Senate

The Senate health care bill: Yuval Levin’s take

Featured image Yuval Levin takes a close look at the Senate health care bill. He agrees with those of us who don’t consider it a repeal of Obamacare, Rather, like the House bill, the Senate version “addresses discrete problems with Obamacare within the framework it created, while pursuing some significant structural reforms to Medicaid.” Levin believes, as I do, that “the cause of good policy (almost regardless of your priorities in health »

Kamala Harris goes silent when confronted with true sex-based oppression

Featured image Last week, Sen. Kamala Harris became the left’s designated victim of the month because she was interrupted by Republican Senators during a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Harris kept interrupting the witness, Attorney General Jeff Session, so it’s debatable whether she had a genuine grievance. Nonetheless, the Democrats and their media allies were quick to level hackneyed allegations that, once again, sexist patriarchs have tried to silence a woman »

The GOP Senate’s alternative to Obamacare — a first look

Featured image Senate Republicans today unveiled their health care bill. It’s 142 pages long. I have not yet read it. According to New York Times reporters Robert Pear and Thomas Kaplan, the Senate bill maintains the structure of its House counterpart, but is more “moderate.” For example, it offers “more financial assistance to some lower-income people to help them defray the rapidly rising cost of private health insurance.” In addition, according to »

Jim Bunning, RIP

Featured image Today’s Washington Post features three obituaries — one for Zbigniew Brzezinski (written by long-time Post foreign policy writer Jim Hoagland), one for Gregg Allman, and one for Jim Bunning. The headline in the paper edition for Brzezinski’s obit reads: “Combative adviser helped shape Carter’s foreign policy.” We’ll leave it there. The paper edition headline for Allman’s obit reads: “Southern rock pioneer led Allman Brothers Band.” Scott is our music expert »

Angry with Jeff Sessions, the New York Times revises history

Featured image “Unity Was Emerging on Sentencing. Then Came Jeff Sessions.” So declares the New York Times in a story bemoaning the failure of Congress to pass sentencing reform legislation in 2016 and the recent order from Attorney General Sessions to end lenient charging practices at the Department of Justice. Jeff Sessions certainly deserves credit for opposing the lenient sentencing legislation. His effort was heroic. But Times reporter Carl Hulse distorts the »

Senate Dems: Appoint a special prosecutor or we’ll hold our breath until we turn blue

Featured image Democrats are threatening to slow the Senate to a crawl in response to President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey. On Wednesday, Sen. Dick Durbin (remember him?) objected to the Republicans’ routine request to allow 13 committee hearings to take place. Durbin gave the firing of Comey as his reason. His leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer, is demanding the appointment of a special prosecutor for the Russia investigation. Democrats also »

Senate bill would counter Guerrilla warfare against immigration enforcement

Featured image Sen. Jeff Flake (along with fellow Arizona Senator John McCain) has proposed worthwhile legislation to fix one of the cracks in immigration enforcement. Here’s the crack: ICE frequently issues detainer orders to local law enforcement agencies to pick up illegal immigrants. The locals are supposed to hold the illegal for up to 48 hours while ICE comes to pick him up. However, two federal district courts (D. Minn. and N.D. »

House committee will investigate matters relating to Iran deal

Featured image Politico reports that the House oversight committee has launched an investigation into whether the Obama administration, in trying to win support for a nuclear deal and prisoner swap with Tehran last year, undermined an ambitious U.S. counter-proliferation effort to thwart Iranian weapons trafficking networks. In addition, 13 Republican senators have demanded answers about whether the Obama administration jeopardized U.S. national security as a result of its protracted top-secret negotiations with »

No women on the Senate GOP health care working group: So what?

Featured image CNN and other liberal media outlets are pointing out that the group of Republican Senators working together on the matter of Obamacare replacement contains no females. CNN’s Erin Burnett slammed Republicans for this fact. Here are the members of the group: Mitch McConnell John Cornyn John Thune John Barrasso Lamar Alexander Mike Enzi Orrin Hatch Ted Cruz Mike Lee Tom Cotton Cory Gardner Rob Portman Pat Toomey The first four »

Getting to “50” if Justice Kennedy retires

Featured image Yesterday, I noted the intense speculation over whether Justice Kennedy will retire at the end of this year’s Supreme Court term. Today, CNN reports that “friends and associates believe Kennedy is seriously considering retirement.” If Kennedy doesn’t step down this year, I think there’s a very good chance he will do so next year. With the judicial filibuster now eliminated, it will only take 50 votes to confirm a successor. »

Behind the showdown on Mount Gorsuch

Featured image Writing slightly in advance of the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court this past Friday, I referred to the weak sisters among the GOP Senators who came through in the event. I also paid tribute to Senator McConnell’s “long game” in keeping Justice Scalia’s seat open and in overcoming the Democratic filibuster. The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes now gives us an early look behind the showdown in “How »

The confirmation of Neil Gorsuch

Featured image Today is a great day to be an American. Among other things, Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed to the Supreme Court and become Justice Gorsuch. He will take the seat formerly held by the remarkable Justice Antonin Scalia. The case against Neil Gorsuch: there wasn’t one. The Democrats’ opposition to Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation constituted little more than an assertion of political will conforming to the fantasies of »

Senate Republicans Come Through

Featured image While nearly everyone has been saying that Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation was inevitable, I was worried. The Democrats’ filibuster of Gorsuch, a thoroughly noncontroversial nominee, seemed to make little sense unless they thought that a handful of Republican senators wouldn’t go along with the Harry Reid option, leaving the nominee stranded with fewer than 60 votes. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. The Senate voted today along party lines to do away »

Klobuchar kludge meets the Gorsuch filibuster

Featured image Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar specializes in avoiding outspoken stands on important issues. She looks for opportunities to lead the way on trivialities calculated to garner broad public support, such as her crusade against the threat to life and limb posed by “The crisis of the detergent pod.” Senator Klobuchar is a reliable vote for the Democratic Party line, but she is quiet about it. She doesn’t want to upset anybody. »

Showdown on Mount Gorsuch

Featured image This past Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed that Judge Gorsuch would be confirmed to the Supreme Court this week. If put to a straight up or down vote, as he will be, Judge Gorsuch would win a majority for his confirmation. If Democrats rally 41 votes to support a filibuster — Senator McConnell didn’t expressly say, but it was implicit in his vow — Republicans would be put »

Not So Cool Hand Chuck

Featured image Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared on both FOX News Sunday and Meet the Press yesterday, mostly to address the prospective confirmation of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Senator McConnell spoke “with the calm confidence of a Christian holding four aces” (to borrow Walter Blair’s misquotation of Mark Twain). He vowed that Judge Gorsuch would be confirmed and that Democrats would dictate the manner of his confirmation. McConnell noted »

The madness (or not) of the Dems

Featured image This past Thursday morning the Kansas City Star obtained audio of Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill “warn[ing] Democratic donors that blocking President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee could have dire consequences.” The Star’s Brian Lowry posted the audio (below, I hope) along with his article reporting on it. Articulating the kind of rational calculation I set out in “Will the Dems die on Mount Gorsuch?,” McCaskill told her supporters: “I’m »