Tag Archives: legislation

David Davenport: Previewing Trump’s First State of the Union Speech


A president’s first state of the union message is an important occasion. But in our era of political theater, there is some danger that this year the sideshow will overshadow the main attraction.

Several Democratic members of Congress say they will boycott the event.  One Congresswoman is encouraging females who do attend to dress in black.

Despite the political challenges, “it’s the economy, stupid.”  If Trump makes this primarily an economic address, he can succeed.  Think about it:  unemployment is down, jobs are up and the stock market is on fire. His big piece of legislation, the tax bill, is projected to lead to even more economic growth. The president has problems elsewhere, but so far so good on the economy and that should be his message.

The Constitution does not actually require this kind of televised state of the union address, though tradition does.  It’s always possible that a nontraditional president like Trump might surprise us and do something completely different.

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Hugh Hewitt: The White House West Wing (Staff) Renovation

U.S. Senate

The exit of Stephen K. Bannon completes a restructuring of the West Wing that began almost as soon as the president took office and is now apparently complete. Like the physical renovation of the West Wing, it was noisy, not very attractive … but it was necessary.

What is needed now are successes in cooperation with Congress—beyond confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, the Veterans Affairs reform bill, and the 14 Congressional Review Act laws that were all enormously significant—but those were low-profile victories, and it seemed like Gorsuch was half a year ago.

What is needed above all is either a tax bill or resurrection of the health-care fix. Slashing the corporate tax rate is probably the easiest (and perhaps most economically significant) bit of legislation to accomplish—but so too must arrive the repeal of the Budget Control Act, which has devastated national security via the “sequester” and hamstrung a key Trump promise, that of a 355-ship Navy.

The staffing reset—along with a rhetorical reset from President Trump himself begun last week—can help get things moving.


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Michael Medved: Different Roles Divide the Party


As Republicans on Capitol Hill struggle to make progress on healthcare and tax reform, the loudest voices in conservative media rip the GOP’s Congressional leadership for their willingness to compromise on drafting legislation.

Actually, Republicans in the House and Senate are doing what they need to do to succeed at their jobs, while conservative commentators in talk radio and syndicated columns do what brings success in their very different roles. Congressional conservatives can achieve nothing without support from moderate Republicans and, ideally, some Democrats, but conservative talkers can maintain ratings dominance by appealing solely to hard-core true believers who make up at most 10 percent of the available audience.

The only way to repair the rift in Republican ranks is for conservative media to alter their strident approach and broaden their base. That process might bring even larger audiences, while helping Congressional colleagues to build the larger coalitions that Constitutional checks and balances require.

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Michael Medved: Public Opinion and Obamacare


In 2010, the health insurance legislation known as “Obamacare” was overwhelmingly unpopular. But Democrats in the White House and Congress pushed it through anyway, and then paid a severe price in the next elections. Today, the health care package known as “Trumpcare” is similarly unpopular, but the Republicans seem determined to pass legislation this summer, even at the risk of serious losses of their own in 2018 Congressional elections.

Does this mean the electorate is confused?—hating Obamacare, and then hating the most serious attempt to repeal and replace it? Actually, public reactions are sensible and consistent—what Americans hate is the whole idea of the federal government making sweeping, bureaucratic decisions, on something as personal and important as medical insurance.

If the GOP made clear that their proposals provide individuals with more choices, and give the states more discretion to shape their own policies, their reforms would win much broader popular support.

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Albert Mohler: A Statement Of Direction On Religious Liberty

Billy Graham

The President’s recent signing of his executive order dealing with religious liberty was much anticipated by all concerned with First Amendment liberties in our fast-changing nation.

An executive order is not legislation and it is never a substitute for legislation.

And yet an executive order can impact the entire executive branch for the duration of a president’s administration.

In his order, President Trump directed, “It shall be the policy of the executive branch to vigorously enforce Federal law’s robust protections for religious freedom.” Here’s how we should understand it: This is the president’s statement of direction.

The executive order also—and this is significant—effectively reverses the contraception mandate of the Obamacare legislation and thus addresses an immediate issue in America’s public life.

No: It’s not substitute for legislation. But it is a signal of direction and that’s significant … it’s yet one more reminder of why elections matter.

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