few places in the world that people hate so much, yet expend such extraordinary effort trying to get to.

Myself, I find much to love about Washington. The monuments are pretty. The green spaces are well manicured. The museums are astounding (and mostly free). And it is just Southern enough to produce good food and good people.

One need look no further for the most recent evidence of this than the latest raft of national polls. The president’s approval rating bobs around in the mid-40s, and Congress can barely crack double digits.

Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 7:40pm

Look Out for a Santorum Surprise

HOLSTEIN, Iowa -- Two dozen Iowa Republicans buzzed around Rick Santorum 15 minutes before the start of his town hall meeting at Java Junkies coffee shop. His spokesman, Matt Beynon, nodded to the crowd and apologized to a reporter: "Your interview will have to wait," he said.

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Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 7:40pm

Gingrich Praises Ryan’s New Medicare Proposal

FORT DODGE, Iowa – Newt Gingrich is generously praising a new bipartisan proposal to tackle the rising cost of Medicare developed by Rep. Paul Ryan –- the same Republican whom Gingrich accused earlier this year of “right-wing social engineering” in response to Ryan’s budget plan.

Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 7:40pm

Four Reasons Why Hispanics Matter in Iowa—PICTURES

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Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 7:40pm

Institute of Medicine Calls for Halt in Use of Chimps for Most Medical Research

Chimpanzees are not necessary for most biomedical research, the influential Institute of Medicine said on Thursday, and National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said his agency would not fund any new studies using chimpanzees while it takes the report into account.

Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 7:40pm