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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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The Real Reasons Why the Government Shut Down

January 20, 2018 When the government shuts down, the politicians pipe up. No sooner had a midnight deadline passed without congressional action on a must-pass spending bill than lawmakers launched their time-honored competition over who gets the blame for their collective failure. The Senate floor became a staging ground for dueling speeches early...

How Trump Will Try to Minimize a Government Shutdown

January 19, 2018 A government shutdown under Donald Trump might look very different from the one that occurred under Barack Obama. When conservatives in Congress refused to fund the government in 2013, among the first and most visible victims were tourists who had planned trips to national parks, museums, and monuments. Vacations were...

How Republicans Plan to Revive Earmarks By a Different Name

January 12, 2018 When President Trump offered his out-of-the-blue endorsement for the return of congressional earmarks on Tuesday, he broke the first rule of the hesitant House Republican bid to revive them: Don’t call them earmarks. “Our system lends itself to not getting things done, and I hear so much about earmarks—the old...

A Tentative DACA Deal in the Senate

January 12, 2018 A bipartisan group of six senators say they’ve struck an “agreement in principle” on legislation to provide a path to citizenship to young undocumented immigrants while bolstering border security and making changes to the legal immigration system. Now they have to sell it—to a wide range of colleagues in the...

Trump Lets the Cameras Roll As He Negotiates a DACA Deal with Congress

January 10, 2018 There was nothing more President Trump could have done to more clearly illustrate the vexing politics of the immigration debate or the often maddening way he manages Congress than the remarkable public meeting he held with lawmakers at the White House on Tuesday. The president convened a bipartisan group of...

The Battle Over DACA Reaches a Fever Pitch

January 9, 2018 Over the next several weeks, chances are that one of two things will happen in Washington: Either a Republican-controlled Congress will pass, and a Republican president will sign, the most significant changes to U.S. immigration law and border security in more than a decade, or the federal government will shut...

'God Made Republicans to Cut Taxes'

December 19, 2017 As Speaker Paul Ryan brought the gavel down on House passage of a $1.5 trillion tax cut on Tuesday, a raucous cheer went up among the 227 Republicans who voted for it. It was an outburst of celebration, and of defiance—of the economists who disputed their fiscal claims, of the...

The Republican Tax Bill Might Need an Escape Hatch to Pass

November 28, 2017 Republican Senate leaders have sold their proposed tax cuts as a surefire jolt to the economy—one that will eventually refill the nation’s coffers with revenue generated through more jobs and higher wages. But what if it doesn’t? One of the final pockets of resistance to the GOP plan is coming...

The Red-State Revolt Spreads to Oklahoma

November 27, 2017 Republicans have a vise grip on power in Oklahoma, and they are in no imminent danger of losing it. In a state that gave 65 percent of its vote to Donald Trump a year ago, the GOP controls pretty much everything: the governorship and every statewide office, both U.S. Senate...

A Major Step Forward for the Republican Tax Bill

November 16, 2017 House Republicans on Thursday approved legislation overhauling the U.S. tax code, slashing rates for corporations while more modestly cutting taxes for individuals, and scaling back a host of popular deductions and exemptions. And they did it without so much as a hint of drama. The party-line, 227-205 vote is a...