January 19th was a big day for the 115th Congress: Part of the government ran out of funding and some spying authorities also expired. In this episode, learn about FISA reauthorization law that contained a giant loophole that will allow previously inadmissible information to be used against you in court, get all the details about the 69 hour shutdown that resulted from an attempt by the Democratic Party to … do something for the Dreamers, get enraged by the dingleberries attached to the fourth temporary funding law of this fiscal year, and discover why Jen is angry with just about everyone right now.
Right before Christmas, the government was temporarily funded for the fourth time this fiscal year, but this latest funding law came with a few surprises. In this episode, a feisty Jen outlines the law to expose a favor to the war industry, damage to the Affordable Care Act, a bad sign for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a giant loophole that paved the way for a new mountain of government debt, and more. You’ll also learn about an “uncontroversial” bill that reduces accountability for foreign fighters who abuse women and that showers literal gifts upon a secretive Drug War commission. But it’s not all bad news! There’s also a reason for hope.
We’re officially halfway through the 115th Congress and we will soon get our next chance to hire better representation in 2018. In this special episode, recorded in front of a live audience, meet Jen’s friend who is running for Congress. In this episode, hear how Jessica Morse made the decision to run for Congress, discover what the experience of running has been like, and learn where all that campaign cash goes. This is a hopeful episode! Election time is almost here! Celebrate the possibilities that lay before us in the last Congressional Dish of 2017.
If you are an American adult, there is a good chance that criminals now have the ability to match your name and social security number, greatly increasing your risk of becoming a victim of identity fraud. In this episode, hear highlights from Congressional hearings about the Equifax breach that exposed the personal information of 145.5 million Americans as we explore the key role that credit reporting companies play in our society.
Natural disasters: They just keep coming. In this episode, learn about the disaster relief bill that will soon be law, get an update from Puerto Rico from a member of the Coast Guard, and look into a few new laws that included disaster relief provisions with special guests Jessica Rhodes and Margy Feldhuhn.
Also, get the scoop on the existential crisis that Congressional Dish has been experiencing and get a preview of exciting new changes coming soon to your favorite Congress-focused podcast.
Since 1994, the FBI has maintained a database with samples of DNA taken from convicted criminals in order to match those samples with DNA collected at crime scenes. However, over the course of the last two decades, the DNA database has expanded to include many more people. In this episode, we explore the expansion of DNA collection and storage by law enforcement and examine a new law that will further that trend.
Later in the episode, get an update on Congress’s progress in meeting their multiple September 30th deadlines. Continue reading →
Process: It matters. During the first seven months of the 115th Congress, the Republicans tried – in multiple ways – to repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act. We already know what they were trying to do; in this episode, hear the full story of how they tried to get their bills passed into law. Later in the episode, we also do a quick summary of what to expect in September as deadlines related to flood insurance, government funding, marijuana, and many other topics loom.
On August 2nd, President Trump signed a new law that passed Congress with the overwhelming support of both political parties, which imposes sanctions on three countries: Russia, North Korea, and Iran. In this episode, we examine the new sanctions and the big-picture motivations behind them. In the process, we jump down the rabbit hole of the U.S. involvement in the 2014 regime change in Ukraine.
In 2012, Congress created a new government agency called FirstNet and tasked it with building a high-speed wireless network that would allow all first responders in the United States to communicate with each other daily and in times of emergencies. In July, FirstNet awarded AT&T with a 25 year contract to do the actual work. In this episode, hear highlights from a recent hearing about this new network as we examine the wisdom of contracting such an important part of our public safety infrastructure to the private sector.
We’ve paid a lot of attention this year to the bill that would “Repeal and Replace” the Affordable Care Act but that is not the only bill related to heath care that is moving through Congress. In this episode, learn about the other health care bills that have made it just as far as the Repeal and Replace bill, including one that is already law. Also in this episode, we laugh at the Senate for inventing holidays and doing so in the dumbest way possible. Continue reading →