House of Representatives

Will the Democrats' new petition make Obama less likely to ease deportations on his own?

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Regardless of strategy, immigration reform has demographics on its side.

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House of Nerds

The smartest member of Congress is retiring. Who inherits his title?

Candidates to succeed Rep. Rush Holt—the Jeopardy champ and PhD in nuclear physics—atop the House of Nerds

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For the first time in history, over half of members of Congress are millionaires. But almost as striking as the many public servants who are raking in the big bucks is the fact that the 24 members at the bottom of the list are all deep in the red (and members 505-508 have a net worth of $0). Meet the five poorest members of Congress.

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On Capitol Hill, senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are frantically working to negotiate a deal before the government shutdown becomes a government default. A few blocks away, in the Rayburn House Office Building, a small group of U.S. representatives is occupied with what Doc Hastings, chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, has decided is an equally pressing task: Scrutinizing every barricaded road, traffic-coned scenic view, and chained-off Porta Potty in the National Park Service’s shut-down system.

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Isaac Chotiner: There are these faceless Republicans on the Hill, this Tea Party Caucus, and we see them saying crazy things in the newspaper. But who are they? I was just wondering how much interaction you had with them when you were in Congress.

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Imagine if the Democrats in 2007, having just regained control of the Congress, had decided to go to the mat against the Bush tax cuts. Imagine that they voted repeatedly to repeal them. They tried to delay implementation. They linked repeal to debt ceiling legislation. And while most of them knew better than to shut down the government over marginal tax rates, for a group critical to Nancy Pelosi’s majority, repeal had become a matter of religion.

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There’s nothing Democrats can do about gerrymandering, so here’s a radical proposal: Let’s turn our attention to whether Democrats are poised to capitalize on the opportunities that do exist in the House. Because for all the talk about gerrymandering, there are still 17 House Republicans in districts carried by President Obama. And there are another 17 districts that Romney carried by less than 3 points, and still a handful more of even redder districts where weak GOP incumbents won reelection by a narrow margin.

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Yesterday, that venerable institution, the U.S. House of Representatives, passed yet another Republican-backed bill that will never become law. No, it’s not their thirty-eighth attempt to repeal Obamacare, though that’s surely around the corner. It’s a restriction on abortion that flies in the face of Roe v.

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