Opinion

STELAR Act reauthorization should top Congress’ year-end list
Many rural Americans could otherwise lose access to at least some network TV

As many as 870,000 people — most living in rural areas — would lose access to at least some broadcast network signals if Congress does not renew the STELAR Act before Dec. 31, Boucher writes. (iStock)

For lawmakers, autumn means time is running out. As Congress faces a spate of frenetic activity compounded by the impeachment inquiry, the focus inevitably turns to the must-pass bills lawmakers need to act on this year. My advice? Put the reauthorization of the STELAR Act at the top of that list to guarantee that everyone with satellite TV continues to have access to network programming.

A lapse in the law, which expires at the end of the year, would have a profound impact on Americans living in remote areas. By current estimates, as many as 870,000 people — most living in rural areas — would lose access to at least some broadcast network signals if Congress does not renew the STELAR Act before Dec. 31.

Startling discovery: Impeachment is not bringing out the best in Trump
It seems quaint to recall a time when president appeared merely guilty of obstruction of justice

Every time President Donald Trump creates a crisis, it’s hard to tell if it’s a temper tantrum or a deliberate distraction, Shapiro writes. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Thomas Jefferson created his own Bible, deleting with a penknife those portions of the New Testament that troubled his deist views. In similar fashion, Donald Trump has apparently created his own Constitution by ripping out any clause that challenges his power or deflates his blimp-sized ego.

Monday, in the midst of the reality show that he called a Cabinet meeting, Trump denounced what he called “this phony emoluments clause.” In most versions of the Constitution, Article 1, Section 9 bans “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

Capitol Ink | World Series Unity

Mick Mulvaney, from Washington reformer to chief of graft
No matter what he says, don’t get over it, America

Mick Mulvaney is now at the center of an international corruption scandal he not only tolerated, but may have championed, Murphy writes. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

OPINION — In 2008, days after political newcomer Mick Mulvaney won a seat in the South Carolina state Senate, he told a local newspaper that many voters had suggested that he run for the U.S. House seat held by Democrat John Spratt instead. “I couldn’t stop laughing,” Mulvaney said. “I’m perfectly happy being in the Senate.”

But within a year, Mulvaney was not only challenging Spratt, he defeated him handily in 2010 on a message of reforming Washington and slashing federal spending. “There’s a few things I just think we all believe,” he said in one campaign ad. “We cannot continue to spend money we don’t have.”

Private equity is a driving force for economic opportunity
New report highlights industry’s growing role in boosting over 25 million U.S. jobs

A new report by Ernst & Young, in partnership with the American Investment Council, offers a previously unreported look at private equity’s growing role in directly supporting nearly 9 million U.S. jobs and its positive contributions to over 17 million more. (Screenshot/American Investment Council/YouTube)

OPINION — Ambitious new programs are central to every presidential campaign, on the right or the left. Whether it’s a border wall or universal health care, voters want to hear what candidates will do and how they intend to pay for it. Of course, the latter part of that question often comes with an unspoken addendum: How will you pay for it — without taxing me?

For some, the answer has been to attack an industry that benefits public-sector pensions, universities and foundations without having to address the consequences of their policy proposals. But what might make for a good stump speech on the campaign trail can ultimately have a very real impact for millions of middle-class American families that stand to benefit most from a vibrant economy. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of time for leading candidates to study the capital flows driving new opportunities for American workers — and none stand out more than private equity.

Capitol Ink | Elijah Cummings

Elijah Cummings, a man of character and the best of Baltimore
Late Maryland lawmaker leaves an example of moral clarity and courage for others to follow

The late Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings was a fighter for justice and a leader with a sense of right and wrong, even when there was a price to pay, Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — In the summertime, Baltimore can be hot as blazes with humidity to match. Trying to cool off in a public pool would be quite an ordinary outing for an 11-year-old boy. But for young Elijah Cummings in 1962, it turned into a nightmare in the still largely segregated city. White adults and children resisting integration yelled, “Go back to where you came from” — sound familiar? — to children and, over the heads of a police line, threw rocks and bottles, one of which caught young Elijah in the face.

That day taught Cummings he had rights, he later said, and it made him determined to become a lawyer despite teachers who dismissed his dream as impossible. With strong parents and supporters such as his boss at a drug store, who paid his college admission fee, Cummings fulfilled that dream and so much more.

