A new group of six Senators committed Monday to working on a “balanced” package to avert the year-end budget cuts required by sequestration. Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and ranking member John McCain (R-Ariz.) led the letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
If we can’t get members of Congress to put aside their ultra-partisanship and pull together rather than apart, we face the most predictable economic crisis in history. Fortunately for everyone, it is also the most avoidable economic crisis in history.
Partisanship and process have impeded measures that have traditionally been easy-peasy affairs — like the farm bill, or a measure to protect women against domestic violence — as well as those that have an impact on national security, for instance a bill to combat cybercrimes and a bipartisan measure to finance the military.
In the witches’ brew of fearmongering, unkeepable promises and poll-tested metaphors that both parties serve up to the electorate every four years, you can always find this predictable dash of inspiration: the image of Americans uniting and working together for the sake of the country.
While data from all sides are used to inform debates over whether proposals will increase the deficit or save taxpayers money, budget estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) become the final, authoritative word.
The Supreme Court will soon announce its ruling on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health care law passed in 2010, and for many legal observers who have worked in the court and argued cases before the justices, the federal government’s defense of the measure in March did not inspire confidence.
In coordination with the American Action Forum and Purple Strategies, Center Forward conducted two surveys of Supreme Court clerks and attorneys who have argued before the Court in advance of the decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – one in March before the oral arguments and one prior to the ruling.
Journalists in Washington and other places have reported for at least the past year and a half on the so-called end of the moderate in Congress. I’ll be the first to admit that there are fewer moderate members of Congress than there were in the last Congress. And after Election Day, there may be fewer still.
By Linda Killian
Perhaps the biggest myth about independents is that they are closet partisans or “leaners” who are independent in name only but regularly vote with one party.