113th Congress

The 2014 Elections: An Early Forecast

This is one of a series of posts from the Congressional Update As we talked about earlier this morning, the 113th Congress has passed a historically low number of bills. For this and other reasons, it’s not a surprise that some members of Congress are deciding not to run for reelection in 2014. Here is

Obama Administration’s 2014 Agenda

This is one of a series of posts from the Congressional Update We’re one year into President Obama’s second term and, as we saw this week, many Americans and those in the media are starting to look towards 2016. So how does a president (with an approval ratings of 42%) set an agenda

The Challenges of House Leadership

This is one of a series of posts from the Congressional Update The biggest challenge in the House belongs to John Boehner. The speaker and his leadership team have been dealt a divided caucus, consisting of many members who are conservatives first, and Republicans second. In 2010, many of the most conservative members who rode the

The Budget and Appropriations Process In 2014

This is one of a series of posts from the Congressional Update This talk took a look at the fiscal situation in the US as it concerns Congress, budgeting, and legislation. For context, take a look at this slide from the Concord Coalition, which looks at expenditures in terms of discretionary spending, mandatory spending,

Status Report On The 113th Congress

This is one of a series of posts from the Congressional Update Marian Currinder opened the Congressional Update with a status report on the 113th Congress. The current Congress, she points out, has been defined by its dividedness and lack of legislative traction. The 112th Congress was the least productive

Let’s Pump the Brakes on Congressional Approval Bashing

Let me start with this: yes, America hates Congress. With few exceptions Congress very rarely enjoys high job approval. Job disapproval is in some ways built into the institution’s DNA. However, recently it has been common for people to equate what they – rightly – perceive as poor legislative performance with poor approval. Research tells

Optimism for Productivity Wanes

The new year gave reasons for hope that the 113th Congress may finally find its stride. Four bills appear to be on the fast-track for passage at the opening of the 2nd Session: unemployment insurance, appropriations, the debt limit, and the Farm bill. Some of the more optimistic members have also mentioned possible action on

Yes, Elections are Cultivating Polarization. But…

Competition for power, gerrymandering, disappearing marginal districts define Congress’s electoral landscape. Today, the American electorate is both closely divided and increasingly uncompetitive. In other words, partisan majorities are narrower today than at any time since the Civil War but congressional districts are also safer – there are fewer competitive seats. It has been argued that

The Good News is Congress Just Agreed…

Just this afternoon, the Washington Post ran a story on their web site titled “Senate Moves to Extend Jobless Benefits.”  Most readers would surmise that the chamber had in fact voted to extend the emergency legislation that provided unemployment benefits beyond the traditional 26 weeks to the 1.3 million Americans whose payments were cut off

Midterm Election Projections

Both parties electoral fortunes reached highs and lows October 2013. During the government shutdown it was obvious to many commentators that Democrats would steamroll Republicans. Two weeks later after the rough roll out of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans were on the verge of a landslide victory. Now it appears no party gained significant ground

1 2 3 4 5