Congressional Policy Issues



On Congress: A few Farewell Thoughts

Kenneth Gold | January 12, 2017

When the 115th Congress convened last week it was immediately faced with a range of important issues: the promised repeal of Obamacare, the passing of an FY17 budget resolution, proposals for major tax reform, an overhaul of entitlement programs, what to do about the massive federal debt, and a full slate of confirmation hearings in


Looking Towards 2017: National Security in Focus

GAI | December 1, 2016

With the election over and cabinet hopefuls parading to Trump Tower, political prognosticators are looking towards 2017.  What will the incoming presidential administration and unified Republican government mean for policy and politics?  The congressional experts at GAI are weighing in with a series of deeper dives on different subject areas.  Below are the contributions for


Our Kind of War

Katina Slavkova | July 14, 2016

How do we justify our military actions and what is Congress’s role? Legend has it that the late Congressman Charlie Wilson from Texas had managed to singlehandedly defeat the Soviet aggressors in Afghanistan in the 1980s by orchestrating an extraordinary covert operation that took ragged bands of fearless mujahedeen fighters to deliver a


Whither Tax Reform? Chasing the Great White Whale

Laura Blessing | February 7, 2016

Tax reform, particularly genuinely comprehensive tax reform, seems to be the great white whale of American politics.  Given that it tends to occur once a generation, the smart money is always on betting on the reform du jour failing.  And yet, confident rumblings have yet again surfaced–from Speaker Ryan and Ways and


What Does Congress Have on Tap in 2016?

Josh Huder | January 7, 2016

The 114th Congress was a whirlwind of activity compared to its predecessors. Accomplishments like trade promotion authority, a Medicare “doc-fix” solution, a two-year budget deal, and the highway funding act were legislative highlights in a productive first session. In all, the 114th Congress passed 115 laws, the most in a first year of Congress since


Judicial Relief

Susan Sullivan Lagon | June 26, 2015

It’s been a very good week for the former constitutional law professor currently in the White House.  The Supreme Court has upheld insurance subsidies for Americans in federal exchanges, rejecting the claim that “established by the states” meant the subsidy would be available only to those in states that had established health care exchanges under


It’s not all Gridlock: What Republicans can accomplish in the 114th Congress

Can decades of dysfunction reverse course in a single Congress? No. But despite the general pessimism surrounding Congress there are several reason to expect the 114th to be more productive than its recent predecessors, which were historically bad on several fronts. Now that divided congressional control is over a sense of mild optimism


Will Congress Restore the Voting Rights Act?

While this year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act, it also marks the first anniversary of Shelby County v. Holder, in which the Supreme Court struck a key portion of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965.  Congress passed the VRA to increase African American voter turnout, especially in the South. 


Fight Club: Who is in charge here?

Last December, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) conducted a drone strike in Yemen that appears to have gone horribly wrong by mistakenly targeting a wedding convoy and killing scores of civilians. By early January of this year, U.S. officials had launched an internal investigation of the strike and in April, The New York Times 


“Tell Me How This Ends”

“Tell me how this ends” This is what former CENTCOM Commander and CIA Director David Petraeus had posited to journalist Rick Atkinson back in early 2003 when he was still a commanding officer of the 101st Airborne Division and in preparation to invade Iraq. While General Petraeus had made this comment with respect to the


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