Reid (left) and Smith (AP/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite)

Hitting the pause button

Congress | Lawmakers from both parties back away from controversial internet anti-piracy bills
by Edward Lee Pitts
Posted 1/20/12, 08:24 pm

WASHINGTON-In a victory for new social media over traditional content industries, top congressional lawmakers on Friday delayed moving forward with controversial anti-piracy legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, bowing to mounting pressure, canceled a vote scheduled for Tuesday on the Senate version, called the Protect IP Act. Meanwhile, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said his panel would postpone consideration of that chamber's version, known as the Stop Online Piracy Act.

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Associated Press/Photo by Jacquelyn Martin

Before Christmas deal

Congress | House Republicans retreat and pass the Senate's two-month payroll tax cut extension
by Edward Lee Pitts
Posted 12/23/11, 07:11 pm

WASHINGTON-Congress approved a two-month tax cut extension for 160 million workers Friday, after House Republicans capitulated on their insistence of an immediate yearlong extension to the payroll tax break.

In a year stuffed with fierce Capitol Hill fights, 2011's final congressional war threatens to leave potentially long-lasting battle scars on Republicans heading into the 2012 election.

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Associated  Press/Photo by Susan Walsh

No to 'can-kicking'

Congress | House Republicans reject a Senate plan for a short-term payroll tax cut extension
by Edward Lee Pitts
Posted 12/21/11, 12:44 am

WASHINGTON-Don't look for Christmas cheer in the nation's capital. After a year of tense partisan battles over budgets and deficits, Congress is proving itself incapable of doing anything but ending 2011 with a bang.

House Republicans threw down what could be their riskiest gauntlet yet Tuesday when they rejected a Senate plan for a two-month payroll tax cut extension.The irony in this latest Capitol Hill deadlock is that both parties say they favor the payroll tax holiday.

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