Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
NOT GETTING IT DONE: Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has said that Congress is not doing its job by allowing automatic cuts to defense spending, according to POLITICO. “I think it’s mindless,” Rumsfeld said of the inaction, “It’s just bad government.” The former secretary said that the five-week recess is just a “stop-gap excuse for a failure to do their jobs.” Tomer Ovadia for POLITICO: Donald Rumsfeld: Congress ‘failing’ to do job
POLARIZING POLITICS: The South is one of the most polarized areas of the United States according to POLITICO -- and the divide today is as clear as ever. The polarization is largely due to “the lagging economy, redistricting, changes in the media, long-term political trends, how Obama and Republicans have governed and, indeed, old-fashioned prejudice,” reports POLITICO. This divide is especially apparent in support for President Obama in the area: Jonathan Martin for POLITICO: Obama’s problems in the South
UNDESERVED VACATION: Members of the House of Representatives called for Congress to stay in session instead of breaking for the August recess, but the resolution was defeated in the House and all members -- even those who voted against adjournment -- “fled for the exits” as soon as the recess began. Chris Frates for National Journal argues that the call for staying in session may have been more strategic than substantive: Chris Frates for National Journal: House Dems Vote Down Adjournment Motion
A POLITICAL FIREWALL IN CONGRESS: With Congress in recess until September, the Senate was unable to act on the cyber security bill before leaving for the month. While Republicans blamed Democrats for using national security as an excuse to not allow amendments, Democrats attacked Republicans for trying to attach provisions to the bill aimed at repealing the Affordable Care Act. The Senate is at an impasse, and despite the urgency of this bill, the issues will likely not be resolved until September: Josh Smith for National Journal: Cybersecurity on Life Support in Congress
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY: Former members of Congress Vin Weber and Jane Harman wrote for POLITICO that despite their political differences, the toxic election cycle is no reason to delay an across-the-aisle solution to the budget crisis. The urgency of this crisis dictates that Congress must work together for solutions: Vin Weber and Jane Harman for POLITICO: Politics aside, debt fix is clear
FOOTING THE BILL: Over the course of the election, the debate over tax reform will be construed by politicians on both sides of the aisle as ‘class warfare.’ But what may not be at the forefront of the discussion is ‘generational warfare,’ pitting older retirees who benefit from entitlements against younger Americans who eventually will have to pay for these expensive programs. Unless the system is fixed today, America’s children will pay a hefty price tomorrow: Ed Conant for Savannah Morning News: It’s war on America’s young
THE DAILY BREAK: A recent study by Professor David Gelernter suggests that partisan polarization can not only influence how people view policies, but broader realities as well: The Atlantic: This Is Your Brain on Partisanship -- Any Questions?
ACTION OF THE DAY: Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming is the latest co-sponsor of No Budget, No Pay. Call him today at (202) 224-3424 to say thank you, or post on his Facebook wall.
STAT OF THE DAY: 163,000 jobs have been created in the month of July, according to a new report from the Labor Department: Catherine Rampell for The New York Times: Pace of Hiring Rose in July, but Jobless Rate Picked Up