Steve Israel was a Democratic representative from Long Island from 2001 to 2017. A rare event occurred on Capitol Hill at the end of 2013: Republicans and Democrats agreed on a sensible, if modest, measure to continue regulating guns made from plastic.
Toward the tail end of a sparsely attended hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, congressman John Rutherford (R-Florida) turned to the three witnesses before him—representatives of Facebook, Google, and Twitter—and asked a question that left them speechless.
Lawmakers are working on the biggest changes to U.S. retirement savings in more than a decade, exploring several proposals that could make it easier for small companies to offer 401(k) plans and for workers to guarantee themselves an annual income after they retire.
At the end of a three-hour hearing that was meant to address concerns over censorship and wound up including everything from whether Google blocks mentions of Jesus to President Donald Trump’s embrace of Vladimir Putin, lawmakers landed on an unlikely conclusion: it’s time to ban more accounts.
One of the real delights in covering Congress is hanging around the Capitol elevators, or in the basement around where the congressional subways disgorge their passengers, in order to cadge what quotes you can from the congresscritters as they bustle around doing that thing they do.
It is no secret that elected legislators are generally either inept or heinous. The data confirm that Congresspeople have a lower approval rating than marketing executives and bubonic plague. The only mystery, then, is why we keep them around.
On Thursday morning, the most reviled person in America arrived on Capitol Hill for a short but memorable engagement with the most reviled institution in America. The institution was the U.S.
Corporations now spend about $2.6 billion a year on reported lobbying expenditures – more than the $2 billion we spend to fund the House ($1.16 billion) and Senate ($820 million).
Taking advantage of almost a decade of political victories in state legislatures across the country, conservative advocacy groups are quietly marshaling support for an event unprecedented in the nation’s history: a convention of the 50 states, summoned to consider amending the Constitution.
I am a member of Congress. I'm not going to tell you from where, or from which party. But I serve, and I am honored to serve. I serve with good people (and some less good ones), and we try to do our best. It's a frustrating, even disillusioning job. The public pretty much hates us.
When we talk of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, many Congressmen say that she is the Iron Lady of India; she divided Pakistan into two and many more. But will they speak up about the dark secrets of her? M.O. Mathai was the Private Secretary to India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
Everyone has heard how important it is to pay attention to Congress, especially during an election season, but how many of us actually know how to do that? 4USXUS is my new favorite tool because it makes it simple. Or at least, as simple as politics itself can be.
Seth Moulton, the junior congressman from Massachusetts, has a war record that appeals to voters and makes opponents nervous. On the morning of November 9, five hours after Hillary Clinton conceded, Seth Moulton’s closest political adviser called him with a suggestion.
Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not “succumb to [his] sexual advances.”
In 1990, the Library of Congress launched “American Memory,” its first digital pilot project. The LOC selected a handful of the 160 million objects in its collection to digitize, store on laserdiscs and CDs, and distribute to 44 schools and libraries across the country.
Senate Republicans included a provision that exempts members of Congress and their staff from part of their latest health care plan.
For most people, 2017 has yet to reach its midpoint. But that is not the case for Congress, which has already burned more than half its scheduled legislative days without accomplishing much of its historic agenda. In recent years, partisan gridlock has kept Congress from major achievements.
"I didn't get elected to Congress to not get things done—most people here want to get things done. I didn't get elected to Congress to make meaningless speeches on C-SPAN and tell lies about people.
For more than a dozen years, teaching government classes to graduate students at Harvard and Princeton, I filled my students’ heads with facts that no longer seem to be true. They have become “alternate facts,” or perhaps just outdated ones.
At the end of October, Donald Trump spoke in Gettysburg, Pa., and released a plan for his first 100 days in office. The plan (below) outlines three main areas of focus: cleaning up Washington, including by imposing term limits on Congress; protecting American workers; and restoring rule of law.
Since taking the presidency by surprise back in November, the Republican Party has been salivating on the unexpected opportunity laying before them — control of the White House and both chambers of Congress.
There is nothing about the Trump administration that should threaten America’s system of government. The Founding Fathers were realistic about the presence and popularity of demagogues. The tendency of political systems to slip into autocracy weighed heavily on their minds.
A series of viral tweets by former Congressional staff member Emily Ellsworth offered advice on how to get your representative to take notice and hear you out. Ellsworth, a Salt Lake City-based writer and editor, worked for Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Rep.
