Ryan set for collision course with Obama

Economy / News November 20, 2014

It’s showdown time for Rep. Paul Ryan and President Obama.

House Republicans officially named Ryan chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, giving the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee his most direct power yet over the country’s tax system and entitlement programs…

Bill Hoagland of the Bipartisan Policy Center, who worked with Ryan as a Senate staffer, said he thought Ryan might concentrate on streamlining federal anti-poverty programs without cutting their funding, as the GOP works to broaden its appeal ahead of the 2016 election.

An Obamacare program helped poor kids and saved money. It was also doomed to fail.

Health / News November 19, 2014

An Affordable Care Act grant has led to a dramatic drop in asthma-related incidents like Rae’Shawn’s in Delaware — and significant Medicaid savings — but that funding may disappear in a matter just of months. Doctors knew the problem: too many kids were landing in the E.R., fighting to breathe.

Can the Republicans balance the budget?

Economy / News November 17, 2014

“We must produce a budget that achieves balance within 10 years,” Jeff Sessions said last week.

Sessions, who may end up in charge of the Senate’s budget committee next year, is not the first Republican to call for a balanced budget in a decade.

In Search of the Compromise Caucus

Governance / News November 16, 2014

The need for compromise—for making government work for the American people—has been bandied about freely since Republicans won their resounding midterm victories. But it’s not surprising, given the past six years, that the reality has been different. The operative game is that both parties express their desire to compromise, while attempting to maneuver the other party into a position where it looks obstructionist and ineffective.

What’s the key to ending Washington gridlock?

Governance / News November 14, 2014

The Cyclists talk to Jason Grumet, author of “City of Rivals,” which suggests way to fix Congress and restore the “glorious mess of American democracy.”

Obama Stays the Course on Immigration as Pressure Mounts

Immigration / News November 11, 2014

President Barack Obama has remained resolute in his plan to unilaterally reshape U.S. immigration law in the wake of his party’s heavy losses in last week’s midterm elections, but pressure is mounting from both sides as he approaches a decision later this year.

Conservatives Warn That GOP Must Act On Immigration, Not Just Attack Obama

Immigration / News November 10, 2014

In the wake of huge wins for the Republican Party in the 2014 elections, conservatives in favor of immigration reform are warning their GOP counterparts they can’t spend the next two years ranting against an executive order on immigration rather than proposing their own bills.

Surprise! There may be a way to fix Washington.

Governance / News November 10, 2014

The morning after the midterm elections, one of the best places to go for hope that the 114th Congress might actually get something done was a think tank not far from the Capitol called the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Founded in 2007 by four former Senate majority leaders and its director, Jason Grumet, the BPC gave itself the mission of trying to figure out how to make government work in a time when hyperpartisanship seemed to be bringing Washington to an almost complete stop.

McConnell pressed to repeal ObamaCare with budget move

Economy / News November 10, 2014

Conservatives in Washington are adamant that Senate Republicans should pass a full repeal of the healthcare law next year, even if it means a certain veto from President Obama.

With Senate Democrats likely to filibuster any stand-alone repeal bill, conservatives say incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) should use a procedural maneuver known as reconciliation to muscle through a bill with 51 votes…

Bill Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said Republicans should temper their ambitions for using reconciliation to implement a conservative agenda.

Republican, Democratic strategists: GOP in for wave election

Governance / News November 9, 2014

Will the 2014 midterms be a wave election for Republicans?

The Hill spoke with an expert at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) to find out.

John Fortier, the group’s Democracy Project director, said there’s no precise definition of a wave election – though the number of House seats gained by a single party is generally a key ingredient.