Shawn Zeller

Why Nancy Pelosi Won't Back Down
Podcast, Episode 128

The first woman to serve as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, wants to return to the job now that Democrats control the chamber again. Dissenters in her caucus say they can block her ascent. Pelosi biographer Marc Sandalow says the renegades are in for a battle. ...
Meet the Democrats Who Took the House
Podcast, Episode 128

Fox News' Shannon Bream on the Record
Podcast, Episode 127

Shannon Bream, host of Fox News @ Night, answers the tough questions about Fox's ideological approach to journalism amid growing public concern about heated political rhetoric. Her show is part of Fox News' prime-time lineup that in October reached more than 2.8 million cable viewers a day.  In a 20-minute interview, Bream discusses a wide range of issues related to the politicization of the media on the left and right. 

Capitol Insiders Make Their Predictions on the Midterms
Half of Republican aides say they'll keep control of the House, 9 in 10 Democrats predict they’ll take control

The midterm elections are just days away and both Republican and Democratic aides are hoping for the best.

In their responses to CQ’s Capitol Insiders Survey, half of Republican aides said their party would retain the House majority. That’s optimistic. Political prognosticators give the GOP little hope of that, given the large number of House GOP retirements and the antipathy toward President Donald Trump in suburban districts. The website FiveThirtyEight puts chances of a GOP House majority at 17 percent.

What Will Happen if Democrats Win
Podcast, Episode 126

CQ senior writer Kate Ackley says Democrats agree on a few policy bills, from a lobbying and campaign finance overhaul to an increase in the minimum wage, but will likely have internal disagreements about whether to pursue more far-reaching goals, like Medicare for all, or restrictions on gun ownership. ...
Why Angry Senators Are Ready to Break Up With Saudi Arabia
Podcast, Episode 125

Senators are considering several options to punish Saudi Arabia over the suspected murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, says CQ foreign policy reporter Rachel Oswald. She adds that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have grown frustrated with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. He was once seen as a reformer but his crackdown on dissent has tarred his image.

 

Congressional Staffers Speak Out
Podcast, Episode 124

Bipartisan Opioids Bill Explained
Podcast, Episode 123

CQ Health reporter Sandhya Raman explains what's in the sweeping opioids bill that Congress cleared on Oct. 3 – just in time for lawmakers to campaign on the issue before the November midterm elections.

An Anita Hill Skeptic Doubts Kavanaugh
CQ on Congress Podcast, Episode 122

Legal analyst Stuart Taylor Jr., a well known critic of the fairness of rape investigations, to men, says Christine Blasey Ford was credible enough, and Brett Kavanaugh evasive enough, to give senators reason to vote against Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

How to Read Midterm Polls
CQ on Congress Podcast, Episode 121

While Washington is obsessed with the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, voters — Republicans and Democrats— are more concerned about the economy, says Democratic pollster Brad Bannon, who adds that the positive top-line numbers cloak Americans' continuing economic fears.

Show Notes:

Primary Challengers Aren’t Always More Partisan in Congress
Some successors have been more willing to work across the aisle

It’s often said that conservative challenges to Republican incumbents in primary elections — the prime example being Dave Brat’s victory over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2014 — have led to more polarization in Congress, with the challengers less willing to compromise than their predecessors.

Now that two incumbent Democrats, Michael E. Capuano of Massachusetts on Sept. 4 and Joseph Crowley of New York in June, have fallen to upstart challengers, it raises the question whether the phenomenon has now spread to the Democratic Party, foreboding even more dysfunction at the Capitol.

Trump’s FDA Takes on Tobacco
CQ on Congress Podcast, Episode 120

In an administration proud of its deregulatory approach, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has defied the trend. He's proposed to mandate lower nicotine levels in cigarettes and suggested a willingness to crack down on electronic cigarette products popular with kids. Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and CQ health reporter Andrew Siddons assess the proposals and the likelihood Gottlieb will follow through.

 

Anti-Trump Fervor Puts Senate in Play
CQ on Congress Podcast, Episode 119

Congress Expands Oversight of Social Media
CQ on Congress, Episode 118

Twitter, Facebook and possibly Google executives are preparing to testify before Senate and House committees next week over concerns that foreign governments could use their platforms to interfere in the upcoming midterm elections. CQ cybersecurity reporter Gopal Ratnam gives us a primer on what to expect.

Show Notes:

Battle Lines for the Supreme Court
CQ on Congress, Episode 117

Democrats are pushing for a delay in upcoming confirmation hearings for Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, arguing that Kavanaugh could ultimately sit in judgment of the president if Trump's legal problems reach the court. CQ legal affairs writer Todd Ruger says Republicans are likely to ignore their calls. ...
Democratic Aides on Hill Sour on Pelosi, Survey Finds
Many say California Democrat should step down, regardless of November result

In a sign of the growing unrest on the left, a plurality of Democratic congressional aides surveyed by CQ Roll Call last month said the party should replace Nancy Pelosi as leader whether Democrats win a House majority in November or not.

The Capitol Insiders Survey, which CQ Roll Call emailed to aides on July 13 and remained open till July 18, drew responses from 191 aides, 103 of them Democrats, 84 Republicans and four independents.

Abolishing ICE Doesn’t Have to Mean Firing Federal Workers, Advocate Says
Cesar Vargas of the Dream Action Coalition says ‘priorities are terribly misguided’

The Abolish ICE movement has split the Democratic Party. Some say the agency, formally the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of the Homeland Security Department, has lost all credibility for its involvement in separating immigrant families. Others say it’s the policy that is problematic, not the federal workers who carried it out.

Republicans, meanwhile, see it as a boon for their election prospects. President Donald Trump has cited it in fundraising appeals.

Podcast: House Lawmakers Leave Town With Much to Do Before Midterms
CQ on Congress, Episode 113

Super PAC Spends More to Defend Democrats Than Attack Republicans
Senate Majority PAC is the biggest super PAC in the country

Democratic activists have dreams of winning majorities in both the House and Senate this year, but at least in the Senate, Democratic donors are largely playing defense.

Podcast: Why Congress Has a Russia Problem
CQ on Congress, Episode 112

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have denounced President Donald Trump's accommodation of Russia's Vladimir Putin, but as CQ foreign policy reporter Rachel Oswald explains, Congress is still wrangling with how to stop Russia from tampering in another U.S. election. And Cesar Vargas of the Dream Action Coalition makes the case for abolishing ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. ...