Senate

The latest push for amnesty-style immigration reform

Featured image I don’t think we’ve written about the push for immigration legislation in the House. Not long ago, it looked like there would be no immigration legislation passed this year. But now, that’s not as clear. The House is considering two bills (or one bill and a framework for another being pushed by Speaker Paul Ryan). Moreover, Majority Leader McConnell, who had previously stated that immigration was “not on the agenda »

In search of lost text

Featured image Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Friday, seeking more information about heavily-redacted documents. Senator Johnson revealed new information under some of the redacted text messages between FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and reiterated his May 11 inquiry concerning the FBI redactions of material pertinent to the committee’s oversight. The Weekly Standard’s Eric Felten recently gave us a look at “the »

Senator Grassley requests (again)

Featured image I will try to omit continued professions of difficulty keeping up with the true scandals surrounding the fabricated scandal of Trump-Russia collusion, or of disbelief over the bureaucratic obstruction that amounts to defiance when oversight beckons. In the spirit of Ciceronian praeteritio and rhetorical disgust, I wonder how long the authorities at the Department of Justice can abuse the patience of the Senate with their continued resistance? We have grown »

Just say no to…McCabe

Featured image Is there anyone who really thinks that Andrew McCabe should be given immunity in exchange for his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee next week? If so, Andrew McCarthy explains why this is a very bad idea in “Andrew McCabe seeks immunity for…what?” Let us hear what McCabe has to say, by all means, but let us not give him a get out of jail free pass without the usual »

How the Democrats will try to get recess back

Featured image Earlier this week, Majority Leader McConnell cancelled most of the Senate’s August recess. He did so in response to the unprecedented obstruction of Senate Democrats in blocking floor votes on President Trump’s nominees. The cancellation hurts Democrats, and not just because it’s a blow against their obstruction. There are more vulnerable Democrats than vulnerable Republicans up for reelection this year. The lack of a month-long recess will keep them off »

Recess is canceled!

Featured image Canceling recess was a common punishment for bad behavior when I was in elementary school. I’m happy to report that Majority Leader McConnell says he’ll punish the bad behavior of Democrats by canceling most of the Senate’s August recess. Here is McConnell’s statement: Due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president’s nominees, and the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year, »

“The long game,” a postscript

Featured image A few days ago, I discussed the sickening delay in getting a floor vote for key Department of Justice nominees. I blamed Sen. Cory “Weed” Gardner, obstructionist Senate Democrats, and, to a lesser degree, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the delay. In McConnell’s case, the problem, I argued, is that he’s not making the Senate work enough. To be fair, though, some GOP Senators apparently don’t want to work hard »

A long game that’s taking too long

Featured image In a column called “Mitch McConnell is winning the long game,” George Will praises the Majority Leader. And not without justification. Though McConnell is sometimes criticized by conservatives for lack of legislative successes, Senate Republicans have accomplished quite a bit under his leadership, notwithstanding the slimness of their majority. Will quotes McConnell’s recitation of the major accomplishments during the past 18 months: The largest tax reduction in 31 years has »

Rumor: Cindy McCain to succeed her husband

Featured image In a few hours, when we turn our calendars to June, Arizona governor Doug Ducey will, in the event Sen. John McCain dies or resigns, be able to appoint a successor to McCain who can serve until January 2021. Rumor has it that Ducey will appoint Cindy McCain, the Senator’s wife. I have no idea whether this is true. I do know that Ducey met yesterday with Cindy and John »

Behind the redactions

Featured image It is incredibly difficult to keep up with the release of primary documents in the congressional Trump-Russia investigations. Some of them are first released in heavily redacted form (making crucial parts incomprehensible) and then released in less redacted form requiring comparison with those released earlier. In the Weekly Standard column “Grassley raises objections to Justice Department redactions,” Eric Felten focuses on the content behind the redactions in the Strzok-Page text »

First step in a jail break [UPDATED]

Featured image The House has passed the “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act.” Why the ridiculous name? Because it spells out FIRST STEP. FIRST STEP is an appropriate name. As we will see, this legislation is intended to be the first step towards a jail break. A combination of Democrats and libertarians, aided by Sen. Charles Grassley who is neither, has been trying for several years to reduce »

A sore loser seeks to help reelect Joe Manchin

Featured image Hillary Clinton has a lock on the sore loser of the century award. But dishonorable mention goes to Don Blankenship. Recently, Blankenship, a convicted criminal, finished third in the West Virginia Republican Senate primary. Today, he announced that he will run as a third party candidate on the Constitution Party ticket. If Blankenship really cared about the Constitution, or about conservatism, he wouldn’t launch a quixotic campaign the only possible »

Grounds for optimism on the confirmation front? I’m not convinced

Featured image Some of us have been clamoring for Mitch McConnell to take special measures to break the logjam on Senate confirmation of Trump nominees for the judiciary and key sub-cabinet positions. One such measure would be to limit the number of hours nominees can be debated on the Senate floor, as the Senate agreed to do when Obama nominees were waiting their turn. Another would be to have the Senate work »

And now, the Trump Tower transcripts

Featured image This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee released 2500 pages of hearing transcripts and related material on the infamous Trump Tower meeting of the Trump braintrust with Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016. The material is all accessible online here. I haven’t read the documents. Based on the first-take news accounts, however, I’m going to go out on a limb and say I infer there is nothing in them to refute President »

Gina Haspel will be confirmed

Featured image Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to head the CIA appears to have enough votes to be confirmed. The support of Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, announced today, should ensure that Haspel has the votes she needs. In fact, soon after Warner’s announcement, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Bill Nelson said they are on board to confirm Haspel. A couple of guys named Joe — Manchin and Donnelly — had »

Senator Grassley requests

Featured image The Senate has taken a remarkably laid back approach to getting the story peddled by James Comey et al. straight. On February 15, 2017, for example the Senate Judiciary Committee requested a copy of the transcript of the widely reported call between Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador and the FBI report summarizing the intercepted calls. The Justice Department declined to provide any of that information, and instead »

Dana Milbank rages against Tom Cotton

Featured image In the first few years after 9/11 it seemed very likely that al Qaeda would attack the U.S. homeland again and almost certain it was plotting to do so. Indeed, at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing yesterday (about which more below), one Senator recalled credible reports that al Qaeda was planning to attack the U.S. with a dirty (nuclear) bomb. Our government needed to know what al Qaeda was plotting. »