Senate



How Dr. Ronny Jackson got Nuked.

Mark Harkins | April 30, 2018

Now that erstwhile Secretary of Veterans Affairs nominee Dr. Ronny Jackson has lost his job as the President’s personal physician, he should blame former Sen. Harry Reid for his troubles. On November 21, 2013, in the face of sustained Republican opposition to confirming President Obama’s nominees and judges, the Senate took the extraordinary step of


National Security Confirmations: Politics Beyond the Water’s Edge

Katina Slavkova | April 4, 2018

March 2018 marked a curious milestone for national security that may portend some unexpected clashes ahead for President Trump and congressional overseers.  New personnel selections have dredged up divisive political memories; while the choice of Mr. Bolton (for National Security Advisor) may draw more commentary, Gina Haspel (for CIA Director) will draw the oversight that


The legislative filibuster isn’t going anywhere any time soon

Josh Huder | April 5, 2017

It’s a nuclear week in the Senate. Majority Leader McConnell has hinted that he has the votes to go “nuclear” on Judge Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. In effect, McConnell would invoke the same process then-Majority Leader Harry Reid used in 2013 to change the Senate’s interpretation of Rule XXII. The effect would reduce


Democrats’ Dilemma over the Federal Judiciary

Susan Sullivan Lagon | March 29, 2017

In all likelihood, Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch will replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. How he gets there is the question, not whether. If confirmed, Gorsuch will be a predictably conservative voice on the nation’s highest bench just like Scalia was. It’s the next vacancy that could shift the


On to Reconciliation! Republicans have a plan but probably won’t follow it.

Josh Huder | January 12, 2017

The Senate passed a budget yesterday. It lacked some of the typical hallmarks of a budget resolution. Namely, the chamber did not debate in any great detail discretionary spending numbers. This budget is meant for one purpose and one purpose only: repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Following the campaign congressional Republicans set out on


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


Conservatives’ Playcalling: Hail Mary… Repeat.

(Hail Mary, noun, 2. (FOOTBALL) a very long, typically unsuccessful pass made in a desperate attempt to score late in the game.) It appears Speaker Boehner may have another rebellion on his hands. Will this be the toughest challenge to his speakership? Maybe. That is if you don’t include the last two speakership elections,


Tedious Filibuster Talk: Was Rand Paul’s talk-a-thon a Filibuster?

Josh Huder | May 21, 2015

Short answer: Yes. There are a couple reasons cited as to why it was not a filibuster. However, neither disqualifies Paul’s 10-hour talk-a-thon. Paul’s filibuster came at a somewhat odd time. NSA spying was not on the Senate floor last night. The upper chamber was still considering the trade promotion authority (TPA) bill. Since TPA


Why three failed votes is not necessarily a failure

Josh Huder | February 6, 2015

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell received a fair amount of flak this week for his attempts to move forward on the DHS funding bill that expires at the end of the month. Republicans failed to invoke cloture on the DHS funding bill for the third time in three days, raising speculation about a potential shutdown of


The Senate’s Return to Regular Order?

Josh Huder | January 23, 2015

For the past week, Majority Leader McConnell experimented with an open amendment process in the Senate. Members offered amendments on everything from climate change, to federally protected land, to limiting the President’s ability to initiate and sign bilateral agreements with foreign countries. The broader question is can McConnell take a positive step toward a functioning


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