Congress

Sharyl Attkisson: The Government Has Rigged The Rules To Avoid Accountability

After years without turning over a single document in response to dozens of Sharyl Attkisson’s subpoenas, the government now argues that her case should be dismissed, in part, because she hasn’t learned the names of the “John Doe” federal agents to insert in the lawsuit; names which only the government knows and has refused to divulge.

How to Term-Limit Congress

Doug Bandow, National Review

Term limits most directly prevent politicians from turning office-holding into a career, spending 30 or 40 years as a congressman or senator, hanging on until they can barely function. Term limits are no panacea. Only an aware, active, and enlightened citizenry can make a republic work. However, term limits would improve such a people’s chances of success. The current system is biased toward the ever-expanding, ever-more-expensive state. Weakening the political class would give the rest of us a chance.

How Democrats came to love 'coequal'

Byron York, Washington Examiner

The bottom line is the House is one-half of a coequal branch of government. The speaker of the House is enormously powerful in the House. If she can persuade majorities, and sometimes supermajorities, of House members, and then majorities, and sometimes supermajorities, of the Senate to go along with her, she can block the president's agenda and exert enormous power in the government. But by herself — not so much. The system simply was not designed for a head-to-head equal competition: the president versus the speaker. It doesn't work that way.

New Poll: Most Americans Believe the Government Spies on Journalists, Like Sharyl Attkisson

A new poll from Rasmussen Reports confirms the damage done by the Obama-era abuses by the FBI and other intelligence agencies and gives further evidence that Americans are on the side of investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson and others who are trying to rip the veil of secrecy off Obama’s domestic spying operations.

Getting to Yes on FIRST STEP

The Editors, National Review

We are far more skeptical of “justice reform” than are many on the left, and even many on the right. Our sympathies lie first and foremost with the victims of crime, not with those who commit it. But FIRST STEP, with Cruz’s amendment as he has described it, focuses specifically on the aspects of the federal system that that are overly punitive, sometimes horrifyingly so. Congress should comb through the final text looking for any outstanding issues, fix them as needed, and pass it.

House Democrats Debate Term Limits for Committee Heads

John Fund, National Review

Once voters begin to catch on that the new Democratic bosses of the House are much like the worst of the old GOP bosses — to the extent that they spurn change and cling to power at all costs — they may reconsider what they did last November. If Democrats focus on impeaching President Trump while keeping reactionary supporters of the status quo in power, they might find that their new House majority won’t last very long. Their last stint in power was four years long. It could be even shorter this time.

Rosenstein talks to press, but not to Congress; Republicans irate

Byron York, Washington Examiner

"Rosenstein is trying to run out the clock, hoping the Democrats win control of the House and knowing he'll never be called to account for anything if they do," Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said in a text exchange Wednesday night. "Instead of investigating the violation of Americans' civil liberties by powerful officials like him, he knows the Democrats would focus on concocting more ridiculous conspiracy theories to feed to the media and to the special counsel." Whatever Rosenstein is doing, time will certainly run out for the current Congress.

Our border crisis grows worse as Washington sits on the sidelines

Jenny Beth Martin, The Hill

It makes more sense to secure the border first, and only then worry about what to do about the illegal immigrant population that’s already here. “When your faucet is leaking and you’ve got water on the floor, the first thing you do is fix the leak, then you mop up the floor.” It’s common sense. Sadly, common sense is in short supply in Washington these days. Perhaps more senior officials at Homeland Security and the Justice Department should spend time with their frontline troops along the border as I just did. I’d be happy to make some introductions.

Social Security's solvency keeps getting worse, and Congress keeps doing nothing

Editors, Washington Examiner

In the midst of the Great Depression, millions of elderly persons lived in poverty. Today, the poverty rate for those 65 and older is only 9 percent, compared to 11 percent for adults 19-64. While life expectancy improved by 17 years from 1935 to 2014, the Social Security retirement age has increased by less than two years. But to get reforms moving, Republicans and President Trump need to simply start talking about this crisis now. Reforms can't just be sprung on constituents during a lame-duck session or after 2020. The longer they wait, the worse this crisis gets.

Republican high noon: Time for a Capitol Hill showdown

Editors, Washington Examiner

Political headwinds face the GOP in November. There are signs that the blue Democratic wave may be less overwhelming than it seemed two months ago. But the odds of losing at least one chamber are high. Republicans ought to use every parliamentary tool at their disposal, such as budget reconciliation, and take on every big issue, such as Obamacare repeal. Success isn’t guaranteed, but failure is inevitable if Republicans don’t even try.

