Shawn Zeller

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.

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. ...
Blue Dog Democrats Vote With GOP More in 2018
Illinois Rep. Brad Schneider had biggest drop in party unity score

Blue Dog Democrats tend to move to the right in election years, which is understandable given that they typically represent swing districts.

And lately no district has swung more than Illinois’ 10th, in the affluent suburbs north of Chicago. Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider is currently serving his second, nonconsecutive term, having defeated Republican Robert J. Dold in 2016.

Podcast: Two Senators on How They Got a Bipartisan Farm Bill
CQ on Congress, Episode 111

"I'm all for principles, but I'm not an ideologue," says Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas in explaining why he wrote a farm bill that doesn't add new work requirements to the food stamps program. He and the Agriculture panel's ranking Democrat, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, explain their bipartisan approach as they prepare for a fight with the House conservatives pushing the food stamp changes.

 

The President’s Mission to Mars Is a Real Long Shot
Trump really wants to go to Mars, but he’ll have to convince Congress, private companies and scores of scientists

For a man known for grandiose ambitions, perhaps President Donald Trump’s most lofty is his pledge, formalized in a December order, to land a human being on the surface of Mars.

It would be easy to doubt Trump’s seriousness, given that he’s equally known for inconsistent follow-through. But Trump has raised the idea repeatedly since that order, most recently last month before the National Space Council, the advisory group Trump revived last year and tasked Vice President Mike Pence with running.

Q&A: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
‘What we don’t know about the moon is critical’ and could change ‘the balance of power on Earth’

The Senate confirmed Jim Bridenstine to lead NASA in April after months of delay related to Democrats’ concerns about his commitment to the agency’s climate research and Republican infighting over its resources.

During two terms in the House, and the start of a third, Bridenstine was a space enthusiast. He served on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and drafted an ambitious bill to overhaul the way the government manages its space resources.

Podcast: Over the Moon for the Mission to Mars
CQ on Congress, Episode 110

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is in charge of realizing President Trump's plan to put an astronaut on Mars by 2033. He says it's doable, albeit visionary. He talks to CQ's Shawn Zeller about why the mission is important, how it can lead to technological advances and why private in...
Podcast: On Civility, the Resistance Splits
CQ on Congress, Episode 109

Two political strategists, Democrat Ryan Clancy and Republican Rory Cooper, question whether progressives' anger will help Democrats at the polls, while also predicting it bodes ill for lawmaking in Congress....
Podcast: An Immigration Hardliner's Reasoning
CQ on Congress, Episode 108

Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, says tough border policies are crucial to helping low-skilled workers in America. And CQ immigration reporter Dean DeChiaro breaks down the immigration enforcement bill that failed in the House on June 21, and Speaker Paul Ryan's compromise measure, still pending in the House, which would give so-called Dreamers a path to citizenship.

Podcast: Some Red States Coming Around to Obamacare
CQ on Congress, Episode 107

Voters in some GOP-leaning states will get a chance to adopt the 2010 health care law's Medicaid expansion by ballot initiative this November while others may elect governors who support it, says CQ health care reporter Misty Williams. It's an indication that even some conservative states are coming to accept the Affordable Care Act as the law of the land.

Show Notes:

Podcast: Cake Case Leaves Gay Rights Questions Unanswered
CQ on Congress, Episode 106

CQ Supreme Court Reporter Todd Ruger and University of Colorado Law Professor Craig Konnoth say that the Supreme Court victory of a Colorado baker, who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple, could be short-lived, given the court's narrow decision in his favor.

"Indeed, if the couple...go back to that same baker tomorrow and suffered discrimination...they could file another suit and that might lead to a completely different outcome,'' says Konnoth.

Podcast: Putting Trump's Immigration Crackdown in Context
CQ on Congress, Episode 105

President Donald Trump's move to criminally prosecute migrants crossing the border illegally, and to separate them from their children, aims to end the longstanding practice of releasing immigrants into the country, pending deportation, says CQ immigration reporter Dean DeChiaro. Trump's also boosting enforcement inside the country, but sanctuary city policies are impeding his efforts, explains Ariel Ruiz Soto of the Migration Policy Institute.

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Podcast: Why the Made-for-TV Summit With North Korea Flopped
CQ on Congress, Episode 104

President Donald Trump's decision to cancel his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un marks a failure of communications and messaging by both sides, says Jenny Town, managing editor of the think tank 38 North, a website that tracks developments in North Korea for the Stimson Center, a Washington think tank. Town explains what needs to be done for the two sides to negotiate in good faith while CQ cybersecurity editor Patrick Pexton explains how it's playing on Capitol Hill.

Show Notes:

Podcast: Trump Misses NAFTA Deadline
CQ on Congress, Episode 103

President Donald Trump's trade agenda is in disarray after his negotiators failed to reach a deal to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico by May 17, when congressional Republicans said they would need it in order to ratify it by year's end. CQ trade reporter Ellyn Ferguson explains what is holding Trump's team up.

Podcast: Conservatives Fight Trump on Trade When Congress Won't
CQ on Congress, Episode 102

Show Notes: ...
Podcast: Opioid Legislation on Deck
CQ on Congress, Episode 101

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Podcast: Trump's Iran Deadline Is Nearly Here
CQ on Congress, Episode 100

President Trump has set a May 12 deadline for deciding whether to pull out of the 2015 deal with Iran to rollback its nuclear program. He has harshly criticized it, but is under pressure from foreign allies and even some in his administration to keep it, says CQ foreign policy reporter Rachel Oswald. ...