Norman Ornstein is a long-time observer of Congress and politics. He is a contributing editor and columnist for National Journal and The Atlantic and is an election eve analyst for BBC News. He served as codirector of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and participates in AEI's Election Watch series. He also served as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Mr. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law, known as McCain-Feingold, that reformed the campaign financing system. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. His many books include The Permanent Campaign and Its Future (AEI Press, 2000); The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track, with Thomas E. Mann (Oxford University Press, 2006, named by the Washington Post one of the best books of 2006 and called by The Economist "a classic"); and, most recently, the New York Times bestseller,It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, also with Tom Mann, published in May 2012 by Basic Books. It was named as one of 2012's best books on pollitics by The New Yorker and one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post.
Contributing Editor and Columnist, National Journal and The Atlantic, 2013-present
Election Analyst, BBC News, 2012-present
Codirector, Project to Examine Alternatives to the Independent Counsel Statute, 1999-present
Member, Board of Contributors, USA Today, 1997-present
Founder and Director, Campaign Finance Reform Working Group, 1996-present
Columnist, "Congress Inside Out," Roll Call, 1993-2012
Senior Adviser, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 1987-present
One of the most interesting recent political and policy developments is the involvement of Ron Unz in a major effort on behalf of a referendum to raise California’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2016.
So much has now been written about the filibuster that one might think there is nothing more to say. Wrong! I do have some observations, about the Senate leading up to this change, and about the Senate going forward, that I hope will plow new ground—or at least use different furrows.
This weekend, my friend Rainey Foster will be honored at the annual dinner of So Others May Eat, one of a number of terrific organizations in Washington that feed the hungry. It is an auspicious time for SOME to hold its dinner, because the number of people using its services is growing in this sluggish economy, and it will grow even more as the food-stamp program, known as SNAP, is cut further.
The Upton bill scheduled for a vote in the House, which would give insurance companies the option of continuing for a year the health insurance plans they have just canceled, is the first significant Republican effort to reform instead of kill the Affordable Care Act.
When Harry Reid and McConnell reached a deal on filibusters in January, it was clear that a key component of that deal was that Republicans in the Senate would give due deference to a newly reelected president in his executive nominations . . .
Entering its 31st season, AEI’s Election Watch series will continue to provide the serious historical insights and current commentary that have made it the longest-running election program in Washington, DC.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, is leading to a new era of voter suppression that parallels the pre-1960s era—this time affecting not just African-Americans but also Hispanic-Americans, women, and students, among others.
The HealthCare.gov debacle has been thoroughly dissected so far by America's best health journalists and policy analysts. To be sure, every major rollout of a new or changed social policy, including Medicare itself, is rough and takes weeks or months to resolve.
Warning: I am going to vent again. I write this before the final votes on the Senate package, but after the House Republicans careened from one farce to another, and after another ratings agency, Fitch, threatened a U.S. credit downgrade based on the same compelling logic as Standard & Poor’s in 2011—that the real concern is not default but our extraordinary political dysfunction.