Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
PUNTING AGAIN: Congress has again decided that instead of solving problems, it is easier to just put the decisions off. Government funding will end on September 30, right in the heart of the election season. Now Congress will leave Washington on a five-week recess, leaving them with only eight days in September to avert a shutdown: Erik Wasson for The Hill: Legislation to prevent government shutdown will wait until September
FILIBUSTER REFORM COMING? Sen. Daniel Inouye, the longest-serving active senator, wants to modify rules to limit debate on procedural motions. This comes after majority leader Harry Reid said he is in favor of reforming the filibuster. Reforming the filibuster would continue to protect the voice of the minority, while also enabling more issues to be debated and voted on in the Senate. That's why it is reform three in our Make Congress Work! action plan: Niels Lesniewski for Roll Call: Daniel Inouye Backs Filibuster Changes
JUDICIAL GRIDLOCK: Fifteen judicial nominations with across-the-aisle support are awaiting confirmation from the Senate. These comprise just a small fraction of the 76 vacant federal judgeships across the country as courts are being overwhelmed with cases. Republicans are citing the "Thurmond rule" which is a tradition in the Senate not to act on any nominations in the final six months of a president’s term. This problem could be avoided if Congress had an up-or-down vote within 90 days on all presidential appointments, proposal number seven in our Make the Presidency Work! action plan:The New York Times: A Poor Excuse to Block Judges
QUESTION TIME FOR THE PRESIDENT: Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs), or question time as it is often called, is an important part of the British political system. As Stephen Dubner notes, "It is quite a piece of theater to watch, but it also struck me that PMQs provide the British government and especially the British electorate an opportunity to have what the American government and electorate do not have: a real and real-time dialogue between members of opposing parties as well as the country's political leader." That's exactly why question time is reform eight in our Make the Presidency Work! action plan: Stephen Dubner for Freakonomics: Star-Spangled Banter?
HYPER-PARTISAN RHETORIC: As the election approaches, there's no question President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney are going to use negative ads, the only question is how nasty it is going to become. While it is useful for candidates to differentiate their platform from that of their opponents, ads focused on fringe issues are neither helpful nor relevant. Romney's horse or the suggestion that Obama needs to "learn how to be an American" are not going to help the American people make an informed choice this November: Justin Sink for The Hill: Obama, Romney campaigns are walking fine line between negative and nasty ads
THE DAILY BREAK: While you watch the Olympics for the next couple weeks, keep an eye out for these athletes who have incredible backstories: Entertainment Weekly: 20 Olympic Athlete Stories to Know
ACTION OF THE DAY: Help change the tone of politics and direction of the country by attending theMeeting to Make America Work on January 14 in New York City.
STAT OF THE DAY: 76 percent of Americans believe that it is very or extremely important for the next president to work to overcome political gridlock in Washington: Jeffrey Jones for Gallup: Americans Want Next President to Prioritize Jobs, Corruption