Been here before

BEEN HERE BEFORE: John Harwood of The New York Times takes a look back at a time when a divided Congress and a second-term president were able to work together to push major legislation for the country. “In 1986, President Ronald Reagan sat in the White House. Fellow Republicans controlled the Senate but not the House — a mirror image of the alignment President Obama governs with today. That September, strong bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress passed a drastic revision of the tax code that eliminated valuable tax breaks while lowering the top rate to 28 percent from 50 percent. The following month, less than three weeks before Election Day, bipartisan majorities transformed the federal immigration code as well, with amnesty for some already in the United States, penalties for businesses hiring illegal immigrants, and more money for border enforcement,” he writes. Will Washington make similar progress in 2014? John Harwood for The New York Times: When a 2nd-Term President and a Divided Congress Made Magic
RECALLS DOWN: There were at least 478 attempted recalls in 2013, 107 of which made it to the ballot. This is down from the 151 recalls that made the ballot in 2011, and 168 in 2012. Still, recalls used to be made for corrupt elected officials but now, with the help of hyper-partisanship, “the recall is becoming a more overt political tool, used more over ideological issues than over competence or ethics,” writes Reid Wilson. Part of the decline can also be attributed to states changing their recall rules, including allowing someone to serve in their position for a full year instead of months: Reid Wilson for The Washington Post: Number of recalls down in 2013
PARTISANSHIP TO CONTINUE: Robert Traynham believes hyper-partisanship will continue to be a driving force in Congress but notes a way for progress. “With the benefit of hindsight, we also saw that when the give and takes are done in secret, with no leaks, cameras or hidden agendas in the room, both sides agree more than when they disagree. In other words, when both sides do not have the pressures of answering to their constituents on social media, the 24 hour news cycle, special interest groups and other outside forces, it’s amazing what both sides agree too: legislation that moves the country forward,” he writes. Similar work is done in all the Problem Solver meetings, as both sides of the aisle can talk openly: Robert Traynham for the New Pittsburgh Courier: Partisan warfare will resume in 2014
THE OTHER SIDE IS WORSE: Despite facing historically low approval ratings, many members of Congress will win re-election in overwhelming numbers, writes Mark Barabak. He looks at focus groups where constituents may be upset with Congress and their representative — but they hold members of the opposite party in even lower regard:Mark Barabak for the Los Angeles Times: A keep-the-bums-in mood may prevail in midterm election
REVIEWING 2013: No Labels Co-Founder Bill Galston joined Co-Chair Gov. Jon Huntsman on No Labels Radio to review 2013. Check it out now.
NO LABELS RADIO TOMORROW: The Wall Street Journal‘s Jerry Seib, The Atlantic‘s James Fallows,POLITICO‘s James Hohmann and No Labels Co-Founder Mark McKinnon will all join Gov. Jon Huntsman on No Labels Radio this week to discuss what they expect for 2014. Tune in tomorrow at 10 a.m., Eastern time, to SiriusXM's P.O.T.U.S. station (channel 124) and join the conversation by tweeting with #NoLabelsRadio.
STAT OF THE DAY: Fifty-four percent expect American life to go downhill until 2050, according to a recent poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research: Rebecca Shabad for The Hill: Majority believe US will be on downward spiral through 2050


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