education

On Cancer 'Moonshot,' Time is Ticking for Biden

Biden is driving Obama's campaign to cure cancer. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Vice President Joseph R. Biden is widely seen as the engine behind the Obama administration’s “moonshot” anti-cancer push, raising questions about its fate once he leaves office next year.  

The White House on Thursday took the first tangible steps in its fight against cancer, formally establishing a task force first mentioned in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. Biden, who will lead the task force, sounded at times bold and cautious.  

Was There Ever an Obama-Ryan Honeymoon?

Ryan greets Obama as he arrives to deliver his final State of the Union address while Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. looks on. It was one of Ryan's few smiles of the evening. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama repeatedly had to raise his voice to be heard over cheering Democratic lawmakers during his State of the Union address on Jan. 12. But Speaker Paul D. Ryan sat motionless, his face frozen in a polite — but unimpressed — expression.  

Obama used part of his likely final address to a joint session of Congress to extol policy whims long pushed by Democrats like pre-kindergarten “for all” children and a government-led effort to “to make college affordable for every American.” He also called it a “basic fact” that the U.S. “has the strongest, most durable economy in the world,” saying the country is “in the middle of the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history.”  

Parsing Obama’s Words Over 8 Addresses to Congress

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Delivering his final State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama relied on key phrases and terms that dominate his previous addresses to Congress.  

Obama’s dependence on certain words, however, has changed over the years. When he first addressed Congress as president in 2009, he mentioned terms such as “government,” “tax” and “budget” 59 times. On Tuesday, such terms were used just nine times.  

Schooling Time for New Crop of Hill Education Leaders

When Kline retires at the end of next year, it will mark a passing of the guard for congressional education leaders. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the more remarkable aspects of the bipartisan agreement on a replacement for the No Child Left Behind law, which the House is on course to embrace this week, is the team of authors’ relatively modest level of collective devotion to education policy.  

This is especially true on the south half of Capitol Hill, which is on the backside of a changing of the guard for House members who make improving our schools one of their big interests. The timing of the rewrite of federal policies on elementary and secondary education is notable for more than the fact that it’s eight years overdue. The legislation is getting done a year before the retirement of John Kline, the Minnesotan who was catapulted over eight more senior colleagues into the top Republican slot on the Education and the Workforce Committee six years ago.  

Ted Cruz, Condoms and Bathroom Politics

Cruz has made outreach to social conservatives a cornerstone of his presidential campaign. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz was in a groove in Iowa Monday, weighing in on issues that underscore his efforts to appeal to socially conservative voters in the nation's first caucus state.  

The Texas Republican did so by blasting the Department of Education for allowing a transgender student to use a girl's locker room — and even weighed in on the availability of prophylactics in America, soundbites that could have been lead news in their own right on most any other day.  

Congress Has a List of Deadlines, Is Checking It Twice

Ryan has a long month ahead. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress returns this week for a pivotal work period with multiple deadlines, a busy schedule for an institution that tends to wait until the very last minute to get things done.  

House lawmakers will spend the next four legislative days laying the groundwork on crucial pieces of legislation for the rest of the month, negotiating terms and conditions among themselves and with their counterparts across the aisle and Rotunda.  

Obama, Ryan Speak Same Language on Criminal Justice Overhaul

Ryan addresses Congress on Oct. 29 after being sworn in as speaker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:05 p.m. | Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s record suggests issues like helping former inmates find work on the outside might just be an early area of collaboration with President Barack Obama, who traveled to New Jersey Monday to unveil a list of executive actions aimed at doing just that.  

Obama wants Congress to “build on” criminal justice changes he announced Monday by sending him legislation that would rid the federal hiring process of questions about prior criminal history, an issue that earned him applause during his address at Rutgers University in Newark. With Republicans in the majority of both chambers, the president was careful to frame the criminal justice overhaul effort as bipartisan, mentioning Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.  

D.C. Councilmembers Oppose Boehner's Vouchers Bill

Boehner has been a strong proponent of the voucher program. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Eight members of the District of Columbia City Council expressed their opposition Thursday to Speaker John A. Boehner's bill to reauthorize a D.C. school voucher program.  

In a letter sent to House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the council members argued the program was ineffective and an affront to local governance. They said students in the program should be able to use them throughout high school, but the program should not be extended to new students. "It is insulting to our constituents, who vote for us but not any voting member of Congress, that some of your colleagues push their personal agendas on D.C. in a way they never do in their home state," the lawmakers wrote.  

Twitter Trends, Influencers in North Carolina Senate Race

Ebola is an issue in the North Carolina Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Millions of social conversations between North Carolina voters, candidates and big money special interest groups on Twitter provide compelling clues as to why Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan maintains a sliver of a lead over her Republican opponent, state Speaker Thom Tillis.  

It may be surprising to learn that just 20 people were able to reach more than 23 million people in four weeks of Twitter conversations by directly engaging 5,936 North Carolinians who, in turn, amplified those tweets with viral precision to their friends, their friends' friends and far beyond.  

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