The Starter Home
December 19, 2009
At Saturday’s press conference announcing that Democrats had the sixty votes necessary to pass health reform legislation, Majority Leader Harry Reid was flanked by three of his colleagues: Max Baucus, Chris Dodd, and Tom Harkin. But Harkin was, in a sense, the odd man out. Unlike Baucus and Dodd, who managed health care legislation through their respective committees, Harkin assumed a leadership role only after taking over chairmanship of the HELP Committee in September.
Show some CLASS
October 21, 2009
Harold Pollack is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Special Correspondent for The Treatment. Imagine that you walk outside your home one rainy morning to get your morning paper. You slip and fall on your slippery front steps, breaking your back and suffering irreparable spinal cord damage. Even if you have perfect medical insurance, you would quickly discover that you would need a lot of help. You might need a home health care aid. You might need ramps and equipment for your house, a handicap-accessible van.
Harkin: Senate Dems Looking at House Funding Ideas
October 16, 2009
The big question looming over reform negotiations in the Senate is how to pay for expanding insurance coverage. The Senate Finance bill calls for an excise tax, to be levied on plans with generous benefits. But many Democrats don't like the idea. So will they scale it back? And, if so, can they will come up with an alternative?
One Issue Where Obama Really Is Winning
October 07, 2009
Among President Obama's attempts to pass far-reaching liberal legislation this year, his signature plan to overhaul the way students receive college loans has probably received the least attention. Yet, right now, it's arguably the issue on which Obama is closest to achieving an unvarnished success. Last month, taking cues from Obama, the House of Representatives passed the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which would alter the way the government funds Pell Grants and other student loans.
Blanche Lincoln As Ag Chair? Say It Ain't So.
September 09, 2009
Now that Chris Dodd has decided to keep his chairmanship of the Senate banking committee, it looks like Tom Harkin will leave his agriculture post to go take Ted Kennedy's former spot atop the HELP committee. To the dismay of a lot of food-policy reformers, this means the more conservative Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas will be next in line for the Ag Committee gavel (there are more senior members on that committee, but they all have other, more powerful chairmanships already). It's not unreasonable to ask if this will really make a big difference as far as agricultural policy's concerned.
Crashing the Party
July 19, 2004
It's not often that a U.S. political campaign is launched on foreign soil. Then again, it's not often that a U.S. political campaign revolves around a major motion picture.