| Jan. 20, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
I did not know Chip Kennett, but I knew him. Chip’s story was beautifully told in a Roll Call article last week (“Capitol Hill Helps One of It’s Own: Chip Kennett Finds Help in Unexpected Places;” Roll Call, Jan. 14). It was the story of a dedicated staffer who found love in the halls of Congress and married his wife, Sheila. To staffers, it was a perfectly normal story — many have found their life-mates down the hall in a Senate or House office building. It was normal, until three years ago, when Chip was diagnosed with lung cancer. His battle ended on Jan. 17, when his wife posted on Facebook, “Chip received a brand new body up in heaven that is free of cancer and simply full of everlasting life.”
| Jan. 20, 2015, 7 a.m.
Your average House member represented 710,767 people in 2010. The same lawmaker represented 469,088 people in 1970. Despite the 52 percent increase in constituents, each House member today can have no more than 18 staff members, a limit that hasn’t changed since 1975.
| Jan. 19, 2015, 3:36 p.m.
The 114th Congress is just days old, and the acrimony between the parties seems to be as intense as ever, with one major exception — tax reform. This is one of just a few policy areas capable of attracting support from both parties on both ends of Pennsylvania. Expect to hear about it in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and expect the issue to be a hot topic at each party’s upcoming congressional retreat. After this era of globalized economies, policymakers have precious few tools for growing the economy and boosting wages for American workers. But tax reform is one of them.
| Jan. 15, 2015, 5:52 p.m.
Pharmacists have a new voice in Congress now that one of their own has been elected to the House, and he’s planning to be a “driving force” behind their top legislative priority, along with repeal of the health care law.
| Jan. 14, 2015, 6:01 p.m.
In his inaugural speech as Senate majority leader, Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell said he could see “a glimmer of hope” in new economic data showing a 5 percent annual growth rate in the third quarter of last year. This uptick, he said, coincided with “the expectation of a new Republican Congress” just before the November election.
| Jan. 14, 2015, 2:43 p.m.
Republicans who are looking for numbers to bolster their case for conservative economic initiatives point most frequently to the rate at which Americans participate in the labor forces, which is partly responsible for the steep decline in the unemployment rate over the past three years.
| Jan. 14, 2015, 12:30 p.m.
With hopes high for the new era of GOP majority control, House and Senate Republicans are headed off the Hill to plot a course for the party’s stymied legislative agenda.
| Jan. 13, 2015, 7:02 p.m.
In the center of the country there’s a quiet revolution taking place that holds great promise for our nation, though only if we address the growing innovation deficit facing America.
| Jan. 13, 2015, 6:31 p.m.
Many members of Congress profess to want the top priority for their congressional office to be “constituent focus.” But when the Congressional Management Foundation probes, “How does that translate into the priorities, decisions and actions of your staff,” we often get a blank stare. In some respects, members of Congress are just another service provider in our society. Their customers (constituents) want something when they interact with the office. They may want an answer to a question, such as how a legislator might vote on an upcoming bill; or assistance with a problem, such as a casework request on immigration.
| Jan. 12, 2015, 6:55 p.m.
As the newly installed Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., convenes his first House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Tuesday about policies to boost our economy, undoubtedly, tax reform will be a top priority.
| Jan. 12, 2015, 1:10 p.m.
The most important debate occurring in Washington today isn’t about partisan politics or 2016 prognostications. It’s about what Washington — particularly, the Republican- controlled Congress — will do to regain the trust of the American people.
| Jan. 9, 2015, 7:36 p.m.
Congress has employed budget reconciliation to enact dozens of laws, addressing issues that range from tax cuts to student loans.
| Jan. 9, 2015, 7:32 p.m.
Democrats used the complicated process of budget reconciliation to pass part of President Barack Obama’s health care legislation in 2010, and avoid a Senate filibuster; now Republicans are weighing whether to use the same process to chip away at the law.
| Jan. 9, 2015, 6:51 p.m.
With Republicans now controlling both chambers of Congress, no law will come under more scrutiny than Obamacare.
| Jan. 7, 2015, 5:37 p.m.
They were the eight words that turned New Jersey politics — and the 2016 Republican presidential primary — upside down.
| Jan. 6, 2015, 3:25 p.m.
As many analysts have pointed out, cross-straits issues concern not only the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, but also the Asian-Pacific region, because it may be the only issue that could provoke a conflict between the United States and China. At a deeper level, China still presents a distinct challenge to the United States. The 114th Congress leaders in the House and the Senate must focus on how the nation will deal with it’s rebalancing in the Asia-Pacific, their associated security concerns, and regional evolving security realities.
| Dec. 24, 2014, 1:12 p.m.
House Republicans are moving to increase the use of dynamic scoring through a rules change that would require long-term estimates of the economic effects of major legislation.
| Dec. 18, 2014, 6:19 p.m.
For generations, affordable homeownership has been a pillar of the American dream and the primary driver of wealth creation and social mobility. While Congress has not yet come to a consensus on how to proceed with housing reform, studies have shown the host of positive externalities that stem from homeownership — ranging from better health and education to safer streets and more vibrant communities.
| Dec. 17, 2014, 3:22 p.m.
Members of Congress are so caught up in their parties that they are oblivious to recent history where politicians have been successful working together to pass some of the nation’s most cherished legislation. The just-passed appropriations bill, where everyone wanted to hurry home for the holidays, is an outlier. Orientation for new members teaches ethics and rules, gives a tour, takes pictures and restates the primer of “How a Law Is Made.” It lacks lessons showing how Congress has worked in passing bipartisan legislation. Members of the House and Senate are probably as rusty as classes of young people who know few leaders of the past.
| Dec. 16, 2014, 5:42 p.m.
Over the past several years the United States has achieved an energy turnaround that few experts could have anticipated. Led almost singlehandedly by improvements in shale production, the country has transitioned from a position of foreign dependence to a global energy leader — bolstering American consumers, businesses and manufacturers at every turn.