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Guest Observer Archive

Honor Selma by Restoring the Voting Rights Act | Commentary

By Leslie Proll

Republican Internet Bill is a Compromise Worth Making | Commentary

By Christopher D. Coursen

Post-Abramoff: Indian Tribes Still Ponying Up to Influence Lawmakers | Commentary

By Melanie Sloan

Will Congress Give Up Its War Powers? | Commentary

President Barack Obama’s track record of swerving into Congress’ constitutional lane has been consistent and more than troublesome; yet in February of this year, he surprised me. As required by law, the president sent Congress a request seeking an Authorization for Use of Military Force against the group that calls itself the Islamic State, or ISIS. Regrettably, his request has been met with near silence on Capitol Hill. Obama has done his part. It is now up to Congress to debate his request on the House and Senate floors and have an up-or-down vote in each chamber.

Prime Minister Abe’s Missed Opportunity | Commentary

By Bonnie B.C. Oh

Bitcoin Needs Smart and Safe Regulation | Commentary

By Lawrence Goodman

Could Washington Be Ready to Take Action for Small Businesses? | Commentary

By Katherine Lugar

Democrats and Republicans Agree: It’s Time to Protect Sexual Assault Survivors’ Civil Rights | Commentary

By Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ann Wagner

Pass the Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Act | Commentary

By Nathan J. Diament and Kent Johnson

Protecting the Sage Grouse Requires Local Conservation Solutions, Collaboration

By Doug Young

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.

Act Like Young Lives Are At Stake | Commentary

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grabbed headlines with eye-popping figures on use of e-cigarettes by middle school- and high school-age children from their National Youth Tobacco Survey. The survey found that e-cigarette use among high school students tripled in the last year. It isn’t every day that the public takes note of trends in youth tobacco use. So it would be a shame if the Obama administration didn’t take some courage from that concern and attention.

Congress Should Stop Wildfires From Spreading Effects in the East | Commentary

Recently the National Interagency Fire Center announced six new large wildfires have been reported across five states. This brings the year’s total wildfires to 14,213, and it’s only April. While wildfires are, in most cases, natural occurrences that can be good for forests when managed, the funding to manage large ones has gotten way out of control and deserves the immediate attention of Congress.

70 Years Later – The Future of the U.S.-Japan Strategic Alliance | Commentary

By Reps. Eliot L. Engel and Joaquin Castro

Congress Should Hold Oversight Hearings to Ensure FDA Prioritizes Safety for Biosimilars | Commentary

By James Weisman

State Chiefs Urge Congress to Act on Critical Law in American Education | Commentary

We teach our students how a bill becomes a law. We teach them about accountability and deadlines. We encourage them to be good leaders.

Congress Must Act to Protect Military Readiness | Commentary

Military readiness and federal regulation of the greater sage grouse — a bird — are not things the average American would consider connected but unless Congress acts, they may well be.

Majority of Americans Exhibit 'Economic Insecurity' | Commentary

By Amitai Etzioni

From Drought to Air Quality, Climate Change Often Impacts Minorities More | Commentary

Our country has made a lot of environmental progress since the first Earth Day in 1970. We’ve passed bedrock environmental protections — such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act — that continue to protect human and wildlife health. Unfortunately, we haven’t responded to emerging threats such as climate change and the ongoing California drought, and we’re running out of time.

The Urgent Need to Bolster Tank Car Safety Standards | Commentary

In 2013, 47 people were killed in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, when a runaway oil train derailed and exploded.

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