Congress

Extreme partisan divisions have given the U.S. Congress a bad rap. Its inability to compromise has resulted in an ineffective government and public disapproval. We look at the effects of having such a polarized institution with two former congressmen who offer suggestions for how it might be saved.

Guests:

  • Tom Davis (R) represented Virginia's 11th district from 1994 to 2008.
  • Martin Frost (D) represented Texas' 24th district from 1979 to 2005. 

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill visits Kansas City on Wednesday and Thursday as part of her 'McCaskill on Main Street' tour.  

She’s fresh off a big legislative win in the Senate where her version of a bill dealing with sexual assault in the military won out over a competing measure.

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Sen. McCaskill about sexual assault in the military and her opinions on progress made as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Guest:

U.S. Senate

  We’re nearing the end of this year’s legislative session in Washington, but things aren’t cooling off quite yet.

In the second part of Tuesday's Up to Date, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joins Steve Kraske to discuss the future of the farm bill, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the recent House budget deal and what’s going on with John Boehner after his speech about the Tea Party to Republican lawmakers.

Guest:

Way back in 1981 when Ronald Reagan was president, politics simply worked, or at least that’s what Chris Matthews says.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with Matthews about his new book, Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked, which chronicles the bipartisan efforts of President Reagan and then Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil to raise the debt ceiling and pass other important legislation back in 1981, and why Congress just can’t seem to do the same now.

Guest:

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D, MO-5) joins Steve Kraske to give an update on what happening with the federal government shutdown and the impending debt ceiling issue.

401(K) 2012/Flickr-CC

When thousands of federal employees are being forced to go without a paycheck indefinitely because of inaction in Congress, is it really ethical for members of Congress to keep accepting their own paychecks?

On Thursday's Up to Date, the Ethics Professors join us to discuss that and other issues of murky morals. Should we consider signing up for healthcare part of a civic duty to lower medical costs for everyone? And how should we set a limit when it comes to the cost and scope of treatment?

Guests:

Vcelloho / Flickr-CC

What do you do after your congressional career is finished?

In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we catch up with two former U.S. congressmen from Missouri, Alan Wheat and Kenny Holshuf, who have returned to Washington as policy advisors on behalf of a local law firm.

Guests:

Members of Congress will soon be asked to decide whether to support President Barack Obama's request for authorization to attack the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Assad's regime allegedly used chemical weapons on civilians and rebels in an attack last month. Here is a round-up of what we know so far from congress members in Kansas and Missouri.

Kansas Congressional Delegation:

davidpc_ flickr

The weather isn’t the only think that’s still got some heat behind it. Although Congress is in recess, hot-button topics such as immigration and sequestration cuts are still in the news.

In the first part of Thursday's Up to Date, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D, MO-5) and Rep. Kevin Yoder (R, KS-3) join us to talk about these issues and shed some light on where Congress might be headed when it goes back into session in September.

Guests:

Funding Cuts Could Impact UM System

Dec 4, 2012
wikimediacommons

Sequestration, or the automatic across-the-board funding cuts set to kick in nationwide at the beginning of 2013, will tally nearly $110 billion in cuts over the next nine years.

wikimedia commons

Missouri Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson will retire from the House of Representatives next February.

Congress is a mess.

National Archives

Congressional representatives are back in their districts for a work session, which gives Up to Date the perfect opportunity to catch up with U.S. Representatives Emanuel Cleaver (D, MO-5) and Kevin Yoder (R, KS-3).

Gregg @ dcscorpio.blogspot.com

He’s just returned from lengthy deliberations in the U.S. House of Representatives over next year's spending plan. But is Congress getting anywhere?

He served 12 years as a district attorney and 12 years as a member of Congress. Now, former U.S. Representative Dennis Moore is focusing his energies on another battle close to home: Alzheimer’s.

Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri is no stranger to the rough and tumble world of politics. After all, she’s been at it for three decades in a state that is traditionally tough on Democrats.

Barack Obama isn't the first President in conflict with a Congress run by the opposing party. However, being in that position doesn't mean nothing gets accomplished. Take it from Historian of the U.S. Senate Donald Richie.