Congress drives its muck-spreader across farms again

Editors, Washington Examiner

The government should get out of farming entirely. Sadly, the only part of the farm bill that seems to be on the chopping block is the food stamp program, which assuredly needs reform. Food stamp rolls are 50 percent higher than they were before the financial crisis, 42 million households, up from 28 million in 2008. But if you’re getting tough on people making $30,000 a year, it is also time to stop sending fat checks to farmers with six-figure incomes. This won’t happen until the party supposedly committed to free enterprise stops voting for farm socialism.

How Congressional Republicans Have Neutered the Trump Agenda

Matt Glassman, National Review

To date, not one major piece of legislation has been taken up that ideologically reflects Trumpism rather than Republican orthodoxy. Congress has not considered immigration restrictions. It hasn’t taken up any protectionist trade legislation. No infrastructure package has moved in either chamber. The one major trade bill Congress did consider was the Russia sanctions bill that reduced the president’s discretion, which Trump opposed. It passed the House 419–3.

Facebook’s Big Dork vs. Congress’ Dearth Panels

Charles Hurt, Washington Times

All these politicians are shocked — SHOCKED! — to find personal information bartering going on around here! Every single one of these people in Congress expressing shock and condemnation over Facebook’s sale of persuasion power to political entities already knew exactly what Facebook has been up to for years. Because each and every one of them has used those very tactics to get elected. It wasn’t until Donald Trump stumbled upon the scene and used that system to get himself elected that everybody around here started going bonkers.

The leftist romance with lawlessness

Charles Hurt, Washington Times

These people do not care about fairness. They do not care about “Equal Justice Under Law.” Aside from their unshakable romance with lawlessness, these ridiculous leftist politicians see illegals as future indentured voters. And they want them to be counted just as American citizens to increase their own representation in Congress. In the end, if you cannot ask a person living in this country if they are a citizen, then what does it even mean any more to be an American citizen?

Spending Deal Stipulates Border Security Funding Can't Build Concrete Wall

Bridget Johnson, PJ Media

The omnibus spending bill to avert a government shutdown Friday won bipartisan support from congressional leaders and backlash from House conservatives heading toward a vote later today in the lower chamber. The spending bill is 2,232 pages long and comes with a price tag of $1.3 trillion, and got White House backing despite not including anywhere near the $25 billion President Trump sought for a border wall -- and a stipulation that the money can't be used for that wall.

Here's what Congress can actually do about mass shootings

Editors, Washington Examiner

If the laws on illegal purchases were strictly enforced, there would be far fewer attempts to make them. To that end, Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Chris Coons, D-Del., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., have advanced a bipartisan proposal that would require notification of state authorities within 24 hours any time an illegal purchase is attempted. Because attempted illegal purchase of a firearm is also a state offense in 49 states, this notification would help state prosecutors to throw the book at illegal purchasers.

Against Gun Control: The ‘I-Want-To’ Factor

William Murchison, The American Spectator

I speak as a lifelong non-gun owner when I say we ought not count on governmental control of firearms as a broad, asphalted, tree-lined avenue to the elimination of gun violence. It might be, in objective terms, that nothing short of resort to the old “superstitions” we thought were gone — prayers, confessions, sacraments — will help a bit. My advice to the gun-controllers and Harvard professors: Don’t laugh. There are more things in heaven and earth, evidently, Prof. Pinker, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Fighting Russian Interference In American Politics

It shouldn’t take a Special Counsel investigation to identify and expose Russian activities we know have been going on for a century.  It is time for America to get back in the counterintelligence fight by cleaning house and getting rid of incompetent counterintelligence operatives such as the FBI's Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and it is time for Congress, as it did with the HUAC investigations, to plumb the full depth of Russian efforts to sow discord in our country.

Is It Time To Shut Down The FBI?

It's time for radical change at the Department of Justice where Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been hobbled by careerist underlings, such as FBI Director Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who have worked harder at protecting their fellow careerists and their institutional turf than they have worked at protecting the American people.

The Only Way President Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Works

The focus on projects that contribute to GDP growth is what makes the President’s plan workable – or at least worth considering – in this age of massive deficits. Congress should keep the focus there and resist the temptation to siphon money off to boondoggles (like bike paths, parks and trails) that do not produce a return on investment through GDP growth.