User:Andrew MacRae

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I was an intern for the Center for Public Integrity's Well Connected Project from June 2nd 2007 to August 7th 2007. Formerly, I interned for the Sunlight Foundation; working both on Congresspedia as well as the Sunlight Network. My term of employment lasted from January 8th, 2007 to May 22nd, 2007.

Other projects I am involved with include:

Please feel free to contact me @ Andrew_MacRae (A|T) or through my homepage at Andrew

While @ the Center

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  • There are multiple construction tags, categories, portals, and badges, some sort of standardization needs to occur.

While @ Sunlight

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News blurbs for the front page

Last day

A former staffer of Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) has been indicted on a felony count of voter fraud. The issues of contention is whether or not the staffer intended on making NC his "permanent place of abode."(The Charlotte Observer story)

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) violated house rules when he failed to inform the Ranking Member of the Intelligence Committee Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) in writing, of an earmark for the National Drug Intelligence Center. (The Hill story)

Of the $8 billion dollars of pork barrel spending that was larded into the defense budget last week, Democrats take a 60% share. (The Hill story)

Second to last day

Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Artur Davis (D-Ala.) have introduced a resolution calling for President Bush to fire Attorney General Alberto Gonzales because he failed to "assure the public that the laws of the nation are being enforced in an independent, nonpartisan and judicious manner."(The Hill story)

Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, urging him to rebuke Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick; after police found evidence of dog-fighting on his Virginia farm. (The Hill story)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has issued a series of criticisms regarding the Senate's immigration bill.(The Hill story)

Week of May 14-18


Dean Andal will be challenging current Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) in the race for California's 11th district in the 2008 election cycle.(The Hill story)


On Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sent a letter to the Whitehouse, threatening to subpoena the Bush Administration's involvement in the decisions to fire 8 U.S. attorneys. (The Hill story)

On Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sent a letter to Alberto Gonzales berating him for not complying with the Congressional subpoena for the release of Karl Rove's emails regarding the firing of 8 U.S. attorney (The Hill story)

Reps. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) and Robert Brady (D-PA) have both lost their bids for the Democratic nomination in the Philadelphia mayoral race. ( story)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has agreed to delay debate on the immigration bill until next Monday, after calls for more time to negotiate bi-partisan legislation.(Politico story)

Democratic House leadership has introduced an ethics reform bill to address three contentious provisions including: the 'revolving door', 'Astroturf lobbying' and campaign fundraising by lobbyists. (Roll Call story)


Sen. Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has introduced two amendments to a water-resources bill, for the purpose of addressing the Iraq war. The bill is scheduled to be in conference by the week's end.([1] story) and other bloggers in conjunction with the Club for Growth began a campaign to remove Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) from the appropriations committee.([2] The Hill] story)


Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) has recently met with New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, over what could become an independent ticket for the presidency. (The Hill story)

A former business partner of former Congressmen - current Governor of Nevada Jim Gibbons, has stated that the Governor took a hundred thousand dollars (MSNBC story)

Sen. Reid postponed seeking cloture on the immigration bill on Friday; seeking to avoid the threat of a Republican filibuster. (The Hill story)

Week of May 7-11

Friday Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) will be expanding his congressional investigation of military contracts to include the coast guards deep water program.(The Hill story)

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) has been temporarily appointed House Appropriations Committee to replace Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.). (The Hill story)


Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has become the first chairman to video tape a hearing. Stating that "even the Congress" could do this. (The Hill story)

Reps. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) and Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), have introduced a measure requiring organizations and individuals who engage in so called "astroturf" lobbying, to register with the government and disclose certain financial information. (Roll Call story)

The House voted by voice vote to remove airplane travel restrictions. The new rules allow members to fly in a "friend's" airplane for free. The rules change also provides that members who are certified pilots may again fly their own aircraft. (Chicago Tribune story)

The House Administration Committee has approved the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007 (H.R.811). If enacted into law, this measure will require voter verified paper trails by the 2008 Presidential elections.(CNET news story)

Wednesday Marty Meehan has submitted his official resignation date of July 1st the Speaker of the House. (The Hill, story)

Tuesday Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) berated Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) for voting against appropriations for the National Drug Intelligence Center, and responded in kind by threatening funding of a Boeing project in Tiahrt's district.(The Hill story)

Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.) is accusing embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales of timing FBI raids on his home to relieve pressure in regards to the congressional attorney firing hearings. (Hill News story)

Week of April 30 to May 4

Thursday Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has issued subpoenas for all of Karl Rove's e-mails related to the 2006 firing of eight U.S. attorneys. ([3] The Hill]story)

According to a Hill story, Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) directed many earmarks in the 2005 transportation bill to his own business partners. The FBI is investigating the matter. (The Hill story)

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mon.) has called for Montana's acting Attorney General William W. Mercer to resign; after a federal judge found that he was "violating a federal law that requires him to live in Montana". (Washington Post story)

Week of April 23rd-27th

Friday Rep. Rick Renzi(R-Ariz.) has stated that he would not resign and that he is "looking forward to continuing to serve the people of the 1st district for the next two years".Roll Call story)

Eight Democrats participated in the first presidential primary debate of the 2008 cycle in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The participants were Sens. Joe Biden (Del.), Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), Christopher Dodd (Conn.), Barack Obama (Ill.), former Sens. John Edwards (N.C.) and Mike Gravel (Alaska), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), and Gov. Bill Richardson (N.M.).

Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) is being encouraged by Republican leadership to resign from his office as pressure builds from multiple scandals. (The Business Journal story)

Thursday An anonymous Senator has blocked the campaign finance electronic filing bill from moving forward under the closed ruled. This marks the second time this has happened to the legislation.(Sunlight Foundation story)

Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) has failed to disclose some $200,000 in payments connected to a 2005 land swap, which is currently under investigation by the Justice Department. (The Hill story)

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)will be introducing a bill to Repeal the 2006 ban on internet gambling. The increase in tax revenue would be slated for domestic policy expenditure. (The Hill story)

The House has passed the Iraq spending bill 218-208. (The hill story)

Wednesday Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) has stepped down from the Resources and Financial Services Committees following an FBI raid of his Arizona business, last week. (The Hill story)

The Department of Justices is investigating Rep. Tom Feeney's (R-Fla.) connection to Jack Abramoff. The Congressmen released a statement saying that he was 'voluntarily cooperating'. (The Hill story)

Sen. Mel Martinez, (R-Fla.) general chairman of the Republican National Committee, is facing charges of campaign finance irregularities stemming. (Politico story)

Monday Mark Zachares, former Young staffer and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands employee, was arrested and expected to enter a plea of guilty. The list of charges all stem from his involvement in the Abramoff scandal.([4] The Hill] story)

Senate Republicans have blocked the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2007 from reaching a floor vote, citing that the Democratic majority did not allow the consideration of any amendments. Democrats have countered by saying that the amendments were not germane. (The Hill story)

The House and Senate have reached a compromise over the Iraq war funding bill authorizing some $124 billion in additional spending. This measure is expected to be vetoed by the President. (Washington Post story)

Week of April 16th-20th

Yesterday's FBI raid on Congressmen John Doolittle's home was actually focussed on Julie Doolittle’s lobbying company, Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions Inc. and fundraising records related to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. (Roll Call story)

District director Stephanie Butler, has been subpoenaed to appear before a Virginia based grand jury; in connection with the ongoing federal investigation of Rep. William Jefferson's (D-La.). (The Hill story)

House Democrats have reintroduced two bills aimed at securing voting rights for the Representative from the District of Columbia. (Roll Call story)

FBI Raids Doolittle's Home: The FBI has raided the Northern Virginia home of Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.), according to Congressional sources. No details are publicly available yet about the circumstances of the raid, but Doolittle and his wife, Julie, have been under federal investigation for their ties to the scandal surrounding imprisoned former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Roll Call is reporting that the FBI has just raided Congressmen John Doolittle's (D-Calif.) Northern Virginia home. (Roll Call story)

Rep Jim Moran (D-Va.), has issued criticism of President Bush for letting the assault weapons ban expire saying that,"if he's serious about doing whatever he can to stop the potential for this carnage [the Virginia Tech Massacre], that might be one place to start."(Politico story)

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has re-affirmed his anti-gun control stance saying, "People are a little more cautious if somebody might have a gun there," (Politico story)

