ICYMI: Top reads on Congress

 Image source  here

Image source here

By Marian Currinder

Senate

Rorie Spill Solberg and Eric N. Waltenburg, “Are Trump’s judicial nominees really being confirmed at a record pace? The answer is complicated,” Washington Post:

“Are Trump and the Republican Senate really beating past records at confirming federal judges? And is the GOP already shifting the ideological tenor of the courts? The answer is a bit more mixed than others are reporting.”

Sean Sullivan and Seung Min Kim, “Republican senators lash out at each other inside private luncheon,” Washington Post:

“Heated confrontations erupted inside a Senate Republican luncheon on Wednesday as lawmakers traded unusually personal and sometimes profane attacks on one another.”

Niels Lesniewski, “Mitch McConnell, Now the Senate’s Longest-Serving GOP Leader,” Roll Call:

“And Tuesday, he passes former Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas as the longest-serving Republican leader in the Senate’s history, at 11 years, five months and 10 days.”

Lesley Clark, “Home delivery: What Mitch McConnell's powerful GOP perch has meant to Kentucky,” McClatchy:

“McConnell told the Lexington Herald-Leader in a recent interview that there's zero doubt the state is better off with him at the helm. "You're talking about persistent problems that we've had for decades," McConnell said of the state's troubles. "A fair question to ask would be 'Would we better off without having the Republican leader of the Senate?' and the answer is clearly, 'No.' "

James Wallner, “McConnell Is the Longest-Serving GOP Leader. But Not the Most Consequential,” Real Clear Policy:

“While there are many similarities between today’s Senate and that of Mansfield’s time, the institution has, under McConnell’s leadership, proven largely incapable of legislating in the face of even the slightest controversy. This contrast is a testament to the impact a truly skilled leader can have.”

Haley Byrd, “Senate to Vote on Measure Giving Congress a Say in Foreign Investment Review Process,” Weekly Standard:

“As senators prepare to pass legislation to expand the authorities of an interagency panel that reviews foreign investments for national security risks, the Senate on Thursday will consider an amendment that would also subject the panel, headed by the Treasury Department and known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), to greater congressional oversight.”

Molly E. Reynolds, “Will the Senate actually stay in Washington this August? Ask again later,” Brookings:

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced recently that he plans to scale back the chamber’s traditional August recess from four weeks to one. But will the Senate actually remain in session during the dog days of summer?”

Alexander Bolton, “Ernst, Fischer to square off for leadership post,” The Hill:

“Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) are both looking to become the first woman to serve in the elected Senate Republican leadership since 2010.”

Erica Werner, “The Finance 202: Republican senators only willing to go so far in challenging Trump on trade,” Washington Post:

“But in large part GOP senators’ stance on the Corker-Toomey bill reflects where they’ve been on any number of issues since Trump took office: Unwilling to challenge the president. That Corker (who’s retiring) and Toomey (who was just reelected) are pushing the amendment at all -- along with about 10 co-sponsors of both parties -- is notable as a rare concrete step to take on Trump.”

House

Susan Ferrechio, “House vote signals spending battles for Congress this summer,” Washington Examiner:

“The House just passed the first of a planned series of “minibus” bills to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2019, but it won near-universal opposition from Democrats as well as a group of conservatives that are threatening another spending fight in September.”

Rachel Bade, John Bresnahan and Heather Caygle, “Ryan announces DACA votes as discharge petition stalls,” Politico:

“House Republicans will vote next week on two bills addressing the plight of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers who face possible deportation, circumventing an intra-party war over immigration and delivering a major blow to moderate Republicans.”

Congress, Miscellaneous

Bradford Vivian, “Lessons on political polarization from Lincoln’s ‘House Divided’ speech, 160 years later,” The Conversation:

“Americans belong to a union first, parties second. Party machinery and false political prophets divide the house of the people; the people have the power to stabilize that house if they choose to do so. The union was founded on a dedication to equality. It retains a firm moral foundation by preserving commitments to principles of equality over region or party.”

Elaina Plott, “The Great Moderate Republican Flameout,” The Atlantic:

“One House Republican source joked about the moderates’ flameout in a comparison to their conservative colleagues. At least when members of the Freedom Caucus “promise to blow things up,” the source said, “by God, they blow things up.””

Morgan Phillips, “Millennials Could Shake Up Congress Next Session,” Roll Call:

“Nearly 20 millennials — generally considered those born sometime between the early 80s and early 00s — won races in last week’s primaries, according to the Millennial Action Project, a generational organization combating political polarization. Thirteen more, almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, will be up for a vote Tuesday.”

David Winston, “Opinion: Beware the Dog Days of August,” Roll Call:

“August will be a critical month in determining who has the initiative going into the fall. The challenge for Republicans will be to make the economy and jobs the No. 1 issue.”

Stan Collender, “Fasten Your Seat Belts: It’s Going To Be A Very Bumpy Rest Of The Year,” thebudgetguy blog:

“In fact, Ryan and McConnell should be seriously considering doing a continuing resolution before the start of the August-Labor Day recess that will keep the government operating through the lame duck session so Congress can stay home in September as well.”

Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “As Ties With Allies Fray Over Trade, Congressional Republicans Back Trump,” NYT:

“As President Trump and his advisers take aim at some of America’s closest allies amid tense disputes over trade, congressional Republicans largely stood by the president on Monday, insisting they were not worried about a possible deterioration of relations with the West.”