Here Are 21 Policy Highlights From the First 2016 Republican Debate

The Daily Signal By Melissa Quinn and Natalie Johnson, News Reporters 8/7/15 The 2016 primaries are in full momentum following months of build-up, officially kicking off on Thursday night in prime-time as the ten leading Republican candidates squared off for … Continue reading

Donald Trump bump terrifies GOP

Insiders worry the mogul will damage the eventual nominee and hurt a party struggling to connect with women and minorities. By Jonathan Topaz and Daniel Strauss 6/26/15 All jokes aside, the Republican Party is officially afraid of Donald Trump. … Continue reading

5 takeaways from Jeb’s big announcement

Bush brings a heavy helping of Latin flavor (and punctuation) to his debut.
By Eli Stokols and Marc Cupoto

MIAMI — When Jeb Bush finally took the stage after 40 minutes of warm-up speakers and musical acts — a prolonged windup that still pales in comparison to the 18 months of planning and plotting that led to Monday — what he said was no surprise, even if he sought to portray it that way.

“I have decided,” Bush said. “I am a candidate for president of the United States.”

His 30-minute announcement speech, a detailed and selective overview of his record that drew heavily on professional accomplishments and lighter on the personal, revealed how Bush plans to present himself to a conservative primary electorate that thinks he’s too soft and a country that’s tired of political dynasties trading the White House back and forth.

Here are five takeaways from Bush’s campaign launch…
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Graham urges action on climate change
By Jonathan Topaz

Sen. Lindsey Graham is urging action on climate change and endorsing a budget plan that includes tax increases — another example of how the South Carolina Republican breaks with many other conservatives seeking the GOP presidential nomination.

In a wide-ranging interview aired Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Graham also called out two of his Republican rivals by name and challenged his party for not having an environmental policy.

“Here’s a question you need to ask everybody running as a Republican: What is the environmental policy of the Republican policy? When I ask that question, I get a blank stare,” he said in the interview taped Saturday in Boone, Iowa, where a number of GOP presidential hopefuls attended Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst’s “Roast and Ride.”

“If I’m president of the United States, we’re going to address climate change, CO2 emissions in a business-friendly way,” the South Carolina senator said. “I do believe that climate change is real.”

”When 90 percent of the doctors tell you you’ve got a problem, do you listen to the one?” Graham added, in a nod to the vast majority of scientists who say climate change is real and caused by human activity.

The senator also urged Congress to pass the Simpson-Bowles budget plan — a deficit-reduction package proposed a couple years ago by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson that includes several tax increases.

Graham, who announced his presidential bid last Monday in his hometown of Central, South Carolina, is a long shot for the GOP nomination in part because he’s alienated some conservatives with his stances on several domestic issues, including support for comprehensive immigration reform. The vast majority of Republican hopefuls have ruled out tax increases and haven’t pushed for legislative action on climate change.

The senator also criticized two fellow GOP presidential contenders — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, whom Graham said wasn’t serious about entitlement reform, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who recently said in New Hampshire that he doesn’t support open-ended military conflicts.

“Most people over there are not buying what these guys are selling,” Graham said.

One of the most outspoken national security hawks in Congress, Graham reiterated in his CNN interview his call for U.S. ground combat troops in the Middle East to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

“If you think we can protect America without some troops having to go back overseas and fight for a very long time — most likely, then I’m not your guy,” he said.

U.S. Bypasses Texas Judge in Bid to Revive Immigration Plan
By Laurel Brubaker Calkins

(Bloomberg) — The Obama administration went over the head of a federal judge who ignored the government’s Monday deadline to lift his order blocking a controversial immigration program.

White House lawyers asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Thursday to lift the Texas judge’s Feb. 16 order blocking an initiative designed to give about 5 million undocumented immigrants the right to stay in the country and obtain work permits and other benefits…
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Budget Battle Deadlines for 2015: Immigration, Debt Ceiling and 2016 Federal Budget

In order for Congress to avoid rushed backroom budget deals like the 1,600 page Cromnibus, they must adhere to deadlines in the budget process. Here are the ones they need to keep in mind this year:


National Priorities Project
By Jasmine Tucker

Today marks the first day of the Republican-controlled 114th Congress, where 74 brand new, newly-elected members will swear in with other members of Congress.

In a previous post, we brought you three New Years’ resolutions for Congress. Now that the new year and new Congress have started, here are some deadlines for lawmakers to keep in mind if they want to keep those resolutions: (more)

What’s in the $1.1 trillion spending bill?

(The Washington Post on 12/10/14 published “What’s in the spending bill? We skim it so you don’t have to,” as reported by Ed O’Keefe, and republished below.) This item has been updated and revised. The $1.01 trillion spending bill unveiled late … Continue reading