Spotlight on Congress

MapLight research on the influence of money and politics in U.S. Congress.

Conservative Group's Financial Influence Gets Balanced Budget Amendment Over the Finish Line

August 2, 2011 - With only hours to spare before the federal government was expected to default on its debt obligations, the U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted (74-26) to clear a bill (S 365) that would raise the debt ceiling and cut spending without raising taxes.

House Passes Bill to Expedite Keystone Pipeline Decision Despite Environmental Concerns

July 27, 2011 - The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill (HR 1938) by a vote of 279-147 that would direct President Obama to expedite consideration and approval of the construction and operation of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The pipeline would run from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Pro-Business Groups Lack Consensus on Solution to the Debt Ceiling

July 26, 2011 - Time is running out for members of Congress to draft and pass legislation before the U.S. is expected to default on its loans. An article in CQ Weekly highlights a division among conservative-leaning pro-business groups that might illustrate why Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) have had difficulty in their negotiations with President Obama over raising the debt ceiling.

The U.S. Senate Tables the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act

July 22, 2011 - The U.S. Senate voted today to table H.R. 2560 in a party-line vote of 51-46. The procedure of a "Motion to Table the Motion to Proceed to Consider H.R. 2560" resulted in interest groups taking the opposite position that they did when the bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representative earlier in the week.

U.S. House Votes to Weaken Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection

July 21, 2011 - The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted 241-173 to pass a bill (HR 1315) that would weaken the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.