Congress

Martin Karo: Analyze this

Featured image It’s hard to keep up with the news in the early weeks of the Trump administration. Reader Martin Karo writes to note one story we have overlooked so far. He observes that the Daily Caller seems to be the go-to site on the story, with this excellent February 7 update as well as the February 4 report linked below. Mr. Karo titles this “We were in the very best of »

Shedunnit, whoever she is

Featured image At Axios, Jonathan Swan reports that “the person who leaked audio of the closed-door Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia snuck in by claiming to be the spouse of an elected official. She was at the retreat for 11 hours before escorted out by Capitol Police. The Congressional Institute, which hosts the event, is trying to figure out who she is.” I should add that a local television report on the »

Review this

Featured image Kim Strassel delivers today’s good news in her Wall Street Journal column “A GOP regulatory game changer” (accessible here via Google). She introduces the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Todd Gaziano to explain the mechanics of the rarely used (and almost always unsuccessful) Congressional Review Act of 1996 to undo executive agency regulations. (The text of the Congressional Review Act is accessible here.) As a staffer to Rep. David McIntosh at the »

How not to respond to Russian cyber meddling

Featured image Let’s say you’re Vladimir Putin and your agents caused hacking of the emails of John Podesta and the DNC. If U.S. intelligence officials concluded that you were responsible for the hacking, what reaction would you want from the U.S. government? My guess is that Putin would want the U.S. to be reacting just about the way it is now. He would want the president officially to accuse Russia of meddling »

Schumer identifies common ground with Trump

Featured image While Democrats around the country try to “process” what happened last week, wily Chuck Schumer is planning what will happen next year. The soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader announced that, unlike Republicans during the Obama years, the Democrats won’t reflexively oppose whatever the president proposes. Instead, they will consider each proposal on its merits and work with President Trump when they consider his proposals meritorious. Schumer isn’t just saying this to »

What should the lame duck Congress do?

Featured image Go home, that’s what it should do. I agree with Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government. He advises: The single most important decisions for Congress in the lame duck session are to get in and get out, and do a short term continuing resolution that will allow the new Trump administration and Republican majorities in Congress to assert their spending priorities this coming spring. No criminal justice reform. No »

Beware of bipartisan grandstanding

Featured image I wouldn’t call the following statement an iron rule, but it’s a good rule of thumb: When congressional Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly agree on legislation, the legislation is probably bad. That’s the case, in my view, with the bipartisan legislation that enables 9/11 victims and their families to sue the government of Saudi Arabia. Nowadays, “bipartisan” often means that one party supported a bill unanimously and managed to pick up »

Republican leaders set to rubber stamp Obama’s internet giveaway

Featured image Last week, I asked whether Republican leaders will rubber stamp President Obama’s internet giveaway. My fear was that they would end up backing a continuing resolution that does not include language blocking the transition away from U.S. oversight of the Internet’s domain name system. Without that language, the Obama administration will hand oversight of the domain name system to an international organization. This would create a danger that countries like »

Will Republican leaders rubber stamp Obama’s internet giveaway? [Updated With Cartoon]

Featured image Congress is ironing out another of its continuing resolutions. Conservatives led by Ted Cruz are insisting that the resolution include language that would block the transition away from U.S. oversight of the Internet’s domain name system. Donald Trump has backed Cruz in this fight. Why is ongoing U.S. oversight so important? Because, as Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, says: Continuing U.S. oversight of the Internet’s domain name »

Midnight Regs, Part 2

Featured image No sooner are the pixels posted on my note yesterday regarding “midnight regulations” than The Hill reports this: GOP Mostly Powerless in Stopping Obama ‘Midnight’ Regulations . . . Republican lawmakers and independent experts expect more [regulations] to come. But Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas told Roll Call that his party cannot do much because “the framers of the Constitution didn’t give us a lot of tools that didn’t »

Timeline suggests Team Clinton obstructed justice

Featured image Perhaps the most significant news from the FBI’s pre-Labor Day document release was the revelation that Team Clinton began wiping Hillary’s server shortly after the New York Times broke the story that she had one. As I noted here, the Times revealed in early March that Clinton used a private email server. The wiping occurred later that month. There’s more to the story, though. Almost immediately after the Times’ report »

How the GOP feeds the PC beast

Featured image John Fund reports that congressional Republicans increased the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights with a very generous budget increase last year. Fund takes up the matter in the NR column “How Republicans feed the beast of political correctness.” OCR is perhaps the most left-wing office in the federal bureaucracy. Bankrolling it that way Congress did was an egregious error (for which they were rewarded with the transgender guidance). »

The Rangel angle

Featured image I’m winding up my week at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa tomorrow and I’m not looking forward to leaving. It’s located at the Trump National Doral Miami. The weather has been accommodating. I’ve learned a lot. Indeed, I think I’ve become a true believer in the gospel according to Pritikin. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, going back to the days when the program was based »

No jailbreak legislation this year

Featured image The bipartisan jailbreak legislation — known as the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act — is dead in this session of Congress. Sens. Dick Durbin and John Cornyn, key backers of the Act, have basically conceded defeat. Cornyn said he had hoped the House would move more quickly and provide momentum for the legislation in the Senate. But, he added, “apparently we ran out of time.” In reality, the demise of »

What’s next for amnesty?

Featured image The Supreme Court’s 4-4 decision in the executive amnesty case means that the lower court’s ruling invalidating that amnesty is affirmed. Executive amnesty will not be granted while Obama is president. What happens after that? If Donald Trump is elected, presumably there will be no mass amnesty. Trump is unpredictable, but probably not unpredictable enough to do amnesty. In the more likely event that Hillary Clinton is elected, matters will »

Benghazi report details Clinton’s malfeasance and nonfeasance

Featured image The House Select Committee on Benghazi has issued its report. The 800-page document is the result of an investigation that, according to the committee, encompassed 81 new witnesses and 75,000 pages of new documents. The report covers every aspect of the Benghazi scandal — the “before,” the “during,” and multiple phases of the “after.” At Hot Air, Larry O’Connor provides a good summary and Ed Morrissey homes in on the »

Will Speaker Ryan defend the power of the purse?

Featured image Earlier this month, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued a statement praising a determination by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that paves the way for completing the privatization of the Internet’s domain name system. Such privatization seems like a highly questionable move as a matter of policy, but the overriding issue here isn’t internet governance; rather it is Article I of the Constitution. Here’s why. NTIA, located within »