April 19, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Guest Observer Archive

We Must Ensure the Reliability, Affordability of the Electric Grid

No other electricity network on Earth provides as much power to as many people as reliably and affordably as the American grid does. But keeping the lights on is a highly complex undertaking.

On Yucca Mountain, Obama Again Treats Law as Merely a Suggestion

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., delivered a rousing speech on the House floor earlier this month reminding the American people that, in Congress, “We don’t pass suggestions ... we don’t pass ideas — we pass laws. And we expect them to be faithfully executed.”

American Innovation + Smart Policy = Big Savings

Climate change is happening. The American people are experiencing the hottest years on record and the most severe floods, wildfires and droughts in modern history. My home state of California is currently facing an unprecedented drought that is threatening the prosperity of everyone from urban and rural communities, to farmers, fishermen and sportsmen, to large and small businesses.

A Clean Energy Economy and Jobs

Ocean energy provides an exciting opportunity for the United States to help advance the goal of developing clean, renewable energy, lessening our reliance on foreign oil, and creating new industries and thousands of rewarding jobs. In my home state of Maine, tidal energy and deepwater, offshore wind are just two examples of ocean energy demonstration projects where inspiring vision and effort are helping to lead the way.

Give the American People a Voice in the National Monument Process | Commentary

The Antiquities Act was established in 1906 as a way for the president to single-handedly create new national monuments. The law provides the president with the express authority to proclaim “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” as national monuments, “the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”

Scientists Are Becoming a Rarer Congressional Breed, and That's Not a Good Thing | Commentary

Unless a new scientist emerges victorious in the 2014 November elections, the nerd factor on Capitol Hill will have taken a nose dive in the last six years.

Break the Gridlock: Unbundle Startup Visa from Immigration Reform

The American economy needs a shot in the arm: The Congressional Budget Office’s bleak forecast emphasized as much last month.

U.S. Should Open Parallel Negotiations with Iran on Israeli-Palestinian Issue | Commentary

Israel’s interdiction on March 5 of an alleged Iranian weapons shipment bound for Gaza has no doubt increased Congress’s skepticism of the Obama administration’s diplomatic engagement with Iran.

The Next Healthcare.gov Fiasco? | Commentary

Will the federal government create another healthcare.gov fiasco in the selection of the next Local Number Portability Administrator? Or has it learned that complex, critical IT projects require very careful deliberation and strong technical leadership over many years? The current evidence says “no” and reminds me of the words of a song from my youth: “When will they ever learn?”

Meeting the Food Challenges of Tomorrow Through the Legacy of Borlaug | Commentary

When leaders of the House and Senate gather in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday to dedicate a statue of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, they will honor an American whose innovative agricultural research is credited with saving more than a billion people from starvation. Through his development of high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties, along with the advancement of irrigation, fertilization and pest control prevention techniques, Borlaug’s breakthroughs rapidly bolstered food supplies in undeveloped parts of the world in what’s known as the Green Revolution.

Rural America Needs 340B Drug Discount Program | Commentary

Rural hospitals are the front line of care for millions of Americans who can’t travel to big cities for medical treatment. Most are small, less than 25 beds, and many struggle to keep their doors open in the face of rising costs. A little-known prescription drug program called 340B helps these providers stay in business — and extend vital services to needy patients.

Building Extreme Weather Resiliency is Good for Business | Commentary

What should make members of Congress from both parties and small-business owners all agree about increasingly extreme weather? Resilience.

Getting Missile Defense Right | Commentary

Not long ago, missile defense was a contentious issue about Cold War strategic stability. Today, it has widespread bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. We no longer debate whether to have defenses, but which programs, at what cost, and how well they will work.

Asking Congress to Support Meaningful Patent Reform Legislation | Commentary

This month, transit agencies around the country are in D.C. for the American Public Transportation Association legislative conference. An issue that surfaced in many of our meetings is “patent trolls” — shell companies that purchase patents with no intention of innovating or inventing, but rather, suing those who do — and how they are crippling transit agencies with meritless threats.

Congress Must Hold Expert Agencies Accountable | Commentary

For the second time in as many Congresses, the House of Representatives passed the Regulatory Accountability Act, the first-ever major overhaul of the Administrative Procedure Act. The Senate, however, has yet to give the bill so much as a hearing.

Women Key to Ending Global Hunger | Commentary

Too many women, men, and children are needlessly suffering from chronic hunger around the world. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization says the number is as high as 840 million — nearly three times the entire population of the United States.

Why We Are Fighting for the Birth Control Benefit | Commentary

The birth control benefit — a provision of the Affordable Care Act providing health insurance coverage of birth control with no co-pay— did not fall from the sky and land on the doorstep of the White House. When Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., fought to create this benefit in the ACA, we proudly fought alongside her, and we are going to fight even harder to make sure it’s not taken away.

Congress, FDA Need to Act to Protect College Students | Commentary

Last week, a Drexel University sophomore named Stephanie Ross had her life cut short by meningitis, a highly contagious bacterial infection that can wreak havoc on college campuses and other high-density living environments. Ross, 19, was a mechanical engineering major at Drexel, which requires students to receive all available meningitis vaccinations before enrolling. But tragically, the vaccine that treats the strain of meningitis in question — that is, the vaccine that could have saved Ross’ life — is suspended in regulatory purgatory, and the federal government continues to put millions of college students at risk by refusing to expedite its approval.

Political Temperature May Begin to Thaw | Commentary

Last week was an odd one in Washington, D.C. I don’t mean the weather. We’ve become accustomed to the wild mood swings of Mother Nature that have us eating al fresco one day and donning hats, gloves and overcoats the next. The weirdness in the air was thanks to an uncharacteristic spirit of bipartisanship in Congress.

Feinstein Vs. Brennan: Heads Will Roll | Commentary

It shouldn’t be too surprising to hear that the CIA may have spied on the work of Senate Intelligence Committee staffers. Hardball is an old game in the nation’s capital, as old as our government itself. The leaks, the vicious rumors, the struggle to shift blame onto others was ubiquitous during the days of George Washington’s presidency, when the president was pained and mystified by the infighting that went on among even the most distinguished and talented members of his presidency, including Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.

SIGN IN




OR

SUBSCRIBE

Want Roll Call on your doorstep?