oped

Yes, Trump’s budget really does promote evidence-based policies
And it’s doing so in a responsible way

President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget isn’t perfect, but it includes many policies that push our government to become more evidence-based, Hart writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — When presidents send budget proposals to Congress, they include funding requests and broad policy statements. But what lies beneath the surface is often critical for understanding real priorities.

The broad contours of President Donald Trump’s latest budget will come as no surprise: increases to defense spending, cuts to nondefense spending, and a goal to eventually reduce the deficit long after his administration is gone.

Trump’s HIV plan is bold. But can he back it up?
If the president were serious about ending HIV, he’d stop attacking Medicare and the ACA

When President Donald Trump announced his goal of ending the HIV epidemic, there was a sense of whiplash, Crowley writes. (POOL/Doug Mills/The New York Times file photo)

OPINION — President Donald Trump surprised many in his State of the Union address when he announced a bold goal of ending the HIV epidemic over the next decade.

It is rare to see HIV at the top of the headlines these days. For the past two years, virtually all of the communities most heavily affected by HIV have been under seemingly unending attack. Whether it is the denigration of people of color, incitement against immigrants, aggressive actions against transgender people, along with other LGBTQ people, and the shaming of women and others seeking to protect access to contraception and reproductive choice, the communities bearing the heaviest burden of HIV often have experienced open hostility from this administration.

Only legislation, not litigation, can fix our immigration challenges
As advocates and administration look to the courts, Congress is MIA

Opponents of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies protest in the atrium of the Hart Building in June 2018. Advocates and successive administrations alike have largely turned to the courts or executive actions to address our immigration problems, with Congress feeling little pressure to intervene, Ramón and Brown write. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the Trump administration over its new requirement that asylum seekers remain in Mexico while their claims are processed in the United States. With advocates and the administration repeatedly turning to the courts to resolve our nation’s immigration challenges, you could be forgiven if this news made you feel like Bill Murray’s character in the film “Groundhog Day.”

But these developments are anything but funny. The constant litigation has weakened our capacity to pursue meaningful immigration legislation through compromise, while rolling the dice on the fates of millions of immigrants themselves.

As the “X Date” looms, it’s time to defang the debt limit
We can’t relax until this threat to the global economy is defused

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is deploying “extraordinary measures” to keep the government running after the reinstatement of the debt ceiling. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Here we go again.

The U.S. government ran up against its debt limit over the weekend — a record $22 trillion. The countdown has begun toward the “X Date,” when the Treasury Department will no longer be able to meet all the country’s financial obligations in full and on time.

Corporate boardrooms need policy ‘rules of the road’
As the role of businesses in society evolves, a government rethink is critical

Corporate executives are facing decisions on topics — like immigration and gun control — that have traditionally fallen under the government’s purview, Soroushian and Doyle write. (Courtesy iStock)

OPINION — Decisions made in corporate boardrooms can have serious implications for the economy, everyday investors and Americans’ livelihoods.

And those decisions now increasingly extend to issues such as immigration, gun control, and human rights — topics that have traditionally been the domain of government — as reluctant corporate executives and directors face new pressures from their investors, employees and customers.

How to steal the SOTU show in a few easy steps
If a 2020 presidential hopeful wanted to steal the show, silently walking out during the speech would be the way to do it

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listen during the Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee William P. Barr on Jan. 15. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With at least a couple of dozen Democrats preparing to run for president in 2020, it will be hard for contenders to distinguish themselves in opposing President Donald Trump during and after the State of the Union speech. But there’s at least one surefire way to stand out from the pack.

Stand up and walk out.

It’s time for a Green ‘True’ Deal
Latest progressive push will only drive deeper divisions in climate debate

Clean energy advocates demonstrate in Washington, D.C., in March 2009. Progressive proposals featured in various expressions of the Green New Deal are likely to drive deeper partisan divisions and diminish the chances for real action, Grumet writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Democratic congressional leaders did not intend to focus on climate change in 2019. Midterm exit polls reinforced voter concern over health care and the economy, and House veterans remember the fallout from their last major climate effort in 2010.

But reinvigorated progressives have forced climate change to the top of the House agenda. Unfortunately, the proposals featured in the various expressions of the Green New Deal are likely to drive deeper partisan divisions and diminish the chances for real action.

On the debt limit, the best fiscal game is the one not played
Neither the livelihood of federal workers nor the fate of the global economy should be bargaining chips

Speaker John A. Boehner may have staved off immediate disaster in 2011 with his Budget Control Act. But eight years later, lawmakers are still standing uncomfortably close to the edge, write Akabas and Shaw. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — During the 35-day government shutdown, the country looked on as American leaders repeatedly rolled the dice with both lives and property on the line. Each time, total disaster was narrowly avoided and Americans breathed a sigh of relief. That respite may be short-lived, however, with more fiscal challenges closing in.

Policymakers now have only 11 days to avoid yet another partial shutdown. And even if Congress and the president hammer out a long-overdue budget deal in the next two weeks, another fiscal fight — with even higher stakes — is on the horizon.

A patient’s perspective: 3 ways Congress can tackle our drug pricing crisis
It’s time for real drug price reform and to break Big Pharma’s monopoly power

Despite the calls from Americans for relief from high drug prices, drug corporations brazenly continue to raise the already astronomical prices, Mitchell writes. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — Cancer literally broke my back. It also taught me a powerful lesson: The prescription drug pricing system in the U.S. is rigged against patients.

I have an incurable blood cancer called multiple myeloma. I was diagnosed when the cancer ate through one of my vertebra, and I couldn’t move. Every four weeks, I have a cocktail of drugs infused into my body. It takes five hours, and the price is more than $325,000 a year.

Government’s data policies enter the 21st century — finally
Recently passed reforms hold hope of more evidence-informed policies

Before he gave up his speaker gavel and retired from the House, Paul D. Ryan had a final hurrah in December when Congress passed a package of comprehensive data reforms that he and Washington Sen. Patty Murray had introduced a year earlier. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It might be 2019, but our government’s data infrastructure is largely stuck in the 20th century.

That’s a big problem in the era of the information age. Failing to use data to improve government’s programs and services means taxpayers may not be getting what they pay for. It also means our public discourse suffers when figuring out what problems should be addressed and the best ways to do so.