DC Download: Non-cliff news

(LIN) â€” There have been plenty of headlines about the “fiscal cliff” showdown in Washington D.C., and since both sides haven’t yet reached an agreement, not much has changed since last week.

Instead of rehashing a blow-by-blow of the stalemate, let’s take a moment and see what else happened on Capitol Hill this week.

Two inaugurations for Obama

President Barack Obama will not be sworn-in once this year, but twice. Inauguration Day is Jan. 20, and since that falls on a Sunday, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will officially swear in the president in a private ceremony at the White House that day. The public ceremony – a public swearing-in, procession and inaugural address – will take place Jan. 21.

In 2009, a record number of spectators came out to watch history unfold at President Obama’s first inauguration. This year’s public ceremony isn’t expected to be as grand. Many close to the plans claim it will be a little more relaxed than in 2009, and no one is expecting 1.8 million spectators in attendance.


Fed worker unhappiness

Dread going to work every day? You aren’t the only one. A new study released by The Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte ( www.our publicservice.org/ ) shows that federal employee satisfaction has dropped to a nine-year low. Analysts attribute the unhappiness to pay freezes and “derisive commentary” toward federal employees.

What are the worst places to work in the federal government? The Department of Homeland Security, The Federal Maritime Commission and The National Archives and Records Administration rank lowest. Coming out on top as the best places to work are NASA, the entire intelligence community, the Congressional Budget Office and the Smithsonian Institution.

For a complete list, follow this link. ( http://bestplacestowork.org/BPTW/index.php)


Christmas vacation

Congress adjourns Friday, Dec. 14 for the holidays and still has quite a bit of work to accomplish. Other than the country’s potential plummet off the so-called “fiscal cliff,” a few other items are still waiting for Congressional action:

Farm Bill solution – Although Congress let the Farm Bill expire in September, some leaders in Congress are still trying to find a way to deal with evolving commodity subsidies for farmers. A five-year farm bill is on the table awaiting approval to lay the groundwork for a new U.S. farm policy for 2013.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) renewal - This legislation, which expires at year’s end, allows the government to listen in on Americans’ phone calls and emails without a warrant as long as one of the parties is believed to be outside the United States.

Sandy aid - Congress has yet to decide on how much money should be approved for Superstorm Sandy relief aid. The White House’s $60.4 billion supplemental spending request on the table would aid New York and New Jersey communities affected by Sandy, but House Republicans seem to collectively voice that a $60 billion check is not chump change during the country’s current deficit problem.

a - There's an end-of-the-year push to pass a new, broader version of the Violence Against Women Act that would seek protection for illegal immigrants as well as gay and lesbian victims. The law initially received bipartisan support when it was originally passed in 1994. The broader version is not jiving well with the House Republicans.


DC Download is a week-in-review featuring the latest news from Capitol Hill published every Friday. Get the latest political news at onPolitix.com, and join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

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Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.
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