Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

Avoiding Another Omnibus


By John Feehery

Obama meets with Congressional Leadership July 2011 cropped.jpg

“Obama meets with Congressional Leadership July 2011 cropped” by Official White House Photo by Pete Souza – (Photograph 4 of 20). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

President Barack Obama worked closely with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass trade promotion authority, also known as fast track, before the Memorial Day recess in the Senate.

And he worked closely with Speaker John Boehner to pass a sharply limited update to the Patriot Act in the House.

Can this bipartisan cooperation continue into the summer? More specifically, can the White House and Congress come to some agreement on how to keep the government funded when the fiscal year ends in October? (more…)



By John Feehery

Fred Upton 113th Congress.jpg

“Fred Upton 113th Congress” by United States Congress – [ U.S. Government Printing Office. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Unless you are naming a post office, it’s not easy getting a House Committee to vote unanimously for any single piece of legislation.

Sure it happens from time to time, but making laws is a messy business, and except for the most non-controversial of issues, getting everybody on the same page for significant legislation is pretty rare. (more…)

Amtrak: Status Quo is Not Acceptable


By John Feehery

Amtrak - GE P42DC - Heritage Phase III Livery.JPG

“Amtrak – GE P42DC – Heritage Phase III Livery” by Braniff747SP – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Mike Simpson was right, of course.

The Idaho Republican told the Appropriations Committee Democrats that their efforts to politicize the Amtrak train crash were inappropriate and out of order.

We don’t know what caused the horrific crash. We don’t know if it was engineer error, sabotage, equipment malfunction or just system incompetence.

Unfortunately, Republicans made it easy for the Democrats to demagogue the issue. (more…)

The Path to Baltimore Paved With Good Intentions


By John Feehery

Flag of Baltimore, Maryland

“Flag of Baltimore, Maryland” by en:User:Dyfsunctional – en:Image:Flag_of_Baltimore_City.svg. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

In many ways, I don’t blame the Baltimore protestors.

According to a Rasmussen survey, 62% of the American people believe that government has too much power.

I am surprised that that number is not higher.

Of course government is too powerful, too intrusive, too able to ruin lives in the pursuit of a “greater good.” (more…)

SGR Down. Corporate Tax Reform Next?


By John Feehery

John Boehner.jpg

“John Boehner” by Gage Skidmore – Flickr: John Boehner. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

(This originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank)

If Congress can solve a problem like Medicare’s “doc fix,” lawmakers should be able to address a corporate tax rate that kills economic growth and moves jobs overseas.

Medicare’s “Sustainable Growth Rate” mechanism was part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The idea was to tie the set rate at which Medicare doctors are compensated to economic growth. But health-care costs grew faster than the economy, and to avoid a physician exodus that could threaten the program, every year Congress would pass a temporary “doc fix” adding to the amount paid to the doctors.

Fixing the SGR gives peace of mind to doctors that they can continue to participate in Medicare. It’s good policy and good politics. (more…)


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