Author Archives: Sam Wice

Returning Civility to the Senate Confirmation Process Without Destroying the Senate

by Sam Wice — Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019@Wice_sam

Recent Senate confirmation battles have featured unprecedented conflict. Without the need to consult with Democrats to overcome a filibuster on nominees, Republicans have eliminated some of the bipartisan confirmation norms such as the “blue slip” for U.S. circuit court nominees, which required each home state senator to approve of a circuit court nominee. In response, […]

The Legality of the Wall Is Not Primarily a National Emergency Question

by Sam Wice — Friday, Feb. 22, 2019@Wice_sam

Although the national emergency declaration is getting much of the attention, its legality will not primarily determine whether President Trump can build a wall along the border with Mexico. Specifically, only about a quarter of the additional funding President Trump wants to use to build the wall would come through his national emergency authority. Instead, the […]

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Must All Federal Employees Work During a Future Shutdown?

by Sam Wice — Friday, Feb. 8, 2019@Wice_sam

To ensure that federal employees were promptly paid after the 35-day shutdown ended, Congress recently passed the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019. However, by passing the Act, Congress might have inadvertently required all federal employees to work during a future shutdown. The Antideficiency Act requires the government to shut down when Congress does […]

Snow Days and Why Too Many Employees Likely Worked During the Shutdown

by Sam Wice — Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019@Wice_sam

With the 35-day partial shutdown finally ending, federal employees are getting back to work. However, many employees in the Washington, DC area have missed some work this past week due to a snowstorm. As such, I thought now would be a good time to examine some of the government’s actions during the shutdown compared to […]

A Review of Shutdown Litigation

by Sam Wice — Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019@Wice_sam

With the partial federal shutdown reaching over three weeks, federal employees who work for shut down agencies are missing full paychecks. Additionally those essential employees who worked the Saturday after the shutdown began have not been paid for that day of work. Employees who cannot afford to miss paychecks may start to incur severe adverse […]

How Congress Can Prevent President Trump from Using His National Emergency Powers to Build the Wall

by Sam Wice — Monday, Jan. 7, 2019@Wice_sam

President Trump has threatened that if Congress does not appropriate money to build a wall along the border with Mexico, then he will build the wall through his national emergency powers. However, if Congress does not want President Trump to build the wall, he cannot build it. The Appropriations Clause states that “[n]o Money shall be drawn […]

Why Federal Employees Will Not Be Working for Free During the Shutdown

by Sam Wice — Monday, Dec. 24, 2018@Wice_sam

Even though 25% of the federal government is shut down, many federal employees are considered essential (i.e., their service is necessary for emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property) and must work during the shutdown. Soon, you might hear about these employees having to work for free during the shutdown. However, […]

Why the Proposed House Rule on Income Taxes Would Not Prevent Democrats from Passing Progressive Legislation

by Sam Wice — Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018@Wice_sam

House Democrats have proposed that, as part of their changes to the House of Representatives’ rules, income-tax increases on the lowest-earning 80% of taxpayers would require a 3/5ths majority in the House of Representatives. This proposed rule has been attacked as antidemocratic and as an obstacle to passing future, Democratic legislation. However, this rule change would […]

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How Democrats Can Oppose the Republicans Only Judicial Hearings

by Sam Wice — Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018@Wice_sam

Even though the U.S. Senate is on recess, Senate Republicans held hearings on judicial nominees, which only Senate Republicans attended. Senate Democrats opposed the hearings as an attempt to prevent serious questioning of the nominees. Unlike the Brett Kavanagh nomination, Senate Democrats have several ways to prevent most of the nominees from being confirmed. First, […]

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Congress Should Follow Its PAYGO Requirements

by Sam Wice — Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018@Wice_sam

Congress and President Trump have increased the deficit by simultaneously increasing spending while cutting revenue. The Department of Treasury found that the deficit has ballooned to $779 billion per year. Partly in response to the ballooning deficit, Congress formed the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform to propose reforms to the appropriations […]

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