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.
|By: Jon Walker Monday January 28, 2013 9:30 am|
|By: Attaturk 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.
|By: DSWright 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.
|By: Teddy Partridge 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!
|By: Jon Walker 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.
|By: David Dayen 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.
|By: David Dayen 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.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday January 18, 2011 7:54 am|
A week from today, the Senate will reconvene, and the first item of business will be how to deal with the rules for the 112th Congress. Three Senators – Tom Udall, Jeff Merkley and Tom Harkin – will spearhead an effort to change the Senate rules that would attempt to achieve two goals – 1) make it faster to complete legislation and confirmations on which there is broad agreement, and 2) make it harder for obstructionists to carry out filibusters, or at least to make it opaque who is doing the filibustering and why.
|By: Jon Walker Thursday January 13, 2011 3:15 pm|
Even using just Quinnipiac’s numbers, I still find it impressive that there are almost as many people in the general public who support completely eliminating the filibuster and returning the Senate to majority rule as there are individuals who support the status quo. Totally ending the filibuster effectively lacks any even semi-prominent champion, outside a few bloggers.
|By: David Dayen Thursday January 6, 2011 6:00 pm|
Senators Tom Udall, Jeff Merkley and Tom Harkin have announced that their proposal for reforming the Senate rules now has 26 co-sponsors, all Democrats. But they represent a healthy ideological cross-section of the entire caucus.
Ben Nelson’s spokesman seriously walked back his opposition today.