Rep. Tom Allen (D-Maine) is likely to enter the senatorial race against Susan Collins, according to his campaign manager. (The Hill story)

Representative of the House and Philadelphia Mayoral candidate Chaka Fattah (D-Penn.) has admitted to violating Philadelphia campaign finance law. (The Hill story)

The House task force charged with investigating the alleged voting machine failure in Florida's 13th House district, will have its first meeting today. The Congressional seat was awarded to Vern Buchanan by 369 votes, over 18,000 votes may have been effected. (The Hill story)

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) have created a joint Political Action Committee, after setting new quarterly fund raising records (The Hill story)

The Senate has decided to delay the Gonzales testimony until Thursday April the 19th, because of the shootings at Virginia Tech. ("Washington Post," story)

Week of April 2nd - 6th

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that if the President vetoes the recently passed Iraq appropriations bill that he would endorse Sen. Russ Feingold's (D-Wis.) plan to cut funding for the Iraq war, except for targeted measures against al Qaeda and for military trainers. (The Hill story)

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has sent a letter to President Bush, signed by 154 House members, indicating that they would sustain his veto of the Global War on Terror supplemental spending. bill.(The Hill story)

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) has formally announced his candidacy for President and has stated that illegal immigration would be his primary issue. ( story)

Week of March 26th-30th

Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) leading the appropriations committee has vowed to reduce the number of earmarks, as the Senate struggles with implementing the new financial disclosure rules. (Roll Call story)

The Senate voted 50-48 to keep the provisions for [Congressional actions to end the Iraq War in the 110th Congress#Withdrawal provisions remain| withdrawal from Iraq in the $122 billion supplemental appropriations bill]. (Hill News story)

Senatorial Aide Phillip Thompson could be imprisoned up to five years for possession of Sen. James Webb's gun (D-Va). The Senator stated, “I have never carried a gun in the Capitol complex and I did not give the weapon to Phillip Thompson.” (Roll Call story)

Rep. Nick Lampson, (D-Tex.) underwent quadrupedal bypass surgery on Sunday and will remain in the Houston area for 3 to 4 weeks while he recovers. (Houston Chronicle story)

Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are both working on bills creating federal standards for vote-by-mail. (Hill News story)

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) rebuked President Bush on Sunday on many issues ranging from his “military escalation” in Iraq, to his handling of the Attorney General firings, as well as the President's respect for the sharing of power and the Constitution. (Hill News story)

Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) has demanded that the Department of Defense release an internal report regarding the handling of Pat Tillman's death by friendly fire. (Hill Newsstory)

Week of March 19th-23rd

Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) directly criticized Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) during a speech on the house floor, violating House rules (Hill News story)

Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) are preparing to introduce comprehensive immigration reform legislation. (Hill News story)

The Senate appropriations committee is expecting to pass a $122 billion appropriations bill, that contains provisions for a March 31, 2008 goal for ending most combat operations in Iraq. (Washington Post story)

Week of March 12th-16th

House members including, John Boehner (R-Ohio) are asking the ethics committee for written guidelines to clarify the new financial interest disclosure rules. (Politico story)

March 15th, House Democrats expect to pass a $124 billion appropriations bill, that will include a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq by fall of 2008. (CNN story)

The White House has responded to criticism of it's forced resignation of eight U.S. Attorneys saying that Voter-Fraud Investigations were not being taken seriously. (Washington Post story)

Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) has become the first Republican lawmaker to say, "the president should fire the attorney general and replace him as soon as possible". (CNN story)

The Democratic Caucus chairman, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), is telling freshmen House Members to avoid going on the Colbert Report, fearing they will will say something ludicrous and lose the Democrats a house seat. (Hill News'' story)

Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and John Warner (R-Va.) have been discussing the possibility of breaking ranks and coming up with a compromise piece of legislation regarding the Presidents plan for a troop surge in Iraq and Congressional appropriations.(Roll Call story)

The Senate has passed a bill containing the remaining provisions of the 9/11 panel as well as expanded labor rights for more than 45,000 airport screeners. (Washington Post story)

Rep. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) will be resigning his seat in the house of representatives to become the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. (Hill Newsstory)

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) wants to call Karl Rove to testify before the Judiciary subcommittee in regards to his role in the U.S. Attorney firing controversy.(Hill News story)

