Congress news and updates

Rappler's latest stories on Congress

ARTICLE FINDER

U.S. lawmakers return to work, spending showdown ahead

Nov 14, 2018 - 8:41 AM

'The reality is that we still have a series of important, outstanding subjects to tackle between now and the end of this year,' says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

BACK TO WORK. In this file photo, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, June 27, 2017. File photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

Democrats seize U.S. House but Trump averts 'blue wave'

Nov 07, 2018 - 11:47 AM

(3rd UPDATE) Democrats will now be able to block legislation and light a fire under Donald Trump's feet with investigations of his opaque finances and Russian interference in the 2016 election

US CONGRESS. This file photo dated December 18, 2011 shows the US Capitol in Washington, DC. File photo by Karen Bleier/AFP

LOOK: Leaked Asus phone moves notch to the right

Nov 07, 2018 - 10:57 AM

The device, said to be the ZenFone 6, is expected to be announced at Mobile World Congress this February

Screenshot from HDBlog International/YouTube

Races to watch in U.S. midterm elections 2018

Nov 06, 2018 - 7:46 PM

Here is a look at some of the most interesting contests

SENATE RACE. Incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz is facing Democratic Representative Beto O'Rourke. Photos from Shutterstock

Big chunk of 2017 intel funds spent by only 3 institutions – COA

Oct 28, 2018 - 8:25 PM

These 3 institutions are the Office of the President, the Department of National Defense, and Congress

Duterte says Sara 'maneuvered' Alvarez ouster

Oct 18, 2018 - 6:10 PM

'Be careful with that woman. She can oust even the Speaker,' says President Rodrigo Duterte about his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio wave to the reception party upon their arrival at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel on September 2, 2018. ARCEL VALDERRAMA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

To avoid Duterte veto, Congress asks Palace to return coco levy bill to them

Oct 09, 2018 - 4:07 PM

(UPDATED) Senators are blaming the fiasco on the supposed incompetence of Presidential Legislative Liaision Office Secretary Adelino Sitoy

Photo from Zubiri

Bicam approves bill to overhaul SSS Charter, expand powers

Oct 09, 2018 - 2:42 PM

Senator Richard Gordon, one of the bill authors, says the passage of Senate Bill 1753 would 'expand, protect and increase the SSS fund so that when the time comes, there would be available pension for the people'

Labor groups enraged as Duterte sacks Leftist Usec Joel Maglunsod

Oct 03, 2018 - 12:47 PM

(UPDATED) President Rodrigo Duterte fires Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod without explaining why, but mentions the rising number of workers' strikes in the country

MAY DAY. Trade union leaders along with workers from different labor groups and federations march near Malacanang to protest on Labor Day, May 1, 2018. Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

Sudan ruling party unveils new, smaller cabinet

Sep 14, 2018 - 3:26 PM

The cabinet is due to be sworn in on Friday, September 14, and is scheduled to hold its first meeting on Sunday, September 16.

NEW CABINET. In this file photo, Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir walks to make his speech during the inauguration ceremony of Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ) in Djibouti on July 5, 2018. File photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP

IN PHOTOS: Filipino WWII veterans receive US Congressional Gold Medal

Sep 14, 2018 - 11:18 AM

It is the first time a ceremony for the award is held in the Philippines

OVERDUE RECOGNITION. Technical Sergeant Sixto Navidad is the oldest Filipino veteran to receive the US Congressional Medal, the highest civilian award in the US, bestowed on a person or a group that performed an 'outstanding deed or act of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the US.’ Photo from the US Embassy in Manila

Congressional leaders lukewarm to probing Trillanes amnesty revocation

Sep 13, 2018 - 7:58 PM

Lawmakers are hoping Congress leaders will assert the independence of the legislative branch in the issue of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's amnesty

AMNESTY AND CONGRES. Several lawmakers weigh in on how the Congress leadership should approach the amnesty ordeal of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. File photos by Rappler

