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Posts Tagged ‘United States Congress’

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

What will happen in the next Congress a united Republican Congress as far as Republicans controlling both the House of Representatives and Senate, will be based on what Speaker John Boehner and Leader Mitch McConnell actually want to get done and get passed out of Congress and signed into law. And what they want to try to pass by themselves with mostly if not all Republican votes in both the House and Senate and try to force Senate Democrats who will be brand new to the minority, to try to block, or force President Obama to veto partisan legislation.

President Obama is smart to invite Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell down to the White House this week to try to see where they may be able to work together in the next Congress. But the fact is Republicans are in charge of Congress and Congressional Democrats and the President will be on the defensive at least in the early going of the next Congress. And Democrats will react to Republicans based on what Republicans want to and try to do. The next Congress will be as effective and popular as Republicans are effective at running it.

Incoming Senate Leader Mitch McConnell & House Speaker John Boehner

Incoming Senate Leader Mitch McConnell & House Speaker John Boehner

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Just to sort of follow-up on what I was talking about yesterday and the U.S. Senate elections. Senate Republicans should win back the Senate on Tuesday, probably six or seven seats. Or maybe they only win five, but somehow Larry Pressler who is an Independent in North Dakota, wins that Senate election and decides to caucus with Republicans. Giving Senate Republicans a 50-48 and 2 majority. Or similar scenario but Independent Senator Angus King decides to caucus with the Republicans instead of the Democrats.

But as The McLaughlin Group pointed out which is why I’m leaving some hope for Senate Democrats, there are still a couple of critical factors that could save the Senate for Democrats. Michelle Nunn wins the Senate seat in Georgia, Gregg Orman wins in Kansas. Mary Landrieu doesn’t win Louisiana, but Representative Bill Cassidy doesn’t win a majority, forcing the election into a December runoff. Kay Hagan holds the steady lead she’s had for over a year over Tom Tillis in North Carolina and the same thing with Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire over Scott Brown.

Under the reasonable scenarios I just put out, Senate Democrats could lose every other seat that is in play for Republican pickups and still retain the Senate with a 50-50 plus Vice President Joe Biden majority. Keep in mind, only Mary Landrieu is either down barley or tied with her opponent. And she is a great campaigner and has a great campaign machine and Democrats have a great get out the vote operation. And Senator Landrieu has already won a runoff back in 2002 in a big Republican year where Democrats lost the Senate that gave Republicans a united Congress.

Under any other election year and scenario with an unpopular President in Barack Obama that I voted twice for and don’t regret those votes or would change for anything, we should not only be talking about Republicans winning the Senate, but are they going to win 8 or 10 seats. Not 5-7 and giving Democrats life in the Senate. Along with House Republicans picking up twenty or more seats and padding their majority. That is not happening because of the unpopularity of the Republican Party with their candidates and that they have weak incumbents as well.

U.S. Democratic Senatorial Committee

U.S. Democratic Senatorial Committee

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Most likely and for me that means the best guess and best educated guess, Senate Republicans win back the Senate on Tuesday and perhaps add five seats to their House majority as well. I don’t see a wave for 2014 where Republicans win 8-10 seats in the Senate and twenty or more in the House. But things are so bad for Democrats right now that Republicans despite their own problems with voters, do not need a wave to do well in Congress on Tuesday.

Democrats still have hope even in the Senate. They win Georgia and Kansas where they are currently ahead with Michelle Nunn over David Perdue in Georgia and Greg Orman over Republican Senator Pat Roberts has been in Congress since 1981 and maybe Democrats hold Republican gains to four or five and barely hold the Senate having to rely on a couple of new Independents to hold their majority. But they would also need to hold North Carolina and New Hampshire with Kay Hagen respectfully to pull that off. Also may need to hold Arkansas or Louisiana as well.

What may be the only victories for Democrats on Tuesday night could at the state level and not in Congress. But governor’s races and legislature races where Democrats have real pickup opportunities in both areas. Pennsylvania, Florida, perhaps even Georgia, Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan. If they win those states or just a few of them and not lose any big states where they currently are in power, we could see better redistricting that could favor House Democrats in the future.
U.S. Senate

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U.S. Congress
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

National Journal: Opinion: Norm Ornstein: What If Independents Keep Senate Majority In Flux?

What if, what if, what if, what question is more fun to ask and even ask yourself than what if? But the reason why it is such a fun question to ask, is because it gives people who chance to imagine and throw out countless hypotheticals and imagine all sorts of interesting things. But to speak about Norm Ornstein’s what if, he may be on to something right now because of how partisan and divided America is politically right now. With an unpopular President, but an unpopular Republican opposition that Americans aren’t crazy about having complete control of Congress, both the House and Senate.

