Jonathan Miller

Congressional Review Act Gets a Workout
Window for expedited nixing of regulations closes, maybe

On May 11, Republicans in Congress had a little celebration for the end of more than a dozen Obama-era regulations, with member after member coming to the Senate floor heaping praise on a once-obscure law known as the Congressional Review Act.

Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma could barely contain himself: “I’m almost speechless when I think about the success. You know, we went 20 years taking up one CRA and then we end up passing 14 of them — all but one. It’s a huge success record.”

Immigration Players to Watch
Democrats from Trump states in a tight spot

By JONATHAN MILLER and DEAN DeCHIARO

Several important groups of lawmakers will have outsized roles influencing the immigration debate in the 115th Congress. They include:

Hard-Liners Are Confident Heading Into Immigration Battle
Sharp rightward turn could lead to increased deportations

By JONATHAN MILLER and DEAN DeCHIARO

Donald Trump’s administration will feature a host of emboldened immigration hard-liners plucked from Congress, chief among them Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the president-elect’s pick for attorney general.

North Carolina May Be on Verge of Repealing Bathroom Bill
Special session will address state law on access by transgender people

A controversial North Carolina law that restricts bathroom access for transgender individuals will be the subject of a special session of the state’s legislature Wednesday — and the incoming governor said that he had been assured by lawmakers that the law would be repealed in full.

The governor-elect, Democrat Roy Cooper, said in a statement Monday that he had been assured by Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, both Republicans, that a session would be called to deal with the law, known as HB2. Said Cooper: “I hope they will keep their word to me and with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full.”

GOP Readies Cuts to Federal Workforce Under Trump
Reductions part of long-sought civil service overhaul

For years, Republicans in Congress have been eyeing an overhaul of the federal workforce — by reducing the number of workers and curtailing benefits and pay while making it easier to fire bad employees.

Now, with a president-elect who has promised to do much the same, 2017 could be the best time in recent memory to make sweeping changes affecting those who work for the bureaucracy.

Kimberly Yee Goes Against the Grain in Arizona
Conservative lawmaker blazes a trail for Asian-Americans in the GOP

When Kimberly Yee ran for a full term in the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010, political consultants had a few suggestions on how to address her Chinese heritage.  

One said she should use her husband’s last name — Mar — which somehow seemed less Asian, even though he is also of Chinese descent. Another suggested she drop her last name altogether from campaign signs, which would simply read: “KIMBERLY.” Yee was taken aback.  

Senate Approves Puerto Rico Rescue, Sends to Obama
Bill would set path for territory's restructuring debt, establish oversight board

The Senate on Wednesday approved legislation aimed at rescuing Puerto Rico from its debt crisis, and President Barack Obama said he would sign it.  

Although the measure passed easily, 68-30, there was strong opposition from some Democrats, including Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who said the action treated the people of Puerto Rico "like subjects, not citizens."  

Puerto Rico Rescue Bill Moves Forward
Vote comes ahead of Friday deadline for default on debt

The Senate agreed Wednesday to move forward with legislation to rescue Puerto Rico from its fiscal crisis just days ahead of a July 1 deadline when the island would default on as much as $2 billion in debt.  

Despite reservations from Democrats and Republicans alike, the Senate voted 68-32 to close debate on a measure already approved by the House.  

Ryan, Pelosi Praise New Puerto Rico Rescue Bid
Lobbying efforts, House opponents could still undermine the plan

After more than a month of wrangling, House Republicans unveiled the latest version of a bill that seeks to rescue Puerto Rico from its debt crisis, but its path forward remains unclear.  

The new language rolled out on Wednesday tries to allay concerns from Democrats, Republicans, the Obama administration and creditors, all raised amid the collapse of an earlier version of the legislation last month.  

Zika Scares Major League Baseball Out of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico governor calls the decision to move two games 'offensive'

Major League Baseball has decided to cancel two games slated to be held this month in Puerto Rico and move them instead to Miami due to fears over the Zika virus .  

