Shawn Zeller

The Americans paying more taxes
Podcast, Episode 140

 

Tax season has begun, and upper-middle-income taxpayers earning between $120,000 and $200,000 in states with high local taxes are the most likely to be among the 5 percent who paid more last year because of the 2017 law, says Kyle Pomerleau, director of the Center for Quantitative Analysis at the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank. Doug Sword, CQ’s tax reporter, explains how congressional Democrats, and those running for president, are attacking the law.

#MeToo reconsidered: One feminist on equalizing campus sexual assault rules
Podcast, Episode 139

Patricia Hamill calls herself a feminist and a liberal Democrat, but as a defense attorney for students accused of sexual assault and harassment on college and university campuses she backs the Education Department's controversial proposal to require schools to change the way they handle these cases. The department is now considering the more-than-100,000 comments it received about its proposal, most of them opposed. ...
Why Republicans bucked Trump on Afghanistan and Syria
Podcast, Episode 138

CQ senior defense writer John M. Donnelly and Michael Rubin, a former Middle East adviser in the George W. Bush administration who’s now a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, discuss the implications of President Donald Trump’s moves to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan and Syria and the Republican-led backlash in Congress. 

 

Shutdown ends but its damage will last
Podcast, Episode 137

CQ Homeland Security Editor Patrick B. Pexton discusses the details of the deal between President Donald Trump and lawmakers to end the shutdown. Max Stier, president of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, says it has done lasting damage to the civil service and that Congress must never allow it to happen again.

Furloughed government contractors to Congress: ‘Pay us too’
Podcast, Episode 136

Tens of thousands of government contractors are out of work and their employers are losing millions in revenue because of the partial government shutdown. Alan Chvotkin of the Professional Services Council, a contractor trade association, says his group is lobbying Congress to pay contractors for their missed work, as it has already agreed to do for furloughed civil servants. And Roll Call senior Senate reporter Niels Lesniewski says the impasse on Capitol Hill over government funding is showin...
EU to move first on crypto rules. Will US follow?
Podcast, Episode 135

 

European officials are expected to fire the first shot in the regulation of cryptocurrencies, with recommendations on what should be done to protect investors and preserve the integrity of financial markets. 

Pelosi stresses climate action, but activists push for more
Podcast, Episode 134

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls climate change "an existential threat" and has established a committee to look for solutions. CQ energy & envir...
Divided government will pose an obstacle to lawmaking in 2019
Congress was most dysfunctional from 2011 to 2014 when control of House and Senate was split

Washington tends to work best when one party controls both Congress and the White House. It’s most gridlocked, usually, when control of Congress is split.

The Congress of the past two years demonstrated the first principle. By any honest measure, President Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues in the House and Senate got a lot done in 2017 and 2018.

Sen. Tester Targets Dark Money
Podcast, Episode 133

Democrats plan to make so-called "good government" laws to tighten campaign finance and lobbying rules a priority in the new Congress. Democrat Jon Tester, who is featured in a documentary about outside campaign money in his state of Montana, tells host Shawn Zeller and lobbying reporter Ka...
Charities Feeling Flush Despite Tax Law Change
Small gifts are down, but big donors have more than made up for it

Year-end holiday giving is make-or-break time for America’s charitable sector. Donors who give now may feel compelled by the spirit of the season, but many of them also know that they can soon write off their gifts on their taxes and recoup a portion of their money.

But that latter incentive affects fewer people this year, thanks to a provision in the 2017 tax law that roughly doubled the standard deduction. As a result, the Congressional Budget Office projects that 31 million fewer households will itemize their taxes next year, eliminating their tax incentive to give to charity.

Pelosi's Concessions Will Change the Way Laws Are Made
CQ on Congress Podcast, Episode 131

In seeking to solidify her bid for House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi promised members of the Problem Solvers Caucus she'd guarantee floor time for bills with broad, bipartisan support. Problem Solvers Co-Chairman Read more...
The Largest Congressional District, Montana’s, Also Had the Highest Turnout
In contrast, California’s 21st District saw fewest number of voters show up

The turnout for the midterm elections was the highest — 49 percent of those eligible to cast ballots did — since 1914, according to the United States Election Project.

But the enthusiasm was not evenly spread. The number of votes cast in some House districts was much higher than others and it did not depend on the competitiveness of the races.

Pelosi Wins First Round Against Dissidents
CQ on Congress Podcast, Episode 130

Nancy Pelosi has won the House Democratic Caucus' nomination to return as speaker in January, proving herself a formidable opponent to those in the party who'd depose her. Molly Reynolds, a fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank, unpacks the incentives Pelosi is deploying to get to a majority, and secure the speakership, when the full House votes in January.

Why Nancy Pelosi Won't Back Down
Podcast, Episode 129

The first woman to serve as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, wants to return to the job now that Democrats control the chamber again. Dissenters in her caucus say they can block her ascent. Pelosi biographer Marc Sandalow says the renegades are in for a battle. ...
Fox News' Shannon Bream on the Record
Podcast, Episode 127

Shannon Bream, host of Fox News @ Night, answers the tough questions about Fox's ideological approach to journalism amid growing public concern about heated political rhetoric. Her show is part of Fox News' prime-time lineup that in October reached more than 2.8 million cable viewers a day.  In a 20-minute interview, Bream discusses a wide range of issues related to the politicization of the media on the left and right. 

Capitol Insiders Make Their Predictions on the Midterms
Half of Republican aides say they'll keep control of the House, 9 in 10 Democrats predict they’ll take control

The midterm elections are just days away and both Republican and Democratic aides are hoping for the best.

In their responses to CQ’s Capitol Insiders Survey, half of Republican aides said their party would retain the House majority. That’s optimistic. Political prognosticators give the GOP little hope of that, given the large number of House GOP retirements and the antipathy toward President Donald Trump in suburban districts. The website FiveThirtyEight puts chances of a GOP House majority at 17 percent.

What Will Happen if Democrats Win
Podcast, Episode 126

CQ senior writer Kate Ackley says Democrats agree on a few policy bills, from a lobbying and campaign finance overhaul to an increase in the minimum wage, but will likely have internal disagreements about whether to pursue more far-reaching goals, like Medicare for all, or restrictions on gun ownership. ...
Why Angry Senators Are Ready to Break Up With Saudi Arabia
Podcast, Episode 125

Senators are considering several options to punish Saudi Arabia over the suspected murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, says CQ foreign policy reporter Rachel Oswald. She adds that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have grown frustrated with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. He was once seen as a reformer but his crackdown on dissent has tarred his image.