corporations

Partisan divide reaches into views of higher education
After years of similar views, a divergence in the last decade

Among the issues House Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. Scott must navigate with is a growing partisan divide on the value of higher education. Scott introduced the College Affordability Act on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Once, American colleges and universities enjoyed bipartisan support, and Republicans and Democrats alike believed in the value of higher education.

Today, not so much. And that could be a big issue as Congress considers reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, a version of which House Democrats unveiled Tuesday. 

Local newspapers wait anxiously for pension funding relief
Crucial retirement savings package appears stuck in the Senate

Washington Sen. Patty Murray blames Republicans for holding up the retirement savings package that includes pension relief for local newspapers. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Local newspapers serving communities from Tampa, Florida, to Walla Walla, Washington, say they’re under the gun from a pension funding “cliff” they face next year that will make them have to rapidly catch up on required contributions, exacerbating their well-documented financial decline.

When relief for some 20 publishers passed the House in May on a 417-3 vote as part of sweeping retirement savings legislation, it seemed like a slam dunk that lawmakers would ride to the rescue in time.

Elizabeth Warren’s lobby tax may not hold up to legal scrutiny
Massachusetts Democrat’s proposals take aim at what she dubs “excessive” lobbying

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposals to curb what she calls “excessive” lobbying would face near-certain legal challenges, experts say. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s long-shot tax on big K Street lobbying tabs were to make it into law, the measure would face legal challenges and is widely seen more as a political platform than an actual policy.

The Massachusetts Democrat’s presidential campaign has unveiled broad proposals to curb what she has dubbed “excessive” lobbying, including a hefty tax on companies, trade associations and other groups that spend more than $500,000 per year on federal lobbying.

Missouri lawmaker seeks probe of GOP’s census look-alike mailings
RNC ‘district census’ fundraising solicitations raise concerns of potential confusion over 2020 count

Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., shown in the Capitol in May, has said the Republican mailings are an attempt to "deceive and confuse" people. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mailings the Republican National Committee sent to Montana and Missouri residents have riled officials there, prompting one House Democrat to call for an investigation into fundraising solicitations he says are designed to confuse people about the decennial census.

Styled as the “2019 Congressional District Census,” the mailing includes a questionnaire and letter from RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel soliciting a donation of up to $1,000. But the mailings are likely to confuse residents before the start of next year’s census, argued Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay of Missouri.

FCC’s O’Rielly sees risk in ruling letting states set net neutrality rules
A court decision upholding the scrapping of net neutrality rules could lead to more litigation and a patchwork of U.S. laws

Congressional Democrats hold a news conference in the Capitol in March 2019, announcing legislation restoring net neutrality protections after the FCC scrapped the Obama-era rules. The bill passed in the House but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it would not advance in the Senate. A court Tuesday upheld the FCC's right to overturn the rules. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A federal appeals court decision upholding the Federal Communications Commission’s scrapping of net neutrality rules in 2017 and allowing states to set their own could lead to state-by-state regulations and more litigation, Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said in a C-SPAN interview taped Tuesday for later broadcast.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that the commission and Chairman Ajit Pai were right to overturn Obama administration rules that prohibited internet providers like AT&T and Verizon from giving favorable treatment such as higher-speed delivery to specific content creators — including those they may own or have a stake in. It would also prohibit access providers from charging more for specific content creators such as Netflix.

Democrats press Senate to take up overhaul of campaigns and ethics
Before two-week recess starts, Pelosi touts bill House passed 200 days ago

Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a Thursday news conference in the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As House Democrats pursue an impeachment inquiry based largely on possible campaign finance violations against President Donald Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats sought a fresh spotlight for their stalled political money, ethics and elections overhaul measure.  

The House passed the bill by a vote of 234-193 along party lines on March 8, 200 days ago, the California Democrat noted. 

Senate confirms Eugene Scalia as Labor secretary
Schumer slams nomination as a “disagrace.” Alexander sees incoming secretary as a “steady hand”

Eugene Scalia was confirmed Thursday as Labor secretary. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Corporate lawyer Eugene Scalia received Senate confirmation Thursday to be secretary of Labor in a 53-44 party-line vote.

The vote followed a similar partisan divide in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee when it voted Tuesday to advance Scalia, the son of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Gun laws may not be changing, but the gun debate certainly is
Fewer and fewer elected Democrats fret much anymore about taking on the NRA

Students march to the Capitol in April 2018, calling on Congress to act on gun violence prevention. Gun control groups have spent more than $1.2 million on federal lobbying so far this year, keeping them on pace to spend the most they ever have. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — That almost nothing has changed in federal gun policy since Newtown or Parkland or any mass shooting before or after belies the enormous transformation underway in the lobbying and political landscapes of the issue.

Gun safety groups now operate a lot more like their opponents: amassing a national network of grassroots activists that descend on Capitol Hill and show up in lawmakers’ districts; spending big on political campaigns; and retaining some of the biggest names on K Street, firms that also represent the likes of Amazon and Goldman Sachs.

Democratic debate moderators haven’t done American voters any favors
Three debates in, candidates and media seem averse to discussing economy, jobs and growth

Moderators at the next Democratic debate should go deeper on extreme policies such as Elizabeth Warren’s assault on capitalism and Bernie Sanders’ socialist health care proposal, Winston writes. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

OPINION — The first three Democratic presidential debates — five, if you count the double features in June and July — are, thankfully, in the political rearview mirror. It turns out that despite the hours and hours spent debating, and then the hours and hours talking about the debates, and then the inevitable polls trying to pick winners and losers, the political landscape hasn’t changed much. 

A Sept. 13-15 Morning Consult poll of Democratic primary voters done after the latest debate found Joe Biden still in the lead at 32 percent. Bernie Sanders was in second place at 20 percent with Elizabeth Warren closing in at 18 percent. Everybody else huddled at the bottom with 6 percent or less. The more things change, it seems, the more they stay the same.

Rodney Davis seeks to ban public financing in campaigns
Illinois Republican’s bill is unlikely to move in Democrat-controlled House

Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis says public financing of campaigns will fill the swamp. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Rodney Davis said Tuesday he was introducing a bill to ban public financing of congressional campaigns, hitting at a signature piece of House Democrats’ political money overhaul.

“Public financing of campaigns will fill the swamp, and any member who voted for it was voting to fill their own pockets and the pockets of political operatives nationwide,” the Illinois Republican said on the House floor Tuesday afternoon, according to remarks sent out by his office.