Everybody hates Congress
Today: 100 incredible photos and a tour of congressional writing you won’t find anywhere else.
Good morning, Kyle here.
What do you think of Congress? If you hate it, the data say you’re not alone. But what Congress does on a weekly basis is incredibly important, and you should probably pay closer attention to it. Today we’ve got three quick things to give you a fresh perspective, two of which are anchored on Capitol Hill. ONE: Our legislative expert, Alexis Cole, highlights what Congress voted on last week. TWO: We showcase some of the recent articles written by our members of Congress. THREE: You’ll look at the 100 most influential photos of all time.
Later this week we’ll cover transgender restroom rights and ISPs selling your data, with views from the left and the right. Share FRAY with a friend or a Facebook group that needs to hear both sides of these issues.
Okay, I’ll get out of your way.
ONE: The Week in Congress
By Alexis Cole, Senior Legislative Affairs Writer
[Ed. Note: Each Monday, our senior legislative affairs writer, Alexis Cole, will give us the prior week’s highlights from the House and Senate. Often we’ll tackle the implications of these actions later in the week. (This Friday, for instance, we’ll be covering the congressional review bill revoking an Obama executive order that barred ISPs from selling your data without consent.)]
Congress’ focus this week continued to be their Congressional Review Act (CRA) blitz. This rarely used oversight tool allows Congress to vote to repeal recent agency regulations and is not subject to Senate filibuster. This Congress has used the CRA to repeal 13 Obama-era regulations, eight of which have so far been signed by President Trump.
Senate passed H.J. Res. 43, Vote Tally: 51–50
This dramatic Senate vote was on a CRA resolution to reverse a December 2016 rule protecting federal family planning funding, serving those with low incomes at clinics like Planned Parenthood, from state interference. The vote deadlocked at 50–50, after Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) broke ranks to vote in opposition of the reversal and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) flew in from his sickbed to vote for it. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote, agreeing to nullify the rule. The joint resolution now awaits President Trump’s signature.
House passed S.J. Res 34, Vote Tally: 215–205
The House voted on a CRA resolution to reverse a December 2016 rule barring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from collecting or selling, without the user’s consent, certain sensitive data generated from Internet browsing. The rule was set to go into effect later this year. Following the House vote, in which 15 Republicans crossed the party line to vote no, the joint resolution goes to President Trump, who stated he will sign it.
And that’s the highlights from the Hill last week! This week, the House will focus on foreign affairs while the Senate continues its work on nominations, possibly including a committee vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
TWO: On Congress’s mind
Personally, I’ve been trying to connect with Congress more. As I noted up top, Congress is pretty universally disapproved of, but as often as I can, I’m trying to read what our representatives write. So here’s what our members of Congress have written about on Medium over the past week:
- The Veterans Health Care Trust Fund Act by Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX 16th)
- Supreme Court Nomination Facts by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
- Q&A: Sanctuary Cities by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
- Standing up for Critical Health Care Funding by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)
- Gorsuch: Good for Corporations, Bad for Working People by Sen Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
- Supporting Military Families by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY 21st)
- A call to arms for defending science by Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
THREE: 100 photos that changed the world
These photos, many of which you have seen before, are as stark and stunning as they are influential. This piece from Time takes a walk through history, looking for photos that started and ended wars, changed public perception, or revealed grave injustices, telling the stories behind the images. Some of these photos are difficult to look at, but all of them are critical viewing.
The 100 Most Influential Photographs of All Time ►
That’s it for today’s FRAY; we’ll see you on Wednesday! Be a part of shifting the way America talks about politics by clicking that little ❤︎ to let us know you liked it, share it to bring your friends along with us, or sign up to get FRAY in your inbox below.
Kyle J. Britt
Editor in Chief
FRAY is a thrice weekly email written by a team of liberals, moderates, and conservatives dedicated to separating fact from opinion. Subscribe below and we’ll send you a new issue with perspectives from all sides of the political debate each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.