RED STATES AND BLUE STATES: As hyper-partisan stances get more popular, states are turning bluer and redder. "The number of states that are divided evenly enough for presidential candidates to fight over has been steadily dwindling. In 2012, only four (Florida, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina) were decided by five percentage points or fewer," Fred Hiatt writes. The cause of this growing trend? Like-minded people living in the same communities and becoming more extreme because there is less opposition: Fred Hiatt for The Washington Post: A red state/blue state chasm
NOT THE INTENDED USE:
The threat of a silent filibuster has plagued Washington and has restricted the Senate from voting on bills the way the process was intended. This is why we proposed to reform the filibuster in our Make Congress Work!
action plan. In order for the filibuster to be used properly, we must end the virtual filibuster and require lawmakers to take to the floor in addition to ending filibuster motions to proceed, which will allow more debate on proposals: Juan Williams for The Hill: Opinion: Filibuster corrupts democracy
PUNTING ON STUDENT LOANS:
Student loan rates are set to double on July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, and so far Congress has not had a real discussion on the future of student loans. This looming deadline was created after Washington punted on the decision last fall, creating more uncertainty for students. This time around, lawmakers need to make sure any proposed bill goes through regular order and goes before the proper committee: Emmanuel Touhey for The Hill: Battle starts to mount on student loans
FOCUS ON DOABLE SOLUTIONS:
Problem Solver Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney says that he is focused on passing practical doable projects in Washington with support from across the aisle. By focusing on projects like these, members of Congress can create the trust needed from the opposite party and start doing their jobs. "I'd like to see Congress stop being part of the problem and be part of the solution," Maloney says: James Walsh for Time-Herald Record: Maloney aims at 'doable' projects, outlines goals for region
TODAY IN CONGRESS: The Senate
will convene at 2 p.m. and start with discussion on the Marketplace Fairness Act. The Judiciary committee will be meeting at 10 a.m. to discuss immigration reform legislation. The House
is scheduled to meet today.