John Stanton

Meet Me at the Go-Go

You’ve gone to Ben’s Chili Bowl for a half-smoke all the way, but you haven’t danced to the pocket beat until your clothes are heavy with sweat. You’ve hit the Kennedy Center for a free concert, but it hasn’t made you “back it on up.”

And until you’ve heard firsthand what Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) calls the sound of “Hometown D.C.,” you can never really know Washington, D.C., and feel the true city hidden beneath the machinery of government. To do that, you have to walk through the doors of a go-go.

David Dreier Shows Passion on Democratization
Congressman Has Kept Eye on Egypt, Other Developing Countries

As protesters swarmed outside the Supreme Court in the wake of last month’s health care ruling, House Rules Chairman David Dreier reflected on the historic elections that had just wrapped up in Egypt, arguing their turbulent history mirrors America’s own.

“I [felt] like I’m in the summer of 1787 when our country was just going through this process of putting together the Constitution. And we’re still going through that, obviously,” the California Republican said June 28, gesturing toward the television in the corner of the room broadcasting live footage of the chaotic scene outside the Supreme Court.

House Will Vote July 11 to Repeal Health Care Law

House Republicans wasted no time scheduling yet another vote to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care reform law after the Supreme Court’s decision today to uphold its constitutionality.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) announced this morning that the House would hold the vote July 11.

A Chance to Celebrate Capitol Collegiality
Ramped-Up Partisanship Signals End of Old Ways

Years of hyperpartisan warfare culminate Thursday in two of the most contentious events in Congressional history: the Supreme Court’s judgment on the Affordable Care Act and a House vote on holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

But for institutionalists who remember a calmer, more familial atmosphere in Washington, Thursday also represents an increasingly rare moment to celebrate the fading atmosphere of bipartisan collegiality — the annual CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

Sides Still Talking as Deadline Looms
Highway Bill Must Be Finished by Wednesday

Top negotiators on a final transportation reauthorization package are up against a tight deadline, with legislative language needing to be posted three legislative days before a House vote and authorization for current projects set to expire this weekend.

House sources indicated an agreement would need to be reached by Wednesday to have enough time for bill-writers to do their work and to satisfy House rules. But Monday, it appeared that talks over the weekend had not bridged the most important points of contention, and both sides began to gird for what they believe will be a difficult end of the week.

Harry Reid: ‘We’re Making Progress’ on Highway Bill

Updated: 1:33 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said today he remains hopeful a deal can be reached on highway legislation by Friday and avoid the need for another short-term extension.

Jamie Dimon Faces Oversight From House

If JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon came to the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday expecting the kind of kid-glove treatment he pleasantly suffered at the hands of the Senate Banking Committee last week, ranking member Barney Frank quickly disabused him of that notion.

The prickly Massachusetts Democrat repeatedly dismissed Dimon’s answers to his questions as disappointing, and at one point openly mocked the executive for ducking a question on funding for the Commodity Futures Trading

A Frank Display of Congressional Mail

Back in the heady days of the 2010 election, tea-party-backed GOP candidates loved to rail against their incumbent foes’ use of Congressional mailing privileges as a symbol of the fiscal dysfunction of Congress and the need for sweeping reforms.

So it might come as a surprise to some of their conservative supporters that once safely ensconced in their Congressional offices, many of those same critics have become the biggest users of the House’s taxpayer-funded mailing system.

A Foe by Any Other Name

Are Republicans unwitting conspirators in the efforts of alien mastermind Lord John Whorfin to do the unthinkable and steal the coveted oscillation overthruster?

Based on the names of some of their highest-profile leaders, one might suspect the GOP has been infiltrated by aliens from the eighth dimension — an us-against-them scenario advanced by the 1984 cult classic “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.” In the genre-bending film, scientist/explorer/rock star and all-around-badass Buckaroo Banzai faces off against the warmongering Red Lectroids from Planet 10, who cross over into our reality after escaping the aforementioned, prison-like parallel universe.

Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe Won't Abide By 'Thurmond Rule'
Senate GOP leaders might be trying to enforce a partisan blockade of President Barack Obama’s circuit court nominees, but the message apparently hasn’t fully sunk in yet.

