113th Congress

Senatorial Courtesy, Blue Slips Caught in the Fallout

Ian Millhiser has a very good piece on judicial nominations and blue slips over at Think Progress. It covers a lot of ground and is a wonderful read. However, I do have some bones to pick with his take. At the core of Millhiser’s argument are blue slips and their place in Senate history. He contends

A Caveat on Congressional Productivity

On Thursday, Chris Cillizza examined an Obama statement in Texas: “This has become the least productive Congress in modern history, recent memory. And that’s by objective measures, just basic activity.” Cillizza agrees and extrapolates this a little too far, saying this Congress is the least productive in history. By the numbers many would argue this isn’t

Boehner’s Overthrow and the “Then What?” Problem

Boehner’s time as Speaker may be limited. Yesterday Tim Alberta reported on substantial conversations to replace Boehner. This morning Brian Buetler verified that these talks are not particularly covert. According to several accounts, House Republicans are not hiding their dissatisfaction with the leadership. However, as both articles mention the plan suffers from a “then what?” problem. Conservatives’

This Quiet House

This past week the House passed by voice vote the SGR patch, or “doc fix,” setting Medicare physician reimbursement rates. This means we don’t know how individual House members voted. Given the significance of the legislation, this was an unusual departure from normal floor process. It was even more unusual that no member, Republican or

Cushman on Military Budgets FY15

GAI | March 6, 2014

Dr. Charles Cushman spoke with Lauren Murphy from The Voice of Russia yesterday. He fielded questions about the nearly $80 billion Pentagon budget proposed for FY2015, and how Congress is likely to respond. Dr. Cushman called the $80 billion a place holder, since negotiations are still

Tradition v. Partisanship: Holds in a Post-Nuclear Senate

Since roughly the 1950s, “holds” have been a staple of the Senate landscape. Though they can’t be found in the Senate rulebook or precedents, holds have played an important role in Senate operations. At times, holds have delayed or killed legislation, as well as executive and judicial nominations.  They also have been used to extract

Interview: What Dingell’s Retirement Means For Congress

Senior Fellow Marian Currinder spoke with the Huffington Post today about recent congressional retirement announcements — the so called casualty list — and their potential implications for the next Congress. This conversation took place one day after longtime Congressman John Dingell (D-MI) announced he will not run for reelection after his current term

GAI on Federal News Radio

Hosts Bob Leins and Tammy Flanagan of the For Your Benefit program welcomed Dr. Kenneth Gold, director, and Dr. Marian Currinder, senior fellow and curriculum chair, from the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University. The discussion focused on today’s political environment and the state of affairs of the federal government budget. The political dynamics of the 113th Congress

Grijalva Unapologetic Over Missed Votes

GAI Senior Fellow Susan Lagon, Ph.D. spoke with AZ Central about why Members of Congress — such as Rep. Raúl Grijalva — miss floor votes and what that means. Read the full article, or the following excerpt: Floor votes are one of the most visible jobs for a member of Congress,

Last One Out…

This week has been a big one for congressional retirements (Coburn, McCarthy, McKeon, McIntyre, Moran, Owens).  Many we have heard about, including half a dozen Members, for various reasons but at least one columnist has speculated that it is the working conditions.  Other departures have been more quiet as three senior House Appropriations Committee staffers

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