This Week In Congress: Friday, Oct. 29 | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

This Week In Congress: Friday, Oct. 29

Play associated audio

From Capitol News Connection:

After months of declarations about a countdown, the build up, the "final throes," it really is the near-eve of the midterm election.

On the subject of this year's all-out spending spree: the numbers are unprecedented, even if the spirit of politicking isn't, says Senate historian Don Ritchie.

To a great extent, the handling of oft-recurring issues like campaign finance reform, not to mention all the new ones, will be determined by the all-important committees.

Over time, the relative power of committees and committee chairs has ebbed and flowed. These days, each individual Senator holds more sway. A measure of democracy, says Ritchie, albeit at the expense of some of the efficiency of the bad old days.

Today’s committee chair is less like a baron and more like a lion-tamer, standing in the middle with a whip and a chair.

This brings us to the upcoming lame duck--that period of time between the election and a new Congress being sworn-in in January.

Over the next two months, the parties will be sorting out their agendas for the next two years.

"It's an exciting time but one that's not very public and outside," says Deputy Historian of the House Fred Beuttler. "People aren't going to be seeing it because much of it is going to be in internal party conferences or caucuses."

One of the key tasks for the party in charge in each chamber will be to select, appoint and/or elect the committee chairs. In the event of a Republican majority in the House, that process will be complicated somewhat, as Republican leaders decide how to interpret and implement their own rules, which impose three-year term limits on most committee chairs. Those choices will have wide-ranging legislative consequences.

So from history's lips to today's ear: if Republicans take the House on Tuesday, expect to hear a lot more about arguably the chamber's most uniquely-powerful entity: the Rules Committee.

NPR

Marvel's New Hero Wants To Save The World — And The Citrus Industry

Captain Citrus was sponsored by Florida's orange growers, whose profits are being hurt by disease and declining consumer demand for orange juice. They hope the comic character will boost sales.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go To The Border To Court Voters

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and the GOP's survival may depend on recruiting Hispanic supporters.
NPR

Drivers, Passengers Say Uber App Doesn't Always Yield Best Routes

People love Uber, but they often complain the Uber app's built-in navigation doesn't give its drivers the best directions. The company says the app helps drivers and passengers travel efficiently.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.