With a Republican House and a shrunken Democratic majority in the Senate, one of the big Democratic policy goals that we can safely kiss goodbye for the next few years is a cap-and-trade climate change bill. But with the uncertainty of 2012 and the pressing nature of the climate issue, Obama and the Democrats will probably still want to do something in the next session of Congress to make progress on the issue, even if it's not as strong as they want. Here's a look at where Democrats and Republicans could find agreement on climate change action.Read Full Article
By historical standards, the 111th Congress has been incredibly prolific. But on the most important issue facing humanity right now, they never even got so far as introducing a viable bill in the all-important upper chamber.Read Full Article
In the debate over immigration reform, Republicans have generally stuck to a few basic principles over the years. Improve enforcement of the borders, deport all undocumented immigrants, and refocus the immigration system to prioritize people with needed skills. But recently, Republicans in Congress have been moving more and more solidly behind a more radical idea -- denying legal citizenship status to the children who are born in the U.S. of undocumented immigrants.
Sen. Lindsey Graham [R, SC], one of the only Republicans who has engaged with Democrats in comprehensive immigration reform talks, recently came out in support of repealing birthright citizenship protections. “People come here to have babies," Graham said last week in an interview with Fox News. “They come here to drop a child." Graham's endorsement of repealing birthright citizenship was quickly followed up by the two highest ranking Republicans in the Senate. Minority Whip Sen. Jon Kyl [R, AZ] endorsed the idea on Sunday and Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell [R, KY] called for hearing on the issue the next day.
In the House, 94 Republicans, more than half of the House Republican Caucus, have signed on as co-sponsors to the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009, which states that only children who have at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen, a legal permanent resident, or an undocumented immigrant serving in the military can be granted citizenship.Read Full Article
As Democrats were wrapping up -- or so they thought -- the health care bills last winter, two hot button social issues threatened to derail everything: abortion and immigration. With Democrats once again at the health care finish line, abortion has already resurfaced and now immigration has reemerged.Read Full Article
Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] is the latest in a growing chorus line of conservative and moderate Democrats opposing President Obama’s plan to try 9/11 suspects in New York. As I mentioned before, Sen. Lindsey Graham [R, SC] has sponsored a bill (S.2977) banning government dollars from going toward any civilian trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged 9/11 conspirators. A handful of Democrats including Sen. Jim Webb [D, VA], Sen. Blanche Lincoln [D, AR] and now Sen. Nelson are co-spon...Read Full Article
Here is Wednesday's look at some articles and blog posts of interest: General Electric and Comcast are throwing money at key lawmakers on panels that will hold hearings on the companies' upcoming merger. Congressmen who have received donations from the companies include Rep. Rick Boucher [D, VA-9], Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY], Sen. Orrin Hatch [R, UT], Rep. Terry Lee [R, NE-2], Rep. Charlie Melancon [D, LA-3] and Rep. Cliff Stearns [R. FL-6] (The Hill) In 2006, Sen. John McCain [R, AZ] sai...Read Full Article
Two Senate Democrats are teaming up with Sen. Lindsey Graham [R, SC] to torpedo President Obama's plan to try 9/11 co-conspirators in civilian court.Read Full Article