Tag Archives: Senate

David Davenport: The Senate Is Broken


Former President James Buchanan called the United States Senate “the greatest deliberative body in the world.”  But Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, recently complained that he hasn’t even been able to get a vote on a single legislative amendment in his first 15 months on the job.

The fact is that the U.S. Senate has largely quit deliberating.  The Senate has voted on only 6 non-budgetary amendments so far this year and has taken only 25 roll call votes in the two-year Congress, compared with 154 at this point in the last Congress.

Bills are held in secret until 51 votes are lined up and then sprung on the Senate.  Largely gone are the committee deliberations, debates and amendments.

Votes are taken largely to make statements for the next election, not to make great public policy.  It’s high time Congress returned to “regular order.”

Read More »

Hugh Hewitt: Agony in the Wake of Florida Shooting

U.S. Senate

How can the slaughter of high school students be so polarizing? It is agonizing beyond any writer’s ability to convey, but a political football to begin another round of pro- and anti-Trump throwdowns?

 

I didn’t see that coming out of the sorrow from the Florida shooting.

 

It was like an instant replay of reactions that we witnessed after the massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas and every awful massacre since Columbine.

 

It has left commentary without a purpose. If everyone — always — makes the same demands, nearly instantly; without any room for consideration of the specifics of the murderer’s motivation and history, it’s hard to imagine what “change” will avail.

 

A place to start for us would be hearings.

 

I got the idea from my NBC colleague Chuck Todd. I put it to Education Secretary DeVos and Attorney General Sessions. They both agreed.

 

If hearings occur, we need one more promise: for everyone to actually hear the viewpoints presented.

 

Let’s stop the outrage and just listen.

Read More »

Albert Mohler: A Very Historic Vote on the Floor of the United States Senate

Headlines

On January 29, we witnessed a very historic vote on the floor of the United States Senate.

The vote was for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill that would’ve banned abortion after the unborn child had reached 20 weeks of gestation. It failed by a vote of 51-46—reaching a majority but falling short the required 60 votes to move the bill to the floor for a full up or down vote.

But what we saw was courageous—and it was convictional. It was necessary. Remember that it took 15 years in order for the United States Senate to pass what became known as the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act—15 years of bringing bills to a vote again and again and again until finally a sufficient number of senators voted for that bill protecting babies from partial-birth abortion.

And senators are going to have to bring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act back. We have to hope that they will—again and again and again—until we reach the 60 votes necessary to make this act the law of the land.

Read More »

Albert Mohler: The Truth About The American Bar Association

Billy Graham

The American Bar Association has recently tipped its hand, showing how very partisan it has become.
Joe Palazzolo, writing at the Wall Street Journal, reports that “tensions between Senate Republicans and the bar association, the largest organization of lawyers in the nation, have escalated in recent weeks after the ABA pronounced a Nebraska lawyer unfit to serve on the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.”

Why? Because of his, “‘deeply-held social agenda.’’

The nominee, Mr. Steven Grasz, said that a member of the ABA evaluation committee who interviewed him repeatedly referred to Republicans and conservatives as “you guys” or “you people” and also asked for Mr. Grasz’s personal views on abortion, the death penalty and adoption by same-sex couples.

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska got it exactly right when he said, “We should completely dispel with the fiction that the American Bar Association is a fair and impartial arbiter of facts.”

Read More »

Hugh Hewitt: Senate Republicans And The Logjam On Judicial Nominees

U.S. Senate

President Trump recently decried the inability of Congress to approve his court nominees. “We have some of the most qualified people,” he said. “They’re waiting forever on line . . . it’s not fair.”

More than anyone else, Sen. Charles E. Grassley, chair of the Judiciary Committee, methodically frustrates the one offering that establishment D.C. can make to conservatives in the countryside by continuing to defend blue slips. The blue slip is simply the piece of paper that is sent to the senators from the home state of every judicial nominee, allowing the senators to approve or veto the nominee. Blue slips would be anathema to our Constitutional framers and need to go.

It is simply inexplicable that any federal-court vacancies could be left unfilled a year after Trump’s inauguration.

If Senate Republicans don’t want the majority, they are doing everything exactly right. If they do like their positions of authority, then burn the blue slips and stay in session until every judicial nominee has a hearing and a vote.

Read More »

Lanhee Chen: One More Opportunity For Health Care Reform

Tax Reform

After several unsuccessful attempts this year, Republicans have one last chance to deliver on their seven-year old promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Legislation recently introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller and Ron Johnson eliminates some of ObamaCare’s most unpopular provisions and enacts reforms that will help to lower costs, expand choices, promote federal fiscal responsibility, and put power back in the hands of states and consumers.

The Graham-Cassidy bill’s biggest strength is its adherence to the idea that states are uniquely equipped to design and implement the health care reforms that best suit their residents. It collapses the Obamacare federal funding into a single block grant, which states can use for a wide variety of health reforms.

Graham-Cassidy is not a perfect proposal. But Republicans no longer have the luxury of waiting for perfect. The legislation before them is the most thoughtful and conservative health reform plan they have encountered in their years-long effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Now, they must act quickly to pass it and finally get the job done.

Read More »

Lanhee Chen: An Opportunity For The Senate

Tax Reform

The effort to repeal and replace Obamacare has now moved to the United States Senate, where our elected representatives have the important responsibility of improving upon the American Health Care Act—the reform legislation that passed the House a few weeks ago.

There will likely be disagreements between Senators over key issues, like how best to ensure access to coverage for those with preexisting health conditions; how to make health insurance more affordable for those who don’t get it through their employers or the government; and how best to reform to Medicaid, the state-federal health program targeted at low-income Americans.

These are significant issues, but Senators can and should find a way to address their differences. Getting to “yes” will likely involve compromise and movement away from an ideal position. But Senators shouldn’t allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. They have been given a golden opportunity to repeal Obamacare and replace it with market-based reforms that will lower health costs.

Here’s to hoping that they don’t squander it.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/323248391″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Read More »