Edward J Markey

With clocks springing ahead, lawmakers want more sunshine
Florida senators lead effort for year-round daylight saving time as Markey touts 2005 expansion

Rick Scott and his fellow senator from Florida want to make daylight saving time a permanent thing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ahead of this weekend’s move to “spring ahead” the clocks, Florida lawmakers announced an effort to get rid of time changes altogether.

With the “Sunshine Protection Act,” Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott and Rep. Vern Buchanan want to make daylight saving time permanent, eliminating the switch back in the fall. Rubio introduced the same bill in the last Congress.

Nancy Pelosi joins House and Senate Democrats launching new push to restore net neutrality
Legislation expected to move quickly in the House

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., are pushing legislation to restore net neutrality. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Democratic majority intends to move quickly on legislation that would revive and codify net neutrality, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday.

Joined by Democrats from both chambers including Pelosi and top party leaders, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. said the bill would be a priority for his committee. It would codify the 2015 open internet order from the Federal Communications Commission during the Obama administration, which was rolled back after President Donald Trump took office.

Compromise or resist? Democrats still have a choice to make
The problem is that their voters are genuinely divided on whether to play nice with Trump

Massachusetts Sen. Edward J. Markey and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hold a press conference on the Green New Deal in February. The plan has little chance of going anywhere, which underscores the choice that Democrats face: Will they follow Republicans in splitting between a pragmatic wing and a strident one, or will they remain united in showing voters they are better suited to lead? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the House side of the Capitol and on the presidential campaign trail, progressives are talking about “Medicare-for-all” and a Green New Deal. They want not only to save Social Security but to expand it, to guarantee a job to everyone and to abolish the Homeland Security Department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division.

This, they admit, is all about drawing contrasts with Republicans to set the terms of the 2020 campaign. The proposals won’t go anywhere with the GOP in control of the Senate and Donald Trump in the White House.

Party unity on congressional votes takes a dive: CQ Vote Studies
Decline more dramatic in the Senate

Of the top six Democrats who broke from their party in 2018, four are no longer in Congress, including Heidi Heitkamp, right. Senators eyeing the presidency, meanwhile, are sticking to their party like glue. Elizabeth Warren had a perfect unity score. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After Democrats and Republicans reached record highs sticking together by party on congressional votes in 2017, those numbers nose-dived in 2018 as lawmakers worked across the aisle on high-profile legislation, including a rewrite of the Dodd-Frank financial law, a package dealing with the opioid crisis, spending bills and an overhaul of the country’s criminal justice laws.

CQ’s annual vote study shows that in the House the total number of party unity votes — defined as those with each party’s majority on opposing sides — fell from 76 percent of the total votes taken in the House in 2017, a record, to 59 percent in 2018. That latter figure is the lowest since 2010, the most recent year of unified Democratic control of Congress. Election years typically have fewer votes and 2018 was no exception — the total number of votes taken in the House, 498, was the lowest since 2002.

Dozens of Green New Deal advocates arrested at McConnell's office

Protesters supporting the Green New Deal filled Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office Monday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Advocates for the Green New Deal descended on Capitol Hill Monday, and demonstrations led by activist organization Sunrise Movement resulted in dozens of arrests in and around the Russell Senate office building.

Protesters were focused on getting the attention of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who announced before the Presidents Day recess that he would bring the New Deal Resolution to a vote in the Senate.

Green New Deal: Some Democrats on the fence
Top Democrats who would oversee legislation in the House are reluctant to endorse plan that would remake economy

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have championed the Green New Deal on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A resolution outlining the goals of the Green New Deal capped off its first week of a somewhat messy rollout with mixed reviews, even from typically Democratic strongholds like labor unions.

In the House, the top two Democrats who would oversee any legislation that comes out of the plan have remained reluctant to fully endorse it, stopping at lauding the goals and the enthusiasm behind them. And Republicans quickly branded the Green New Deal as an extreme, socialist plan with unrealistic proposals to eliminate air travel and cows.

Some GOP lawmakers are thawing on climate change
‘There are some things I’m willing to look at,’ said House Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows

“There are some things I’m willing to look at,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Meadows said of climate solutions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional Republicans seem to be thawing on climate.

Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who has denied the science behind climate change, told reporters Wednesday he was open to confront the peril of the warming planet.

Democrats could stymie nuclear arms race after US leaves pact
2020 presidential hopefuls have already thrown support behind legislative efforts

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley has introduced legislation that would prohibit funding for the flight-testing, acquisition and deployment of U.S. ground-launched ballistic missiles with ranges banned by the INF treaty. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress can do little to halt the U.S. withdrawal from a nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, if President Donald Trump is determined to do so. But Democrats could have opportunities to shape and even block the administration’s plans to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Earlier this month, the White House announced it would leave the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in six months. The Kremlin quickly responded that it too would cease honoring its arms control commitments under the accord, though the United States and NATO have long accused Russia of already violating the treaty by deploying an intermediate-range, ground-launched cruise missile.

Note to Ocasio-Cortez and Green New Dealers: The economy is not the government
Like old New Deal, plan promises much and will produce little

Massachusetts Sen. Edward J. Markey, center, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others hold a press conference on the Green New Deal outside the Capitol on Feb. 7. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — In the final debate of the 2010 British general election, Conservative Party leader David Cameron told his Labour Party rival, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, that “Labour seem to confuse the economy with the government.” A month later, Cameron had Brown’s job. 

Given the proposals in the Democrats’ Green New Deal — whose bungled release last week made for some sorely needed comic moments in an otherwise grim Washington — their leading economist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, could learn something important from Cameron’s spot-on observation about what drives a successful economy. A hint: It isn’t government.

Mitch McConnell will make Democratic senators vote on the ‘Green New Deal’
Move could be part of 2020 strategy for GOP and McConnell himself

Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., lead the Green New Deal resolution. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he intends to call up the “Green New Deal ” for a vote in the Senate.

The Kentucky Republican’s maneuver is likely an effort to both get the many Democratic senators running for president on the record on the resolution, as well as to demonstrate that there are senators on both sides of the aisle opposed to the outline.