LJWorld.com weblogs Congressional Briefing

Slow going


Pat Roberts links [(New York Times) Little Progress in Bid to Extend Patriot Act:][1] The Senate Intelligence Committee failed to reach final agreement on Thursday on a proposal that would expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation's powers to demand records and monitor mailings in terror investigations, but officials said they were confident that the committee would come to a consensus on the issue. ... The committee chairman, Senator Pat Roberts, declined to discuss details of the session but said some members wanted more time to look at certain issues. "I think we're making good progress," Mr. Roberts, Republican of Kansas, said. "I think we will get a bill." [(LA Times) Senate Delays Vote on Bolton:][2] The Senate dealt another setback to the beleaguered nomination of John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday, voting to delay his confirmation for at least another week after Democrats accused the administration of withholding information. ... The first casualty of Thursday's vote, however, may have been the spirit of compromise achieved Monday when a group of 14 moderate and maverick Democratic and Republican senators signed an agreement on judicial nominees. In that compromise - which pulled the Senate back from what could have become a paralyzing partisan confrontation - seven Democrats promised to filibuster judicial nominees only in "extraordinary circumstances" in return for Republicans promising not to vote to change the filibuster rules that allow the minority party to hold up nominations. "Well, John Bolton is in extraordinary-circumstance purgatory right now," said an angry Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), when asked whether the Democrats' actions Thursday undermined the spirit of the agreement.Sam Brownback links [(Indian Country Today) Kept promises are better than apologies:][3] A proposed official government apology to American Indians for past depredations would be meaningless without addressing ongoing depredations, tribal leaders told the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. ... Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., who introduced the resolution, drew parallels between American Indians and his constituents who ''care for our nation and the land of our forefathers so greatly, that we too are willing to serve and protect it, as faithful stewards of the creation God has blessed us with.'' The resolution, Brownback said, doesn't dismiss ''the valiance'' of U.S. soldiers who fought the Indians or blame one side or the other for the battles. [(Press Release) Kosovo Human Rights Still at Risk, Helsinki Commission Members Find:][4] The state of human rights in Kosovo remains precarious and the international community must work to stabilize the situation. That was among the points that were made in a hearing held by the U.S. Helsinki Commission. "We are not out of the woods on human rights in Kosovo," said Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission. "Kosovo may be out of the headlines, but the misery and danger there is still very real. Security, property and a whole host of human rights-related issues remain to be addressed." Todd Tiahrt links [(Wichita Eagle) Reagan Washington International reopens to general aviation][5] he Federal Aviation Administration announced this afternoon that charter flights, corporate jets and some small planes will be allowed to use Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport within 90 days. The type of private craft that can fly in and out remains limited. While charter jets and larger business jets will be allowed, smaller Cessnas, Beechcraft and other planes will be considered for flights later. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, called the reopening a "first step." "We have a way to go, but this is better than nothing at all," he said. How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][6] [1]: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/27/politics/27patriot.html [2]: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-bolton27may27,0,6364282.story?coll=la-home-headlines [3]: http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096411000 [4]: http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=48052 [5]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/11737345.htm [6]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed


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