User:Rich Abott

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I was an intern at the Sunlight Foundation focusing partially on for the fall 2007 semester.

In addition to adding front page headlines I have helped create the RESTORE Act (2007 FISA bill) page, Orderly and Responsible Iraq Redeployment Appropriations Act, updated copies of Members of Congress posting schedules online, and have helped build and update the individual 2008 Congressional Election State Portals.

Below are some of my saved headlines


  • Rep. Dave Weldon (D-Fla.) announced he was retiring and would not seek re-election in 2008.
  • The Senate rejected a version of the FISA bill omitting immunity for the telecommunication companies as Republicans sought to force a vote on January 28 to defeat Democratic amendments.
  • The U.S. attorneys scandal was expected to re-emerge within months because of investigations by the House and Senate Ethics Committees and when Attorney General Michael Mukasey was to testify for the first time before the Senate Judiciary Committee as attorney general.
  • Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) earmarked $6 million for a defense contractor that was his top campaign contributor and had his former congressional chief of staff as a lobbyist when he was on the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Defense in 2007.
  • Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif) announced that he was not running for re-election.
  • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked the Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate whether Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) violated federal bribery laws in getting an earmark for a reading program whose executives and lobbyists donated money to her.
  • House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) announced he would not run for reelection because he was recently diagnosed with cancer.
  • Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) was expected to announce abandoning his presidential campaign on December 20, 2007.
  • The House passed the $555 billion budget package, including $70 billion in unrestricted Iraq funding, sending it home for the year.
  • Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill that strengthened the Freedom of Information Act and penalizes government agencies that fail to surrender public documents on time.
  • Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said in a letter to Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Ky.) that he objected to the technical corrections bill reversing the changed language in the Coconut Road earmark if it did not also call for a "full and open investigation" into the change.
  • Rep. Julia Carson (D-Ind) died in her home on December 15, 2007 of lung cancer.
  • By a vote of 86-8 the Senate passed a revised version of the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007 that included an increase in fuel efficiency standards but not the tax package for wind and solar power projects.
  • By a vote of 12-7, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved contempt citations against former presidential adviser Karl Rove and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten.
  • House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would not appoint new Republicans to the House page board until reforms were made to the program.
  • Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.) announced he would not seek reelection in 2008, citing his inability to chair the House Ways and Means Committee because of the 2006 elections and the time spent away form his family.
  • The House passed a new version of the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007, mandating increased fuel efficiency standards and funds for renewable energy research, while the Senate failed a cloture vote on the measure.
  • Reps. Ginny Brown Waite (R-Fla.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) resigned from the board that governs the House page program, alleging the House clerk failed to inform them properly about page infractions.
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) won a bid to become Senate Chairman of the GOP Conference, defeating Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) by a vote of 31-16.
  • Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) formally rejected White House claims of executive privilege in the U.S. attorney firings scandal, forcing a vote on contempt citations.
  • The office of House Minorty Leader John Boehner announced that former Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) died at the age of 83.
  • House Transportation Committee Ranking Member John Mica said he expected Congress to reverse the Coconut Road earmark before the December recess.
  • Rep. Julia Carson (D-Ind.) revealed on November 25, 2007 that she had terminal lung cancer. Update: Carson also announced she would not seek re-election.
  • Former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore (R) announced his candidacy for the retiring Sen. John Warner's (R-Va.) seat, setting up a campaign against another former governor Mark Warner (D).
  • Federal prosecutors accused Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) of soliciting bribes in two alleged schemes not previously disclosed.
  • A $20 million earmark for a ferry inserted in the 2008 Defense appropriations bill by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) could be a boon to those close to the senator by rising their undeveloped land value.
  • Two Members of Congress, Jim Saxton (R-N.J.) and Barbara Cubin (R-Wyo.), have announced they would not run for re-election in 2008.
  • The Senate, agreeing with the House, voted 79-14 to override President Bush's veto of the Water Resources Development Act, the first override of a Bush veto.
  • A provision in House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel's tax overhaul plan concerning U.S. Virgin Islands I.R.S. audits could benefit many of his top donors.
  • Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) drafted a compromise amendment on telecom immunity to the new FISA bill that would make the federal government the defendant, instead of the companies, in about 40 pending cases.
  • Brent Wilkes was convicted on all 13 counts of corruption in the Duke Cunningham scandal while preparing for a separate case concerning corruption with former CIA executive director Kyle “Dusty” Foggo.
  • The chairs of the Senate and House education committees signaled that the No Child Left Behind Act would not be reauthorized in 2007 because of time constraints.
  • A bipartisan group of senators failed to reach a deal on revised SCHIP legislation, setting up a second veto by President Bush.
  • A story in The Washington Post explained the history and status of contractor Concurrent Technologies with respect to Rep. John Murtha.
  • The Republican leadership backed off from pressuring Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) to resign by stripping over 20 spending projects he sponsored.
  • Rep. Mike McNulty (D-N.Y.) announced his retirement from the House on October 29, 2007, becoming the first Democrat to announce his retirement from Congress this cycle.
  • Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) unveiled a proposal that would overhaul taxes, shifting tax income from the middle and upper-middle-class taxpayers to high-income individuals.
  • Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) officially announced that he would not run for retiring Sen. John Warner's (R-Va.) seat, citing the state Republican Party's decision to select a nominee by convention.
  • It was reported that Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) may be rethinking his bid for Sen. John Warner's (R-Va.) seat and may announce his own retirement within days.
  • Gov. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) announced a special election on Dec. 11 for Rep. Jo Ann Davis' seat.
  • Rep. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) won the Louisiana governorship on October 20, 2007, winning 53 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff election with nearest competitor Sen. Walter J. Boasso (D) who received 18 percent of the vote.
  • The House passed the revised SCHIP expansion bill in a vote of 265-159, short of the majority required to override an expected Presidential veto.


