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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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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...

Donald Trump Calls to Ban Muslim Immigrants

December 8, 2015 Donald Trump is now calling for an end to all Muslim immigration into the United States. In a written statement late Monday afternoon, the Trump campaign said the Republican frontrunner wanted a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what...

The U.S. Senate Is Still One of the World's Whitest Workplaces

December 8, 2015 The U.S. Senate is famously known as the world’s most deliberative body, but it has never been its most representative. And that remains true not only of the 100 people elected to serve, but of the hundreds more hired as their top advisers. Just over 7 percent of congressional aides...

US Seeks to Cut Off Another Route for Terrorist Travel

December 2, 2015 In the days after terrorists killed 130 people in coordinated attacks in Paris, lawmakers in Washington rushed to try and suspend the nation’s Syrian refugee program. Now, they’re turning their attention to the U.S. visa-waiver program in the hopes of preventing militants from slipping into the country undetected. The twin...

Congress Eyes Changes to Visa-Waiver Travel Program

December 2, 2015 In the days after terrorists killed 130 people in coordinated attacks in Paris, lawmakers in Washington rushed to try and suspend the nation’s Syrian refugee program. Now, they’re turning their attention to the U.S. visa-waiver program in the hopes of preventing militants from slipping into the country undetected. The twin...

Donald Trump's Eventful and Fact-Free Weekend

November 23, 2015 Over the last few days, Donald Trump has made the following statements: He twice claimed—despite no evidence that it happened—that “thousands” of Muslims in northern New Jersey were cheering as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001; He gave support to people who beat...

Republicans Try to Deploy Red Tape to Tangle the Refugee Program

November 19, 2015 Republican leaders in Congress don’t want to kill the Syrian refugee program outright. But they may end up shutting it down anyway with a few added layers of red tape. The House plans to vote Thursday on legislation aimed at “pausing” the resettlement of refugees from Syria and Iraq amid...