Demanding the Demands

Posted April 15, 2008 at 6:45pm

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) issued a letter Tuesday to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) requesting Democrats reveal their requirements to move forward with the Colombia free-trade agreement.

[IMGCAP(1)]“In the interest of supporting a key ally in South America, and helping American businesses expand and create jobs here in the United States, I respectfully request that you detail exactly what issues you want to see action on in order to bring the Colombia free-trade agreement to the House floor for a fair, straight up-or-down vote,” Boehner wrote. He has requested the Speaker respond by April 22.

The House delayed consideration of the trade agreement indefinitely last week, asserting that President Bush had sent the measure to Capitol Hill although negotiations were ongoing.

In response, Pelosi aides referred to numerous statements the Speaker made last week asserting the House would require action on a second domestic stimulus package, as well as other issues, before returning to the trade legislation.

New and Improved. The House Budget Committee unveiled a spiffed-up version of its Web site Tuesday.

“We want to make the site a one-stop shop for information on the federal budget,” House Budget Chairman John Spratt (D-S.C.) said in a statement.

The new site, still at, includes a “reference center” with current budget statistics, links to other government budget-related Web sites, and a document library of reports by the panel’s staff. The site also offers streaming videos of live hearings and an archive with tape and transcripts of previous hearings.

— Jennifer Yachnin