114th Congress

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

The new Budget Drama and Procedural Inventiveness. Got to love the House.

Josh Huder | February 24, 2016

The optimism following the 2-year budget deal struck last October is officially over. Many House majority members who were unhappy with the deal remain unhappy. Over the past month House conservatives have signaled they will not vote for a budget unless they find $30 billion in cuts. Enacting a budget (or appropriations) below the

Senate SCOTUS politics in 2016

Josh Huder | February 19, 2016

The passing of Justice Antonin Scalia this past weekend throws a new wrinkle into Senate politics. As if things were difficult enough for Majority Leader McConnell, he now has to navigate one of the Senate’s most important votes, or lack thereof, as he attempts to defend seven vulnerable Republican seats. President Obama is expected to

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

How long will the “open process” last?

Josh Huder | February 3, 2016

During the Republican retreat two weeks ago Speaker Ryan doubled down on his commitment open the process in the House. The original pledge was offered to satisfy conservative members’ desire for greater input and influence. Anyone with a deliberative-democratic bone in their body should welcome this change and the pledge. However, it comes with

CBO predicts blizzard of debt

Mark Harkins | January 20, 2016

Saw a great tweet yesterday from Paul Singer (@singernews).  In reply to Lisa Dejardins’ (@lisaDNews) tweet on the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook: 2016 to 2026 (the Executive Summary was released Jan. 18) report predicting that the US will spend $6 trillion just on interest over the next 10 years Singer wrote

Passing a Budget Resolution: It Ain’t Easy

Kenneth Gold | January 20, 2016

Like last year, when Republicans held majorities in both the House and the Senate, it’s generally assumed that Congress will pass a budget resolution this year.  House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price (R-GA) has stated he intends to write an FY17 budget resolution that will balance the budget in ten years. But even though Senate

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

Regular order: Republicans’ risky venture into open debate

Josh Huder | December 1, 2015

Members in the House are calling for regular order. If you have no idea what “regular order” means, don’t worry. You’re not alone. In fact, you’re probably in the company of many members of Congress. Calls for regular order are almost as old as the institution itself. In theory, regular order is open, deliberative processes

It’s Not Over

Kenneth Gold | November 2, 2015

Many of the news stories that covered last week’s passage of the two-year, 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act had headlines similar to the Associated Press story titled “No shutdown, no default: Congress leaders, Obama back deal”.  And while the agreement is an enormous and widely unexpected accomplishment that does prevent the country from going into default,

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