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June 12, 2017

What else happened in Congress last week?

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  • The first public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee of former FBI director James Comey captured the most political attention last week, but there were other significant developments in Congress as well.
  • In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put the Republican health care bill on the “fast track,” which means it can go right to the floor of the Senate with almost no debate and pass with only 50 votes.
  • The House passed significant rollbacks of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which regulates big banks in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008.
  • The issues surrounding the Trump administration’s connections to Russia have raised the question of impeachment among some politicians. However, impeachment and removal is unlikely if a president’s base stays committed to him, and if current patterns continue Congressional Republicans will remain with President Trump to institute their agenda.

  1. Essential question: What else happened in Washington while much of the news cycle was occupied by coverage of the Comey hearing?
  2. What does it mean for a bill to be put on the “fast track?” What are some potential consequences for the opposing party and advantages for the majority party?
  3. What is Dodd-Frank? Why might rollbacks be appealing to Congressional Republicans?
  4. Why might impeachment and removal be unlikely under current conditions? Do you think that this might change? If so, how?

 

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