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Appointment-palooza in the Senate? Don't Bet on It

November 27, 2013 There are 231 presidential nominations waiting to be confirmed by the Senate. Now that Democrats have changed the filibuster rules—last week's invocation of the "nuclear option"—those are all going to sail through, right? The Senate will be one non-stop confirmation party until every federal judicial chamber, Cabinet-agency desk, ambassadorship, and ...

Will Republicans Save Obamacare?

November 14, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The unrelenting disaster of the Obamacare rollout has invigorated Republicans in Congress. Suddenly, their years of warnings about the law's terrible effects seem vindicated; GOP lawmakers and commentators have turned into crusaders for the system's victims who are seeing their insurance policies canceled, having their premiums hiked, or just can't ...

Would a Government Shutdown Really Be All That Bad for Republicans? Yes

September 19, 2013 Go ahead, shut it down! That's the new cheer from the conservatives pushing to defund Obamacare. To their lily-livered compatriots who worry that the Senate will reject the defunding gambit, resulting in a shutdown when the federal government runs out of money at the end of this month, they claim ...

The Democratic Congressman Who Thinks He Can Stop the Syria War

September 5, 2013 A "conscience vote": That's the congressional euphemism for an issue on which partisan loyalties are so scrambled that lawmakers must make up their own minds. Both Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner have used the term to describe the authorization of military force in Syria, meaning they won't be "whipping," or ...

Obama's Immigration Nuclear Option: Stopping Deportations Unilaterally

August 30, 2013 The biggest obstacle facing immigration reform may be not opposition but inertia. Leaders of the House of Representatives have said they plan to act, but with the coming months likely to be consumed by budget drama, immigration could fall by the wayside. If that happens, advocates of immigration reform have ...

The Case for Impeaching Obama

August 27, 2013 There’s a hot new idea sweeping the conservative grassroots: impeaching the president. Republican members of Congress home for the August recess have been pressured by their constituents on the subject at town halls across the country. Indeed, if Democrats thought that President Obama, having produced his original birth certificate and ...

Analysis: Here's Who Is Really to Blame for Sequestration

February 28, 2013 Patty Murray. Jon Kyl. Max Baucus. Rob Portman. John Kerry. Pat Toomey. These six senators from both parties, along with six members of the House of Representatives, are the people to blame for the sequestration cuts scheduled to hit the federal budget beginning Friday. And yet in the energetic round ...

It's Been 951 Days Since the Senate Passed a Major New Law

February 20, 2013 Here's an impressive fact about life in today's Washington: The last time a major new piece of policy legislation passed the U.S. Senate was July 15, 2010. That's when the Dodd-Frank financial-reform bill came through the Senate. And it was 951 days ago. If you're wondering whether President Obama's ambitious ...

Is Washington getting less dysfunctional?

January 30, 2013 Don't look now, but things are actually getting done in Washington, D.C. Witness the last month: We didn't go over the fiscal cliff. We averted (at least for the moment) adebt-ceiling standoff. On Monday, Congress passed, with barely any drama, aid for victims ofHurricane Sandy. And the bipartisan push for ...

Obama's permanent campaign: Can he use his reelection playbook to change Washington?

January 29, 2013 A week ago, President Obama launched his second term with a set of lofty goals -- climate change legislation, immigration reform, and gun control among them. Around the same time, Obama's former campaign apparatus announced it would morph into a new group called Organizing for Action, a nonprofit group to ...