Congress

Nancy Pelosi beat back her toughest challenge yet to her leadership of Democrats in the House of Representatives, defeating Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan to secure another term as House minority leader.

The California Democrat got 134 votes to Ryan's 63 in a secret ballot vote on Wednesday. Pelosi had boasted going into the vote that she had support from two-thirds of the caucus, and she received just over that amount.

Even if Hillary Clinton does win the White House on Tuesday, the tightening of the presidential race in the final week has been the most detrimental to Democrats' downballot hopes.

No matter who wins the presidential election on Tuesday, it's nearly certain Congress will be more narrowly divided come January.

And with no clear mandate likely coming out of 2016, there is little reason to be overly optimistic that the next Congress can escape the cycle of unproductivity and polarization that has gripped Washington in recent years.


The 115th Congress: Political Dynamics

With little chance of a Democratic House takeover in the 2016 election, the two likeliest scenarios are:

It’s good news to Florida’s Congressional Delegation and Governor Rick Scott that Congress could be close to striking a deal on funding efforts to combat the Zika virus. Florida just passed the 800 mark for the amount of cases reported to health officials. But, Florida leaders are a bit split on how that funding should be accomplished.

Kate Stein / WLRN

The total cost of mosquito control in Miami-Dade County became a bit clearer Tuesday, as officials released a preliminary look at the county’s 2016-2017 budget.

 

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Florida Democrats in Congress say they will continue to push for a vote on gun control measures as the House reconvenes after the Fourth of July weekend.

 

At a news conference at the Fort Lauderdale Airport on Tuesday morning, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch pointed the success of last month's Democratic sit-in in Congress to bring gun measures up for a vote.

 

Nominations are being taken for the next representatives of Florida in the National Statuary Hall.

The collection of one hundred statues — two from each state — is housed in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington D.C. Florida’s current representatives are Dr. John Gorrie, credited with inventing refrigeration and air conditioning, and General Edmund Kirby Smith, “an army officer and an educator,” according to the Architect of the Capitol’s website.

South Florida Republicans Battle Obama's Budget

Feb 25, 2016
Matt Laslo

  WASHINGTON -- Every year in Washington the White House and lawmakers in Congress do a strange dance. Feel free to think of it as the Budget Tango: like all things policy oriented, it’s not sexy. But there are precise choreographed movements, with the White House always taking the lead.

This year Republicans decided there would be no dance. GOP leaders upended decades of congressional protocol and refused to even invite Obama administration officials to the Capitol to discuss their budget numbers. South Florida Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart is fine with the move.  

courtsey

The U.S. Congress is back in session with the Western death toll to international terrorism climbing. Last Friday night’s attacks in Paris were the deadliest in France since World War II and the second deadliest in modern Europe after the 2004 train bombing in Madrid.

 

He's back!  Or hopes to be, at least.

In one of the worst-kept secrets in politics, Charlie Crist officially entered the race for Congress, in a soon-to-be-newly-configured district that should include his hometown of St. Petersburg.

Pope Francis, in an address to a joint meeting of Congress, encouraged lawmakers to work together to solve the problems of ordinary Americans and to show compassion for people across the globe who are suffering from war and hunger.

Proposed Congress Bill May Block Fishing Ban

Aug 3, 2015
Eleonora Edreva / WLRN

On Monday, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Small Business held a congressional hearing in Homestead.

The subject of the hearing was a proposed bill that would allow state fishery managers to block fishing bans in state waters within national parks. 

The bill’s relevance to South Florida is that it would shut down an attempt to create a marine reserve zone blocking commercial and recreational fishing in a portion of Biscayne National Park. 

Jeff Flake

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.

Miami-Dade school board member Carlos Curbelo surfed a national Republican wave to victory over Democrat Joe Garcia in Florida's 26th congressional district.

The state’s southernmost district includes both suburban Kendall and eclectic Key West.

Garcia won the seat two years ago, but Curbelo has returned it to Republican control.

Curbelo says voters are frustrated and disillusioned with government.

How Effective Are Florida Lawmakers?

Nov 3, 2014
Matt Laslo

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.

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