Maine’s GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins told the Falmouth, Maine, Forecaster newspaper today that they won’t abide by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (Ky.) edict that bipartisan cooperation on circuit court judges is done for the year — at least when i...
John Boehner Cuts Anti-Barack Obama Web Video

The most powerful elected Republican in the country — Speaker John Boehner — is jumping headfirst into the presidential campaign surrogate game, unloading on President Barack Obama in a Web video this morning aimed at framing the president’s campaign swing through Cleveland.

The minute-and-15-second video does not mention presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and is strictly limited to the GOP’s long-standing push for Senate Democrats and Obama to agree to a host of jobs bills that House Republicans passed during the past 18 months.

GOP Begins Judge Blockade

With less than four and a half months until Election Day, Senate Republicans are shutting off the bipartisan spigot when it comes to confirming President Barack Obama’s nominees to the nation’s top courts and will present a unified front against his circuit court picks through November.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) made the decision to blockade nominations official Wednesday when he informed his colleagues that he would invoke the “Thurmond Rule” from now until after the elections.

Chuck Grassley Voices Anger Over Voice Vote on Nominee

Senate Judiciary ranking member Chuck Grassley today ripped into Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), accusing him of violating the chamber’s “comity” when he conducted a voice vote on the confirmation of Andrew Hurwitz to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — without first checking with Republicans.

“I’m extremely disappointed that there has been a breach of comity around here,” the Iowa Republican said in a floor speech late this afternoon, adding that “it seems to me that ... all the business of the Senate is based on trust between one Senator and another. When the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee isn’t notified of this action — or any other Senator notified of this action — it seems to me that trust has been violated.”

Andrew Hurwitz Narrowly Escapes Filibuster

Democrats on Monday narrowly beat back a GOP filibuster of President Barack Obama’s nomination of Andrew Hurwitz to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, despite a last-minute campaign by conservative activists to torpedo the appointment.

Hurwitz’s nomination moved forward on a 60-31 vote.

Barack Obama Clarifies Comment on Economy as Republicans Pounce

Updated: 7:35 p.m.

Republicans wasted no time today pouncing on President Barack Obama’s pronouncement that the private sector is “doing fine,” ridiculing him as being out of touch with reality.

James Inhofe Tries Out Role of Diplomat

Sen. James Inhofe has worn a lot of hats in his decades-long political career — firebrand conservative, global-warming skeptic and defender of earmarks, to name just a few.

But the Oklahoma Republican might be facing his most challenging role yet as he works to bridge the sizable gap between Senate and House Republicans over reauthorizing federal transportation programs.

Nancy Pelosi Knocks Next Week’s Recess

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today called on Republicans to cancel next week’s recess to continue work on transportation and student loan legislation.

“Instead of recessing yet again, the House should remain at work and pass critical legislation that will create jobs for the middle class that will actually be signed into law. Republicans must not run out the clock on the economy,” the California Democrat said in a letter to Speaker John Boehner (Ohio).

House GOP Refashions Energy Plan

With gas prices not soaring as expected, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has shifted his upcoming legislative push on energy issues, recasting a package of domestic energy production measures as a jobs bill.

McCarthy, who outlined his plan during a “coalitions” meeting with outside groups such as the Consumer Energy Alliance, National Federal of Independent Businesses and the National Association of Manufacturers, was scheduled to brief the Republican Conference on the legislation this morning before a public rollout later in the afternoon.

Crucial Week for Highway Bill

The prospects of passing a long-term extension to federal highway and transit programs before the end of the month are evaporating, and House and Senate negotiators face a make-or-break week if they want to get a bill done.

Democratic and Republican aides in both chambers privately acknowledge that with negotiations stalled — and the House out of session next week — getting a bill done before the programs expire at the end of the month is increasingly unrealistic.

Thousands Say Farewell to Chuck Brown

Thousands of Washingtonians gathered in the heart of the city to sing, dance and say farewell to D.C.’s favorite son, Chuck “The Godfather of Go-Go” Brown.

During a more than three-and-a-half-hour Baptist “home going” at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, local politicians, go-go musicians, celebrities, friends and family feted the late musician, whose Latin-tinged take on funk and soul launched the musical genre known as go-go that would come to define the character of what D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) called “hometown D.C.”