Senate

GOP Senators unanimous in support for tax bill

Featured image So reports Jibran Khan at NRO’s Corner. Senators Rubio and Scott have fallen into line, having secured an increase in the child tax credit refund. No surprise there. But here’s a surprise, at least to me. Senator Corker says he will vote for the bill, notwithstanding his concern that it will increase the deficit. He opposed the version initially passed by the Senate due to that concern. Corker called the »

GOP reaches compromise on tax bill; vote expected soon

Featured image Party leaders in the House and Senate agreed in principle to tax reform legislation that bridges the gaps between their competing versions. The leaders of the tax-writing committees in the House and the Senate — Rep. Kevin Brady and Sen. Orrin Hatch — say the final bill is “close” to completion. The Senate seems to have made out better than the House. The New York Times reports that “more of »

Alabama Senate race is even, but may be tilting against Moore [UPDATE: Jones Wins]

Featured image About 85 percent of the vote has been counted in the Alabama Senate race and only a few thousand votes separate the candidates. As I write this, Roy Moore is up by around 5,000 votes. The counties that will deliver most of the as yet uncounted vote are said to be good ones for Doug Jones. That doesn’t mean the precincts in question are pro-Jones, but the smart money seems »

Grasz set to be confirmed [UPDATED]

Featured image Steve Grasz is President Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He’s well qualified for that position, having served for more than a decade as Chief Deputy Attorney General in the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office and having worked for the past 15 years as a litigator with a top Omaha law firm. I discussed his credentials as an appellate and Supreme Court advocate here. However, »

What about Bob?

Featured image A friend writes to raise a question about one of the anomalies in the current sexual misconduct/sexual harassment panic. He observes that in all the discussion of Senator Franken and related issues, it is curious that none of the Democratic senators — not Senator Gillibrand, not Senator Harris, not Senator Klobuchar, not any of the rest — has suggested that Senator Menendez take early retirement. The bribery charges against Senator »

If Roy Moore wins. . .

Featured image Senate Republicans will have decisions to make. First, they must decide what to say. Members who believe the most serious allegations against Moore and don’t think the passage of nearly 40 years matters should feel free to say Moore is unfit for the Senate and thus should resign. Once they say so, they will have done as much as Democrats did to John Conyers and Al Franken. And much more »

“The Democratic Party Is Trash”

Featured image If you thought the Alabama special Senate election couldn’t get any stranger, you were wrong. The race has been upended by a remarkably boneheaded move on the part of Democrat Doug Jones’s campaign. The Jones campaign is being accused of racism: [Jones is] now embroiled an upsetting controversy of his own: Black voters across Alabama are calling out a campaign flyer with extremely racist underpinnings. The Doug Jones for Senate »

The expendable Mr. Franken

Featured image Democratic support for the tenure of Minnesota Senator Al Franken in office died on the vine today. First Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stepped forward to call for Franken’s resignation. Her call was followed by other Democratic women senators with the exception of his colleague Amy Klobuchar, whose help was unnecessary to the task at hand. However, she had been among the first Senators to call for Franken’s case to be remitted »

Senate tax bill has votes to pass

Featured image Senate Republicans have locked down the votes they need to pass their tax bill. The necessary votes were secured when Sens. Jeff Flake, Ron Johnson, and Susan Collins announced their support. Reportedly, only Sen. Bob Corker is a “no.” This means there are 51 votes for the measure. Mike Pence won’t have to break a tie. It’s important to remember that this tax bill is tax reform, not a tax »

The new Al Franken, Part Three

Featured image Paul gave a good account (here and here) of the November 29 Senate Judiciary Committee on the nominations of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit and Kyle Duncan to the Fifth Circuit. I want only to add a few personal notes along with the video of the hearing below. I am a fan and admirer of Justice Stras. He will make a great contribution to the »

Kyle Duncan addresses Sen. Kennedy’s concern [UPDATED: Kennedy is a “yes”]

Featured image Kyle Duncan, President Trump’s nominee for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday (along with Justice David Stras, a nominee for the Eighth Circuit about whom more in another post). I watched a portion of the proceedings and found both nominees to be excellent. You can watch here and judge for yourself. Sen. John Kennedy of Duncan’s home state of Louisiana has been critical »

David Stras and Kyle Duncan finally get their hearing

Featured image As I write this post, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the nominations of David Stras and Kyle Duncan to, respectively, the Eighth Circuit and the Fifth Circuit court of appeals. Sen. Amy Klobuchar just finished a gracious introduction of Judge Stras, notwithstanding their ideological differences. You can watch the proceedings on the Committee’s website. Stras and Duncan are the two nominees held up by the refusal »

Court documents raise questions about Corfman’s account

Featured image Here in the Washington D.C. area, polite society has reached judgment on the allegations against Roy Moore, and moved on. Mitch McConnell, a political enemy of Moore, rendered the verdict. “I believe the women,” he said. He didn’t tell us what facts he had reviewed or why he believed all of them. Ivanka Trump, who has a brand to protect, concurred, declaring: There is a special place in hell for »

Trump speaks about the Alabama race

Featured image President Trump made two points today about the Alabama Senate race. First, he called Democrat Doug Jones “terrible on crime, terrible on borders, terrible on the military.” Trump added: “We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat.” Second, he noted that the alleged sexual misconduct by Roy Moore took place “40 years ago” and that the candidate has insisted “this did not happen.” Trump also said Moore has »

Should Franken be expelled from the Senate?

Featured image In the years since feminists excused Bill Clinton’s misdeeds, sexual harassment by powerful men has too often gone unreported and, when reported, has not been taken seriously enough. Now, the pendulum may be swinging the other way. We may be headed for an over-correction, at least for a while. If so, I’m going to dissent now, while a Senator I abhor is in the dock. Al Franken should not be »

Gloria Allred won’t allow inspection of yearbook

Featured image Gloria Allred, the attorney for Roy Moore accuser Beverly Young Nelson, says she won’t permit an inspection of her client’s high school yearbook unless the Senate conducts a hearing on Nelson’ charge that Moore tried to rape her. The yearbook is important because Nelson and Allred presented it as evidence that Moore knew Nelson and had a romantic interest in her. Moore’s camp has provided reason to believe that he »

Is an ethics investigation of Franken a good idea?

Featured image I won’t shed any tears if, as a result of Leeann Tweeden’s revelations, Al Franken is investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee for sexual misconduct. However, I don’t believe the Ethics Committee should investigate such allegations when, as in Franken’s case, the conduct occurred before the miscreant became a member of Congress — unless it involves a felony. I can be persuaded either way on the fairness and appropriateness of »