Midnight Passage

The House of Representatives has had lots of reasons to keep its work out of the public eye this session. On the one hand, it’s been “spending money like a drunken sailor” (to quote John McCain); on the other, it’s been slashing vital programs, including veterans’ benefits and future Head Start funding. Who wants to see any of that in the morning papers? So it should come as little surprise that members of Congress have been working overtime—long past reporters’ deadlines and under cover of darkness—to pass some of their most controversial bills.

WHAT

WHEN

TIME

MARGIN

Cut to veterans’ benefits

Friday morning, March 21, 2003

2:54 a.m.

3 votes

Reduced funding for education and health care in 2004 budget

Friday morning, April 11, 2003

2:39 a.m.

5 votes

Bush’s second tax cut, worth $350 billion

Friday morning, May 23, 2003

1:56 a.m.

31 votes

Health privatization and prescription drug bill

Friday morning, June 27, 2003

2:33 a.m.

1 vote

Head Start “reform”

Friday morning, July 25, 2003

12:57 a.m.

1 vote

The $87.5 billion bill for Iraq and Afghanistan

Friday morning, October 31, 2003

12:12 a.m.

177 votes

The $530 billion Medicare bill

Saturday morning, November 22, 2003

5:53 a.m.

5 votes

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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