July 4, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER
See photos from the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game — slideshow sponsored by Grant Thornton LLP.

Columns

Two Weeks on, Hill's Post-Charleston Agenda Has All but Disappeared

The last of the funerals for the Emanuel Nine is Tuesday, and momentum for removing Confederate symbols from the public square has reached a plateau. But what about tangible federal policy changes in reaction to the Charleston shootings?

When the Second Time Isn’t the Charm

I feel bad for Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry. They are presidential retreads at a moment when anything that is more than an hour or two old is passé.

Senate Showing Its Age Lately, Mostly to the Good (Video)

The Senate seems as dinged up as ever this summer. Is it coincidence, or are senators just getting older?

Yarmuth Retirement Rumor Offers Window Into Future

Rumors that Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth was poised to retire or resign were hot and heavy right up until the moment the Democratic congressman announced his re-election bid on Monday. But the public uncertainty provided a brief glimpse into what the race to replace him might look like when he decides to call it quits.

Confederate Flag Debate Showcases Scott as Symbol

The revived debate about the Confederate battle flag has climaxed with exceptional speed in South Carolina, where the state’s three most prominent Republicans led a bipartisan call Monday for removing the banner completely from the state capitol.

Does Scott Walker Have What It Takes to Win in 2016?


Four Nominees From Hill History for New Face on $10

There’s not a female face on our paper currency, which the U.S. Treasury is now promising to change. There is also no one on our money who’s distinguished because of service in Congress. The Obama administration has viable options for rectifying both shortcomings simultaneously with its choice for new portraiture on the $10 bill.

GOP Not Quite Ready for the Health Care Victory It's Dreamed About

With each passing day of Supreme Court suspense, the image of the dog catching the bus has come more warily into focus for congressional Republicans.

Why Backing the Rule Is No. 1 Rule for Party Discipline

“Voting on the rule” may sound like nothing more than procedural inside baseball. But an enormous amount of policy and political consequence hinges on the fate of House roll calls on resolutions setting the terms for a bill’s consideration.

Party's History of Establishment Picks Could Be Over

Battles for the Republican presidential nomination almost always come down to two alternatives — an establishment-backed candidate with pragmatic instincts and an insurgent (often significantly more conservative) who tries to appeal to constituencies that feel ignored.

Politicians Prosecuting Their Case to Come to Congress

If three in a row signals a trend, then the era of the prosecutor in congressional politics is clearly taking hold.

Members Living in Their Offices Rent-Free Adds Up

Rep. Joaquin Castro knows a little about real estate, in part because his twin, Julian, is secretary of Housing and Urban Development. So after winning a safely Democratic seat three years ago, he decided buying a condo on the Hill was a smart investment.

How to Fix an Unfair Presidential Debate System

Fox News and CNN, which will broadcast the first two GOP presidential debates, have decided on a system for excluding candidates that could result in Donald Trump participating in those debates but current or former senators and governors being excluded.

Member Pay Freeze Likely to Last Close to a Decade

As one of their final acts before the Memorial Day break, members of Congress have begun their annual ritual combining financial self-flagellation with electoral self-preservation.

Capitol Hill's Women Hold Power Beyond Numbers

Almost every congressional campaign season opens with the potential for some political firsts. And, with just a few words uttered on the West Coast last week, this cycle has already made a bit of history and will have a shot at making even more.

Can Republicans Repeat an Upset in Colorado?

The May 5 email I received from Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet’s campaign committee opened with: “Larry Sabato in Politico: COLORADO IS ONE OF ONLY SEVEN 2016 TOSS-UPS. Colorado will decide the 2016 election!”

Trade Votes of Past Point to Obama's Troubles Ahead

It’s too soon to label the first test vote in the great trade debate of 2015 as a harbinger of total collapse ahead. But the prognosticators, the party whips and the president already have some tally sheets providing strong evidence of a cliffhanger in the making.

Why It's a Mistake to Dismiss Bobby Jindal

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is a bit of a conundrum.

After Supercharged Start, Tom Cotton Stands Alone (Video)

Tom Cotton marks two milestones this week. As of Monday, more than half of his senatorial career will have elapsed (63 days!) since his pugilistic letter warning Iran against cutting a nuclear deal with the Obama administration. And Wednesday is the Arkansas Republican’s 38th birthday, another reminder he’s the youngest senator in two decades.

Caveat Emptor, in Political Giving Too

Two days before the Tuesday special election in New York’s 11th District, I received one of those hysterical email requests for money.

New Congress, New Round in Senate Fight Over Obama's Judges

In the long-running judicial wars between the Senate and the White House, the first skirmish of the year is flaring into the open this week.

How Much Trouble Is Richard Burr in?

North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr apparently is easy to underestimate.

Sanders Asks Democrats to Pick Proud Non-Democrat

When Bernard Sanders declared his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination, he joined a lengthening roster of gadflies who have run in order to push the party to the left.

The Best and Worst of Constituent Meetings With Lawmakers (and Staff)

It’s spring, which means Congress is in store for two types of “invasions”: the parade of Hollywood types for the annual correspondent dinners and thousands of constituents as part of organized fly-ins or lobby days. The first is splayed on the front pages, all glamorous with gowns, tuxedos and red carpets. The second is the invisible drudgery that is composed of the big part of America’s democratic dialogue. Reality is rarely seen in “House of Cards,” rather, it’s hidden in the thousands of meetings on Capitol Hill involving tens of thousands of constituents. It’s not hidden because of any nefarious conspiracy — it’s just kind of boring, not the stuff of the evening news or a blogger’s interest.

What Gay Marriage Briefs Tell Us About Congress

Though only a few lawmakers participated in the rallies during Tuesday’s oral arguments, more than half the members of Congress had already formalized their views on the same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court.

Early Votes Reveal Positioning for 'Blue State Five'

The nation officially has its 83rd attorney general with Loretta Lynch having taken the oath of office Monday morning. But before her five-month nomination odyssey fades into the rearview mirror, it’s worth noting the pivotal part played by an election 19 months down the road.

Signs of Life, but Don't Expect Bipartisan Bloom

If there was ever a sound reason for a congressional leader from one party to plant a kiss on the cheek of a leader from the other side, it was in the Rose Garden last week.

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