Senate Articles

The Young and Restless

Senators in a hurry
Feb 15, 2016

A good-looking young senator, short on experience, is seeking the White House, after what critics say are too few years served in the job he is holding, too few accomplishments in it, and altogether too little of the experience, tempering, grooming, and seasoning they think that a president needs. He is in his early-to-mid-forties, about 10 years less than the age at which most men seek that office, and creates resentment and anger in the generation he is trying to shoulder aside. On the plus side, he is highly articulate and keenly aware of the nature of words and their power.

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Sestak: Iran Nuclear Deal Helped Captured Sailors

"Did they take propaganda advantage of it? You betcha."
3:59 PM, Jan 26, 2016
Retired Navy Admiral and Senate hopeful Joe Sestak was asked recently at the Pennsylvania Press Club Luncheon about the recent catpure of 10 U.S. Navy sailors by the government of Iran. Read more

An Unlikely Crusade

Senator Ben Sasse targets the administrative state.
Jan 11, 2016

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a rookie who ranks 99th in seniority, gave his maiden speech on the Senate floor in November. Normally, senators use such speeches to discuss why this or that legislation is needed. Sasse, a former college president and a historian by training (Yale Ph.D.) who has taught public policy (at the University of Texas), didn’t do that. Instead, he addressed the institutional decline of Congress.

The speech was well received in the Senate, and the news coverage was generally positive. Oddly, however, the media failed to observe that Sasse promised a series of floor speeches on the growth of the administrative state and "executive branch legislating."

The importance of this topic is

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Senator Sasse: Weak Congress 'Undesirable' and 'Dangerous'

1:29 PM, Dec 18, 2015

Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, took to the Senate floor to give the first of a series of addresses on the separation of powers. The senator talked Thursday about the need for Republicans to hold themselves to the Constitution the same way they demand Democrats do. He asked what would happen if America elects Donald Trump, and if President Trump violates the Constitution.

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Iowa Poll: Cruz Supplants Carson as Top Trump Challenger

9:15 AM, Nov 24, 2015

A new poll of Iowa Republicans shows Texas senator Ted Cruz moving into a close second to Donald Trump in the race for the presidential nomination. The Quinnipiac poll of 600 likely GOP caucusgoers found 25 support Trump while 23 percent support Cruz.

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Rubio Links Cruz to Snowden

12:17 PM, Nov 17, 2015

The fight between GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio continues to heat up. Cruz set things off last week with a direct hit against Rubio over the latter’s support for the Gang of 8 immigration plan, an attack that the Rubio camp seemed ready for.

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Sasse Finally Speaks

An unusually promising senator’s unusual debut.
Nov 16, 2015

After Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) delivered his maiden speech on the Senate floor last week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a text of his address to every Republican senator. This was unusual. McConnell rarely does anything quite like this.

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It's Not Clear What Cruz Believes on Immigration

6:32 AM, Nov 13, 2015

Why is it so hard to figure out what Ted Cruz actually believes should be done about illegal immigration? When the Texas senator, through the help of radio host Laura Ingraham, zeroed in on Marco Rubio's involvement drafting and supporting the Gang of 8's comprehensive immigration reform plan in the Senate, he brought up for discussion his rival's single biggest weakness in the Republican presidential primary.

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Jeb Donor: 'Stay Classy' and Don't Go After Marco

12:49 PM, Nov 10, 2015

The super PAC supporting former Florida governor Jeb Bush for president told the New York Times that it plans on using its resources to hit Florida senator Marco Rubio over his pro-life record as well as missed votes in the Senate.

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Senator Sasse Criticizes Senate: 'We Are Not Doing Our Job'

"This is not a call for less fighting. This is a call for more meaningful fighting."
3:06 PM, Nov 04, 2015

Senator Ben Sasse spoke on the Senate floor for the first time yesterday. 

"Thank you, Mr. President. I rise to speak from the floor for the first time today. I have never been in politics before, and intentionally waited to speak," the Nebraska senator, who was elected last year, began.

He explained why he waited a year to speak. 

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Ben Sasse Is Now Ready to Shake Up Washington

9:45 AM, Nov 03, 2015

A tradition in the Senate required a newly elected member to wait a year or more before addressing his colleagues on the Senate floor.  But that practice has been absent from the Senate for decades—until today.

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The Failure of Normality

The unhappy lessons of the Thompson campaign.
5:09 PM, Nov 02, 2015

This article originally appeared in the February 4, 2008 issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD and is being published today in memory of Fred Thompson who passed away Sunday.

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Fix the Filibuster

But don’t destroy it
Nov 02, 2015

We hear endlessly these days from the left and the right that our political system is “broken.” The left’s principal complaint is that it is too hard to pass their desired legislation. Liberals pine for a parliamentary system, where the majority party in the legislature controls public policy. Our Founders, however, devised a novel structure of checks and balances that makes enacting legislation difficult. If that constitutional design is functioning as intended, it can hardly be said to be “broken.” 

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Bernie Hits Hillary for Rewriting History on Gay Rights

9:24 PM, Oct 24, 2015

In a speech tonight in Des Moines, Bernie Sanders will hit Hillary Clinton for rewriting history on gay rights, according to the remarks as prepared for delivery.

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More Last-Minute Scandal in Louisiana Governor's Race

10:52 AM, Oct 24, 2015

The problems just keep stacking up for Louisiana Republican David Vitter as he battles to stay alive in what's become a contentious race for governor. The two-term U.S. senator has been dogged by new allegations surrounding his use of prostitutes in New Orleans and Washington, D.C.

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Cotton Holding Up 3 Obama Nominees Over Secret Service Leak

The Arkansas Republican is calling for a criminal investigation.
1:54 PM, Oct 05, 2015

Arkansas senator Tom Cotton will place a hold on three ambassador nominations until the Obama administration agrees to investigate and discipline officials within the Secret Service over a leak of private personnel information about a sitting congressman.

