Congress

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 »

A modest proposal

Featured image A political shakeup is occurring in my neck of the woods. Our congressman, leftist Chris Van Hollen, is running for the Maryland Senate seat that Barbara Mikulski will vacate. He’s opposed by radical leftist Donna Edwards. Rep. Edwards, an African-American, has a reputation for poor constituent services. Her predecessor Albert Wynn was no star in this department. My daughter, who interned for Rep. Connie Morella, tells me that Wynn’s constituents »

Congress investigating Obama administration for deception on Iran deal

Featured image Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon reports that Congress is investigating whether the Obama administration misled lawmakers last summer about the extent of concessions granted to Iran under the nuclear deal. It is also looking into whether administration officials have been quietly rewriting the deal’s terms. The investigation stems from statements by top administration officials last week suggesting that Iran is set to receive weapons and sanctions relief the »

Congress Passes Obamacare Repeal and Planned Parenthood Defunding: Finally!

Featured image Today the House of Representatives passed a bill that would repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. This is the same bill that passed the Senate last month on a 52-47, with the Republicans avoiding a filibuster with the same reconciliation process that enabled passage of Obamacare in the first place. The vote in the House was 240-181, nearly along party lines. So for the first time, President Obama will be »

Elliott Abrams on spying on allies

Featured image At NR’s Corner, Elliott Abrams gives his take on the report that the Obama administration spied on the Israeli government. Abrams served for many years as a U.S. foreign policy official and is, of course, a leading pro-Israel advocate. Thus, his is a voice I wanted to hear on this potential scandal. Abrams believes there should be a strong presumption against spying on allies. He also believes that we should »

Report that NSA spying on Israel reached Congress raises abuse of power questions

Featured image Last night, I wrote about a Wall Street Journal report that the NSA spied on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and members of his government, and that the spying included intercepting communications with members of Congress. I included in the post the Journal’s brief discussion of the rules that apply to U.S. surveillance that reaches such members. According to the Journal: A 2011 NSA directive said direct communications between foreign intelligence »

Paul Ryan Explains

Featured image Both here on Power Line and elsewhere Speaker Paul Ryan and congressional Republicans in general have been taking heavy weather for the sorry outcome of the omnibus budget that passed last week. Ryan went on Bill Bennett’s radio show on Tuesday to tell his side of the story, which involves the fact that he inherited from outgoing Speaker John Boehner an unfavorable budget framework, as well as some of the tradeoffs involved »

Last chance to block Obama’s diktat on how we shall live

Featured image This week marks the moment of truth for the effort to defund President Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation — a stunningly ambitious attempt to force Americans to change the way they live. AFFH seeks to use the power of the national government to create communities of a certain kind, each having what the federal government deems an appropriate mix of economic, racial, and ethnic diversity. The moment of »

Insist on the Gosar amendment

Featured image President Obama’s “Affirmative Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) is a stunningly ambitious attempt to force Americans to change the way they live. In essence, it seeks to use the power of the national government to create communities of a certain kind, each having what the federal government deems an appropriate mix of economic, racial, and ethnic diversity. I’ve written about concept here and here (among other posts). Readers may recall that »

Who wants to be “Willie Hortoned”

Featured image Willie Horton was an inmate at a Massachusetts corrections facility serving a life sentence for murdering a man when he received a weekend pass thanks to a prison furlough program maintained by then-governor Michael Dukakis over the objection of the state legislature. While out of prison, Horton twice raped a Maryland woman after pistol-whipping, knifing, binding, and gagging her fiancé. When Dukakis ran for president against George H.W. Bush, a »

A budget deal Republicans should reject

Featured image In recent days, as John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid negotiated a budget deal behind closed doors, the prospect for mischief has been acute. Today this latest “gang” presented its handiwork to members of Congress. It is, indeed, mischievous. According to this report, the deal would increase federal spending by $80 billion over two years. The spending increase would be shared evenly between domestic and military spending, »

Why aren’t there more black scientists?

Featured image It sounds like a trick question. Indeed, it sounds like a variant of the question that sent the sheriffs of political correctness out to take then Harvard president Lawrence Summers into custody. Gail Heriot is Professor of Law at the University of San Diego Law School and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights. In today’s Wall Street Journal, Professor Heriot asks: “Why aren’t there more black »

Larry Arnn for Speaker?

Featured image I don’t agree with Paul that Paul Ryan shouldn’t be Speaker of the House because of his—shall we call them idealistic—positions and past votes on key issues, though he’s right that Ryan’s highest and best use is probably where he is right now at Ways & Means. If nothing else, Ryan would match up much better as a point man to argue in public against Obama—tasks for which both Boehner »

Joy of cooking

Featured image The video below shows Senator Cruz questioning Sierra Club President Aaron Mair on the alleged phenomenon formerly known as global warming. The video runs a highly entertaining nine minutes or so. It may make you curious about Mair’s background. The Sierra Club has posted a profile of Mair here. My impression, possibly mistaken, is that Mair doesn’t know what he’s talking about — that he is unfamiliar with the terms »

Democrats face potential crack-up over crime; Republicans shouldn’t bail them out

Featured image Yesterday, I discussed the possibility that the Democratic party may experience a crack-up as a result of slavish adherence to the demands of environmentalists, backed by the party’s upscale, elitist wing. The hard-left environmentalist agenda is likely to alienate members of the working class, a traditional Democratic constituency. We may be seeing the beginning of this process with the dispute over the Keystone XLpipeline. The modern Democratic party depends not »

Follow Up on Jeb and Congress

Featured image I’m on airplanes all day today, making my way to Michigan where, it turns out, I’ll be meeting John in a bar late tonight. (This is how conspiracy rumors get started. Stand by for some clandestine video.) Meanwhile, I note a great letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal this morning from Laura Hirschman making the same point I did here last week (“Bush League De-Regulation?“) about Jeb »

What Next for the House? (Take 3)

Featured image Almost a year ago I noted here in a post entitled “Time to Revitalize Congress” the great 1959 book by James Burnham, Congress and the American Tradition, in which Burnham warned that the power and capacity of Congress was atrophying badly. Go back and read the whole post if you have time (I actually called for bringing back earmarks!), but here’s the most salient paragraph from Burnham: Congress has let »