House of Representatives

What is to be done?

Featured image The House Rules Committee took the first step toward initiating a lawsuit against President Obama over his faithless execution of the laws and abrogation of the separation of powers. The committee held a hearing on the House Resolution that would provide the House authority Four professors of constitutional law testified to the Rules Committee about the merits of the lawsuit, with two supporting and two opposed; the two in support »

Frank Scaturro for Congress

Featured image Frank Scaturro first came to my attention as a historian. He’s the author of Grant Reconsidered, a brilliant defense of the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, which I discussed here. He also wrote The Supreme Court’s Retreat from Reconstruction: A Distortion of Constitutional Jurisprudence, which I have not read. But Scaturro’s talents extend beyond the study of history to law and politics. He served as Counsel for the Constitution for »

Dems name Benghazi select committee members

Featured image After weeks of posturing, the Democrats have done the sensible thing and agreed to participate in the select committee to investigate Benghazi. Today, Nancy Pelosi named her five allotted members. They are: Elijah Cummings (Maryland) Tammy Duckworth (Illinois) Linda Sánchez (California) Adam Schiff (California) Adam Smith (Washington) Cummings gained invaluable experience carrying water for the administration during hearings by the House Oversight Committee (of which he is the ranking member) »

Tommy Moll — a worthy successor to Tom Cotton

Featured image With Tom Cotton running for the Senate this year, Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District will be electing a new representative. Tommy Moll, an Arkansas businessman, is seeking the Republican nomination for that seat. Moll formerly worked at the Peterson Institute in Washington, DC, where he analyzed ways in which public policy can help open new markets to American businesses and farms. During his time in Washington, and at fundraisers held this »

Alex Mooney wins his primary

Featured image We have written several times about Alex Mooney (Dartmouth ’93) who is running for Congress in West Virginia’s second congressional district. Tonight, Mooney won the Republican primary. With more than 90 percent of the precincts reporting, Alex has 36 percent of the vote. His closest rival has 22.5 percent. No majority is required, so Alex is the Republican nominee. He will face Democrat Nick Casey, a lawyer-lobbyist. He’s a hard »

A quick look at the Republican Benghazi committee members

Featured image Speaker Boehner named the six additional Republican members of the select Benghazigate committee yesterday. Trey Gowdy will be joined by Susan Brooks (Ind.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Mike Pompeo (Kan.), Martha Roby (Ala.), Peter Roskam (Ill.), and Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.). Jordan, who has a law degree, serves with Gowdy on the House Oversight Committee. He has been a pretty effective questioner when I’ve seen him in action. Pompeo is a Harvard »

The case for immunizing Lois Lerner

Featured image Charles Krauthammer has been saying for months that the House should “immunize” Lois Lerner so she will answer questions about the IRS scandal. Now, Andy McCarthy presents a detailed case for doing so. Lerner, as we all know, has refused to testify before Congress on the grounds that truthfully answering the questions of House investigators might incriminate her. If the House grants her immunity, i.e., promises that her statements will »

7 Repubs, 5 Dems for Benghazi select committee

Featured image Politico reports that Speaker Boehner has decided on the partisan split of the Select Committee on Benghazi. It will be 7 Republicans and 5 Democrats. That’s a fair split given the Republicans’ majority status in the House. As Politico points out, there are very few House committees that are evenly split. The Ethics Committee is one. Nonetheless, Nancy Pelosi had demanded an even split of 6-6. She claimed that with »

Trey Gowdy, not your father’s investigation committee chairman

Featured image Speaker Boehner has appointed Rep. Trey Gowdy to chair the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Gowdy is an experienced prosecutor who has consistently impressed me (and, obviously, Boehner) during hearings before the Oversight Committee on Benghazi and the IRS. Gowdy breaks the mold for chairman of a big ticket investigative committee. The typical chairman is a stern but somewhat subdued father figure — think Sen. Inouye of Iran Contra fame »

Dems playing defense in the House of Representives

Featured image If there is anyone left who believes the Democrats have a decent shot at winning control of the House this year, he or she should check out the ad reservations made by House Majority PAC, the leading super-PAC backing Democrats in House races. The group’s name reflects optimism, but its buys don’t. Three quarters of the districts for which the PAC has reserved air time are presently held by Democrats. »

Dems get that sinking feeling in FLA-13

Featured image There will be no replay this November of that closely-watched special congressional election in Florida last month in which Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink. The Democrat says she will not run. This leaves the Dems searching for a respectable candidate to challenge Jolly. Meanwhile, Jolly can accrue the advantages, financial and otherwise, of incumbency. Rep. Steve ( “Not all Republican law makers are racists”) Israel, the Democratic Campaign »

Sink sank, Obamacare suspected

Featured image Republican Dave Jolly has defeated Democrat Alex Sink in the special congressional election in FLA-13. The margin was 48.5 to 46.5. This was a closely watched election in which the Democrats invested lots of money and effort (Jolly was significantly outspent) and recruited a prominent candidate — their former nominee for Governor. Although the seat has been held for years by a popular Republican, Obama carried the district in 2012, »

Down to the wire in FLA-13

Featured image A special election will take place tomorrow (Tuesday) in Florida’s 13th congressional district (the Tampa Bay peninsula area). Democrat Alex Sink is facing Republican David Jolly, with Libertarian Lucas Overby also in the race. The seat was held for years by Republican Bill Young, who died last October. Republicans hold a registration advantage in the district and, as noted, have long held the seat. But the Democrats have some key »

Report: House GOP leadership to behave rationally

Featured image Robert Costa reports in the Washington Post that the GOP House leadership has decided to close up shop on bipartisan legislation and focus exclusively on proposals that have wide Republican backing. This would mean no big-ticket items such as immigration reform this year. One must always be wary of the leadership’s disavowal of intent to pursue immigration reform. It may be an attempt to calm the waters, cause the base »

House Votes to Raise Debt Ceiling, Restore Veterans’ Cuts

Featured image House Republicans gave up today on their effort to get something in exchange for raising the debt limit. The House passed a “clean” debt limit bill, with only 28 Republicans voting in favor. Separately the House voted to repeal the cuts to veterans’ benefits that were part of the Ryan-Murray deal; that vote was 326-90. Whether the veterans’ COLA cuts will actually be restored remains to be seen. The House »

The immigration credibility gap: it isn’t just Obama’s

Featured image The House GOP leadership’s current line on immigration reform is that passage of legislation is in serious doubt due to lack of trust in President Obama’s willingness to enforce what Congress passes on the subject. Thus, Speaker Boehner says: There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws. And it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes. The American people, »

McConnell: Immigration reform unlikely this year

Featured image The Hill reports that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he doesn’t see any way the Democratic-controlled Senate and GOP-led House will agree on immigration reform legislation in 2014. McConnell explained: I think we have sort of an irresolvable conflict here. The Senate insists on comprehensive [legislation]. The House says it won’t go to conference with the Senate on comprehensive and wants to look at [it] step by step. I »