Filibuster Reform Fight Begins Today

By: Wednesday January 5, 2011 8:40 am

Both the House and Senate begin their sessions at noon today. While the spectacle of Republicans reading the Constitution on the House floor (I can’t wait to see the precise moment when Boehner starts crying – I’m calling Article I, Section 4) is amusing, the real action will be happening in the Senate. There, Democrats [...]

Canceling Ethanol Subsidies Saves More Money than Freezing Public Worker Pay

By: Tuesday November 30, 2010 11:04 am

The UN conference on climate change kicked off in Cancun with virtually no hope for a resolution mutually agreeable to all nations. The heady days of a new treaty to follow Kyoto are gone. They’ve shifted to cutting industrial chemicals, soot and methane, instead of carbon emissions. Whatever progress can be made stateside will happen [...]

Senate Likely to Delay Vote on Taxes Until After Elections

By: Thursday September 23, 2010 8:43 am

It looks increasingly that the Senate will delay any vote on the expiring tax cuts until after the midterm elections, avoiding distorted ads about votes to raise taxes but also avoiding the opportunity to contrast support for the middle class with support for millionaires. The Washington Post reports that Senators see more value in drawing [...]

Handful of Senate Democrats Oppose Filibuster Reform

By: Wednesday July 28, 2010 8:35 am

Seemingly a counterpoint to all the momentum in recent days for Senate rules reform, a group of conservative and old-guard Democrats announced their opposition to changing the rules requiring a 60-vote threshold to clear a filibuster. Ten Democrats are cited in the article (though not all of them are named) as either opposed to or [...]

The Next Washington Bait-and-Switch: Remove the Afghanistan Deadline

By: Sunday June 27, 2010 10:29 am

The ouster of Gen. Stanley McChrystal in favor of Gen. David Petraeus this week had the intended effect of a reset button on the war in Afghanistan, at least inside the Beltway. Outside of Washington, it appears to have focused attention on the perilous state of the war, and the confusing nature of the mission. [...]

Anthem Blue Cross Withdraws 39% CA Rate Hike

By: Thursday April 29, 2010 5:46 pm

With perhaps the worst timing in recent history, Anthem Blue Cross announced a 39% rate hike for its individual market subscribers in California, right at the moment when the health care reform bill was on its knees in Congress. The President and Democratic leaders pounced, and used that rate hike as a symbol for the [...]

Vaunted Health Insurance Rate Review Authority Kicked Out of Reconciliation Bill

By: Wednesday March 17, 2010 2:57 pm

In a completely obvious maneuver, the Senate parliamentarian has kicked out the Health Insurance Rate Authority from the reconciliation set of fixes. The national rate reviewer would have had the ability to cancel premium increases across the country, in association with state regulators. But it has no primary budgetary impact, so out it goes. “I’m [...]

Feingold: Don’t Try KSM In A Military Commission

By: Friday March 5, 2010 1:11 pm

Via Greg Sargent, the Senate’s most committed civil libertarian, Russ Feingold, calls on the President not to give in to Republican fearmongering and to hold the KSM trial as scheduled, in an Article III court: “We have a great track record of successfully trying and convicting terrorists in civilian courts. The military commission system is [...]

Feinstein’s National Health Insurance Regulator To Make Obama’s Compromise Proposal

By: Sunday February 21, 2010 7:57 pm

A few people took issue with my description of Dianne Feinstein as a “radical moderate” in this story about her bill to create a national health insurance regulator to undergo rate review whenever an insurer hikes premiums. I didn’t really put that in the context of being sarcastic the way I should. But what I [...]

Feinstein Calls For National Health Insurance Regulator

By: Friday February 19, 2010 11:43 am

One of the reasons many of us had so many problems with the health care legislation running through the Congress was that it lacked a federal overseer for the insurance regulations. As such, it punted those responsibilities over to the states, which have proven themselves unwilling or unable to enforce strict regulations. The design of [...]

Feinstein, Reed, Udall, Boxer Sign On To Public Option Letter

By: Thursday February 18, 2010 7:54 am

The signers to Michael Bennet’s letter to pass the public option through reconciliation have continued to roll in. Before I get to that, I want to respond to a couple comments in the last thread on this about why I’m monitoring this action. There are two questions being asked – one about whether Senators would [...]

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