LIVE: Congressional hearing on automated election system

Sep 13, 2018 - 10:20 AM

The hearing on September 13 tackles the recommendations of the Comelec Advisory Council on how to enhance the automated polls in 2019

Google's 'no-show' in Congress adds to its political headache

Sep 11, 2018 - 11:48 AM

'You have to feed the beast. At the end of the day, it's better to be there and engage than it is to not be there and hope you avoid some tough questions,' says president of US think tank, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

GOOGLE. The seat for Alphabet (Google) CEO Larry Page sits empty as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on September 5, 2018. Photo by Jim Watson/AFP


LOOK: Chinese flags raised at Batasan to welcome Beijing officials

Sep 10, 2018 - 5:43 PM

Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Special Affairs Bureau Director Edith Cardenas says 'this is not the first' time a foreign flag was raised at the House of Representatives

CHINA AT THE HOUSE. Chinese flags are seen flapping in the wind at the House of Representatives. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Tech shares fall after congress grilling

Sep 06, 2018 - 2:30 PM

'When major companies testify in front of the Congress it's never a good thing' for their stock price, says a financial analyst

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP


Google lambasted for absence in congress hearing

Sep 06, 2018 - 3:22 AM

'There's an empty chair next to you for Google, they're not here today – maybe it's because they're arrogant,' says one Republican senator

EMPTY SEAT. The seat for Alphabet (Google) CEO Larry Page is unoccupied as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on September 5, 2018. Photo by Jim Watson/AFP


Facebook, Twitter say they are not heading to China

Sep 06, 2018 - 1:19 AM

Google's reported exploratory foray into China prompts US lawmakers to ask Facebook and Twitter executives if they have similar plans

DORSEY. Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey testifies during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing concerning foreign influence operations' use of social media platforms, on Capitol Hill, September 5, 2018. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP


Top U.S. regulator calls for 'transparency' from tech giants

Sep 05, 2018 - 10:17 AM

'We need to seriously think about whether the time has come for these companies to abide by new transparency obligations,' says US Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai

AJIT PAI. In this file photo, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee May 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP


Facebook chief says internet firms in 'arms race' for democracy

Sep 05, 2018 - 10:01 AM

A day before the tech hearings, Mark Zuckerberg chimes in

ZUCKERBERG. In this file photo, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives for a family picture with guests of the 'Tech for Good' Summit at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on May 23, 2018. Photo by Charles Platiau/ AFP


Expert opinions: the September 5 Facebook-Twitter-Google hearing

Sep 04, 2018 - 2:35 PM

'The Democrats are upset about the spread of misinformation in the 2016 election, and the Republicans over the perception of bias,' says Roslyn Layton, a scholar specializing in telecom and internet issues

SANDBERG. The chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, will join top representatives from Twitter and possibly, Google, in another high-profile congressional grilling on September 5. Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS/AFP


Facebook, Twitter, Google are in the U.S. congress hot seat again. Here's why.

Sep 03, 2018 - 6:10 PM

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, and a yet-to-be-confirmed Google executive face US lawmakers on September 5 regarding Russian election interference

NEXT ROUND. The online giants, represented here by Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey, face off with US lawmakers again as issues of foreign interference persist. Sheryl Sandberg photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS/AFP; Jack Dorsey photo by Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for Thurgood Marshall College Fund/AFP


DBM, Congress agree on transitory cash-based budget system for 2019

Aug 30, 2018 - 5:20 PM

Lawmakers want a 'two to three-year' transition period for government agencies and departments to get used to a cash-based budget system

Senate: Finance - Budget Hearing. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Facebook, Twitter executives to testify to U.S. Congress next week

Aug 30, 2018 - 2:50 PM

The US Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing will focus on 'social media companies' responses to foreign influence operations'


Mexico's new leftist-majority Congress sworn in

Aug 30, 2018 - 2:13 PM

Morena, which President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador founded just 4 years ago, and its coalition allies will have 307 of the 500 seats in the lower house and 69 of the 128 seats in the Senate

