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Russell Berman

Russell Berman is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers political news. He was previously a congressional reporter for The Hill and a Washington correspondent for The New York Sun.
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Trump Comes Out of the Nevada Republican Caucus Victorious

February 24, 2016 The seemingly unstoppable train that is Donald Trump rolled on in Nevada on Tuesday, as the outspoken billionaire dominated the caucuses to win his third Republican victory in a row. The Republican nomination for president is now clearly his to lose. Despite reports of disorganization and chaotic balloting, the networks...

Why Is the Undocumented-Immigrant Population Dropping?

January 26, 2016 The “crisis” of illegal immigration has become an article of faith in American politics. On the right, Republicans are jockeying over who will lock down the Southern border. “We have people pouring in . They’re pouring in ,” Donald Trump says in his latest ad , conjuring an image of...

Democrats Welcome President Obama's Ultimatum on Guns

January 14, 2016 When President Obama vowed last week not to endorse or campaign for candidates who opposed “common-sense gun reforms,” his ultimatum escalated a feud between the two leading Democratic candidates to replace him, who bickered over which of them had the stronger record of fighting the NRA. But the importance of...

Terror Arrests Pose New Threat to Syrian Refugee Program

January 8, 2016 When congressional Republicans were trying to halt the Syrian refugee program last fall, a central pillar of the Obama administration’s defense was that there was no more arduous way to enter the United States and that few if any refugees had ever been arrested on terrorism charges. That argument took...

What the Latest Obamacare Repeal Is Really About

January 8, 2016 Sometime in the next few days, or even hours, President Obama will happily veto the first bill passed by Congress in 2016, a nearly-full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Perhaps he’ll flash a big grin for the cameras when he does it, or maybe a mocking eye-roll. He could...

Congress Finishes a Surprisingly Productive 2015

December 23, 2015 Lo and behold, Congress actually got some big things done this year. By just about any standard, the House and Senate passed more significant pieces of legislation in 2015 than at any point since President Obama’s first two years in office, when Democratic majorities gave him a raft of landmark...

Why Some Conservatives Are Unhappy About New Obamacare Cuts

December 17, 2015 Republicans scored their biggest victories against the Affordable Care Act in thetax-and-spending deal that congressional negotiators struck late Tuesday night: They won two-year delays in the collection of taxes on pricey health insurance plans and medical devices, along with a provision blocking what they say is a bailout of insurance...

Has Congress Already Forgotten About the Deficit?

December 15, 2015 You don’t hear much about the deficit anymore. It was only a few years ago that trillion-dollar budget gaps and the ever-rising national debt were the singular preoccupation of lawmakers in Washington—particularly Republicans. The federal fiscal imbalance, Senator Mitch McConnell said in 2012, was “the nation’s largest long-term problem.” Former...

A Senate Vote on Donald Trump's Religious Test

December 11, 2015 Republican Party leaders have been quick to condemn Donald Trump’s proposal to bar all Muslims from entering the United States, but the idea is not anathema to a group of Senate conservatives that includes his presidential rival, Ted Cruz. On Thursday afternoon, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont offered an...

The Shutdown Fight Neither Party Wants

December 9, 2015 One of the biggest remaining items on Congress’s year-end to-do list is to pass a massive bill that tells the federal government what it can—and cannot—spend money on. Predictably, lawmakers are about to run out of time. The House and Senate have until the end of Friday to approve an...