CONGRESSIONAL FOCUS: "Democrats and Republicans are returning to Congress more focused on energizing the midterm electorate than moving legislation… House Republicans plan to bring legislation to the floor authorizing a lawsuit against Obama's use of executive action, a move they believe will underline the importance to their base voters of coming to the polls in November to elect a GOP House and Senate," writes Mike Lillis. "The White House and Senate Democrats are equally focused on winning in November. They see the House lawsuit as a classic case of Republican overreach, and believe it will backfire." Mike Lillis for The Hill: Congress returns, more focused on November elections than ever
PARTISANSHIP KILLING JOBS: A new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia finds partisanship is increasing government deficits and reducing job creation and economic growth. The paper goes as far as suggesting that partisan political sparring "may help explain part of the slow recovery following the Great Recession." The Federal Reserve Bank of New York added "polarization is strongly correlated with the extent of income inequality" in a report from last week: Ben Leubsdorf for The Wall Street Journal: Fed Research Paper: Rise in Partisan Conflict is a Drag on the U.S. Economy
LEADERS IN ACTION: Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick and Dave Loebsack crossed party lines to praise a decision from the House Ethics Committee to reinstate the requirement that members report privately sponsored travel. Fitzpatrick and Loebsack, both of whom support our call for a National Strategic Agenda, had planned to introduce a bill to reestablish the rule. "In these times of heightened partisanship, it is important to recognize that Representatives from both sides of the aisle joined to express their wishes to be held to a higher standard," Fitzpatrick said: Cristina Marcos for The Hill: Bipartisan duo praises Ethics Committee reversal
STAT OF THE DAY: "Overall, 10% of Americans are what we call Bystanders, or the politically disengaged, according to Pew Research Center’s Political Typology report," writes George Gao. "None of this cohort say they’re registered to vote, and none say they follow government and public affairs most of the time (this compares with 48% of Americans overall). Virtually all of this group (96%) say they’ve never contributed money to a candidate running for public office." George Gao for Pew Research Center: 1-in-10 Americans don’t give a hoot about politics