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Nuclear Winter In The Senate… Or Not

Since Democrats invoked the nuclear option, reducing cloture on judicial and executive nominations, there are serious concerns that those actions would result in fallout. Would the Republican minority, in retaliation to losing significant leverage in the nominations process, attempt to drag out every nomination and/or bill? So far, that can’t be answered definitively. Some reporters


Talking About Reform In Aftermath Of Senate’s “Nuclear Option”

Since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used the so-called “nuclear option” to essentially end the filibuster on most presidential nominations on Thursday, there has been considerable speculation over the future of the filibuster on legislation. GAI Senior Fellow Joshua Huder argues that the filibuster, when used correctly, can foster bipartisanship and calls for


The Senate Goes Nuclear: Is the Filibuster Endangered?

Enormous change to the Senate occurred today. By majority vote, the Senate moved to proceed on judicial and executive nominations, with the exception of Supreme Court nominations. What you need to know: The parliamentary tactic used in the Senate was not a rules change. It was a change in precedent on the motion to proceed.


Handicapping a Republican Overthrow of Speaker Boehner

As the House prepares to vote for another CR/debt deal without a majority of Republicans, some wonder whether this is the end of the line for Speaker Boehner. However, given the dynamics in the House, a mid-session overthrow is very unlikely, though not impossible. For one, a speaker has never been overthrown in the middle


It’s Congress’s Fault: How Congress Polarizes America

Currently, the debate over American polarization is dominated by electoral considerations: gerrymandering, sorting, PACs, campaign finance, etc. Most of these arguments are based on underlying assumption that the American people, or a political process that sorts voters into districts, are driving polarization. For the most part this is true. However, the effect is also hugely


Huder: On Federal Shutdown Affecting Travelers

Christopher Elliott for the Washington Post explores how the federal government shutdown is affecting travelers around the United States. “When a gridlocked Congress shuttered vast sections of the federal government on Oct. 1 and furloughed 800,000 workers, its decision touched tourists in unexpected ways, from abruptly canceling a camping trip in a national


Voting Against Defunding to Vote for Defunding: Cannibalism and the CR

The Senate’s procedural and strategic contexts may create an interesting irony for some Republicans this week. The Senate’s conservative Republicans may filibuster their own bill. If this seems like procedural cannibalism, it’s likely not. However, if they are successful, it may be unintended tactical cannibalism. Democratic Leader Harry Reid has repeatedly said that no continuing


Funding the Government, Defunding Obamacare, & Innovative Procedure

As Congress steps closer to the various fiscal cliffs over the next week, the pressing question for Republican leadership is how to defund Obamacare. Several Republicans have indicated they will not support any continuing resolution not tied to the defunding the ACA. The law goes into effect on October 1st and many see this as


The House’s Competitiveness Problem… or Lack Thereof

Nathan Gonzales at Roll Call asks: “Are there really fewer competitive House districts than ever before?” The very short answer is “yes.” Today, there are fewer competitive districts than ever before. The trend is visible over the past 20 years but it is much more dramatic if we look at the past 50, or


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