Elizabeth Warren: GOP ‘Ringing the Dinner Bell’ for Lobbyists


Sen Harry Reid and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Greg Nash/Getty)
Sen Harry Reid and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Greg Nash/Getty)

 

Tim Devaney | The Hill | Reader Supported News | May 18, 2016

en. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and fellow Democrats are vowing to block Republican efforts to roll back controversial regulations.

Warren on Wednesday slammed the GOP for connecting policy riders that would overturn regulations to must-pass government funding bills.

In recent years, Republicans have turned to policy riders in an attempt to cut off regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, Labor Department and other federal agencies.

“It’s like ringing the dinner bell for lobbyists,” Warren said. “They are swarming this place, because they have all sorts of goodies they want to sneak into” the government spending bills.

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The Supreme Court Is All Tied Up


Protesters attend the Fight for Families Rally in front of the Supreme Court of the United States on April 18, 2016, in Washington, D.C. (photo: Kris Connor/Getty Images)
Protesters attend the Fight for Families Rally in front of the Supreme Court of the United States on April 18, 2016, in Washington, D.C. (photo: Kris Connor/Getty Images)

 

Dahlia Lithwick | Slate | Reader Supported News | April 19, 2016

ast week, Sen. Orrin Hatch penned an op-ed suggesting that Democrats were trying to “deceive voters” with disingenuous claims “that the Supreme Court cannot function properly with fewer than nine justices on the bench.” After calling Democrats liars in various colorful ways, he concluded that “[t]he Senate’s determination to wait until after the election to consider a nominee will in no way impede the business of the judicial branch.”

Maybe.

Or maybe the judicial branch is about to get karate chopped in the face by the ugliest political fight of the year. Arguments on Monday in United States v. Texas, the partisan challenge to Obama’s executive actions that would have allowed more than 4 million undocumented immigrants to remain and work in the United States, certainly suggest a 4-4 tie is not just in the cards but also highly likely. Such a ruling would choke both the executive branch and the court, without affording much clarity or direction about the real scope of executive powers. Have fun with all that, Sen. Hatch.

The challenge in this case effectively asks whether President Obama’s 2014 tweaks to Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) exceed his authority. Obama issued these actions in response to congressional gridlock on immigration reform. The idea was that since Congress will not fund the deportation of the 11 million deportable immigrants, the administration would reserve deportation for dangerous offenders and allow others to temporarily remain, and to legally work.

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Obama’s Nomination of Merrick Garland Is a Lot More Ruthless Than It Looks


President Obama's Supreme Court nominee spoke at the White House on Wednesday. (photo: AP)
President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee spoke at the White House on Wednesday. (photo: AP)

 

Elias Isquith | Salon | Reader Supported News | March 20, 2016

The president’s nomination of an alleged moderate has some liberals scratching their heads. They shouldn’t

 

he first and most important thing to say about President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court is that it might not work.

Not in the sense that Garland won’t receive the Republican-controlled Senate’s approval — that goes without saying, at least until November — but in the sense that Obama’s “Godfather” move might not be the political checkmate that the White House hopes it will be.

It’s possible that less-engaged #NeverTrump Republicans, right-leaning independents, and establishment media centrist pundits will see the GOP’s refusal to even go through the motions with Garland as yet more proof that the party is unserious. And it’s possible that they’ll be so disgusted with Republican obstructionism that they’ll either vote for Hillary Clinton or skip 2016 altogether. That could happen, for sure.

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By Hamilton’s rules on Supreme picks, the Senate’s right and Obama’s wrong


Seth Lipsky | New York Post | March 18, 2016

By Hamilton’s rules on Supreme picks, the Senate’s right and Obama’s wrong

Somewhere Alexander Hamilton is smiling. For the battle that’s beginning over President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court vindicates the famous Founder’s assurances on judicial appointments.

Hamilton knew that Americans would find their protection from would-be kings in the wisdom of the Senate. He marked this point in 69 Federalist, one of the columns he wrote back in 1788 under the pen name Publius.

The topic of Federalist 69 is the “real character of the executive.” It makes it clear that in filling the seat once held by Justice Antonin Scalia, President Obama is at the complete mercy of the Senate — and should be.

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Mark Kirk Is First Senate Republican To Co-Sponsor Federal LGBT Protections Bill


Carlos Santoscoy | On Top Magazine | January 20, 2016

Illinois Senator Mark Kirk this week announced his support for the Equality Act, making him the first Senate Republican to back the proposed legislation.