The man in charge of dismissing the U.S. Attorney's, D. Kyle Sampson, resigned yesterday after he acknowledging that he had withheld information from Congress. Among the information withheld was that the White House can been considering firing all 93 U.S. Attorneys as early as February 2005. (Washington Post story)

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has officially announced that he is a candidate for the presidency. (Hill News story)

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) has stated that he will announce whether or not he intends to run for the Presidency, later this year. (TPMmuckraker story)

Citing a lack of respect for the "rule of law and the Constitution law", Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has called for Attorney General Gonzales to "step down". (CNN story)


House Democrats have introduced legislative requirements for the complete withdraw of U.S. combat soldiers from Iraq by fall of 2008. The legislation is set to be bundled with a military appropriations bill of $100 billion Yahoo story)

The Senate Judiciary Committee will decide tomorrow, whether or not they will subpoena Department of Justice officials as part of an investigation into the firing of 7 U.S. Attorneys in December. (TPMmuckrakerstory)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has stated that she would not file a motion objecting to the FBI raid on Rep. William Jefferson (D-L.A.), unless Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) would join her. (Politico story)

Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va) has introduced a bill which would seek to prohibit the President from invading Iran with any funding, without congressional approval. (TPM Muckraker story)

Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) has confirmed that she had called former the U.S. Attorney after her constituents contacted her saying that, "David Iglesias was intentionally delaying corruption investigations." (Washington Post story)

David Iglesias and three other recently fired U.S. attorney's have been subpoenaed to appear before a Judicial hearing. The hearing is focused around Republican Executive and Legislative branch interference into corruption inquiries. (Hill News story)

Joe Bacca (D-Calif.), has remained remained Chairperson of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, despite what many news sources were calling a "coup" to unseat him. (Hill News story)

The Peru free-trade agreement (FTA), is coming under attack by Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) citing National Security concerns. (Hill News story)

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, has yet to decide the date for the special election to replace Deceased Congressmen Charlie Norwood. Three candidates have entered the race so far. (Congressional Quarterly story)

Former candidate Christine Jennings has filed a brief in Florida courts seeking review of Sarasota County electronic voting systems. (Hill News story)

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) criticized the commissioner of the NFL, for his refusal to play a Border Patrol advertisement during the Super Bowl. (Hill News' story)

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) delivered scathing criticism in regards to former Secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld calling him, "one of the worst secretaries of defense in history." ([5] New York Times] story)

The Senate failed to vote on a non-binding resolution condemning the Iraq war, despite possessing a majority. (Hill News story)

Defense contractor Brent Wilkes and Former CIA NO. 3 person Kyle “Dusty” Foggo have been indicted with 11 felonies for their involvement in the Randy "Duke" Cunningham scandal.(Hill News story)

The Senate has confirmed Gen. George Casey as the new army chief of staff, despite opposition from John McCain (R-Ariz.) Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.). Gen George Casey has spoken out against an increase in troops. (Hill News story)

The FEC will decide on Thursday whether or not to grant the Green Senatorial Campaign Committee (GSCC) the same status as it's Democratic and Republican counterparts. (Politico story)

Democratic Leadership in the house will introduce a non-binding resolution on Iraq new week. The resolution is being crafted by Foreign Affairs Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and Armed Service Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) with the hopes of having "near unanimity" among Democrats.(Roll Call story)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has stated she would attempt to stop a possible US invasion of Iran through legislation. (TPM Cafe story)

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev) is coming under fire for a 2002 land purchase at a drastically lower value than the land was worth. (LA Times story)

Senate agrees on Sen. John Warner's (R-V.A.) language for a non-binding resolution condemning the President's plan for a troop surge. (Washington Post story)

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has introduced a bill seeking to criminalize " voter suppression and deceptive electoral tactics" especially dealing with Robo-calls and fraudulent flyers. (Hill News story)

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) has quit the Hispanic Caucus alleging the chairman Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) called her "a whore". (Politico story)

Senator Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) is mulling over options involving the power of the purse and the President's proposed troop surge. (CNN story}

New Chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), has stated the committee agenda will focus on health care, law enforcement and "other issues". (Hill News story)

