Judicial Nominations Likely Dead for the Year After Senate GOP Filibuster

By: Tuesday July 31, 2012 6:18 am

Senate Republicans believe that no more judicial nominees should be confirmed for the balance of the year until the elections, citing something called the Thurmond rule, which sets an arbitrary deadline for election-year confirmations. Senate Democrats don’t believe that has been reached yet and want to continue to get judges confirmed, citing the low percentage [...]

McConnell Will Allow Majority Votes on Competing Tax Plans in Senate

By: Wednesday July 25, 2012 8:55 am

There’s been a twist in the tax debate in the Senate. Before now, everyone assumed that the procedural votes today on competing tax plans were largely procedural, and would both get beaten back by forcing a 60-vote cloture threshold on them. But Mitch McConnell just announced that he would allow a majority vote on both [...]

Congress Abandons Key Bills, a Mark of Its Historic Dysfunction

By: Tuesday July 24, 2012 6:23 am

It’s the time of the (election) season where Congress does everything it can to delay contentious issues until after November. So it is with two particular measures they’d rather not deal with at this time. Senate-passed bills to cut farm subsidies and food stamps and overhaul the financially teetering Postal Service have been put on [...]

Reid Defends Vow to Change Filibuster Rules Next Year

By: Wednesday July 18, 2012 8:15 am

Here’s a fairly remarkable colloquy between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor. McConnell was perturbed by the suggestion that Reid would pursue filibuster reform if he was still in charge of the Senate in January 2013. This is the key set of statements from Reid on the Ed Schultz Show: REID: The [...]

Obama’s Economic Speech Assumes No Veto Points to Party Agendas

By: Thursday June 14, 2012 1:03 pm

I don’t have a whole lot to say at this point about the President’s speech on the economy. The campaign saw fit to not send out prepared remarks, and they haven’t gotten around to filing a transcript just yet – though I’m told it’s coming (UPDATE: here’s the full transcript). So I can go off [...]

Senate Republicans Vow to Stop Circuit Court Judicial Confirmations for Rest of 2012

By: Thursday June 14, 2012 10:16 am

One of the few areas of progress in recent months has been the confirmation of judges by the Senate. Under a deal in the spring, 17 judges got confirmed, stretched out over a period of several weeks. And when that deal expired, a few more judges trickled in with confirmations. In all, 20 judges have [...]

Report: More Judicial Vacancies Now Than At Beginning of Obama Presidency

By: Tuesday June 5, 2012 11:35 am

Pam Spaulding mentioned that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a re-hearing of Perry v. Schwarzengger, meaning that the marriage equality case is headed to the Supreme Court (albeit in less sturdy condition to lead to marriage equality nationwide, as bmaz points out). It’s worth pointing out that only 4 of the 27 [...]

The Provocative Case for Romney as a Better Economic Steward in a Time of Gridlock

By: Tuesday June 5, 2012 9:42 am

Ezra Klein wrote a provocative article yesterday making the case that a Romney Presidency would probably include more Keynesian spending than if Obama won a second term. It’s being pilloried by partisans, but I’m not sure why. Klein is merely making the demonstrable point that Republicans have willingly resisted efforts to improve the economy over [...]

Paycheck Fairness Act to Be Filibustered Today

By: Tuesday June 5, 2012 8:56 am

Today the Senate will hold a test vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would update The Equal Pay Act of 1963. The President swooped in at the last minute to push for the bill’s passage, or really just to highlight the messaging. Senators will vote whether to debate the Democratic-sponsored Paycheck Fairness Act, a [...]

Congressional Gridlock Starting to Have Impact

By: Thursday May 31, 2012 9:40 am

I’ve spilled a lot of e-ink about the fiscal cliff, that looming set of expiring measures at the end of the year that will have a serious impact on fiscal policy, spending and taxes going forward. But there are quite a few policies that either expire or are urgently needed well before the end of [...]

Blue Slip Issue Leads to Democratic Conundrum on Violence Against Women Act

By: Monday May 21, 2012 12:52 pm

House Republicans believe that a technical error in the Senate’s handling of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act allows them to reject that bill, giving them a tactical advantage as the long-running skirmish nears an endgame. Brian Beutler reports that the House GOP determined that the Senate version of the bill had a [...]

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