Introduced by Democrats last year, the Equality Act seeks to prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination in seven key areas, including credit, education, employment, federal funding, housing, jury service and public accommodations, by effectively expanding the Civil Rights Act, originally approved in 1964.

“Discrimination on the basis of being gay is against the law in Illinois and should be against the law nationwide,” Kirk said in a statement given to the Washington Blade.

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GOP Lawmakers: Presidential Race Won’t Set Our Agenda


Bridget Bowman | The Hill | January 14, 2015

Cruz, left, and Trump, right, are at the top of the GOP polls. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz, left, and Trump, right, are at the top of the GOP polls. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BALTIMORE — As House and Senate Republicans gathered to plot policy here Thursday, they vowed not to let the divisive campaign for the presidential nomination set their agenda in Congress.

Rather than try to fashion measure that suits the crowded field of presidential contenders, GOP leaders said they plan to use the next congressional session to present Americans with their vision for the country. They hope their plan will eventually merge with the priorities of the Republican nominee and boost the party’s returns in November, delivering the White House and maintaining a Senate majority.

“Our presidential candidates are out there beating each other up at the moment, and that’s going to solve itself at some point here in the process,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters gathered at the Baltimore Marriott for their bicameral retreat.  “We’re going to do issue development and get ready for 2017.”

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ACA Repeal Bill Goes to Obama, but What About Replacement?


Lindsey McPherson | Roll Call | January 6, 2015

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 6: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., left, speaks with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., following the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans on Wednesday celebrated achievement of a long-held goal to send a bill repealing the Affordable Care Act to President Barack Obama’s desk, but now they must decide whether they can, or should send him an alternative health care plan.

That question has many different answers, depending whom you ask, and will likely not be decided until after a bicameral GOP retreat in Baltimore on Jan. 13-15. But House Republicans say they are committed to at least putting out an alternative plan to show voters what Congress could do with the help of a Republican president in 2017.

“We’re going to show our hand; it’s not going to be cards close to vests,” said House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, whose panel shares jurisdiction over health care with the Ways and Means and Education and the Workforce committees.

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Help NORML Release Our 2016 Congressional Scorecard!


NORML Members and Supporters,

Do you know what your members of Congress think about marijuana legalization? Do you know how they have voted on pending federal marijuana measures? Being a member of the NORML network automatically puts you ahead of most in staying up-to-date on marijuana-related legislation and activism. But we could all use a little help staying on top of our elected officials when it comes to the causes we care about most, right?

That is why we are eager and excited to announce that, for the past six months, NORML has been working on an extensive project with YOU in mind. Congress largely created the mess that is Marijuana Prohibition back in 1937, and all of these years later they’re singularly in the best position politically to actually fixing the problem for federal and state governments.

When 2016 comes around, we want all of our members and supporters to know exactly where their Representatives and Senators stand on the issue of marijuana legalization.

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Social Security Disability Insurance gets extension through 2022


JUF News | November 13, 2015

Earlier this month, President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, H.R. 1314 , a two-year budget agreement that increased the debt limit and eliminated 90 percent of the automatic budget cuts — known as sequestration — for  non-defense discretionary domestic and defense programs in fiscal year 2016, and about 60 percent of the cuts in 2017.  This agreement will greatly reduce the potential for government shutdowns over spending levels for the next two years.

The budget agreement also extended the solvency of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) fund through 2022, thereby avoiding across-the-board cuts of nearly 20 percent in disability benefits starting in late 2016. Sens. Richard Durbin and Mark Kirk both voted in favor of the bill.  On the House side, Illinois Reps. Mike Bost, Cheri Bustos, Danny Davis, Rodney Davis, Robert Dold, Tammy Duckworth, Bill Foster, Luis Gutierrez, Robin Kelly, Adam Kinzinger, Daniel Lipinski, Mike Quigley, Bobby Rush and Jan Schakowsky voted in favor of the bill.

“This is great news for people with disabilities,” said David Golder, chair of JUF’s Government Affairs Committee. “JUF is grateful that thousands of people in the Chicago metropolitan area and the state of Illinois will continue to receive the benefits they need.”

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US Senate laments RT’s social media success, wants to fight ‘propaganda’ threat


 

RT America | November 4, 2015

RT was the topic of yet another congressional hearing. This time a Senate committee is looking at the network’s scope of international influence and what options, if any, America has to combat it. Gayane Chichakyan reports.

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