Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently brought a handful of Democrats with her to Cuba – a trip she calls a sign of “friendship” between the U.S. and the island nation that remains under a congressionally mandated embargo.
This Congress is the least active in the nation’s history. In the past two years, the body has passed only 181 bills that were signed into law by the president. Norm Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, doesn’t rate it very highly.
“This is an embarrassing and miserable Congress, really one of the worst I've ever seen,” he says.
The contest for Florida’s 26th congressional district is close, and the race is getting national attention. But when Democratic incumbent Congressman Joe Garcia debated Republican challenger Carlos Curbelo Monday, it was a small town affair.
U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia and Miami-Dade County School Board member Carlos Curbelo disagree on a lot of issues. And they fundamentally disagree on whether the public should invest in government – or cut it back. But their sharpest words at Monday’s debate were over character.
Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo got a big endorsement for his run for Congress on Monday: former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Dressed in a white shirt and tie over jeans and shiny loafers, Romney says Curbelo is what the founding fathers had in mind: a man of his community with a deep understanding of how the economy creates jobs.
He was there just to endorse Curbelo and not to talk about whether or not he’ll run for president again.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) spent the whole year trying to convince fellow House Republicans to support comprehensive immigration reform.
By going to many Republicans one by one, Diaz-Balart says he had solidified the votes to pass immigration reform for the first time since Ronald Regan was president.
He had found a simple solution that gained GOP support: Apply current paths to citizenship to every immigrant already in the country – but putting those who entered illegally at the back of the line instead of the front.
A bill that would lead to better protections for cruise passengers has yet to move forward in Congress.
Last week, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on cruise passenger safety. The hearing was called by committee chairman and senator Jay Rockefeller from West Virginia, who sponsored the Cruise Passenger Protection Act.
At the hearing, lawyer and International Cruise Victims Association board member Philip Gerson testified. He is the legal representative of a 15-year-old victim of rape on a cruise ship.
Among the more than 80 House freshmen who were sworn in this week, there were several who had been there before — including Florida Democrat Alan Grayson.
After starting his first term four years ago, Grayson quickly made a name for himself with biting comments targeting Republicans — like when he said during the health care debate: "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly."
His national stature, however, didn't prevent him from being defeated in 2010. But now Grayson is back.