Why it Especially Important Representatives Hear from their Constituents on Lower Profile Issues

By: Wednesday June 4, 2014 9:28 am

They are many reasons why bad and unpopular government policies persist. Corruption, partisan game playing, political strategy, and ideological disagreements are the ones that tend to get the most attention but often a cause is pure ignorance combined with Congress’s built-in status quo bias. Congress deals with thousands of issues so members can’t stay abreast [...]

More Top Democrats Come Out in Support of 14th Amendment Solution

By: Friday July 29, 2011 7:45 am

With only four days left until the August 2nd deadline and no deal in hand, more and more of the top Congressional Democrats have been coming out in support of the President using the 14th Amendment to ignore the debt ceiling. Yesterday the House’s second ranking Democrat Steny Hoyer (D-MD) came out strongly in favor [...]

Senate Rules Reform: Udall, Harkin, Merkley Remind Us Why Washington Doesn’t Take Liberals Seriously

By: Wednesday January 26, 2011 12:40 pm

With their total capitulation on Senate rules reform, Sen. Tom Udall (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Tom Harkin (D-IA) again remind us why no one in Washington takes liberals seriously. . . and frankly why they shouldn’t. For months, Udall has been promoting the “Constitutional Option,” which would allow the senators to declare the first [...]

Ending the Filibuster: Strong Support Despite Lacking a Champion

By: Thursday January 13, 2011 2:30 pm

Quinnipiac is out with a new poll that shows a very slight plurality of the nation thinks that entirely eliminating the filibuster is a bad idea rather than a good one. This is still surprisingly strong support for ending the filibuster among the public, given that the position lacks a single prominent champion advocating for [...]

Dems Decry Hostage-Taking – Is It Real Conviction or Convenient Rhetoric?

By: Wednesday December 15, 2010 11:02 am

Calling the behavior of Republicans “hostage taking” has become the new buzz phrase used by both President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders. It is a decent analogy for how the Senate Republicans have exploited the Senate’s rules. The 41 Senate Republicans have used the filibuster and the other horribly broken rules of the chamber to [...]

Health Care Reform Reminder: Dems Could Still Pass Public Option Through Reconciliation

By: Tuesday December 7, 2010 5:45 am

When health care reform was passed, we were told by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) it was only a “starter home” that would be improved later. We were also offered vague promises from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that we would get a vote on a public option in the months [...]

Do House Democrats Need to First Pass Senate Health Care Bill? Former Parliamentarian Says “No”

By: Thursday March 4, 2010 10:09 am

Senate Democrats like Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) are strongly pushing the meme that Senate rules require House Democrats to first pass the Senate health care bill unchanged, then a reconciliation measure of “fixes,” and only then can Senate Democrats do anything.That clearly does not sit well with House Democrats, who are growing [...]

Tom Harkin: Senate Democrats Will Use Reconciliation, But House Must First Pass Our Bill Unchanged

By: Wednesday March 3, 2010 1:20 pm

Politico is reporting that Tom Harkin (D-IA) said Senate Democrats have decided to use reconciliation to finish health care reform, but there is a big caveat for House Democrats. Sen. Tom Harkin told POLITICO that Senate Democratic leaders have decided to go the reconciliation route. The House, he said, will first pass the Senate bill [...]

Health Insurance Industry’s $300 Billion Victory Over the Public Option

By: Wednesday March 3, 2010 9:27 am

When Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and the entire Republican Senate caucus stepped up to kill the public option in the Senate, it is important to remember that the health insurance industry won a victory—a victory worth $300 billion. As Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) now [...]

Tom Harkin’s Incoherent, Two-Faced Public Option Nonsense

By: Tuesday March 2, 2010 8:10 am

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) spent most of the year claiming he was a champion of the public option. Now that there is a possibility of getting a public option with a simple majority using reconciliation, Harkin has made clear that he will actively work to kill the public option, while tying himself in incoherent, illogical [...]