FBF: What a week! July 15, 2024

There’s a lot happening in the world, but we will stay focused on Congress. Welcome to the First Branch Forecast. But first…

Other News In Brief

Former Pres. Trump was the apparent victim of an assassination attempt. This is a developing news story, so please remember that early news reports are not always accurate. Political violence is unacceptable.

The Republican National Convention is this week.

President Biden is resisting entreaties to drop out of the race as Democrats publicly and privately encourage him to step aside out of concern for his health and electability.

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FBF: We’re back! Week of July 8, 2024

Good morning and happy belated 4th of July! Did you miss receiving the First Branch Forecast? Well, we’re back and at our new home at the American Governance Institute.

It seems a few things happened while we were on hiatus. As usual, we’re going to stay focused on building a strong Congress, an accountable Executive branch, and a durable democracy.

Today’s issue is abbreviated, so let me name-check:

  • The Supreme Court’s striking down of Chevron review, which is more about transferring power to the federal courts than to Congress. Everyone seems to want to do Congress’s job, which is reason #1 why Congress should act to strengthen itself.
  • The Supreme Court’s creation of presidential immunity for official actions, which allows a president to commit unlawful acts without criminal accountability. Surely this won’t potentially create problems should a certain ex-president return to office.
  • President Biden’s disastrous debate performance raised big questions about his competency, implicating the 25th Amendment, the ability of the press to learn about a president’s health and to accurately report that information, and what role (if any) there is for members of Congress in pushing out an incumbent. I think we’re about to break another precedent, folks.
  • Several criminal and ethics proceedings against members, including Rep. Cuellar and Sen. Menendez.
  • Did you think this would be the Congress where we saw an attempt to revive inherent contempt? There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, with some civil society groups and members pushing for a fix in the last Congress.
  • Oh, and that funny Supreme Court is making enforcement of rules by agencies much harder.

Since this newsletter is coming to you from a new email address – firstbranch@americalabs.org –  please be sure to add it to your address book and forward it to anyone who might be interested. (They can subscribe here.) You can always email me directly at daniel@americalabs.org.

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