Can church ever be separate from state at a Franklin Graham rally?
Spiritual leader’s message of love and unity isn’t reaching all backers of the president he supports so strongly

“We live in a political world, so we can’t avoid politics,” the Rev. Franklin Graham said at a recent Charlotte, N.C., rally. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

[OPINION] CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After the Rev. Billy Graham became less a counselor of presidents and more a political player, particularly in the unfortunate case of Richard Nixon, he learned a lesson. The Rev. Franklin Graham, heir to his father’s legacy, has chosen a different path, arguably becoming as well known for his politics as for his role as a spiritual leader.

Considering his remarks as he brought his “Decision America” tour to his hometown this past weekend, it’s a box Graham the younger is not exactly comfortable being placed in. But for the preacher who credited the “God factor,” in part, for Donald Trump’s 2016 win, that narrative is set. Vocal support of the president pre- and post-election exists right alongside his philanthropic and mission outreach — such as recent efforts in the Bahamas — through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse.

Capitol Ink | Gutastrophe

Uber’s commitment to safety
We take seriously our responsibility to riders and drivers

Uber is committed to working with local and federal policymakers to identify the solutions that are best suited for our riders and our driver partners, Burr writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — At Uber, our safety team has a simple, critical mission: to help set the standard for ridesharing safety. We know that every time riders open their Uber app, they are putting their trust in us — to not only get where they need to go, but to get there safely. Local and federal policymakers have proposed solutions to enhance ridesharing safety, and Uber is committed to working with them to identify the solutions that are best suited for our riders and our driver partners.

Over the past three years, we’ve introduced new safety features, including an in-app emergency button; strengthened our driver background check and screening processes; and made investments in new technologies to help improve the safety of the platform. In fact, we’ve developed more safety features in the past couple of years than we did in the previous eight. And that’s just the start of our commitment to safety.

Why Pelosi should heed the Rodino precedent on impeachment
Late House Judiciary chairman put principles over politics during Watergate

As House Judiciary chairman during Watergate, New Jersey Rep. Peter Rodino, left, set the standard for an impeachment inquiry that today’s Democrats would be wise to follow, Winston writes. (Bettmann Archive/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — In Joe Biden’s statement on the Clinton impeachment released to the Congressional Record on Feb. 12, 1999, he cautioned his fellow senators, calling impeachment “the most obviously anti-democratic act the Senate can engage in — overturning an election by convicting the president.”

He also said that impeachment had “no place in our system of constitutional democracy except as an extreme measure … reserved for breaches of the public trust by a president who so violates his official duties, misuses his official powers or places our system of government at such risk that our constitutional government is put in immediate danger by his continuing to serve out the term to which the people of the United States elected him.”

Capitol Ink | ebay Diplomacy

The most important document you may ever read
Senate Intelligence report on Russian interference should chill Americans who value our democracy

Russia is far from done with destabilizing our democracy, Murphy writes. The Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Richard M. Burr, right, and Mark Warner, made that clear in its latest report on 2016 election interference. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — On the day that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on election interference came out, cable news anchors strained to race through its 448 pages and describe the findings, all in the same breath. Computer sleuths hacked the document’s setting to let users search for “Trump,” “president,” “collusion” and “Russia.” Talking-head lawyers feverishly opined that Volume I contained less incriminating information than Volume II.

But around the country, voters mostly gave an “Is that all there is?” shoulder shrug and went back to their corners. Many members of Congress admitted they didn’t even bother to read it.

Capitol Ink | No Kurd Pro Quo

Democrats need to stop playing politics with our nation’s pipeline safety
Reauthorization bill should not be a partisan issue

Sections of steel pipe lie in a staging area in June before being inserted underground as part of the ETP-Sunoco Mariner East 2 pipeline in Exton, Pa. Reauthorizing the pipeline safety bill is something both parties can get behind, as they have done in the past, Upton writes. (Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — In 2012, as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I worked with my good friend and fellow Michigander, the late Rep. John Dingell, to reauthorize our nation’s pipeline safety laws. This was in response to a pipeline burst that spilled 20,000 barrels of oil into the Talmadge Creek, a tributary of the Kalamazoo River near my district.

It didn’t matter that I had an ‘R’ next to my name and John had a ‘D’ next to his. What mattered was getting a final bill that could advance through a Republican House and a Democratic Senate and be signed by a Democratic president — a dynamic similar to the one we face today, with a Democratic House, a Republican Senate and a Republican president. Back then, we needed legislation that would make critical safety improvements to our nation’s vast pipeline infrastructure — and that’s exactly what we did, cutting down on incident reporting times and increasing financial penalties for violations.