Senate Democrats Wrestle with Lame Duck Session Options

By: Monday June 11, 2012 6:55 am

Do Democrats have a plan for dealing with the fiscal “cliff”?  Based on interviews I conducted at Netroots Nation with four members of the Senate Democratic caucus — Senators Sheldon Whitehouse, Ben Cardin, Jeff Merkley and Sherrod Brown –  it seems they have far more than one. The end-of-the-year fiscal measures, totaling up to $7 [...]

Payroll Tax Cut Deal Could Get Vote in Both Chambers Today

By: Friday February 17, 2012 7:40 am

The House has released the conference report for the payroll tax cut agreement. It’s pretty much what we heard last night. The plan is for both the House and Senate to pass the conference report today, so that both chambers can go out on recess next week. This violates the House rule of having 72 [...]

Wikipedia Shutting Down to Protest Anti-Piracy Bills in Congress

By: Monday January 16, 2012 1:36 pm

Despite the fact that SOPA looks dead in the House, PIPA, the Senate’s version of anti-piracy legislation, hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s true that six Republicans wrote to Harry Reid asking for a postponement of the bill. And Ben Cardin, a Democratic co-sponsor, announced his opposition to PIPA, even though he will remain on as a [...]

Senate Democrats Want Medicare Out of Debt Limit Talks, Don’t Make Same Demand on Medicaid

By: Monday June 6, 2011 9:54 am

A group of Democratic Senators demanded that Republicans take their plan to end Medicare off the table in the debt limit negotiations led by Vice President Biden. But they did not go that far with respect to the proposal to block grant Medicaid, although Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) did say that Democrats were “just as [...]

Some Grumbling, But Two-Week Stopgap Looks Like a Done Deal

By: Tuesday March 1, 2011 10:10 am

The assumption was, after the Senate Democrats gave mild praise to a GOP two-week stopgap measure designed to keep the government funded in the short term while negotiations on a spending plan for the rest of FY2011 continued, that this was a done deal. Ben Cardin said today that the Senate basically accepted the plan, [...]

Closing the Courthouse Door: The Netroots Nation Panel on SCOTUS

By: Friday July 23, 2010 12:30 pm

An all-star group of experts and politicians may have hit on a signature way of speaking about the perfidy of the Roberts Court and the slew of Federalist Society members ushered into the federal bench by the last series of Republican Presidents. Too often, Democrats ape conservative arguments and put a twist on them and [...]

Coastal Senators Not Affected by Drilling Announcement Slam Drilling Announcement

By: Wednesday March 31, 2010 2:11 pm

Jeff Merkley is absolutely right to denounce President Obama’s offshore drilling strategy, including by pointing out that oil companies already hold thousands of leases on federal lands and aren’t drilling there. Frank Lautenberg calls the policy “Kill Baby Kill” and he’s not wrong – development in the Gulf of Mexico and the lower Atlantic could [...]

Cardin: How About Freezing Military Spending?

By: Tuesday January 26, 2010 11:35 am

Ben Cardin (D-MD) gets this exactly right, and while he’s probably just saying it to show the intellectual bankruptcy of the fiscal scolds, there’s actually decent support for his argument: A Democratic senator urged President Obama on Tuesday to include the military budget in his proposed spending freeze. “Defense represents a significant part of our [...]

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