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House Conservatives Are Winning

If one listens to the narrative advanced by rent-seeking, parasitic Washington political establishment, conservatives were “trounced,” as one publication put it, in Republican congressional primaries this cycle. This narrative could not be further from the truth.

09/14/2016
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House Freedom Caucus Should Support Justice Reform This Fall

BY Jason Pye and Nathan Leamer

Recently, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) gave a much-needed boost to efforts in the House of Representatives to pass criminal justice reform, telling NPR that he expected to have a package ready for votes in September. Once a subscriber to the purportedly “tough on crime” policies which characterized Congress’s approach to justice, Ryan changed his tone in recent years as he toured impoverished communities and learned of the stigma which comes with a criminal record.

08/30/2016
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Time for Congress's Spending Decisions to Go on the Record

Under the leadership of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the House of Representatives has been engaging in a review of the rules of the House through Organizational Task Force meetings and the House Rules Committee. This is a needed and courageous exercise. Citizens of all political backgrounds can agree that Congress needs to reform the way it works. A key way for that to happen is to make sure committees hold recorded votes on big-ticket items before they come to the House floor for a vote.

08/14/2016
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It's Time to Vote on Revised Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act

BY Adam Brandon and Todd Cox

The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (SRCA) was introduced in the Senate with considerable fanfare last October. But seven months later, it still hasn’t come to the Senate floor for a vote.

05/24/2016
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House Appropriations Voice Votes Allow Members to Avoid Accountability

The House Appropriations Committee has so far considered five of the 12 appropriations subcommittee spending bills. Not a single one of these bills received a recorded vote at full committee. Nearly $700 billion of spending that will come from the taxpayer, and increase our debt, was approved without a single member of the committee being put on the record with a vote during full committee consideration. As the appropriations process continues in the House, the chairman of the committee, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), and the ranking member of the committee, Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.), should either request a recorded vote on their own initiative or encourage one of the committee members to do so.

05/20/2016
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In Push to Fight Opioid Epidemic, McCarthy Should Remember Cantor's 'Make Life Work' Disaster

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) recently laid out his plans for the House "to address the nationwide opioid epidemic." The majority leader is to be commended for announcing in a transparent and articulate manner his blueprint for this problem. This effort at dialogue and the openness it demonstrates is welcome and courageous. While the majority leader's goals for addressing opioid issue are laudable, it is vital that McCarthy not repeat former Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) disastrous and constitutionally dubious "Make Life Work" initiative in the process. That effort pushed progressive legislative proposals in an effort to soften the image of Republicans in the House. The result was that it blurred the distinction between Republicans and Democrats to the frustration of the former and the delight of the latter. McCarthy should take care not to head down the same path with his endeavor.

04/15/2016
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Bringing Labor/HHS Bill to House Floor Should Be a Priority for Ryan

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has made the theme #ConfidentAmerica a key part of his speakership. This, along with his assertion that "As leaders, we need to raise our gaze and raise our game and talk about ideas," signals a new era in the House. There is a way to tangibly demonstrate that our country is confident and talking about ideas: If the appropriations process takes place this year, the first bill on the House floor should be the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill.

04/04/2016
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GOP Leadership Must Fight for Conservative Amendments When in Conference

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has committed to a more open process for considering legislation on the floor of the House of Representatives. As a result, lawmakers have been told that more of their amendments to legislation under consideration by the House will be debated and voted on. This is a welcome development. However, the Speaker and his leadership team must commit to keep conservative amendments that pass the House in the final version of legislation negotiated with the Senate. Otherwise, a more open amendment process in the House will be an exercise in messaging and distraction.

02/02/2016
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What the Trans-Pacific Partnership Gets Wrong about Intellectual Property

With the final text of all 30 chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) finally available, there is a lot to scrutinize. Chapters on environmental and labor standards are sure to get a lot of attention, but there is one chapter in particular that should be of concern to those concerned with innovation and freedom of expression: the chapter on intellectual property.

11/13/2015
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No more costly mandatory minimum sentences

BY Jason Pye and Marc Levin

Recent rulings at the U.S. Supreme Court on gay marriage and Obamacare are high-profile reminders that there is not much the left and right agrees on in this country. But yet another new bipartisan criminal justice reform bill, introduced recently by Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.) with the support of almost two dozen other Republicans and Democrats, shows that one thing we do agree on is that this country locks too many people up for too long at too high a price.

08/14/2015

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