This is where the centrists, or as I prefer the more independently minded Senators and Senate candidates come into play. Because let’s say we do have a 50-50 Senate in the next Congress with Democrats still in control of the Senate because of Vice President Joe Biden, or a 51-49 Senate in the next Congress that goes either way, without either party having enough of a partisan advantage to run the chamber by themselves, that is where the Independents come into play. Especially if they don’t caucus with either party, or are not in lockstep with the political or governing agenda that their leadership wants to push.

In a divided Senate like that, that is where the Independents have the power, Assuming the Leader and Minority Leader are actually interested in governing and passing legislation in that Congress. And not simply looking for the next partisan advantage that will give them a clear majority in the next Congress. When the leadership’s in both parties aren’t interested in governing and simply looking for partisan advantage, as we’ve seen a lot in the Congress from both parties in both chambers, Independents do not mean a hell of a lot.

Whoever the next Senate Leader and Minority Leader is, they will still set the tone as far as what that Senate can pass in the next Congress. And if you are like me, you are looking for new leadership at the top in both parties without Harry Reid Mitch McConnell leading their respective caucus’. And hopefully new blood will come in and decide to work with the other party. Because whoever holds the next Senate majority, it will be paper-thin, perhaps 52-48 at best for one side. And if they decide to govern, the Independents will come into power and a lot legislation could get passed.
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Vice Chairman Howard Baker, Chairman Sam Irvin & Majority Counsel Sam Dash

Vice Chairman Howard Baker, Chairman Sam Irvin & Majority Counsel Sam Dash

Source: PBS: NewsHour- Robert MacNeil & Jim Lehrer Introduce The Watergate Hearings

If you are familiar with C-SPAN or the Cable Special Public Affairs Network, well the PBS coverage of the 1973 U.S. Senate Watergate hearings is basically the early days of C-SPAN. Gavel to gavel coverage of a major invent in Congress which this was and what they did like what C-SPAN does. Is just show what happened and let the people decide for themselves what it meant and so forth.

Which is exactly what PBS was doing without breaking in to have an analyst explain what the people were watching. But would have the people be able to make those decisions for themselves. Which was basically the early days of what I call PBS News. The news operation over at PBS that produces shows like the NewsHour, Frontline, Washington Week and so forth.

And allowed Americans to be able to see for themselves what Watergate was and what it meant for themselves. With a lot of the key actors in the whole Watergate affair and is a great example of what journalism should be rather than talk down to the audience with so-called experts allow for them to see for themselves what is happening.

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U.S. Congress
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

When was the last time that Congress had big bipartisan votes on anything? Both the House and Senate overwhelmingly voting in favor of President Obama getting America involved in Syria and Iraq to defeat ISIS or ISIL, depending on how you define what Secretary of State John Kerry calls, “The Enemy of Islam”. The so-called Islamic group that wants to occupy the Levantine region of Arabia that includes both Iraq and Syria.

As far as Hillary Clinton in Iowa. I think it is pretty likely that Hillary Clinton will run for President in 2016 and perhaps will announce by the spring of 2015. Otherwise she doesn’t have much business being at Senator Tom Harkin’s political event last weekend. But as David Brooks and EJ Dionne pointed out, she won’t have an easy ride to the Democratic nomination. She’ll get pushed by both center and further Left Democrats to take hard stands on key issues in order to win the nomination.

As far as the battle for the U.S. Senate. Yeah Kansas is good news for Democrats this week. Because it means a popular Center-Left leaning Independent will be the main challenger to a very unpopular Republican Senator Pat Roberts in November. But as I’ve been talking about for months now, Kansas is not the only problem and thing that could keep Republicans from winning back the Senate in November. They are still defending Georgia and Kentucky where the Democratic challengers are running very strong. Tied in Kentucky against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Senate Republicans will may have to hold all three of these states in order to win back the Senate.

PBS: NewsHour- Brooks & Dionne On The Ground Troop Debate

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

President Obama gave a very good speech on why America should act against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Now its time for Congress to do their job and hold a debate and vote on action against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. As Representative Peter King said a Republican from New York City, “President Obama should use military force against ISIS and Congress should approve of it”. Time for the House and Senate to step up here and do their job and hold a debate and vote on American military action against Syria and Iraq.

As far as the Senate elections. The jury is still out on who will control the Senate in the next Congress. I see it still at 50-50 either way because of vulnerable Senate Democrats running for reelection in red states. But again Georgia, Kentucky and now Kansas are all in play for Senate Democrats as well. Which means even if Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia fall to Senate Republicans, that is only a net plus of two seats for them if they don’t hold Georgia, Kentucky and Kansas which are all in play for Democrats. If that is the scenario, North Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska will decide with party controls the Senate in the next Congress.
President Barack Obama

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