Republicans have ditched a plan to gut the independent body that investigates political misconduct after a backlash. The lawmakers' surprise vote to strip the Office of Congressional Ethics of its independence prompted public uproar and a dressing down from Donald Trump.
WASHINGTON — In the hours following the Congressional Baseball Game, after a convincing win by the Democrats and the end of postgame schmoozing, three Republican congressmen returned late Thursday to a rowhouse they share and popped open a bottle of wine.
Bernie Sanders’s political revolution is predicated in part on mobilizing the public to change the direction of the country. Naysayers carp, and not without reason, that this is impossible, with Republicans having a lock on the gerrymandered Congress for the near future.
Each member of Congress has their own (sometimes peculiar) contact form, which makes writing to your representatives more of a hassle than it should be. Thanks to the EFF’s new open source site Democracy.io, however, sending a message to Congress couldn’t be any easier.
For six years, since they took back the House of Representatives, Republicans have added to a pile of legislation that moldered outside the White House. In their thwarted agenda, financial regulations were to be unspooled. Business taxes were to be slashed.
If you have phone phobia, you’re not alone. (I’m a recovering member of the club myself.) If the situation in this country is making you anxious, calling your reps is both a step toward a solution, and a way to give yourself a small amount of control over something.
The tax plan has been marketed by President Trump and Republican leaders as a straightforward if enormous rebate for the masses, a $1.5 trillion package of cuts to spur hiring and economic growth.
In 2010, Twitter bestowed its entire archive of public tweets on the Library of Congress, which the library called “an exciting and groundbreaking acquisition.” The collection began on March 21, 2006, when the company’s co-founder and C.E.O.
The FCC is about to give massive internet service providers the power to divide the internet. It is at risk of becoming unrecognizable.
Its lack of long-term expertise forces legislators to rely on special interests, or defer to bureaucrats, instead of making independent decisions. America’s political institutions are suffering from profound decay.
WASHINGTON — It is hardly the kind of news that lawmakers in Congress would want to highlight during a week when unemployment benefits expired for more than a million Americans. But Congress has achieved something of a milestone.
WASHINGTON (AP) — For years, Republican Rep. Mary Bono endured increasingly suggestive comments from a fellow lawmaker in the House of Representatives. But when the congressman approached her on the House floor and told her he'd been thinking about her in the shower, she'd had enough.
Washington (CNN)Rep. Tom Price last year purchased shares in a medical device manufacturer days before introducing legislation that would have directly benefited the company, raising new ethics concerns for President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for Health and Human Services secretary.
Multimember districts and ranked-choice voting? Virginia congressman thinks it could actually happen — someday Last Tuesday’s special election in Georgia provided a vivid example of just how tribal and polarized our politics have become.
Here at the Plum Line, we write a lot about the mechanics of politics — the processes of governing, the interplay of political forces, the back-and-forth between citizens and lawmakers, and so on. We do that because it’s interesting and because it winds up affecting all our lives.
WASHINGTON — Shaken and angry, Republican members of Congress seized on the brazen daytime shooting of their colleagues on Wednesday to demand that existing restrictions on gun access be loosened so that people facing similar attacks are able to defend themselves.
Last, week, under the cover of a media bliss-out except among Koch funded right-wing channels, the House of Representatives passed a bill which would effectively repeal future standard setting under every important environmental, public health, consumer protection, labor standards
Gerrymandering. It’s become the embodiment of so many of the evils in the U.S. political system. Frustrated by the lack of competitive elections? Blame gerrymandering. Appalled by the growing number of ideological extremists in Congress? Blame gerrymandering.
Tracker: Introduced Array ( [actionDate] => 2017-03-29 [displayText] => Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. H. Rept. 115-67.
On Jan. 15, Pat Tiberi became the 12th member of the 115th Congress to resign from office. If that feels like a lot, that’s because it is; it’s the most people who have resigned from Congress through this point in the session in at least 117 years.
An anonymous congressman has dropped a bombshell election-year book that confirms why Americans hate their national government and have rallied to anti-establishment presidential candidates like Donald Trump.
Every year, Congress faces an Oct. 1 deadline to pass a spending package that will pay for our government through the following fiscal year. And every year since 1998, Congress has blown straight past that deadline.
