Democrats

Assessing Chairman Camp’s Tax Reform Strategy

Jim Jaffe

There was a fairly recent time when the word most associated with the chairmanship of a major committee in the House of Representatives was powerful.  Retiring Representatives Dingell and Waxman enjoyed the aura that came with the gavel.That was then.  Confirmation of how things have changed came this week when the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee unveil a tax reform plan that everyone agrees is both credible and going nowhere.

Lobbying’s Hidden Persuaders

Jim Jaffe

The logic of much lobbying is a two-step process.  It begins with the golf aphorism that every act leaves someone happy and someone sad.  Among the sad are potential clients.  Typically, there are two groups of sad people – one poor but sympathetic (perhaps people who’ve been denied a prescription drug they’re comfortable with because it has been found no more effective than cheaper options) and the other rich (perhaps the pharmaceutical firms making the expensive drugs) who are willing to spend to protect profits.

The 2014 Vote: Do You Stand With Obama?

Rep. Steve Israel

This country has come too far since the Voting Rights Act's initial passage in 1965 to move backward. House Democrats will continue to fight to ensure that participation in our democracy remains unfettered and that all votes will be properly counted. During President Obama's first term, Republicans made their top priority loud and clear: to make President Obama a one-term president. We’re all glad they failed. But if Republicans maintain or build on their majority after November, President Obama’s legacy—and the nation’s economic recovery—will be in jeopardy.

The GOP’s Obstructionist Tactics Against the Obama Administration Escalate

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Obama’s vow to wield the executive pen whenever and wherever he thinks he must amounts to a frontal challenge to the GOP to cease its relentless, dogged, and destructive campaign of dither, delay, denial, and obstructionism to anything that has the White House stamp on it. The GOP knows this but that won’t stop it from eagerly spinning its politically self-serving line of Obama the dictator. 

Note to Republicans: Obamacare Is Working

Jim Jaffe

The relentless flow of good news about Obamacare may explain why a growing number of elected Republicans are walking away from the issue.  Two new bits of insurance news suggest progress that backers of reform find quite encouraging. The first explains how governments are competing in the insurance exchanges, simultaneously giving shoppers greater choice and potentially providing profit that can help fund services to indigent Medicaid recipients.  In essence this is the public option that liberals fought hard for, but failed to get into the legislation that was enacted.

 

Will Chris Christie Emerge a Winner?

Jim Jaffe

The echo chamber created by Washington’s Beltway wonders how seriously New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential plans have been harmed by revelations that his henchmen took revenge on Democrats by causing traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge. It is far too early to tell, but based on current information it is fairly easy to shift perspective and see how this could accelerate rather than impede his political career.

The Grinches Who Stole Jobless Benefits

Imara Jones

While the week before Christmas is a time when most Americans begin to pay less attention to the outside world in order to focus on friends and family, 1.3 million people will find that nearly impossible. That’s the number of the long-term unemployed—individuals who’ve been jobless for more than six and a half months—-whose unemployment benefits will expire just days after Christmas. The long-term unemployed are disproportionately people of color.

A Return to the Political Center

Jim Jaffe

The center is holding.  Despite the enormous stresses of responding to a deep, painful recession while awkwardly implementing a long-sought national health insurance program, America’s politics are moving back toward the middle, fueling frustrated responses from fringe elements who see opportunities for fundamental change evaporating. The economy is coming back.  Threats of a government shutdown – or even default – seem to be receding. 

The GOP’s 'No Win' Strategy

Bob Neuman

Here is a bold and risky conclusion:  the Republican Party, as now constructed, knows it cannot win the White House.  It probably cannot get a majority in the Senate.  But it can continue its hold on the House of Representatives and thus continue its strategy of blocking legislation rather than acting on the needs of the nation. Looking at current polling numbers, the GOP is at a historic low in public opinion.  

The Government Shutdown Ended. What Now?

Bob Neuman

The shutdown has ended…and now for the showdown. Recent polls show the great majority of Americans are unrepresented in the Congress. And it is time for them to exercise their muscle. The problem is that the hard right and the hard left have an advantage because of unfettered campaign funding in controlling the purchase of advocacy advertising and lavish funding given to candidates of their likemindedness, left and right, far extreme from the center.

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