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Archive: May, 2013

POSTED: Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 1:45 PM
Congressman Patrick Meehan meets with his staff in his new office. ( Michael S. Wirtz / Staff Photographer ). 12/06/2011. EDITORS NOTE: SE1MEEHAN07. Tagging along with Pat Meehan on his first full day as a congressman.

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, a Delaware County Republican, ripped into the Obama administration responses to a series of controversies today, asking “where does the accountability begin?”

Lives and constitutional rights are at stake, he argued.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 11:38 AM
NJ Sen. Robert Menendez employed as an unpaid intern in his Senate office an illegal immigrant and registered sex offender who has now been arrested by immigration authorities, The Associated Press has learned. The Homeland Security Department instructed federal agents to wait weeks and not to arrest him until after Election Day, a U.S. official involved in the case told the AP. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

UPDATED 12:45

WASHINGTON -- Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, said the IRS' added scrutiny on tea party groups appears "completely politically motivated," contradicting statements from IRS officials."

At a Senate hearing today, Toomey pointed in particular to IRS leaders' inability -- or unwillingness -- to say who allowed the tea party targeting to resume even after it had first been stopped.

POSTED: Thursday, May 16, 2013, 12:41 PM
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, the oldest member of the U.S. Senate, tells a gathering Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, in his hometown of Paterson, N.J., that he plans to retire at the end of his current term. The 89-year-old says he'll fight for gun control, against global warming and press to ensure working families are not left behind. (AP)

WASHINGTON -- New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg was back in the Capitol for the second time since February this afternoon, but he didn’t answer questions from reporters.

Lautenberg, a Democrat, voted at a committee hearing to help break an impasse on President Obama’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy. He was wheeled in by an aide and did not speak during the 15-minute hearing, other than to say “aye,” helping Democrats advance the stalled nomination.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 2:08 PM

WASHINGTON -- New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg is expected back in Washington Thursday to help advance President Obama’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, spokesman Caley Gray confirmed Tuesday.

Lautenberg’s attendance would be his second visit to the Capitol since the end of February. The Democratic senator, suffering from leg pain and fatigue, according to his staff, also returned April 17 to vote on proposed gun laws.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 7:05 PM

WASHINGTON – A debate over the federal flood insurance program sparked cross-river crossfire today, with New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez clashing with Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey over a plan to hold down premiums.

Toomey, using procedural rules, blocked a plan to delay federal flood insurance rate hikes of up to 25 percent that could hit homeowners in high-risk flood areas. He said federal subsidies that keep rates down put taxpayers at risk, and urged the Senate to stick to rate increases approved last summer.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 4:22 PM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) sent a letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee today backing Philadelphia’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

“Philadelphia is a world-class city that would be an ideal fit for the 2024 Olympic games,” Casey said in a news release. “Playing the Olympic games in Philadelphia would have a major impact on job creation and economic growth in Southeastern Pennsylvania and across the state.”

POSTED: Monday, May 13, 2013, 1:30 PM

Here are three left-over thoughts based on my Sunday story looking at Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s early fund-raising push, his help from big-time celebrities from coast to coast and a huge influx of cash from outside New Jersey.

Included below are looks at how Booker’s out-of-state receipts compare to those of other senators, and some of the fun, famous names who have given big to his campaign - including Star Trek director J.J. Abrams, a New York Giants star and a couple familiar faces for New Jersey political watchers. But first ...

1. The competing narratives being put forward by Booker, the big favorite to replace retiring New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, and potential competitor Frank Pallone became clear in my reporting for the Sunday piece.

POSTED: Thursday, May 9, 2013, 10:38 AM

WASHINGTON – Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the gun control group led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is launching a television ad today thanking Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey for his work sponsoring a bipartisan bill to expand background checks.

The ad, which will run in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, opens with this voice over: “Washington likes to argue. Senator Pat Toomey wants to get things done.”

About this blog

Jonathan Tamari is the Inquirer’s Washington correspondent. He writes about the lawmakers, politics and policy that affect Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Tamari previously covered the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL. Before that he worked in Trenton, reporting on the characters and color of New Jersey state government. He lives in Washington.

Reach Jonathan at jtamari@phillynews.com.

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