What’s Happening in Congress?
There is so much national attention on the race for the White House, that many times, we forget the other two branches of government on the federal level. I myself had to take a moment today, and realize that I have no clue what is going on in Congress. While this used to be the centerfold of most political media coverage, the legislative body has pretty much been pushed to the back of the room. So, what is going on in Congress?
First of all, last week, Senator John McCain’s wife made a visit to Capitol Hill. Cindy McCain is an activist for human trafficking. This is a huge issue in the United States, and one that does not get as much attention as it deserves. Congresswoman Kristi Noem has also played a huge role in bringing awareness and change to this issue. McCain posted a picture of his wife pinning an #endit ribbon to his suit before she spoke to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Now, who says that Republicans wage a war on women…?
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has not been held quite under the magnifying glass as he would have been if this had not been an election year. In the span of a few weeks, the Pope visited Congress, Speaker John Boehner stepped down, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he was going to try to become Speaker, The Freedom Caucus intervened, then all of a sudden, the former Vice President Candidate found himself in a very powerful position. He promised to bring some sort of unity to the Republican Party, and seems to have done just that. He passed a budget in December, which composed of more deals than we can probably imagine. In fact, the House seems to be running so smoothly, that no news is louder than Donald Trump’s first place for the Republican nomination. Today, Ryan laughed at Trump’s statement that Ryan “needs to get along with him, or pay a big price.” Ryan is in a confident position at the moment from the House, and has kept his promise to bring order to party factions. Ryan said that his role is to offer “policy solutions for the party” and he is doing just that.
On the Senate side, the Senate Republican Conference, chaired by Senator John Thune, is addressing “Obama’s economy,” and that America’s middle class still struggles to find jobs. Jobs are the number one issue for many Americans, and the Conference is continuing to work to push Republican ideals and show how with a vote for the GOP, the party will pass legislation to bring voters a better quality of life and more high paying jobs. The Senate Republicans are also united in their opposition to close Guantanamo Bay, stating that it will release many terrorists and therefore harm national security.
All eyes will turn back to the Hill as the time approaches to nominate a new Supreme Court Justice. Justice Scalia was a conservative pillar in Supreme Court decisions. Whomever the new person may be, the decision will most likely be controversial.
In many ways, no news is good news for Capitol Hill, and many eyes continue to be glued on the campaign trail. GOP lawmakers are increasingly endorsing various candidates, and Rubio, at this point, seems to be the top pick in Congress.