Congress

Ossoff update [UPDATED]

Featured image Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff is just below 50 percent in his quest to wrest Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District from Republican control. The last tally I saw (a little before midnight on Tuesday) had him at 48.6 percent. If Ossoff doesn’t hit the 50 percent (plus one vote) mark, he will face a runoff. At 48.6 percent, I think you’d have to like his chances. However, Ossoff’s number has been declining »

The stakes in Georgia

Featured image Scott writes below about today’s special election to replace HHS Secretary Tom Price in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District. He observes, “If [Jon] Ossoff were to win today, Democrats and their media adjunct won’t let us stop hearing about it.” He is correct. If Ossoff doesn’t win today, and doesn’t come close enough to 50 percent to suggest he will win a runoff, we won’t hear much about it. Yet, it »

Kiss off, Ossoff

Featured image Jon Ossoff is the great left hope in the special election to replace HHS Secretary Tom Price in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District. It’s a suburban district that has long sent Republicans to Congress. A plethora of Republicans is vying in today’s special election. Democrats have one Jon Ossoff — a 30-year-old former congressional aide and filmmaker still searching for his mission in life — and are excited about his prospects. »

How to reverse this week’s Obamacare defeat

Featured image My take on the political implications of the House’s failure to pass the GOP’s repeal-and-replace bill differs a little bit from John’s. In my view, the Democrats have good reason to be pleased by that failure, as things stand now. The Democrats’ argument is straightforward. As Scott says, Republicans have been running against Obamacare for years — promising to repeal and replace it. Yet, with a big majority in House »

Tom Cotton rejects the parliamentarian dodge

Featured image I have written about how congressional Republicans are subscribing to the view that key parts of Obamacare cannot be repealed through “reconciliation” — i.e., without 60 votes. This view — reflected in the House “replacement” legislation — holds that the GOP cannot repeal the price-hiking, competition-destroying regulations that form the core of Obamacare because the parliamentarian, pursuant to the Byrd Rule, won’t allow such repeal through the budget reconciliation process. »

Repeal and replace, but take the time to get it right

Featured image Two months into 2017, groups backed by the Koch brothers reportedly have run out of patience with congressional Republicans over their failure to repeal Obamacare. According to the New York Times, the “Koch network,” along with conservative groups like the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, are demanding repeal and are applying pressure on GOP lawmakers to keep their promise and get it done now. But what’s the rush? When Republicans »

Does the NFL combine violate the ADA?

Featured image If your answer is, “you can’t be serious,” you’re not fully in tune with the contemporary landscape. On the other hand, your common sense quotient is high. The NFL scouting combine is basically an audition by more than 300 of the best collegiate football players who are eligible for the NFL draft. They come to Indianapolis each year to undergo on-field workouts, medical testing, interviews, and psychological testing. The workouts »

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 »