Parliamentary Flashback: Impeachment Then & Now

November 25, 2019

There are not a lot of parliamentary rules for how the House and Senate handle impeachment. But there are a lot of precedents from the previous two modern impeachments of President William Clinton, in 1998, and the impeachment inquiry of President Richard Nixon, in 1974. From a parliamentary standpoint, in the absence of rules, precedent […]

President Trump is Unsigning the Arms Trade Treaty

July 31, 2019

  On April 26, 2019, at the annual National Rifle Association meeting in Indianapolis, President Trump announced that the United States would revoke the effect of its signature on the Arms Trade Treaty. The following text is taken from his speech: “Under my administration, we will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone. We will never […]

Democrats want to unearth the forgotten power of inherent contempt. Here’s why they shouldn’t.

July 2, 2019

In their escalating attempts to make Trump officials comply with congressional subpoenas, some House Democrats are reexamining a power of Congress not used since 1935. This power is called inherent contempt, and it is one of three strategies that Congress can use to enforce its subpoenas. Since 1935, Congress has relied on the executive and […]

Federal Gas Taxes Hurt the Poor the Most

June 18, 2019

As President Trump and Congressional Democrats hash out an infrastructure plan for the country, questions have arisen about how the government plans to pay the two trillion dollar price tag. One proposal that always seems to rear its head anytime we talk about fixing the roads is raising the federal tax on the fuel that […]

Facebook & Twitter: Biased Against the Right?

April 23, 2019

Recently, representatives from Facebook and Twitter appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to respond to claims that their companies are engaging in the censorship of conservative news and voices. For years, conservatives have lamented the power of Big Tech over political discourse and their bias against the Right. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) made sure to […]

Can Congress Legally Compel Trump’s Tax Returns?

April 11, 2019

This past week, House Democrats followed through on a long-touted promise to demand President Trump’s tax returns. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal is citing a little-used statue in the tax code that dates back to 1924 in order to obtain Trump’s taxes. This will surely set up a legal fight that may reach […]

Red Flag Laws, Firearms, & Due Process

April 4, 2019

Last week, Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee came together in a bipartisan move to express interest in extreme risk protection orders, or “red flag laws.” Members of the Committee, including the Committee’s chairman, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), are hoping to create a federal level program that would incentivize states to adopt red […]

49 Federal Judge Slots Aren’t Getting the SCOTUS-Style Limelight. They Should.

July 23, 2018

President Trump’s selection of his second Supreme Court appointment, the Hon. Brett Kavanaugh, is heralded as a Republican victory. The media and both parties are singularly focused on the confirmation of Kavanaugh’s appointment. But with all the focus on this nomination, the Senate itself is ignoring equally important nominations: judges for the lower courts. The […]

The McConnell Senate’s weekly 30-hour fake-out must end

April 10, 2018

This week in the “Lazy Senate,” the spotlight is on the Senate’s pesky 30-hour rule — the one that Republicans constantly blame for the Senate’s slow pace of confirmations. But is it? The short answer is, no. It’s just another excuse by Republican leadership to be, you guessed it, lazy. Here’s why. In 2013 and […]

Why is the Senate’s Republican majority allowing Democrats to run roughshod?

The Senate’s arcane rules have never been more popular. The Senate’s 44 standing rules, usually  obscured by their more popular precedents or made irrelevant by routine waivers, are suddenly getting some love. The rules haven’t changed or made a sudden showy reappearance on C-SPAN. In fact, it’s the opposite. Conservatives are getting irritated with the Senate Republicans refusal to use […]

Shutdown State of Play: What’s Really Going On?

January 19, 2018

In the midst of all the hysteria over a potential government shutdown, one particular question keeps popping up: why can’t the Republicans keep the government open if they have majorities in both chambers of Congress, and the White House? The answer has to do with the nature of minority rights in the Senate. But more […]

A Democratic Shutdown Over DACA?

January 17, 2018

After excoriating Republicans for shutting down the government in 2013, leading Democrats now appear willing to do the exact same thing unless they get amnesty for 800,000 DACA recipients. Republicans have offered to make a deal. Their terms were once supported by Democrats, CPI’s Rachel Bovard writes in The Hill. Read the full op-ed here. Ironically, […]

Beware DACA Doublespeak

January 16, 2018

In an extraordinary move last week, President Trump brought congressional leaders to the White House for a vigorous discussion of immigration policy. What made the moment so remarkable is that the meeting—in a departure from the usual swampy Washington gesture reserved for scripted talking points and meaningless photo opportunities—was substantial and it was televised. For […]

Conference committee could still destroy tax reform

December 8, 2017

Both the House and Senate have passed their respective tax reform bills, but keep the cork in the champagne. The process has to overcome one more hurdle before it hits the president’s desk: The conference committee — the ad hoc, temporary panel created to reconcile differences between the House and Senate bills. If you haven’t […]

The mother of all spending bills is coming

November 21, 2017

2017: The year congressional Republicans failed to deliver on their promises Just when we all thought 2017 didn’t have much gas left in the tank, it’s about to get worse. The mother of all spending bills is coming. Congress must reach a deal to fund the government by Dec. 8, or pass a short term Continuing […]

Will the GOP let a procedural question stop them from repealing Obamacare?

September 18, 2017

After failing to repeal Obamacare earlier this year using the Fiscal Year 2017 reconciliation process, the Senate has found itself in a peculiar position. The reconciliation bill for FY2017 still remains on the Senate calendar, available for use. But for how long? Until this fiscal year ends on September 30, 2017? Until the end of […]

Congressional Leaders Far Behind on 200 Day Agenda

August 10, 2017

Traditionally, new presidential administrations aim to accomplish as many legislative victories as possible within a 100 day window, attempting to ride the momentum of victory at the ballot box to real policy wins in Congress. As the History Channel notes: “The 100-days concept is believed to have its roots in France, where the concept of […]

As Congress Leaves Town, the Fall Agenda Looms

August 4, 2017

Congress officially limps into their summer recess today, leaving town with almost no legislative accomplishments despite GOP majority control of the House, Senate and White House. The real news, however, is not what they leave behind. It’s what’s ahead. Consider what’s on the fall agenda for Congress when they return to town on September 5. Government […]

The Mike Lee Moment

July 19, 2017

In this latest iteration of the GOP health care drama, there are a handful of Senators who are defining the debate around Obamacare repeal: Rand Paul and Susan Collins, for their flat out refusal to support the BCRA in any form (though for opposite reasons); Lisa Murkowski and Shelley Moore Capito for their unabashed opposition to […]