| May 24, 2013, 12:22 p.m.
Patent trolls are a significant and growing threat to America’s businesses. Also known as “nonpracticing entities,” patent trolls are firms that acquire old — often invalid — patents with the sole purpose of using them to sue and extort settlements. Unlike typical inventors, they have no intention of further developing, manufacturing or marketing the patents. Not satisfied by attacking producers of products, patent trolls have begun to target end users of widely adopted technology, including retailers and small businesses.
| May 23, 2013, 4:07 p.m.
Kate Yglesias Houghton, a staffer at the Democratic National Committee, has been helping organize the Congressional Women’s Softball Game since its inception five years ago.
| May 23, 2013, 3:41 p.m.
The Congressional Women’s Softball Game has a bit of a fanatic following this year beyond the dedicated members of Congress, female journalists of the Capitol press corps and their long-suffering families and friends.
| May 23, 2013, 11:41 a.m.
Senate Majority Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tangled over nominations for the second day in a row Thursday, with Reid raising the possibility of changing the filibuster rules on a simple majority vote to speed action.
| May 22, 2013, 5:46 p.m.
Sen. John McCain finds himself once again pushing his colleagues to avoid giving fodder to Democrats seeking to use the “nuclear option” to change Senate rules with a simple majority.
| May 21, 2013, 2:28 p.m.
The national security community on Capitol Hill continues to mourn the recent passing of one of its steadiest hands.
| May 20, 2013, 3:33 p.m.
Elizabeth Lauten tried on a couple of majors before leaving East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., with a degree in classics.
| May 17, 2013, 3:13 p.m.
The District of Columbia’s Frederick Douglass statue is one step closer to being unveiled in the Capitol now that the Senate has passed a resolution authorizing the use of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center for the event.
| May 17, 2013, 5 a.m.
The nation’s largest domestic food aid program should not be the item that sinks the House farm bill when it reaches the floor in June, Agriculture Committee leaders say.
| May 16, 2013, 5 a.m.
When we hear the words “immigration reform,” we probably assume that any rules coming out of the legislation will apply only to immigrants. Wrong.
| May 15, 2013, 1:26 p.m.
In 1998, Congress passed the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which placed a three-year moratorium on new Internet taxes. In April of 2000, I was proud to serve as chairman of the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce. Created by Congress, the commission was established to develop recommendations that would help further economic growth in the digital age. In our report to Congress, a majority of commissioners recommended that Congress maintain the moratorium on new Internet taxes. This week, unfortunately, the Senate reversed course. This is unfortunate because, while much has changed in the 13 years since we made our initial report to Congress, the recommendation to keep the Internet tax free is as relevant today as it was then.
| May 15, 2013, 5 a.m.
By some measures, the economy is fantastic. Interest rates are low. The Dow has been hitting record highs, only to exceed them the next day. The S&P 500 just topped its previous high from October 2007, well before the recession started, and home prices are rallying. The New York Times has called it a “golden age for corporate profits.” Indeed, profit margins are at an all-time high.
| May 14, 2013, 5:29 p.m.
Looking to up the ante on debt limit negotiations, House conservatives will push to enact spending changes included in the House-passed budget in exchange for an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling.
| May 14, 2013, 2:36 p.m.
Congressional interns are a valuable asset for Capitol Hill offices, performing many administrative functions. However, most offices do not have successful intern programs by any objective measurement. Interns are sometimes selected for the wrong reason (personal connections to the legislator), given very little training and are often supervised by the person who has the LEAST experience as a manager (the 22-year-old staff assistant — who was last year’s intern).
| May 13, 2013, 3:39 p.m.
President Barack Obama said it would be “outrageous” if the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups and that he would hold the agency accountable, while angrily dismissing the new reports last week over the editing of Benghazi talking points by his administration as a “sideshow” trumped up by his political opponents.
| May 13, 2013, 3:36 p.m.
When a former GOP governor asked me the other day whether he would see another Republican elected to the White House in his lifetime, I asked him exactly how old he was.
| May 13, 2013, 5 a.m.
There used to be a time when “military intelligence” was a prime example of an oxymoron. But as our brave men and women in uniform have prosecuted two major wars over the past decade so valiantly and selflessly, dumping on our military has fallen out of fashion. So what, nowadays, can we cite as the prototype of an oxymoron? May I suggest “political intelligence,” which seems to be the distraction du jour on Capitol Hill.
| May 10, 2013, 6:05 p.m.
Even in the age of sequestration and curbed official travel, U.S. senators, their spouses and staffers will be heading to the Paris Air Show as part of an official congressional delegation this June. But just how many of them are planning to go is still up in the air, and many offices are hesitant to boast of a summertime trip to the City of Lights.
| May 10, 2013, 3:45 p.m.
Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, maintaining a Republican drumbeat for payment “prioritization” in case of a debt limit stalemate, plans to push for a broader version of the House-passed plan to protect holders of Treasury bonds and Social Security beneficiaries.
| May 10, 2013, 2:04 p.m.
When it comes to deficit reduction, politicians like to talk about “balance.” President Barack Obama wants a balance between additional cuts and revenue. Republican Rep. Paul D. Ryan wants a balance between total spending and taxes. Few politicians, however, are talking about the need for a balance between generations. That’s partially because our government does not even report the full impact that today’s fiscal policies will have on future generations. This must change.