The Senate has a busy afternoon ahead of them. After they finish their morning impeachment trial of a federal judge, they'll move on to a series cloture votes on some fairly significant domestic policy bills that have been kicking around the Senate for the past several years. As a reminder, cloture is a procedural motion to defeat opposition to debating a bill, and it takes 60 votes to pass. It's basically a vote on preemptively defeating a threatened filibuster.
Today's votes are the Democrats' last chance to move these bills past the Republicans before they lose a handful of seats to them in the next session and finding 60 votes on this stuff becomes all but impossible. Let's have a look at what's on the schedule:Read Full Article
The Obama Administration has appealed the recent court ruling suspending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." They want a more orderly repeal to be legislated by Congress after the military completes a study on how to prepare for the change. But the problem is that the study isn't due out until December 1, and the Democrats probably aren't going to have the votes to get this done in the next session. So if Obama and congressional Democrats really want DADT to end, they have to stick around in December and get it done.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
With the State of the Union behind us, Congress can get back to work. Most of the big-ticket items on Congress' agenda have been on hold until after the speech. Unfortunately, it not clear if Congress knows what it's going to do now:Read Full Article
The Senate on Monday unanimously approved an elegant, two-page amendment to the health care bill that Sen. Mark Pryor [D, AR], the amendment's sponsor, says will "both simplify a consumer’s search for the right health care company and make health insurance companies more responsive to patient needs."Read Full Article