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  • Morning Bell: The Tea Party is Back

    Two hundred and thirty-seven years ago last night, a group of colonists disguised as Indians boarded British merchant ships and dumped an estimated £10,000 worth of tea into Boston Harbor. This Boston Tea Party, which John Adams described as the “grandest event which has ever yet happened since the controversy … More

    What a Spending Bill Should Look Like

    On March 11, 2009, while signing the the $410 billion, 8,500 earmark laden, Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, President Barack Obama said: This piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business and the beginning of a new era of responsibility and accountability that the … More

    Morning Bell: Release the START Negotiating Record

    Yesterday, the Senate voted 66–32 to begin debate on the New START agreement with Russia. Only a simple majority (51) was required, but vote counters can use yesterday’s roll call as a benchmark for final ratification, which will need 67 votes to pass. With the seating of Senator Mark Kirk … More

    Kyl, Thune, Bond, Hatch: No Lame Duck New START

    Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), John Thune (R-SD), Kit Bond (R-MO), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), George Lemieux (R-FL), and Mark Kirk (R-IL) just announced at a joint press conference that none of them will be voting for New START in this lame duck … More

    Morning Bell: Call Reid's Bluff

    Gallup released a poll this morning showing that the American people dislike this 111th Congress more than any other Congress. Specifically, a full 83% of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job while only 13% approve. That is the worst approval rating in more than 30 years … More

    The Omnibus Text

    Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has just released an omnibus spending bill that will lock-in 2010 spending levels through the next fiscal year (ending September 30). The 1,924 page bill (pdf) contains unknown thousands of earmarks and will prevent the next Congress from making spending cuts until fiscal year 2012. … More

    A Short History of Social Security Retirement Ages

    This year, Social Security paid out more money than it took in for the first time since 1983. If the economy rebounds, Social Security is expected to be in the black by 2012 and will stay that way until 2015. But starting in 2016 Social Security will be in the … More

    Morning Bell: Another Victory on the Road to Repeal

    “The unchecked expansion of congressional power to the limits suggested by the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers. At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance—or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage—it’s about an individual’s right … More

    Rolling Back Overcriminalization

    Between 2000 and 2007, the United States Congress created 452 entirely new crimes, a rate of over one new crime every week. By the end of 2007, the U.S. Code included more than 4,450 federal crimes, with an estimated tens of thousands more located in the federal regulatory code. Worse, … More

    A Voluntary Earmark Ban is Only Half the Battle

    “There will be no earmarks in the 112th Congress. Period.” That is what House Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor (R-VA) tweeted in response to a Politico article last week reporting that some GOP House members were contemplating breaking their no-earmark pledge. Good for Cantor. Ending earmarking is an essential step toward … More