The Monday Morning Teaser

When you consider how much power the Constitution theoretically gives Congress, it’s amazing how seldom that body is the focus of our national political conversation. When we do talk about Congress, it’s usually because Congress is investigating somebody else (as in the 1-6 hearings) or because it’s taking some symbolic vote that won’t actually change anything (like all the progressive legislation that gets through the House but predictably dies in the Senate).

This week, though, the focus was on Congress legislating, believe it or not. The CHIPs bill passed. Joe Manchin finally agreed to a climate reconciliation bill, which now is all lined up to pass (assuming Kyrsten Sinema doesn’t torpedo it). And a bill that looked like a slam dunk, the PACT Act to provide healthcare to veterans suffering the effects of toxic burn pit fumes, unexpectedly got blocked by Republicans in the Senate — apparently as a temper tantrum about the Manchin-Schumer deal. That was a huge self-inflicted wound on the GOP, and I think the pressure to reverse it will be irresistible once the August recess ends.

The opportunity to focus on meaningful legislation is so novel that I have to make that the featured post this week. “A Week When Congress Mattered” should appear around 10 or so EDT.

The weekly summary will also cover tomorrow’s primaries, including the referendum on abortion in Kansas. Also, why I think the newly announced centrist Forward Party is doomed. With the 1-6 Committee in recess, attention has shifted to the DoJ’s investigation, which might be aiming higher than it has sometimes appeared. WNBA star Britteny Griner is still on trial in Russia, and NBA legend Bill Russell died at the age of 89. How the Right’s tactics for avoiding the unfortunate results of their abortion policies resemble their tactics for avoiding the unfortunate results of their gun policy. Plus a few other things. I’ll aim to get that out around noon.

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