OBRADOR. In this file photo, then Mexico's presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, standing for MORENA party, cheers at his supporters during his first campaign rally, in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua State, Mexico, on April 1, 2018. File photo by Herika Martinez/AFP

Trump warns of violent change if Republicans lose midterms

Aug 29, 2018 - 4:56 PM

Democrats 'will overturn everything that we've done and they'll do it quickly and violently,' Trump says, according to a report from The New York Times

TRUMP. US President Donald Trump speaks to the press aboard Air Force One in flight as he travels from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, to Bedminster, New Jersey, June 29, 2018. File photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

Federalism, Duterte on Ampatuan, Boracay opening | Evening wRap

Aug 23, 2018 - 9:19 PM

Watch Rappler’s evening newscast with Ralf Rivas

Tributes pour in for former UN chief, Nobel laureate Kofi Annan

Aug 18, 2018 - 7:48 PM

(4th UPDATE) World leaders and organizations pay tribute to the former UN Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate

UN CHIEF. In this file photo taken on April 28, 2004, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan takes a question during a press conference at the UN Headquarters in New York. Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP

DBM to wait for a 'friendlier' Congress to pass cash-based budget

Aug 13, 2018 - 7:20 PM

'But [not passing the bill] is not a problem, we will just wait for a friendlier Congress. Remember there's an election in 2019? That's near,' says Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno

CLASH. The House of Representatives and the Department of Budget and Management clash over the proposed 2019 national budget. Diokno photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler, House by Martin San Diego/Rappler, Senate PRIB Photo

Congress to suspend session so Duterte can lower tariffs on fish, corn

Aug 13, 2018 - 5:00 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to sign this August an executive order reducing the tariffs on fish and corn, says House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya

SUSPENSION TO ADDRESS INFLATION. The 17th Congress will adjourn session between August 16 to 27, 2018. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

DBM ready for reenacted budget if Congress rejects 2019 proposal

Aug 13, 2018 - 12:53 PM

(UPDATED) Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno says the President has submitted the proposed 2019 budget, leaving it to Congress to pass or reject it

WORST CASE. Budget Secretary Diokno says they are ready for the worst case scenario – a reenacted 2018 budget. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

South Africa to seek constitutional change for land reform

Aug 01, 2018 - 9:51 AM

'It has become patently clear that our people want the constitution to be more explicit about expropriation of land without compensation,' says South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE. In this file photo, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses a media conference at the end of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg on July 27, 2018. File photo by Themba Hadebe/AFP

Malacañang submits bill for disaster resilience department to Congress

Jul 31, 2018 - 6:00 PM

The Palace's proposed bill creates the position of disaster resilience secretary and allows the new department to use alternative procurement methods during calamities

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 27th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on July 9, 2018. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

SWS survey on house, Robredo on human rights, Kris Aquino | Midday wRap

Jul 30, 2018 - 12:33 PM

Watch Rappler’s midday newscast with Ralf Rivas

Duterte urges 'speedy passage' of universal health care bill

Jul 24, 2018 - 12:30 PM

While the House has passed its version of the bill, the counterpart measure in the Senate is still pending in the committee level

PUBLIC HEALTH. Nurses tend to a woman at the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center in Manila. File photo by AFP

Duterte submits proposed P3.757-trillion 2019 nat'l budget to Congress

Jul 23, 2018 - 7:34 PM

The General Appropriations Act for the 2019 budget is slated to be passed into law by November

Senators to walk out if Con-Ass pushed in joint session

Jul 23, 2018 - 11:59 AM

The Senate has a game plan should it happen: Senate President Vicente Sotto III will adjourn the session on the part of the chamber, with senators walking out of the hall

WALKOUT? Senators threaten to walk out if a constituent assembly is pushed during Monday's joint session. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, July 16, 2018

Jul 16, 2018 - 10:27 AM

Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Monday

Labor group to Duterte: Hike wages amid shrinking purchasing power

Jul 14, 2018 - 3:55 PM

Average minimum wage in the non-agricultural sector across all regions amount to P330.47 daily in April, but the actual purchasing power of Filipinos is only P208.38, says ALU-TUCP

