July 29, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Economy Archive

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.

story blurb thumbnail

Online Sales Tax a Live-Wire Issue for Congress

Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has assembled a bipartisan rump group around a proposal to empower states to collect sales taxes from online sellers outside their borders. At the same time, a loose coalition of retailers, state officials and allied groups is trying to rally support for the plan in both chambers of Congress.

Japan Taps Lobbyists to Bolster U.S. Ties

The government of Japan knows its way around K Street.

In Comcast's Failed Merger, a Victory for Al Franken

Lawmakers use congressional hearings and letters to wield influence over corporate mergers - and that was  certainly the case with Sen. Al Franken and the now-failed Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal.

Songwriters Shouldn't Have to Subsidize the Billion-Dollar Streaming Industry | Commentary

The music streaming business has got a lot of attention in the past few weeks with the introduction of new players such as Tidal — a company that puts artists in control of the valuation of their music, and not at the mercy of the streaming giants.

GOP Leaders Tap K Street, Wall Street Cash

The top three GOP leaders in the House collectively raised $7.3 million in the first three months of this year for joint fundraising committees, a type of campaign account that under new rules may collect contributions of six figures or more.

Fracking: Good Science Vs. Science Fiction | Commentary

The United States is now the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer, having recently overtaken both Saudi Arabia and Russia. Two decades ago, no one would have believed it. The practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has fueled this energy boom. Fracking has unlocked vast amounts of what used to be considered economically inaccessible oil and gas. Increased domestic energy production has benefited the environment, the economy and hardworking families who now enjoy reduced energy prices.

Vote Study Shows Obama Gets His Way in GOP-Controlled Senate

Republicans took the Senate in 2014 by stressing the data that CQ Roll Call’s presidential support vote study revealed: Democrats in red states were sticking close to President Barack Obama. So here’s a surprise: the new GOP majority in 2015 is voting Obama’s way as often as they ever have.

Congress Should Launch Bipartisan Investigation of 'Short-Sale' Market | Commentary

During his Oscar-nominated cameo in “A History of Violence,” William Hurt declares ominously to the brother he is about to have murdered, “You cost me ... you cost me a helluva lot!” In a much broader sense, and in the real world, the rise of the Regulatory State has cost us a lot; a helluva lot, if you will — in excess of $2 trillion annually, as estimated by Forbes.

Enhance Trust in Congress Through Improved Tele-Town Halls | Commentary

I recently had an irresistible proposition for a member of Congress: “What if I could show you a technology which, in one hour, would make thousands of your constituents consider you accessible and fair, increase their trust in your judgement, and triple your approval rating on one of the toughest issues Congress faces?”

'Innovation Act' Will Squelch Innovation | Commentary

Three years ago, Congress changed American patent law from a “first to discover” to a “first to file” system. Now, without waiting for these changes to be fully absorbed, some members of Congress are proposing additional changes that would impair the culture of innovation that makes America the place where someone is always trying to build a better mousetrap.

story blurb thumbnail

Pillow Talk Tests Ethics When K Street Marries Capitol Hill

Questions about the influence of lobbyist spouses have confounded lawmakers for decades, and now confront the House Ethics Committee as it probes whether Kentucky Republican Edward Whitfield broke rules because of his staff’s work with his lobbyist wife.

story blurb thumbnail

Democrats File Court Brief Backing Obama Immigration Orders

A group of 181 Democratic members of the House weighed in on the legal fight over immigration on Monday, telling an appeals court that the executive branch has the authority to make the policy changes that President Barack Obama announced in November.

story blurb thumbnail

Supporters Say Schumer's Ties, Interests Go Beyond Wall Street

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the presumed next Democratic leader in the chamber, has deep ties in the lobbying and influence sector — and a reputation for being cozy with Wall Street. 

Lobbyists-Turned-Staffers Disclose Salaries, Clients

Lobbyists who left K Street in recent months to take jobs on Capitol Hill left behind big salaries and numerous clients that have a stake in the debates their new bosses are engaged in.

Hastert Delivers Personal Pitch for Ethanol

Former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert delivered a blunt reminder to farm-state lawmakers about the clout of the ethanol industry with a visit for nearly an hour to the main lobby off the Senate floor during votes on Tuesday, while he worked to stave off a call by conservatives to eliminate the renewable fuels standard.

Ethics Committees Take Their Missions Seriously, So Should Congress and Staffers | Commentary

In the middle of a highly charged atmosphere on Capitol Hill, there is one center of bipartisanship in each chamber of Congress that remains above politics: the Ethics committees. And while they do most of their work outside the political theater with good reason, there is evidence of their productivity in little reported documents, in compliance with rigorous disclosure regimes and in the fact that so many members have resigned before the conclusion of ethics investigations.

story blurb thumbnail

Noting the Irony, Republican Praises EPA Coal-Ash Rule

An unusual event transpired last week in the House: A senior Republican opened a hearing by praising the Environmental Protection Agency.

story blurb thumbnail

Loading Time for Online Sales Tax Is Expiring

Anyone hoping for an online sales tax bill out of the 114th Congress might as well be staring at a spinning circle on a computer screen.

Crystal and Shamrock Ritual Obscures Irish Economic Woes

It's one of Washington's most time-worn rituals: the St. Patrick's Day journey of Ireland's Prime Minster, or Taoiseach, to the White House with a group of Irish dignitaries to present the sitting president with a crystal bowl of Shamrocks. Ireland's Enda Kenny posed for the cameras today with President Barack Obama and the story behind the photo op said more about Ireland's current economic state than the tradition itself, which dates back to John F. Kennedy’s day.

SIGN IN




OR

SUBSCRIBE

Want Roll Call on your doorstep?