Jim Sensenbrenner

Forget impeachment, Sensenbrenner's got something else on his mind

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner speaks during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump on Dec. 4, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Impeachment might be the hottest topic on the Hill, but Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is preparing for another epic clash on the horizon — the NFC Championship matchup between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers. 

To rein in Big Pharma over high drug prices, start with patent reform
Bipartisan proposals represent a rare bright spot in a divided Congress

Abuse of the patent system by brand-name drug manufacturers is exacerbating the financial burden faced by American patients for their prescription drugs, Lane writes. (George Frey/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — With the Senate impeachment trial kicking off and partisan tensions running high on several fronts, Americans might be forgiven for thinking that Congress has lost the ability to find common ground. But lately, and despite the proverbial odds, there is a new bipartisan consensus forming on an issue of incredible importance to millions of Americans: prescription drug pricing. Specifically, reforming the U.S. patent system to end abusive practices that are directly contributing to high drug prices.

Across the country, Americans are struggling under the weight of skyrocketing prescription drug costs. It is no secret that affording medicines and treatments is an incredible burden for too many families. On average, Americans are paying considerably more than citizens of other high-income countries for the same exact prescription drugs.

Impeachment news roundup: Jan. 15
House approves impeachment managers

Flanked by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, left, and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces the seven House members who will serve as managers in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially signed the articles of impeachment Wednesday evening, ahead of their delivery to the Senate from her chamber. 

“Today we make history when the managers walk down the hall will cross a threshold in history,” Pelosi said.

Impeachment articles’ path to Senate governed by rules and precedent
Before trial starts, expect pomp, circumstance and ceremony

The articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton lie on the desk of Secretary of the Senate Gary Sisco on Dec. 19, 1998, after House Judiciary Chairman Henry J. Hyde delivered them from the House floor after the impeachment votes. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Correction appended Jan. 14, 2:10 p.m. | The expected House vote this week to name impeachment managers for the Senate trial and authorize them to spend House funds will set in motion a set of established steps that will guide the articles of impeachment from the House to the Senate.

The resolution, which won’t be released until Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with her caucus Tuesday morning, will appoint managers who will act as prosecutors during the Senate trial that will determine whether the impeached President Donald Trump is removed from office. They will present the case for the House impeachment articles, approved in December, which charge the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

House members eye high-profile impeachment assignment
Senate trial could be a career-defining moment for some ambitious Democrats

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Rep. Maxine Waters listen as Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff speaks during the Dec. 10 news conference to announce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The expected impeachment of President Donald Trump this week will give some lawmakers a potentially career-defining opportunity to present the House’s case against the president to the country during a Senate trial next month.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi will decide who and how many impeachment managers will travel to the other side of the Capitol to make arguments, present evidence, question witnesses and more in just the third time in U.S. history that a sitting president has been on trial before the Senate.

Voting rights, a partisan issue? Yes, Republicans have fallen that far
‘Party of Lincoln’ seems to believe it can only win by placing as many obstacles to voting as possible

Reps. John Lewis, right, and Terri A. Sewell and Sen. Patrick J. Leahy at a news conference before the House passed the Voting Rights Advancement Act on Dec. 6. Only one Republican voted for the bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Stacey Abrams has it right, for right now. She lost her 2018 race to be the governor of Georgia to Republican Brian Kemp, who as secretary of state was in charge of the election, a situation that would not pass the sniff test in North Korea.

OK, that comparison is a little far-fetched, but only a little.

Do points of order eat up all of a committee’s time?
There are rules in the House Judiciary Committee to ensure that both parties get their allotted time

Rep. Jamie Raskin reads a copy of “The Federalist Papers” during the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry on Monday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

While there were a number of them in Monday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, points of order do not take up the opposing party’s time in House Judiciary committee proceedings, according to Communications Director Shadawn Reddick-Smith, and there are several rules in place to ensure that. 

‘We’re all mad’ — Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of Dec. 2, 2019

George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley reviews papers before the start of the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Lots of no-shows for impeachment inquiry depositions
Overall Democrats participated more than Republicans, who had complained about access

Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, and Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., make their way to votes in the Capitol on Friday. Jordan referred to the lack of attendance at the impeachment depositions in appealing for Gaetz to be able to attend. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated Nov. 21, 2:28 p.m. | Only a fifth of the 104 members on the three House panels that conducted the impeachment inquiry depositions attended and participated in a majority of the proceedings, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis of the available deposition transcripts.

The Intelligence Committee has released transcripts for 15 of the 17 depositions it has conducted with two other panels: Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs. 

States in the Midwest with outsize roles in the 2020 elections
Rust Belt states helped decide the presidency, and have numerous competitive races for House, Senate

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst’s reelection is one of several that make Iowa at battleground state in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If there’s an abiding lesson from 2016, it’s that national public opinion in the presidential race is not as important as the votes of individual states. Republican Donald Trump won by taking 304 electoral votes to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 227, even as Clinton beat him by 2.9 million votes and 2.1 percentage points nationally.

In 2020, Democrats will be looking to recapture states Trump won that went for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. And many of those states will also be prime battlegrounds in the fight for control of the Senate, where Democrats need a net gain of four seats to take a majority (three if they win the White House and the vice president can break 50-50 ties), while Republicans need a net gain of 19 seats to retake the House.