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Archive of entries posted on October 2015

Was House Ethics Tricked into Letting Gulenists Treat?

A USA Today investigation by Paul Singer and Paulina Firozi finds some spooky things going on with congressional travel sponsored by Gulenist groups over the past decade: A dozen different Gülen groups have sponsored congressional travel since 2008 and have filed forms with the House certifying that they were paying for the trips. The House Ethics Committee [...]

Court Rejects Justice Department Plan to Avoid the Merits of House’s Obamacare Lawsuit

Yesterday Judge Collyer rejected the Justice Department’s motion to certify for interlocutory appeal her ruling that the House has standing to pursue its claim that the Obama administration has illegally spent billions of dollars in “cost-sharing” payments to insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act. The Justice Department had candidly admitted that it wanted an [...]

“Thorough Review” of Baku? I Say Not True.

On July 31, 2015, the House Ethics Committee issued its report on the trip to Baku, Azerbaijan by some 42 House members and staffers. The primary purpose of the trip, which took place at the end of May 2013, was to attend a conference in Baku entitled “U.S.-Azerbaijan: Vision for the Future.” The conference was [...]

Close Enough for Government Work

From Andrew Glass at Politico: “On this day in 1918, the House agreed to do business with fewer than 50 members present on the floor and the public galleries shuttered. It did so, despite the absence of a quorum, in response to the Spanish flu pandemic that was sweeping the globe.”   Tweet

Not So Fast, Speaker Winfrey

Is it a “fact” that non-members of the House are constitutionally eligible to serve as Speaker? The keepers of congressional knowledge and precedent (i.e., the Parliamentarians, the House historian, and other recognized experts on this sort of thing) would tell you, with perhaps an unwarranted degree of confidence, that the answer to this question is [...]

A Tenuous Recess Appointment in Virginia

An interesting recess appointment issue has arisen in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Article VI, section 7, of the Virginia constitution provides that justices of the state supreme court, who serve for 12 year terms,  “shall be chosen by the vote of a majority of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly.” Under [...]