Validation on Health Care Reform

By: Wednesday December 3, 2014 1:00 pm

In an interview with The Hill, outgoing Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) has come to admit that, in hindsight, most of the strong political and policy criticism I (and Firedoglake) were making during the health care reform debate were correct. From The Hill: “We had the power to do it in a way that would have [...]


Why it Especially Important Representatives Hear from their Constituents on Lower Profile Issues

By: Wednesday June 4, 2014 12:12 pm

Ironically, while lower profiles issues are often the hardest to convince regular people to get involved on, they are the issues where calling their members of Congress can make the most difference.

Senators Write Letter to Harry Reid Opposing Fast Track Authority for TPP and TTIP

By: Thursday January 16, 2014 10:50 am

According to a letter obtained by Firedoglake, 12 United States Senators have written a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to convey their opposition to the “prospect of renewing Trade Promotion Authority” or fast track authority. Specifically mentioned in the context of that opposition is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Two trade bills that shred national sovereignty as well as labor, environmental, and financial regulations passed in democratic governments.

Harkin’s Retirement Creates Senate Opening for the GOP

By: Monday January 28, 2013 9:30 am

Over the weekend Tom Harkin surprised the political world by announcing he will not run again in 2014. He announced his retirement just days after the Senate Democrats failed to reform the filibuster, which has been a long term goal of Harkin’s. When Democrats chickened out Harkin said President Obama “might as well take a four-year vacation” because Senate Democrats effectively killed any chance of advancing his agenda.

Accepting Near Lifetime Employment, when Lifetime was an Option

By: Monday January 28, 2013 1:30 am

Tom Harkin was a relatively young man when he became a United States Senator from Iowa – he is now well into his seventies. This truly liberal stalwart has decided to retire at the expiration of his term, rather than win re-election again in 2014.

Senator Harkin “No deal is better than a bad deal”

By: Monday December 31, 2012 9:40 am

Harkin noted the only real difference between America today and America at the time of the Clinton tax rates was that the rich had gotten richer and were now trying to protect their wealth. He specifically noted the attempt to make the estate tax cuts permanent and said the Clinton tax rates were fine by him.

Sunday Late Night: “XIV/4 or Bust!”

By: Sunday July 31, 2011 8:01 pm

There is now a deal, and Speaker Boehner needs Democratic votes to pass it because of his unruly and recalcitrant TeaParty membership, members of the Progressive Caucus must stop the deal. By stopping the deal at the last minute, the House Progressive Caucus forces President Obama to use his constitutional authority to ignore an illegal law that questions America’s public debt: the debt ceiling.

Kill the deal. Fourteen-four or Bust!

More Top Democrats Come Out in Support of 14th Amendment Solution

By: Friday July 29, 2011 12:17 pm

With only four days left until the August 2nd deadline and no deal in hand, more and more of the top Congressional Democrats have been coming out in support of the President using the 14th Amendment to ignore the debt ceiling. Yesterday the House’s second ranking Democrat Steny Hoyer (D-MD) came out strongly in favor of this tactic.

Senate Rules Changes Slipping Away As Media Dissembles

By: Monday January 24, 2011 6:05 am

Paul Kane has a piece in Sunday’s Washington Post that seems to be the kind of take on the Senate rules reform fight you’d expect someone who hasn’t been following it at all and gets most of his information from lobbyists. He accepts the contributions of senior Senate aides that the effort led by some Democrats to change the Senate rules will fail because “party leaders want to protect the right of the Senate’s minority party to sometimes force a supermajority of 60 votes to approve legislation.” But of course, the rules changes on the table would still allow that right. This confusion may indeed sink the Merkley/Harkin/Udall effort, but it’s a willful confusion.

With Some Dems Nervous About Any Changes, Senate Rules Reform to Be Tweaked

By: Wednesday January 19, 2011 8:40 am

Sen. Jeff Merkley acknowledged that one component of the consensus plan on Senate rules reform put together by him, Tom Udall and Tom Harkin would probably get tweaked, and that the biggest concern for skittish Democratic lawmakers was changing the rules at all, lest they be changed on them when Republicans take over. Which is kind of an amazing commentary on the state of the Democratic Party, when you think about it.

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