LOOSENING GROVER'S GRIP:
Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, has long held sway over members of Congress by holding them to a pledge against tax increases. But a small and increasingly vocal group of freshman lawmakers are pushing back -- and many more are expressing private discontent over partisan pledges: Kate Nocera for POLITICO: GOP rookies buck Grover Norquist
TALKING SOLUTIONS: A lot of solutions are being tossed around, and Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein have some ideas on which can work. Realistic campaign finance reform, a redistricting process that works, filibuster fixes and increased voter turnout are all things they argue can move America out of gridlock: Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein for The Washington Post: Want to end partisan politics? Here's what won't work -- and what will
THE PROBLEM WITH REDISTRICTING: Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), a co-chair of the dwindling Blue Dog Coalition, says the decline of moderates in Congress is not occurring because of a decline in moderate voters. Rather many moderate voters are unfairly drawn into extremely partisan districts. Instead of garnering votes from Democrats, Republicans and independents, candidates need one party's approval: John Barrow for The Washington Post: Fewer moderates? Blame redistricting
DEADLINES WORK, CONGRESS SHOULD TOO:
"Imagine a world in which buses arrived sporadically (or never), morning papers hit newsstands around mid-afternoon, and college students turned in their semester-end papers after they graduated." That's what it's like in Congress -- except there are no consequences when lawmakers miss deadlines for the budget and spending bills: Rep. Jim Cooper for the Fix Congress Now Caucus: No Budget, No Pay
STAT OF THE DAY:
Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Jeremy Stein and Jerome Powell to the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors. This is the first time the Fed has had a full board since 2006 -- that's six years. Guess what happened between 2006 and now ... the financial crisis. This is exactly why we need an up-or-down vote on presidential nominations within 90 days: Ezra Klein for The Washington Post: The Fed's long national nightmare is finally over
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