Matthew Fleming

A Senate Freedom Caucus? No Need

The House Freedom Caucus has shown conservatives the far-right can have an impact on the legislative process. But don’t expect a similar group to spring up in the Senate; they already have one. Sort of.

It’s not that senators are less conservative — Republicans such as Ted Cruz of Texas, Jim Risch of Idaho or Jeff Sessions of Alabama would attest to that. And it’s not that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is so much better liked than his former counterpart who was chased into retirement by the Freedom Caucus, Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio.

A Senate Freedom Caucus? No Need

The House Freedom Caucus has shown conservatives the far-right can have an impact on the legislative process. But don't expect a similar group to spring up in the Senate; they already have one. Sort of. It's not that senators are less conservative — Republicans such as Ted Cruz of Texas, Jim Risch of Idaho or Jeff Sessions of Alabama would attest to that. And it's not that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is so much better liked than his former counterpart who was chased into retirement by the Freedom Caucus, Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio.  

Perhaps the main reason a Freedom Caucus is less likely in the Senate is attributable to the institution itself: Senators need to work together to get things done, but unlike House lawmakers, senators don't need a coalition to block things. If a key power of the Freedom Caucus is veto power over legislation, senators can erect procedural hurdles on their own.  

A Senate Freedom Caucus? No Need

The House Freedom Caucus has shown conservatives the far-right can have an impact on the legislative process. But don’t expect a similar group to spring up in the Senate; they already have one. Sort of.

It’s not that senators are less conservative — Republicans such as Ted Cruz of Texas, Jim Risch of Idaho or Jeff Sessions of Alabama would attest to that. And it’s not that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is so much better liked than his former counterpart who was chased into retirement by the Freedom Caucus, Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio.

Ethics Probes Waiting for Resolution

The House Ethics Committee acts confidentially and typically uses minimalist language to announce whether it is investigating a member of Congress. This makes tracking open cases difficult, but there are 10 cases the committee has previously stated it is reviewing.

The committee has no rules compelling it to make a public announcement that a review has been closed, sometimes resulting in a delay in a case’s resolution coming to light — though members certainly have an interest in publicizing something that reflects well on them.

Ethics Probes Waiting for Resolution

The House Ethics Committee acts confidentially and typically uses minimalist language to announce whether it is investigating a member of Congress. This makes tracking open cases difficult, but there are 10 cases the committee has previously stated it is reviewing. The committee has no rules compelling it to make a public announcement that a review has been closed, sometimes resulting in a delay in a case's resolution coming to light — though members certainly have an interest in publicizing something that reflects well on them.  

Boehner 'Comfortable' With House Ethics Protocols

Ethics Probes Waiting for Resolution

The House Ethics Committee acts confidentially and typically uses minimalist language to announce whether it is investigating a member of Congress. This makes tracking open cases difficult, but there are 10 cases the committee has previously stated it is reviewing.

The committee has no rules compelling it to make a public announcement that a review has been closed, sometimes resulting in a delay in a case’s resolution coming to light — though members certainly have an interest in publicizing something that reflects well on them.

Polis Cleared by House Ethics Committee

The House Ethics Committee on Monday announced it will not look further into allegations that Rep. Jared Polis used official resources to promote two businesses.

In 2015, Riot Games, the maker of an online video game “League of Legends” that Polis has played for years, contacted the Colorado Democrat to appear in a video promoting the game as part of a series of “human interest” stories to “capture and share more positive, human stories of fun, talented, competitive and responsible individuals who also just happen to be part of our player base,” according to the Ethics Committee release.

Polis Cleared by House Ethics Committee

The House Ethics Committee on Monday announced it will not look further into allegations that Rep. Jared Polis used official resources to promote two businesses.  

In 2015, Riot Games, the maker of an online video game "League of Legends" that Polis has played for years, contacted the Colorado Democrat to appear in a video promoting the game as part of a series of "human interest" stories to "capture and share more positive, human stories of fun, talented, competitive and responsible individuals who also just happen to be part of our player base," according to the Ethics Committee release.  

Gun Control Debate Stuck on Mental Health Reform

At first glance Democrats seem to oppose mental health reform in response to mass shootings. Many in the Senate say they embrace such reform, but they’d rather close loopholes in gun laws first. The result, however, is no movement on either gun control or mental health.

Democrats used much of Thursday’s Obamacare repeal vote-a-rama to push gun control amendments in response to a spate of mass shootings. Most of those measures didn’t have a lot to do with mental health.