Former Reps. Jeb Bradley (R-N.H.) and Jim Ryun (R-Kan.) have publicly stated that they will be re-challenging democrat Reps. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H) and Nancy Boyda (D-Kan), who took them out of office in the November 2006 elections. (Hill News story)

Despite resistance of the President's plan, the Senate remains seemingly unable to pass a resolution condemning troop surge. (Washington Post story)

Former Arkansas governor, Republican Mike Huckabee has announced the creation of his presidential exploratory committee. (Bloomberg story)

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) has launched his bid to become the Republican Presidential candidate. (CNN story)

Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.) has endorsed former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's 2008 Presidential bid the Desert Sun story)

Sen. Norm Coleman R-Minn introduces S.363 aimed at providing $5 billion for stem cell research that does not involve "crossing the ethical line of using taxpayer dollars for the destruction of human embryos. (Star Tribune story)

After being 'out-fundraised' by the DSCC 2006, the NRSC, under the leadership of Sen.John Ensign (R-Nev) seeks to close the $30 million dollar gap. (Hill News story)

The recent passage of the Senate ethics bill (specifically the 9th amendment) contains wiggle room for Congressional Spouses who are lobbyists. (Roll Call story)

The House passed a law denying convicted Congressmen their pensions beginning with the 110th session. (Washington Post story)

Convicted former Congressmen Bob Ney sentenced to 30 months in prison, 2 years of probation, and 6,000$ in fines for his role in the Jack Abramoff scandals. (Washington Post story)

Senate overwhelmingly passes ethics bill 96-2; after a dispute involving provisions for line item veto was resolved. (New York Times story)

The Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007 has stalled over a debate whether or not to include provisions including a Presidential line item veto. (Roll Call story)

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) is calling for the President to "establish the conditions that will lead to political stability in Somalia". (Hill News story)

Reformatting the intro text for Congressmen


John Eric Ensign, a Republican, has represented the state of Nevada in the Senator since 2000. (map)


Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, has represented the First Congressional District of Hawaii in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1991. (map)

Pages I was working on

How a bill becomes a law

I. The Congress

The Congress is a bicameral (two chambers) legislature composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Though they each have different constitutionally defined functions both bodies are legislative equals and each member has one vote. Constitutionally, the House is the originator of "all revenue bills", and by tradition all appropriations bills. Whereas the Senate has the Constitutional charge over the confirmation of Executive and Federal Judiciary appointments.[6]

The House of Representatives is currently composed of 435 Members, as was determined by federal law in 1910. Apportionment of House members per state is decided using the U.S. Census. Members are elected to serve two year terms. Eligibility for serving in the House is that you must be:

  • 25 years of age,
  • a U.S. citizen for seven years, (and)
  • be a resident of the district you intend to serve.[7]

The Senate is composed of 100 Members, with each state having two senators. Members are elected to serve for six years, with one-third of the senate facing reelection every two years. Eligibility for serving in the Senate is that you must be:

  • 30 years of age,
  • a U.S. citizen for nine years, (and)
  • be a resident of the state you intend to serve.[8]
Main article: How a bill becomes a law/I. The Congress

II. Sources of legislation

While legislation is only introduced into Congress by a member, it may be derived from anywhere. Drafting legislation is much more complicated than merely having an idea about the way 'things out to be'. It is a meticulous process of adding to or altering the federal statutory code, which itself becomes increasingly complex as laws are passed.[9]

Governmental sources of legislation include not only legislators and their staff, but the entire Executive Branch, from the Presidency to the Bureaucracies. The President is required to report on the "State of the Union" to the Congress, as well as to recommend legislation and a yearly budget. Though Congress is under no obligation to introduce the legislation, the Executive is becoming an increasingly important source of legislation.[10]

Non-Governmental sources of legislation include: citizens, corporations, lobbyists, think-tanks, unions, universities and any other person or group who seeks to change the law. In short there are an infinite number of sources of legislation, but all require a member of Congress for their introduction to become law.[11]

Main article: How a bill becomes a law/II. Sources of legislation



  1. Charles W. Johnson, "How our Laws are Made: Publication" Library of Congress, June 20, 2003.
  2. Robert B. Dove, "Enactment of Law: Motions, Quorums, and Votes " Library of Congress, February 1997.