Bill to Prohibit Insider Trading by Members of Congress Advances in Senate

WASHINGTON — In an effort to regain public trust, the Senate voted Monday to take up a bill that would prohibit members of Congress from trading stocks and other securities on the basis of confidential information they receive as lawmakers.

The vote was 93-2

[Is this a shocker to you or am I the only one who wasn’t aware of this?? 

I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised but don’t you think it’s just a wee bit  “what’s right for me is wrong for you” or better yet, “we make the rules but they don’t apply to us” government practices.  Trust me I’m not a big fan of Martha Stewart in any shape or form but didn’t the courts find her guilty of something that lawmakers are allowed to do with no questions asked?…… flagranny2]

The bill states that members and employees of Congress are not exempt from the federal law and regulations that ban insider trading.

“No member of Congress and no employee of Congress shall use any nonpublic information derived from the individual’s position as a member of Congress or employee of Congress, or gained from performance of the individual’s duties, for personal benefit,” the bill says.


SENATE DEBATES IMMIGRATION DEAL (will vote on it before Memorial Day)

SENATE DEBATES IMMIGRATION DEAL

Do you support or oppose the negotiated deal to address the illegal immigrant situation. Which of the provisions listed by the Associated Press below do you agree with? Which do you oppose. Tell Congress and the President your views as there will be a vote before Memorial Day.

CURRENT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

  • They could come forward immediately and receive probationary legal status.
  • Bill creates a four-year, renewable “Z” visa for those present within the U.S. unlawfully before Jan. 1, 2007.
  • Undocumented immigrants may adjust status to lawful permanent residence once they pay $5,000 in fees and fines and their head of household returns to their home country.
  • People under age 30 who were brought to the U.S. as minors could receive their green cards after three years, rather than eight.
  • Undocumented farmworkers who can demonstrate they have worked 150 hours or three years in agriculture can apply for green cards.
  • No green cards for “Z” visa holders can be processed until “triggers” for border security and workplace enforcement have been met, estimated to take 18 months. Processing of green cards for holders of “Z” visas would begin after clearing an existing backlog, which is expected to take eight years.

BORDER SECURITY

  • Hire 18,000 new border patrol agents.
  • Erect 200 miles of vehicle barriers and 370 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Erect 70 ground-based radar and camera towers along the southern border.
  • Deploy four unmanned aerial vehicles and supporting systems.
  • End the program in which illegal immigrants are released upon apprehension.
  • Provide for detaining up to 27,500 aliens per day on an annual basis.
  • Use secure and effective identification tools to prevent unauthorized work.

WORKPLACE ENFORCEMENT

  • Require employers to electronically verify new employees to prove identity and work eligibility.
  • Increase penalties for unlawful hiring, employment and record keeping violations.

GUEST WORKERS (requires border security measures to be in place first)

  • Create a new temporary guest worker program with two-year “Y visas,” initially capped at 400,000 per year with annual adjustments based on market fluctuations
  • Workers could renew the Y visa up to three times, but would be required to return home for a year in between each time. Those bringing dependents could obtain only one, nonrenewable two-year visa.
  • Families could accompany guest workers only if they could show proof of medical insurance and demonstrate that their wages were 150 percent above the poverty level.

FUTURE IMMIGRANTS

  • Spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents would be eligible for green cards based purely on their family connections, but other relatives such as adult children and siblings would not.
  • 380,000 visas a year would be awarded based on a point system, with about 50 percent based on employment criteria, 25 percent based on education, 15 percent on English proficiency and 10 percent on family connections.
  • Apply new limits to U.S. citizens seeking to bring foreign-born parents into the country.
  • Visas for parents of U.S. citizens would be capped annually at 40,000 and those for spouses and children at 87,000.

There is a lot of controversy regarding this subject so if you wish to voice your opinion here is a chance by clicking here and follow the instructions by entering either “support” or “oppose” in the subject and the message body.

SHOULD PETS BE TAX DEDUCTIBLE ?

CONGRESS.ORG WEEKLY UPDATE
April 16, 2007
 

This week’s legislative idea comes from Bayport, NY.  Here is an excerpt from her letter to Congress:

“Once again, it’s tax time and as always, we owe money to the state and federal governments because I am married with no children. My husband & I have no children because we cannot afford to have children living on Long Island. But we do have 2 dogs – 2 very expensive dogs – and they are our kids.  If I should mistreat, neglect, abuse or deprive my dog of health care in any way, I can be arrested for animal cruelty. But yet, here we are, spending thousands and thousands of dollars each year giving my dogs the best care in emergency and non-emergency situations, what do we receive? My proposal is to be able to declare my dogs as dependents on my taxes at the end of the year.

“With the request of proper documentation from pet owners, I firmly believe we should propose a new law to be able to claim our dogs as dependents, whether it be for routine exams, medicines and/or emergency care. Anything would be of great assistance to pet owners.”

See the full text of the letter here 

-Tell Congress If They Should Introduce Dog Deductions
-Yes, Pets Should Be Tax Deductible Like Any Dependent
-No, Pets Should Not Be Tax Deductible Like Any Dependent

Take Action By clicking on this link at the bottom of the page there is a form with instructions on how you can take action on any of the above.