HIGHER PRICES. Basic goods has seen a spike in prices at the Kamuning Public Market in Quezon City on June 26, 2018. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

LOOK: Congress receives Consultative Committee's draft constitution

Jul 11, 2018 - 11:55 AM

(UPDATED) Consultative Committee chairman Reynato Puno personally hands a copy of the draft federal constitution to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Senate President Vicente Sotto III

Lawmakers' fear of territorial loss delays final BBL scope, plebiscite

Jul 10, 2018 - 4:43 PM

'I understand the positions of district congressmen because it's a loss of territory for them and medyo mabigat 'yan and malalim….Diyan medyo madugo,' says Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, co-chair of the bicameral conference committee

Members of both the Senate and the House continue on the second day the Bicameral Conference Committee hearing on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law at Crowne Plaza in Pasig City on July 10, 2018. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

Bicam makes release of funds easier for Bangsamoro

Jul 10, 2018 - 9:00 AM

The Bangsamoro would no longer be required to specify plans before getting its share of the national internal revenue, but the bicameral conference committee says measures remain in place to ensure proper spending

BLOCK GRANT. Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri speaks to reporters at the end of the first day of the bicameral conference committee meetings on the BBL. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Bicam drops anti-dynasty provision in Bangsamoro bill

Jul 09, 2018 - 4:59 PM

(2nd UPDATE) The Bangsamoro Transition Commission, some members of which belong to political families, has strongly opposed the ban on dynasties, saying it is a 'clear violation' of a person's right to vote and be voted

Bicameral Committee. Photo courtesy of OPAPP

BBL bicam OKs 75-25 Bangsamoro, central gov’t wealth sharing

Jul 09, 2018 - 4:31 PM

(UPDATED) Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri says the Bangsamoro Transition Commission has disagreed with the Senate proposal to decrease the current wealth-sharing terms to 50-50

BICAM. Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri (R) and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon (L) during the bicam meeting on the BBL on July 9, 2018. Photo courtesy of OPAPP

Final version of BBL must pass ‘test of constitutionality,’ say bicam members

Jul 09, 2018 - 12:29 PM

Senate President Vicente Sotto III says the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law's constitutional issues must be resolved to avoid a scenario where the Supreme Court will later deem it unconstitutional

BICAM BEGINS. The bicameral conference committee members begin their week-long meetings on the proposed BBL. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Bicam to reconcile conflicting provisions of Bangsamoro Basic Law

Jul 09, 2018 - 6:53 AM

The work is cut out for the lawmakers forming the bicameral conference committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, with its House and Senate versions proposing conflicting amendments

BICAM BEGINS. Legislators will spend a week to tackle the conflicting provisions in the House and Senate versions of the BBL

Senate inaction on China: No inquiry amid militarization

Jul 08, 2018 - 6:56 PM

Experts tell Rappler it is the Senate's 'patriotic duty' to protect the Philippines' territorial integrity as China militarizes the South China Sea

Lacson seeks more scrutiny of surge in Duterte's intel funds

Jul 07, 2018 - 8:08 PM

Senator Panfilo Lacson says Congress can decrease the Office of the President's confidential and intelligence funds for 2019 if the increase is not justified

The Senate conducts a hearing on SAF allowances on May 22, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Duterte didn't lobby enough, only 5 of 18 priority bills became laws

Jul 03, 2018 - 9:00 AM

(UPDATED) In two years, President Rodrigo Duterte has convened the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council only 4 times

DISTRACTED? Thirteen bills prioritized by President Rodrigo Duterte in his first two SONAs remain pending in both the House and the Senate. Illustration by Alejandro Edoria/Rappler

Labor group accuses Calida firm of nonpayment of SSS premiums

Jul 01, 2018 - 10:30 PM

(UPDATED) Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency, owned by Solicitor General Jose Calida's family, says the allegations made by ALU-TUCP are 'utterly false'

NON-PAYMENT. Labor group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines said Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency has not been paying its employee's Social Security System remittances for years.