Gun Control Debate Stuck on Mental Health Reform

At first glance Democrats seem to oppose mental health reform in response to mass shootings. Many in the Senate say they embrace such reform, but they'd rather close loopholes in gun laws first. The result, however, is no movement on either gun control or mental health.  

Democrats used much of Thursday's Obamacare repeal vote-a-rama to push gun control amendments in response to a spate of mass shootings. Most of those measures didn’t have a lot to do with mental health. Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., one of the most outspoken advocates of gun control following the murder of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. in 2012, is working with Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., to increase funding to states t hat meet treatment goals .  

Senators in Paris for Climate Conference Will Tell France, 'We Have Your Back'

Barring a scheduling meltdown, a delegation of Democratic senators will break from debates over the health care law, government spending and highway funding to fly to Paris for the U.N. climate change conference.

Some of those who plan to make the trip said they’re going not only to show support for the Obama administration’s climate agenda, but to stand with France following terror attacks that killed 130 people last month.

Senators in Paris for Climate Conference Will Tell France, 'We Have Your Back'

Barring a scheduling meltdown, a delegation of Democratic senators will break from debates over the health care law, government spending and highway funding to fly to Paris for the U.N. climate change conference. Some of those who plan to make the trip said they're going not only to show support for the Obama administration's climate agenda, but to stand with France following terror attacks that killed 130 people last month.  

"I think it's also important that our government officials say to the French people that we have their back, that we are with them, that we'll give them the help they need even as they have just suffered this grievous loss which we feel deeply is a crime against all humanity," said Sen. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts. "It's an important message to send."  

Bush, Cheney Ticket to Reunite in Capitol

The 2000 Republican presidential ticket will reunite Thursday for a ceremony dedicating the marble bust of former Vice President Dick Cheney in the Senate’s vice presidential collection.

Former President George W. Bush will make remarks, and he will be joined by several congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis.; Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; and, of course, Cheney himself.William Behrends sculpted the bust, his second in the collection. (He did the bust for Spiro Agnew as well.)

Bush, Cheney Ticket to Reunite in Capitol

The 2000 Republican presidential ticket will reunite Thursday for a ceremony dedicating the marble bust of former Vice President Dick Cheney in the Senate's vice presidential collection.  

Former President George W. Bush will make remarks, and he will be joined by several congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis.; Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; and, of course, Cheney himself. William Behrends sculpted the bust, his second in the collection. (He did the bust for Spiro Agnew as well.)  

Democrats Look Past Planned Parenthood, Obamacare Fight

Senate Democrats won’t put up much of a floor fight against Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and gut the Affordable Care Act, aware that it eventually faces a certain veto from President Barack Obama.

Senators will consider the Planned Parenthood provision and partial rollback of Obama’s signature domestic achievement as part of the budget reconciliation process this week, which requires only majority support to pass the chamber.

Democrats Look Past Planned Parenthood, Obamacare Fight

Senate Democrats won't put up much of a floor fight against Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and gut the Affordable Care Act, aware that it eventually faces a certain veto from President Barack Obama.  

Senators will consider the Planned Parenthood provision and partial rollback of Obama's signature domestic achievement as part of the budget reconciliation process this week, which requires only majority support to pass the chamber.  

Democrats Look Past Planned Parenthood, Obamacare Fight

Senate Democrats won’t put up much of a floor fight against Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and gut the Affordable Care Act, aware that it eventually faces a certain veto from President Barack Obama.

Senators will consider the Planned Parenthood provision and partial rollback of Obama’s signature domestic achievement as part of the budget reconciliation process this week, which requires only majority support to pass the chamber.

Democrats Look Past Planned Parenthood, Obamacare Fight

Senate Democrats won’t put up much of a floor fight against Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and gut the Affordable Care Act, aware that it eventually faces a certain veto from President Barack Obama.

Senators will consider the Planned Parenthood provision and partial rollback of Obama’s signature domestic achievement as part of the budget reconciliation process this week, which requires only majority support to pass the chamber.

Lankford Joins League of Waste Watchers

Sen. James Lankford released his first book of “wasteful” federal programs and regulations on Monday, joining a group of Republican senators with similar reports.

But instead of trying to outdo his colleagues, the Oklahoma Republican called on all members of Congress to come up with their own list and look for common ground to cut spending.

Lankford Joins League of Waste Watchers

Sen. James Lankford released his first book of "wasteful" federal programs and regulations on Monday, joining a group of Republican senators with similar reports.  

But instead of trying to outdo his colleagues, the Oklahoma Republican called on all members of Congress to come up with their own list and look for common ground to cut spending. "This is not just us and what we're trying to do, we're encouraging every other office to take this on as well," Lankford said.