It’s a tough to get through to your representatives right now. Their offices are slammed and phones are ringing off the hook. How can you, the concerned citizen, get your message through? We talked to some staffers to find out.
WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for an
On Monday, Jan. 9, less than two weeks before President Trump’s inauguration, the House speaker, Paul Ryan, hosted a dinner at his office in the Capitol with members of Trump’s inner circle. The guests included the president-elect’s chief White House strategist, Stephen K.
The end of the year is nigh. Time to discuss how the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency has helped America. Let’s pause here while scores of peppermint mocha go crashing to the floor at Starbucks all across our nation’s capital.
WASHINGTON — Over the past year, Republicans have made their priorities clear. Their effort to repeal Obamacare would have left tens of millions of people without health insurance.
WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans are settling in for what they hope is a long run in the majority, but President-elect Donald J. Trump doesn’t want them to get too comfortable.
Every night, my phone buzzes. “Hello Beth, it’s time to speak up to Washington again.” Sometimes I ignore it, and sometimes I dive in. Meet my new buddy, Resistbot. Resistbot is a free service that turns your texts into a formal letter, and then faxes it to your elected officials.
While fighting climate change and providing health care are both just too economically burdensome for America, members of the House believe there’s still enough cash to fund a space army that would fight off... the space enemies?
VideoWASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to extend the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program for six years with minimal changes, rejecting a push by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to impose significant privacy limits when it sweeps up Americans’ e
After the furor over Tom Price’s investments, four more members quietly bought shares in the same firm. Even a looming scandal wouldn’t deter some of Congress’ most eager stock traders.
With US politics swimming in so much corporate money that it's pretty much an oligarchy, it can be hard to keep track of which particular set of lobbyists is trying to milk more cash out of health care, fossil fuels, and other very important issues from one week to the next.
The US Senate has voted to overturn consumer-friendly internet privacy rules that would have prevented internet providers from sharing your web browsing history without permission.
Today was a dark day for the Internet. The U.S. Senate just voted 97-2 to pass the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA, H.R. 1865), a bill that silences online speech by forcing Internet platforms to censor their users.
Edit: I'm putting this up front as a lot of people are asking for it - the hearing will be live-streamed on YouTube and there's already an embedded video on the hearing page.
Joe Trippi pioneered the use of social media as a fundraising tool. As campaign manager for Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in 2004, he started a trend that has reinvented that way politicians run for office.
In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election, a lot of Americans are looking for new ways to make a difference and do their part to stop what they consider a dangerous agenda. And some are hoping that their representatives in Congress can act as a check on Trump.
Update: After Vox reported this story, Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) released a statement saying he would close this loophole. Read the story here. The fix, however, will be contained in separate legislation and not offered as part of the American Health Care Act.
Americans woke up on Monday morning to learn of yet another horrific act of gun violence in the United States—this time a mass shooting in Las Vegas that left at least 58 people dead and more than 500 injured.
Between costly tax cuts and last week’s hefty spending bill, Congress is generating deficits that aren’t just large, they’re also unprecedented and potentially ominous.
WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans conceded defeat on Wednesday in their bitter budget fight with President Obama over the new health care law as the House and Senate approved last-mi
WASHINGTON — In the wake of one the deadliest mass shootings in our nation’s history, perhaps the most asked question by Americans is, “Will anything change?” The simple answer is no. The more vital question is, “Why not?” Congress is already doing what it sees as its part.
Senators were not in a talkative mood after meeting with FBI Director James B. Comey on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo) Not much can get between senators and a recess. Except, perhaps, FBI Director James B. Comey.
The Republican-led Congress is wasting no time forcing through the most horrendous bills seen in decades while America’s eyes are on Russia.
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Officials in nearly a dozen states are preparing to notify families that a crucial health insurance program for low-income children is running out of money for the first time since its creation two decades ago, putting coverage for many at risk by the end of the year. Congress missed a Sept.
This post is part of Polyarchy, an independent blog produced by the political reform program at New America, a Washington think tank devoted to developing new ideas and new voices. Another week, another set of prominent incumbent members of Congress deciding not to run for reelection.
WASHINGTON — Congress’s rush to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, once seemingly unstoppable, is flagging badly as Republicans struggle to come up with a replacement and a key senator has declared that the effort is more a repair job than a demolition.