No Labels Radio April 29, 2015
WORST EVER? The inaction and hyper-partisanship of the 113th Congress has put it in the running for the worst Congress ever. However, people define "worst" in different ways. Chris Cillizza takes a look at seven charts that show: Congress isn't getting anything done; Congress is not popular, people don't trust Congress; Congress is more polarized than ever before; lots of people want to fire every member of Congress; and, perhaps most notable, more people believe they have seen a ghost than approve of Congress: Chris Cillizza for The Washington Post: Worst. Congress. Ever. The case in 7 charts.
GIVE US A NUMBER: That is what the House and Senate Appropriations Committee chairs are telling the budget conference committee. House Chairman Hal Rogers and Senate Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski wrote a joint letter to the conference, saying that they want figures soon so they can craft an omnibus package and return to the normal appropriations process. “We believe that if an agreement on a discretionary spending number can be reached early. It will allow for more thoughtful and responsible spending decisions, set the parameters for the budgetary savings that need to be reached in your Budget Conference, and build momentum for a larger budget agreement that addresses the nation’s wide range of fiscal challenges," the two wrote: David Rogers for POLITICO: Appropriators appeal for early budget number
NOMINATIONS BLOCKED: Rep. Mel Watt and Patricia Millet both fell short of the 60 votes needed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate's nomination process. Watt, nominated to head the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, fell in a 56-42 cloture vote while Millet, nominated to be a D.C. Circuit Court judge, fell in a 55-38 vote. "The rules for confirming nominees are arcane but highly sensitive because they give the minority party the power to flex its muscles by requiring the majority to secure 60 votes to cut off debate before proceeding to a confirmation vote, which requires only a simple majority," write Kristina Peterson, Brent Kendall and Nick Timiraos: Kristina Peterson, Brent Kendall and Nick Timiraos for The Wall Street Journal: Senate GOP Blocks Two Obama Nominees
TALK OF THE NUCLEAR OPTION IS BACK: After Rep. Mel Watt and Patricia Millet were blocked yesterday, talk of the nuclear option to reform the filibuster quickly started up again. The nuclear option would call for a rule change to reduce the number of votes to cut off debate before proceeding to a confirmation vote from 60 to a simple majority of 51. While changing the rule would help nominees get through the process, if enacted, the nuclear option may be a way to avoid filibusters in other areas of the Senate as well: Peter Schroeder for The Hill: Dems renew 'nuclear option' talk
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STAT OF THE DAY: In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 63 percent of those surveyed would give a new person a chance to represent them in Congress: NBC News/Wall Street Journal Late October Survey