The Senate’s Missing Pro-Life Policy Riders

August 20, 2018

The Senate is in town for its first full work-week in August to address spending bills for Labor, Health and Human Services (Labor-HHS) and the Department of Defense (DOD), the two largest executive agencies. Appropriations bills usually provide a forum for an open amendment process, where members have many opportunities to offer their ideas and have […]

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?

April 10, 2018

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 […]

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 […]

The procedural origins of the 2015 Obamacare repeal bill

July 20, 2017

I’ve written here about how, in a little noticed floor fight, Senator Mike Lee laid the groundwork for the Senate’s first meaningful (that is, a vote at majority threshold, not at 60) vote on Obamacare repeal in 2015. For students of the Senate, the process by which this occurred is as instructive as it was […]