EXCLUSIVE: Finance Bill Won't Increase the Cap on Subsidies
September 14, 2009
Since the Baucus framework was released last week, there's been an ongoing debate about whether the Finance Committee's final bill will include any significant changes. One area of dispute has been the subsidy cap for uninsured families: Chairman Max Baucus set it at 300 percent above the federal poverty level in his framework (about $66,000 a year for a family of four). But others in the committee--including Olympia Snowe and Jeff Bingaman--have wanted to raise the subsidy cut-off to 400 percent (about $88,000 a year for a family of four).
The Empathy War
July 14, 2009
For the past few weeks, we've heard a lot of debate about whether constitutional law can possibly survive close contact with the concept of empathy. But after spending the afternoon at the Sotomayor hearings, listening to senators left and right prattle about empathy and its relationship to justice, I have another question: Can the concept of empathy survive close contact with constitutional law?
Brains Of The Operation
March 12, 2009
There's some news buzz around Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy, and Chuck Schumer's proposal, introduced earlier this week, to create a Financial Product Safety Commission (FPSC) that would regulate, among other things, mortgages, credit, and payday loans to "reduce [their] consumer risk." The Chicago Sun-Times even touted the commission as "Durbin's big idea." But, as Clay Risen noted this morning, the brain behind the idea is Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor, bankruptcy expert, and chair of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel (COP). In her COP role, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ha
February 18, 2009
In the brief weeks that Barack Obama has been president, the n-word has been heard with startling frequency in Washington. We're talking about “nationalization,” of course. The plight of the country's banks has become so severe that the GOP’s incessant cries of “socialism” during last year's campaign, so ridiculous then, suddenly seem too mild a description for the prospect we face.
December 03, 2008
Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and other friends have spent the past year screaming about the horrors of Barack Obama. And, while it's true that they talked ad nauseam about socialism and the Weathermen and Jeremiah Wright, careful listeners would have noticed a recurring theme of anxiety: that Obama was going to use the newly acquired levers of government to destroy them.
November 19, 2008
In the spring of 2007, long before Sarah Palin became a feminist icon, before Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers reared their unreconstructed heads, before Hillary Clinton ever questioned his readiness to be president, Barack Obama's greatest nemesis was a 29-year-old paralegal named Joe Anthony. Anthony had attracted tens of thousands of fans to a MySpace page he'd set up for Obama—a testament to the legions of new voters the candidate was inspiring. But, back in Chicago, all Anthony's site inspired was indigestion.
Schumer On Palin: "hail Mary Pass"
August 29, 2008
I just buttonholed Chuck Schumer in the Denver airport about Sarah Palin. "Hail Mary pass," he said. "They know they're in bad shape."He suggests it was a "last-minute" pick borne of alarm over a successful convention. --Michael Crowley
Maverick vs. Iceman
February 27, 2008
A couple of years ago, as part of his campaign to reassure conservatives of his ideological reliability, John McCain sat for an interview with Stephen Moore, a Wall Street Journal editorial writer and fervent advocate of supply-side economics. In the course of the interview, McCain acknowledged that not all his positions were acceptable to the right, but he hinted that further rightward evolution might be possible. "His philosophy is best described as a work in progress," wrote Moore somewhat hopefully. As McCain put it, "I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do abou
A Preview Of The Democrats' Iraq Strategy
February 26, 2008
With floor debate heating up over two bills introduced by Russ Feingold, Congress is back debating Iraq. Republicans are confident they can argue the surge is working (cf. here for an alternative assessment), and Democrats are rolling out a new war critique in order to frame the issue for the 2006 2008 election.
June 11, 2007
Chuck Schumer's no-confidence-in-Gonzales vote went down tonight, 53 -38 (falling short of the 60 needed for the increasingly elusive cloture).