Michael Bloomberg, Howard Schultz and Peter Ackerman meet Charlie Wheelan.
An obvious danger of the IRS political targeting scandal is that congressional and federal investigations will produce much heat but little light.
Bashing Congress has been a popular sport since the beginning of the republic. Ohio Republican Rep. Nicholas Longworth described this national pastime in his acceptance speech as speaker in 1925: I have been a member of the House of Representatives ... twenty years. During the whole of that time we have been attacked, denounced, despised, hunted, harried, blamed, looked down upon, excoriated, and flayed. I refuse to take it personally.
Q: I am chief of staff for a member of the House with a question about how House ethics rules might impact staffers on furlough. I am wondering whether the rules would allow staffers to do part-time work with their former law firms if they are placed on furlough. I know that conflict-of-interest rules prohibit staffers from doing some types of outside work, including legal work for clients. But, would this restriction apply to staffers on furlough? And, would it apply even if the staffers were to do purely administrative work and perform no legal services at a law firm?
A suspicious stock spike might boost legislation that seeks to bring a clandestine class of Wall Street representatives into the daylight.
When you hear cries for a return to the regular order from both parties in both chambers, you know there is either a bipartisan consensus about the causes of disorder and its cure or a selective invocation of the term by different folks with differing agendas. Alas, it is the latter a political Rorschach test in which each group perceives the ink blot according to its peculiar ink-linations.
Q. I have a question about the recent news of an audio recording of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. I know that there has been a great deal of focus on the legality of the recording and it being leaked. But, I have now also seen some news about allegations against McConnell, himself, arising out of the recording. Is there any merit to the charges against McConnell?
A silent spring descended on House and Senate chambers March 25 when Congress left town for its two-week break. During five recesses last year, banging gavels reverberated in both nearly empty chambers as designated presiding officers convened and adjourned pro forma sessions in a matter of seconds. The hapless victims: House and Senate floor staff.
Last week, I discussed the most vulnerable senator seeking re-election. It was a tough call, but clearly came down to two Southern Democrats. This week, the question is who is the Houses most vulnerable incumbent, and the answer is much, much easier.
Q. I am a House staffer with a question about members participating in special VIP discount programs that some businesses offer. The member I work for is preparing to buy a new boat, and the company he is buying from has placed him in a special VIP discount program. Im concerned that this is the type of special treatment that might violate ethics laws. Do the ethics rules permit members to participate in a businesss VIP program?
Last week, I wrote a short item about reports that former Massachusetts GOP Sen. Scott P. Brown was not ruling out a run for the Senate in 2014 in New Hampshire.
Todays column will be my last in Roll Call. After more than 20 years of writing Congress Inside Out (my first piece was in 1989), I will be moving on to another venue, starting next month. (Trust me, Im not going away!) For this column occasion, I thought back to how Congress has changed over the years since I first wrote for this paper.
Who is the most vulnerable senator seeking re-election next year?
Over the years, Ive complained about the tone of our political discussions, including some of what supposedly passes for political analysis. Too much of it is merely political advocacy cloaked in pseudo-analysis, and it drives me nuts.
It is very difficult to get a handle on the politics/policy dynamic going on right now. On the one hand, the green shoots I wrote about shortly after the election are showing some signs of sprouting.