Obamacare’s rollout woes still headline the DC news, but other things are actually going on at the Capitol. Here is a look at other stories that you might have missed over the past few days and weeks.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama called on the House of Representatives to take up immigration reform, saying that he hoped they could complete the reform by the end of the year. House Republicans countered by saying they oppose a comprehensive approach, preferring to pass a series of smaller bills. After all that the Congress has been through these past few weeks, it’s unlikely that anyone has the energy to take up a large bill. Additionally, some on the right have already expressed their doubts that the President would enforce provisions of the law he disagrees with.
Something that is far less contentious and much more likely to pass the Congress is a bill on patent reform aimed at reducing a practice know as patent trolling. A patent troll is an individual or business that will buy the rights various patents that have already been granted and then sue or threaten a lawsuit against those who produce the products protected by these patents, even though the plaintiff does not market or make the item in question. Opponents of the practice say that the patents in question have been granted to items or methods should not be covered in the first place, and that it stifles creativity. Representative Bill Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has introduced a bill along with Representative Howard Coble (R-NC), Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). Bipartisanship win.
Last week’s debt ceiling-shutdown deal certainly failed to defund Obamacare, but it did succeed in defunding something else: construction for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial. In October 1999, Congress passed a law calling for the erection of a memorial to the late President and war hero and providing most of the funding. The Eisenhower Memorial Commission approved a design that included a statue of the President as a boy and pillars with metal “tapestries” depicting his life. The design was widely panned and the President’s family members, including his own son, eventually publicly expressed their disapproval.
Since each of the parties has had at least one public-relations nightmare recently—the government shutdown and the Obamacare rollout—people are already speculating on how it will affect next year’s elections. But what happens when you can’t actually get people to run for Congress? RealClearPolitics reports on the difficulties associated with getting high-quality candidates to run.
And for our latest blog post: Will the Senate Shutdown-Debt Ceiling Deal Pass the Hastert Rule?