Congress is back in action on Monday after getting an earful from concerned constituents. At town halls across the country, lawmakers faced crowds of constituents demanding answers to where they stand on pressing issues. And for legislators who’ve yet to plan a town hall, constituents hosted “empty chairs” to make their presence known and their member’s absence felt. These town halls have fueled a surge in the dialogue between Members of Congress and their constituents.
This week, Speaker Paul Ryan and key Republican House leaders will visit McAllen, Texas for a tour of the southern border. As a region that spans roughly 2,000 miles and is home to millions of Americans, the United States’ southern border continues to be a center point of the immigration debate. Identifying which legislators represent border communities and how they’re responding to the immigration debate are valuable insights to understanding the politics of the southern border region.
"Roses are red, violets are blue. When I work across the aisle, I choose you!"
With red hats and hashtags, President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” has become one of the most iconic brands in politics. What started as a rallying cry on the campaign trail is now the executive thesis of the White House. As MAGA grows in stature, more and more legislators are using the phrase to endorse and denounce President Trump’s policies and decision-making.
On January 27th, President Trump signed an executive order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” Within hours, demonstrators flooded major airports across the country to challenge the implications of what was quickly dubbed the “travel ban.” Elected officials on both sides of the aisle spoke out against the ban with a surge of dialogue coming from state legislators, attorneys general, and governors across the country.
Today the average American is 20 years younger than their representative in Congress. This should come as no surprise, considering that over the past 30 years the average age of a Member of Congress has increased with almost every new Congress. In 1981, the average age of a Representative was 49 and the average of a Senator was 53. Today, the average age of a Representative is 57 and the average of a Senator is 61. This prompted us to take a further look at those graying averages.
Yesterday morning, a crowd of 250,000+ gathered outside our nation’s capitol to witness the peaceful transition of power from one administration to another. Yet as President Trump took the oath of office there were several faces missing from the inaugural grandstand -- approximately 68 House Democrats.
In 1983, former U.S. Representative Katie Hall (D-IN-1) introduced a bill calling for the creation of a federal holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Rep. Hall and her colleagues successfully rallied bipartisan support from Republican cosponsors like Rep. Kemp (R-NY-31) and Rep. Siljander (R-MI-4). On November 2, 1983, President Reagan signed the bill into law -- establishing Monday’s annual celebration of Dr. King.
This Tuesday, President Obama will deliver his farewell address from McCormick Place convention center in Chicago, Illinois -- the site of his 2012 re-election celebration. On that night in 2012, Democrats defended the White House, held their majority in the Senate, and regained 8 seats in the House; a significant win for the Obama legacy. Zoom out, and the 2012 election is an outlier in the steady and far-reaching electoral losses of Democratic elected officials during the Obama Administration.
The wording of an amendment can play a significant role in shifting the direction or intent of a bill. Knowing what words are being amended and who’s amending them are valuable insights for effective legislative tracking.