  • The Senate Intelligence Committee approved a biapartisan bill governing foreign intelligence surveillance that granted retroactive immunity to telecom companies that participated in warrantless wiretapping, meant to replace the August-passed Protect America Act of 2007.
  • It was revealed Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fl.) wrote a letter to the local university president in support of the Coconut Road interchange, despite saying he was not involved and knew nothing of the earmark inserted into the 2005 transportation bill.
  • Republican aides said Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) would resign before his term ends in January 2009, likely causing an election in early 2008.
  • Verizon told congressional investigators it has provided customers' telephone records to federal authorities in emergency cases without court orders hundreds of times since 2005.
  • A spokesman for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) said she would not run for re-election and may leave before the current term ends in 2012 to run for Texas governor.
  • The Congressional Research Service issued a memo outlining the possible constitutional violations that occur in a situation like the current transportation earmark controversy.
  • Republican sources confirmed that Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) would announce his retirement imminently
  • The House Committee on Foreign Affairs passed a nonbinding resolution affirming the Armenian genocide against the objections of President Bush and numerous former secretaries of state and defense who warned that it could seriously harm U.S.-Turkey relations.
  • A special election will decide the successor to Rep. Jo Ann Davis's (R-Va.) seat.
  • At the trial of alleged corrupt contractor Brent Wilkes, a Department of Defense contracting official said he received three phone calls from convicted former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham on behalf of Wilkes.
  • Rep. Steny Hoyer introduced the RESTORE Act to amend FISA on Oct. 9, 2007 as a replacement for the August-passed Protect America Act (PAA).
  • An Alabama lawyer told investigators for the House Committee on the Judiciary that former Gov. Don Siegelman (D-Ala.) conceded the 2002 election, in part, after Alabama Republicans promised to end a federal investigation of his administration.
  • In a Time report, allegations of bribery against Sen. Jeff Sessions went uninvestigated while a Democratic governor was prosecuted using the same source.
  • Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.) died at her home on Saturday October 6 from breast cancer.
  • Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) said on October 4, 2007 that he would finish out his term, despite a ruling against his bid to withdraw his guilty plea in the Minnesota airport sex sting scandal.
  • Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) will reportedly run for Sen. Pete Domenici's (R-N.M.) New Mexico Senate seat that opened up when Domenici announced his resignation on October 4, 2007.
  • President Bush vetoed the SCHIP expansion bill and House Democrats delayed the override vote until October 18 in the hopes that a grass-roots campaign and television and radio advertisements would win over the roughly 15 Republicans needed to override it.
  • A firm involved in Rep. William Jefferson's bribery case was awarded a $450,000 government grant as part of the alleged scheme.
  • It was expected Sen. Pete Domenici would announce his not seeking re-election for a seventh term due in large part to health issues on October 4, 2007.
  • House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) threatened to hold up $190 billion in supplemental Iraq War funding unless the president acceded to demands for an exit strategy and simultaneously proposed a war surtax.
  • Brent Wilkes' lawyer withdrew 12 House member subpoenas after a federal judge said he was prepared to quash them in bribery trial.
  • Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) was admitted to Virginia’s Inova Fairfax Hospital for atrial fibrillation, a heart condition, on October 2, 2007.


  • A watchdog group called for the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to launch an investigation into how a Florida earmark in the 2005 Transportation Bill was changed between being passed by Congress and signed by the President.
  • On September 27, Senator Ensign expanded on his earlier admission that he may have been behind the secret hold on the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act of 2007, saying that he was trying to change the bill before a final vote. Senate Democrats, however, denied that Ensign had come to them with changes.
  • *Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) raised $50,000 for his new PAC, nearly all of it from the staff and clients of the PMA Group, whose clients later received millions of dollars in earmarks.
  • It was revealed that Brent Wilkes' lawyers had issued subpoenas to several senators and administration figures in addition to twelve representatives. (TPM Muckraker story)