Cotton plans to deliver a speech from the Senate floor Monday afternoon decrying the Secret Service and its director, Joe Clancy, after several officials accessed the information for Jason Chaffetz, the Republican congressman from Utah and chairman of the House oversight committee, which oversees the Secret Service.

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Liz Warren Targets Scholar Who Disagrees With Her

2:37 PM, Oct 01, 2015

Senator Elizabeth Warren is leading a charge against against the thinkers on the left, apparently. As Politico reports:

News broke at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday that the liberal Massachusetts firebrand was blasting Brookings Institution scholar Robert Litan because a mutual-fund company paid for his research criticizing an Obama administration proposal to regulate the industry. By 9:30 a.m., Litan — an economist and former adviser to President Bill Clinton — was out.

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What's Cruz's Strategy?

2:59 PM, Sep 24, 2015

Something has gotten into Ted Cruz. The Republican senator is known as a conservative firebrand willing to take on his own party, but in a Thursday meeting with reporters in his Capitol Hill office, Cruz was sounding almost ecumenical. Maybe it was the presence of Pope Francis.

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Cruz Prepares For Shutdown II

2:18 PM, Sep 24, 2015

Something has gotten into Ted Cruz. The Republican senator is known as a conservative firebrand willing to take on his own party, but in a Thursday meeting with reporters in his Capitol Hill office, Cruz was sounding almost ecumenical. Maybe it was the presence of Pope Francis.

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North Dakota's Senator Heitkamp Won't Explain Flip-Flop on Late-Term Abortion

12:48 PM, Sep 23, 2015

When running for Senate in 2012, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp portrayed herself as something of a moderate on the issue of abortion, saying: "I do not support public funding of abortions, and believe that late term abortions should be illegal except when necessary to save the life of the mother."

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Senate Dems Filibuster Bill to Protect Premature Infants from Late-Term Abortion

11:40 AM, Sep 22, 2015

Senate Democrats blocked House-passed legislation on Tuesday that would prohibit almost all abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy, a point when human infants can feel pain and 

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20 Current Members of Congress Had Parents in Congress

3:09 PM, Sep 17, 2015

For some, politics is the family business, and increasingly so in Washington. On Thursday, Illinois Republican Darin LaHood was sworn in to the House of Representatives, taking over the seat once occupied by disgraced congressman Aaron Schock and, before that, LaHood's own father, Ray LaHood.

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A Disciplined Rubio Stands Out at Debate

And he mostly ignores the Donald.
1:54 PM, Sep 17, 2015

While their fireworks have earned Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump the most attention after Wednesday night’s Republican debate in California, the winner for the most detailed and substantive performance may go to Marco Rubio. 

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Reid Won't Say If There Should be Any Limits on Abortion

3:55 PM, Sep 16, 2015

As Republicans in the Senate bring forward a bill next week that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of gestation—when babies are capable of feeling pain and can survive outside the womb—Senate minority leader Harry Reid declined to say whether he supports any limits on abortion during any moment of pregnancy. The Nevada Democrat has characterized himself as pro-life in the past, having stated his opposition to Roe v.

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Durbin: 'Some Groups' Pressuring GOP on Iran Deal Vote

2:52 PM, Sep 16, 2015

A leading Democratic senator said Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is continuing to push for an up-or-down vote on approving the Iran nuclear deal to score points with "some groups."

Illinois senator Dick Durbin, a supporter of the Iran deal and the Democratic whip, criticized McConnell during a press conference in the Capitol with other Democratic leaders. Democrats have so far blocked efforts to end Senate debate on the Iran deal, most recently Tuesday night. Republicans argue the Senate should actually vote on approval.

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The Next Justices

A guide for GOP candidates on how to fill Court vacancies
Sep 14, 2015

When Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath of office to the next president, he will be flanked by three, and almost four, octogenarians: Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg (83), Antonin Scalia (80), Anthony Kennedy (80), and Stephen Breyer (77). The next president will likely have the opportunity to appoint a replacement for one, two, three, or maybe even four of those justices. These decisions will reshape the Court and how it reads the Constitution for decades to come.

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Cotton: Senate Fails to Stop Iran from Getting Nukes

3:32 PM, Sep 10, 2015

Senator Tom Cotton is blasting Senate Democrats from failing to block the Iran nuclear deal.

“I am deeply disappointed by Senate Democrats' decision to block a vote on the Iran nuclear deal. I proposed an amendment to Corker-Cardin that would have guaranteed a vote, but it was rejected by Democrats because their goal all along was to deny Congress any vote or say on this deal. That's one reason why I ultimately voted against Corker-Cardin," reads Cotton's statement to the press.

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Congress Shouldn't Vote on Iran Deal Without Side Deal Details

5:20 PM, Sep 07, 2015

Bill Kristol, the chairman of the Emergency Committee for Israel, has a statement on behalf of the group:

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Cheney: Congress Should Treat Iran Deal As a Treaty

"It should require two-thirds vote of the Senate to go in force."
9:04 AM, Sep 02, 2015

Former vice president Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz Cheney appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe Wednesday morning to promote their new book, Exceptional. The Cheneys spoke about national security, foreign policy issues like the Iran deal, and 2016 politics.

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Cotton: Reid Wants to 'Deny American People' a Choice on Iran Deal

11:40 AM, Aug 25, 2015

Senate minority leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Monday he is working toward filibustering a disapproval vote on President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, Politico reports. Arkansas senator Tom Cotton, a Republican who has been a vocal critic of the deal, released a statement blasting the Nevada Democrat's declared effort to block a rejection in the Senate:

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