Just ahead of the announcement on Friday, the governor of Puerto Rico called the reported fears from baseball players “offensive.”  

Oregon’s Tina Kotek Downplays Gay Milestone
'People have worse comments about me as a politician'

When Tina Kotek was a graduate student at the University of Washington in the mid 1990s, she applied for married student housing with the woman who was her partner. The school refused her application, and Kotek filed a discrimination suit, which she lost.

But then, as president of the graduate student government, Kotek was able to get the university to change its rules and allow housing access for domestic partners.

Passing on a Reality TV Show, Endorsing a Reality TV Candidate
Florida AG Pam Bondi's support revives controversy over Trump U

When she was an assistant state attorney, Pam Bondi says she was approached by TV producers with an offer to star in her own reality show, and over the years, has turned down multiple job offers from cable news, too.  

The 50-year-old Republican did, however, make national news on Monday by endorsing reality TV veteran Donald Trump for president ahead of her state's Tuesday primary: “Donald and I have been friends for many years,” she said at a rally in Tampa, where he called her “the most popular person in Florida, by far."  

California Speaker Toni Atkins Aims to Bring People Together

Just a few seconds after Toni Atkins was sworn in as California Assembly speaker in May 2014, she turned to the woman standing next to her, planted a kiss on her lips and said, “Thank you.”

Stacey Abrams: Pragmatic Democrat in a Red State

Stacey Abrams is a proud ex-bureaucrat who also loves the novel "Atlas Shrugged"; she works with Republicans but sometimes frustrates her Democratic colleagues; she grew up on food stamps and co-founded a beverage company for children; she has worked as a tax attorney and written several romantic suspense novels on the side.

That’s a lot of living. “I grew up in a family with an ethos that said, 'If you have the capacity, you have the responsibility,'” Abrams, the House minority leader of the Georgia General Assembly, said in an interview with CQ Roll Call. “So far, I’ve been able to live that way.”

Stacey Abrams: Pragmatic Democrat in a Red State

Stacey Abrams is a proud ex-bureaucrat who also loves the novel “Atlas Shrugged”; she works with Republicans but sometimes frustrates her Democratic colleagues; she grew up on food stamps and co-founded a beverage company for children; she has worked as a tax attorney and written several romantic suspense novels on the side.

That’s a lot of living. “I grew up in a family with an ethos that said, ‘If you have the capacity, you have the responsibility,’” Abrams, the House minority leader of the Georgia General Assembly, said in an interview with CQ Roll Call. “So far, I’ve been able to live that way.”

Nikki Haley's Bumpy Road to Power

Nikki Haley was in a rut a year ago.

A Republican elected in 2010 as part of a tea party wave, she became South Carolina’s first woman and first minority governor. But she had been the target of a 2012 ethics investigation – though she was later cleared.  She was at war with the state legislature. Charges of marital infidelity – which she vehemently denies – dogged her. She didn’t have many accomplishments to claim. Observers considered her overly rehearsed, guarded and partisan.

Nikki Haley's Bumpy Road to Power

Nikki Haley was in a rut a year ago.

A Republican elected in 2010 as part of a tea party wave, she became South Carolina’s first woman and first minority governor. But she had been the target of a 2012 ethics investigation – though she was later cleared. She was at war with the state legislature. Charges of marital infidelity – which she vehemently denies – dogged her. She didn’t have many accomplishments to claim. Observers considered her overly rehearsed, guarded and partisan.

Obama Nudges Government Toward Better Behavior

Here comes the White House brainwashing that everyone was warning about.

Democrats Pursue a No-Veto Strategy on Spending Bills

President Barack Obama has issued just four vetoes so far in his presidency, and it appears he won't be taking out the veto pen for a host of contentious fiscal 2016 spending bills, either — despite threats he's already lodged on seven of them.

Spending Bills Headed for Partisan Gridlock

Confrontations between the parties, and factions within the GOP conference over government spending levels will probably leave Congress in gridlock in the weeks ahead, dragging to a halt the unusually rapid pace House and Senate appropriators have managed to set with their fiscal 2016 bills.