The House is out of session until next week, so things are relatively quiet on Capitol Hill. That gives us the opportunity to hunt around for a whole variety of noteworthy stories that you might otherwise have missed.
First, of course, is election day. The most notable stories were the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, but from the congressional point of view, the most important was the Republican primary for a special election to replace retired Representative Jo Bonner (AL-01). The race featured the “establishment”-backed Bradley Byrne against the Tea Party candidate Dean Young. Many have taken it as a bell-weather of the future of the Republican Party. Now that the race is won, the pundits have the tough job of trying to figure out what actually happened—and whether the establishment-vs-Tea Party narrative even applies.
Politico: Alabama Special Election: Bradley Byrne Wins
Washington Examiner: K Street Shadow Boxing Tea Party in Alabama
National Review: Escape in Alabama
The Obamacare drama continues and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions had the opportunity to question Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. One question that came up was whether the HHS Secretary had the authority to delay implementing HealthCare.gov. It’s somewhat interesting because it gets at the question of Executive-Legislative power sharing.
National Journal: Did Sebelius Have the Authority to Delay Obamacare Website Launch?
The Legislative Branch shares power not only with the Executive Branch, but with the Judicial as well. The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case—involving a love triangle and a chemical weapons treaty—that might limit Congress’ power.
Bloomberg: Justices Hearing Poison Case Suggest Curbs on Congress
And for our latest blog post: What Happens When a Member of Congress Dies?