- 4:02 pm Friday, December 19th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
While noting his differences with Republicans on a series of issues, President Obama used a year-end news conference to make clear that he’s ready to make some deals with the GOP Congress in 2015.
“I think there are real opportunities to get things done in Congress,” the President told reporters, though he made clear he wasn’t ready to give the GOP just anything.
“The question is going to be, are we going to be able to separate out those areas where we disagree,” as Mr. Obama rattled off reasons why he’s opposed to plans to undermine his signature health law, water [More]
- 12:58 pm Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
In the aftermath of President Obama’s announcement that he would move to normalize relations with Cuba, there are a number of things the Congress could do to bolster – or block – efforts by the Obama Administration to deal with the Castro regime.
Lawmakers most certainly could use their “power of the purse” to attempt to hamstring the President’s moves, and that was already being discussed by some GOP lawmakers.
As I wrote in a blog earlier this week, lawmakers could use a simple spending prohibition known as, “None of the funds,” in order to block money from going to opening a [More]
- 5:23 pm Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
Six weeks after voters went to the polls, Republicans grabbed one final victory in a race for Congress, as elections officials in Arizona declared GOP candidate Martha McSally a narrow winner, giving Republicans their largest majority in the U.S. House since the 1928 elections.
“There’s no getting around that this was an incredibly close and hard-fought race,” said McSally, after being declared the winner by just 167 votes out of over 219,000 cast in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.
McSally’s win over Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ) will give Republicans a net gain of 13 seats, giving the GOP 247 seats in the 114th [More]
- 7:19 am Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
After Democrats used their last day in charge of the Senate to approve a final batch of judicial nominees offered by President Obama and watching a few more pieces of legislation run aground, Senators wrapped up the work of the 113th Congress, with many wondering what’s next when Republicans control both the House and Senate.
“The Senate stands adjourned until Tuesday January 6, 2015,” said Sen. Angus King (I-ME) to a nearly empty Senate chamber just before midnight; King, who is allied with Democrats, will be in the minority when the 114th Congress convenes that day.
Earlier, the Senate had approved a [More]
- 4:28 pm Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
In the first legal ruling about the President’s recent executive actions on immigration, a federal judge in Pennsylvania has said the move to defer deportation for millions of people in the United States illegally was an unconstitutional action that violated the separation of powers under the Constitution.
Citing the President’s own words that he acted because Congress had not approved immigration reform legislation, Judge Arthur Schwab concluded President Obama had overstepped his authority with an unconstitutional “unilateral action.”
“President Obama’s statements evidence that prior to November 20, 2014, he viewed an Executive Action, similar to the one issued, as beyond his executive [More]
- 8:43 pm Monday, December 15th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
With the weekend approval of the Omnibus funding bill for the federal government – the second time lawmakers this year have enacted a giant spending measure – the Congress once more exercised its “power of the purse” in a variety of ways, most of them unknown to those who voted on the plan.
But if you take time to search through the final text of the Omnibus, you will find over 400 different funding restrictions inserted by lawmakers on all kinds of federal spending.
What you look for is the phrase, “none of the funds” – that starts a provision [More]
- 9:20 pm Sunday, December 14th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
As the 113th Congress winds to a close, the last few days may have given us a taste of what’s to come in 2015, with liberal Democrats sparring with the White House and more conservative Republicans rattling the cage of their leadership, as the Right and Left joined in opposing a giant year-end spending bill.
On the Republican side, it’s been no secret that more conservative GOP lawmakers are itching for a fight – whether with Speaker John Boehner or Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.
But on the Democratic side, we’ve seen some high profile liberal Democrats tangle with the White House, [More]
- 10:40 pm Saturday, December 13th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
After an unusual Saturday session that mainly featured talk about a growing rift within the Republican Party, the Senate gave approval to a giant $1 trillion funding plan, ensuring that there will be some kind of legislative battle next year over the President’s immigration actions.
The vote was 56-40. Senators had earlier voted 77-19 to shut off debate and force final action on the measure.
“It is far from perfect, but it is the product of a bipartisan compromise that in my mind was better than any alternative,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who broke with a number of liberals in [More]
- 10:54 pm Thursday, December 11th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
Just over two hours away from a government shutdown deadline on Thursday night, a bipartisan coalition in the House approved a massive year-end funding bill for the federal government, turning back a challenge from liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans who had hoped to derail the measure for many different reasons.
“Tonight we set the stage for a battle with the President on his illegal actions on immigration,” said Rep. Steve Scalise, the third ranking Republican in the House, as the Omnibus would keep immigration activities on a temporary budget until February 27, 2015.
“I think it was in the best interests of [More]
- 9:14 pm Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 by Jamie Dupree
After a day of complaints from both parties in Congress, GOP leaders set a vote for Thursday on a giant, year-end Omnibus spending measure, as top Republicans expressed confidence they will get just enough votes to approve the plan, despite liberal and conservative opposition.
Asked by a reporter if he would have enough votes, Speaker John Boehner gave an animated “Yes” while walking by an open door on the House floor, though it’s expected he will need the votes of Democrats to do that – and for some Democrats, it’s an easy decision to vote for it.
“You have to be kind [More]