Posts tagged Congress
Welcome Conflict in 2018

Let us look to the new year confident in the knowledge that we are treading the well-worn path of those who came before us. And let us continue the work they began by conducting our politics in the institutions created by the Constitution. It may feel a bit unsettling. But welcoming conflict into our political lives will ensure that our future will continue to be brightened by a rising and not a setting sun.

Read More
Confusing GOP rhetoric made it harder for them to 'repeal' or 'reform' Obamacare.

The Republican Party is gearing up for a critical push to reform the tax code. After the spectacular collapse of its seven-year effort to repeal Obamacare this summer, the GOP is in desperate need of a victory.

And according to Republican leaders, that victory is all but assured. Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., observed, “If there’s anything that unifies Republicans, it’s tax reform.”

But it’s far from clear that’s the case.

Conspicuously absent from such platitudes is any indication of what, exactly, tax reform means.

That’s because it means different things to different people.

And therein lies the problem for Republicans. The vague language they use to communicate with voters implies a level of agreement within the GOP that may not exist.

Read More
Debt ceiling debate gives Congress opportunity to chart new fiscal course

The federal government creates an inflection point every time it hits the debt ceiling.

The decision to raise it, by how much, and for how long, confronts Congress with a turning point at that moment in the nation's politics. Regardless of one's views about the direction Congress should take today, everyone should agree that the nation's present fiscal course is unsustainable.

The upcoming debt debate gives members of Congress, and the people they represent, an opportunity to consider their options and to chart a new course. As part of that debate, members in the House and Senate should leverage the debt ceiling to enact much-needed policy and process reforms.

Not surprisingly, this is easier said than done.

Read More
Congress needs to rethink how it makes a budget

Congress has a problem. The federal budget is a mess, and its members have yet to demonstrate the willingness to fix it.

This is a problem because it's their job to budget.

Budgeting requires trade-offs between appropriate levels of taxes and spending. It also forces members to prioritize some programs over others. Doing so is controversial. Some people will be unhappy with the decisions their elected representatives make.

And therein lies the problem.

Read More
Constitutional Restoration: A DIY Project

Regardless of where people are on the political spectrum, many Americans—in fact most—believe that something is gravely wrong with the political system today. According to a recent report from Pew Research Center, 55 percent of Americans are frustrated with the federal government. Similarly, popular trust in government is near historic lows. The Pew survey found that only 16 percent of Americans trust the government to do the right thing “most of the time.” A paltry 4 percent of respondents reported trusting the government to do the right thing “just about always.”

Read More