Jonathan TamariWASHINGTON – All four Senators from Pennsylvania and New Jersey voted Thursday to give President Obama authorization to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State, though some expressed serious concerns about his plan and another Middle East entanglement.
Sens. Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Pat Toomey (R., Pa.), Cory Booker (D., N.J.) and Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) all backed the plan, which was approved 78-22.
Democratic and Republican House members from the Philadelphia region also supported the proposal in a vote Wednesday, providing Obama the authority to advance his plan to take on the group, often called ISIS, in part by training opposition fighters in the volatile region as the U.S. continues air strikes.
WASHINGTON – A national gun control group hoping to counter the influence of the NRA has chosen a Bucks County race for its first television ad supporting a Republican Congressional candidate.
The group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, will begin airing an ad Thursday praising U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), for his support last year for a plan to expand background checks to cover nearly all gun purchases.
“Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick isn’t afraid to lead,” says the 30-second ad. “He’s working with Democrats and Republicans to keep us safe from gun violence.” (The spot is below).
WASHINGTON – In the waning days before lawmakers leave Washington, the House got something done Tuesday behind an effort led by U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), of Bucks County.
What exactly they accomplished, though, likely depends on where you sit on the political spectrum and your level of skepticism as election day nears.
To Fitzpatrick and, presumably, the 319 Republicans and Democrats who voted with him on the “Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act” Tuesday night, the House was cutting through needless government regulations to help growing businesses keep expanding, and hiring.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D. N.J.) called Tuesday for ending a tax exemption for professional sports leagues and spending the new revenue on domestic violence programs.
Booker’s proposal comes as domestic violence among National Football League players has dominated the national headlines and conversation, though it seems a longshot to passage, particularly with Congress on the verge of leaving Washington until after Election Day.
Booker’s office said the plan would raise $100 million over 10 years.
WASHINGTON – The South Jersey race to replace U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan (R. N.J.) is dead even, according to a Stockton Polling Institute survey released Monday afternoon.
The poll found that Democrat Aimee Belgard and Republican Tom MacArthur each have support from 42.2 percent of likely voters surveyed in the district. Another 12.8 percent were undecided and the rest said they would support someone else, no one, or refused to answer. The race is shaping up as the most competitive House contest in the Philadelphia region. Runyan is retiring.
“A congressional race this close will continue to draw national attention,” said Daniel J. Douglas, director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy, which includes the polling institute. “The candidates will be fighting over a relatively small number of undecided voters from now to Election Day.”
WASHINGTON – Debo Adegbile, the civil rights attorney whose path to a high-profile post in the Obama administration was derailed by connections to the Mumia Abu-Jamal case, has withdrawn as a nominee and joined a law firm.
Adegbile, whose nomination to lead the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division was blocked by a charged Senate vote in March, joined Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP as a partner, the firm announced Monday.
"Debo Adegbile has withdrawn himself from consideration for a position at the Department of Justice, and we are actively working toward announcing a new nominee for the post," said a White House spokesperson. UPDATE: The White House later officially announced that Adegbile had withdrawn as a nominee.
WASHINGTON – The passengers and crew of United Flight 93, along with others killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, received Congress’ highest honor Wednesday in a ceremony at the Capitol awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal.
“Tomorrow, we mourn for what was taken. Today, we consider what was left behind: stories we tell and re-tell, a legacy we strive to claim, and families we ache to serve,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio).
With numerous family members in attendance, three medals were presented: one to go on display at New York’s 9/11 memorial and museum, one for the Pentagon, and one at the Flight 93 memorial site in Shanksville, Pa., where 40 passengers and crews were killed after what is believed to be a struggle for control of the fourth plane hijacked in the 9/11 terrorist assault.
WASHINGTON — Democrats hit hard in their first TV ad of the general election, one targeted to a South Jersey district now represented by U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan (R., N.J.).
According to Tom MacArthur, the Republican who is running to replace Runyan, Democrats also hit low — and dirty.
The ad, from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is backing Belgard, began running on cable TV in the district Tuesday. (It can be seen below).