Congress is out of session for Thanksgiving, so there is little new to report on, and topics from last week like the nuclear option (or filibuster reform, as you might prefer) and Obamacare are still making top news.


The year is winding down, and the mid-term elections next year will be winding up very soon, so everyone in DC is interested in seeing how each issue will affect the races. Unless some major unexpected event pops up between now and the election, Obamacare’s pitiful rollout will probably be the biggest issue candidates will controvert. This has been a major boon to the Republicans, especially since the Democrats have been and continue to fight amongst themselves about it.

Politico: Democrats Worry Leaders in Denial on Obamacare

The Nuclear Option/Filibuster Reform

Last week, the Senate Democrats used a highly controversial maneuver to eliminate the filibuster for Executive Branch and most Judicial Branch nominations (all except for Supreme Court vacancies). This has been leading some to speculate on how the Republicans might respond to the Democrats’ tactic. Only time will tell.

Roll Call: Uncertain ‘Nuclear’ Fallout in Senate

Obamacare Meets the Nuclear Option

In the wake of the poor Obamacare rollout, many have called for Administration resignations, but one of the arguments against this is that it would take forever to get through the Senate confirmation process. The nuclear option has now invalidated that reason. Can President Obama now install new officials as a way of controlling the damage done to his party?

The Hill: Filibuster’s End Imperils Sebelius

Redrawing the Map…

…and we’re not talking about the congressional districts. We’re talking about whole states. People often complain that the Senate is an undemocratic body, because states with small populations have the same number of votes as states with large populations. One mapmaker, Neil Freeman, has tried to remediate that by redrawing the states so each has about the same number of people. Ready for the states of Atchafalaya, Trinity, Yerba Buena, and Shasta? Not that we at the Congressional Institute advocate this, but it’s a really interesting map.

Washington Post: The 50 States, Redrawn with Equal Population

Congratulations, Representative McMorris Rodgers!

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Chair of the House Republican Conference, announced that she just gave birth to her third child, Brynn Catherine.

Politico: Cathy McMorris Rodgers Announces Birth