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Congress Has a ‘Lame Duck’ Shot at Fixing Retirement Security
Legislation to help Americans save more for retirement is already moving forward

The months after an election aren’t exactly prime time for legislating. But with a bill long championed by Senate Finance leaders Orrin G. Hatch, right, and Ron Wyden nearly through the chamber and a similar measure moving in the House, Congress could buck the trend and act on retirement security, Conrad and Lockhart write. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — As the midterms approach, the American public’s expectations of any productive policy coming out of Washington are near rock bottom. The postelection “lame duck” session, particularly in the current partisan atmosphere, would normally be a lost cause.

Leadership by a group of lawmakers, however, has given Congress a rare opportunity: bipartisan legislation that would improve the retirement security for millions of Americans.

What Would Pete Domenici Think?
Current lack of fiscal discipline would’ve alarmed late Senate Budget chairman

Senate Budget Chairman Pete Domenici, second from right, celebrates a budget deal with the White House on July 29, 1997, along with, from left, Speaker Newt Gingrich, House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Archer, Senate Finance Chairman William V. Roth Jr. and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Surrounding them on the House steps are tour groups of Boy Scouts and schoolchildren.(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — One year ago this week, we lost a great statesman and legislator. Pete Domenici’s storied career in public service, most notably as a U.S. senator, spanned more than three decades. He will forever be the longest-serving chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

Equally remarkable, he was a Republican from traditionally blue New Mexico — and its longest-serving senator. That says something about his personal and policy appeal to the public, regardless of party.

What John McCain and That Thumbs-Down Meant to One Family
After covering the Arizona senator for years, one vote stood out more than others

As a reporter, Megan Scully, right, covered Sen. John McCain for years, but it was one vote in particular she will remember him by. (CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — I have spent so much time chasing Sen. John McCain around the Capitol that I joked my kids could recognize his voice from the womb. I regularly grabbed him in the Senate basement or outside the chamber to ask about overruns on the F-35 fighter jet or progress on the massive annual Pentagon policy bill.

He was usually more than happy to oblige. My beat, after all, was his sweet spot: oversight of the country’s massive security apparatus.

Between Bubbles and Dissonance, Your News Diet Is Brutal
Our brains are wired to beat back dangers — and today, information is the biggest one of all

House Democrats hold a press conference on the president’s performance in Helsinki near a television tuned to CNN. Filter bubbles are a danger of consuming news today, Shearer writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — After President Donald Trump said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin rather than U.S. intelligence agencies on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, the news media had a united front on reporting the outcome and its meaning — a rare moment in recent times.

From Fox News through CNN, from The Washington Post to The Wall Street Journal, the facts reported were that Trump had made a serious foreign policy blunder by deferring to the Russian autocrat over his own government’s analysis.

Bob & Elizabeth Dole: 7 Ways to Practice Good Leadership and Preserve Democracy
Those who say compromise is a sign of weakness misunderstand the fundamental strength of our democracy

President Ronald Reagan and Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill shake hands in the Oval Office in 1985. (Courtesy the National Archives and Records Administration)

During more than 50 years of public service in the House, Senate, five presidential administrations and the nonprofit sector, it has been our privilege to witness the essential role good leadership and bipartisanship play in preserving our democracy.

America’s standing as the world’s only superpower and the preeminent model of a free society has always relied on our policymakers to act as servants of the public, true leaders who stand ready to make the hard decisions and live with the consequences.

Opinion: Note to Millennials — What I Wish I Had Known Then About Saving for the Future
Focusing only on the crisis of today worsens the crises of tomorrow

For millennials confronting daunting financial challenges, saving for retirement is not a priority. But focusing only on the problems of today worsens the crises of tomorrow, Edelman and Grumet write. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A retirement crisis is on the way, and the generation most likely to be affected by it is the group that’s paying the least attention. For now.

It should come as no surprise that the youngest and largest generation in the workforce has trouble focusing on retirement. Millennials face unique challenges that we did not encounter at their stage. The vast majority of their generation entered the workforce during the Great Recession and its aftermath. Rising college costs and a tuition funding system increasingly reliant on loans have resulted in the largest student loan debt on record. Financial concerns have pushed out millennials’ timing for buying a home, getting married and having children. That’s why saving for retirement does not make the top of life’s list for this generation.

Opinion: McCain’s Legacy of Stronger Military Reflected in Senate’s Landmark Defense Bill
This year’s NDAA could be a big win for military personnel and their families

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, left, hands the gavel to House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry before a National Defense Authorization Act conference meeting in October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain has served on the committee for over three decades, helping it draft and pass dozens of National Defense Authorization Acts — some seemingly routine, others carrying historic significance.

This year’s NDAA, the annual policy bill for the Defense Department, has the potential to rank among the latter. Many provisions in the Senate version, drafted under McCain’s leadership, would have a positive long-term effect on military readiness, servicemember satisfaction and, crucially, the well-being of military families, who are often overlooked.

Opinion: An Open Health Diplomacy Hand Works Better Than a Fist
Investing in global health programs like PEPFAR is a win-win for all

Patients visit the Coptic Hospital, which is partially funded by PEPFAR, in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2006. The United States should expand, not shrink, its strategic health diplomacy, Daschle and Frist write. (Brent Stirton/Getty Images file photo)

Recent headlines have been filled with stories and images of parents being separated from their children by the U.S. government. This is not what our country represents.

In fact, 15 years ago, we enacted the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, to do quite the opposite, and the program has gone on to save the lives of millions, keep families intact, and provide support for millions of orphans, vulnerable children and their caregivers. It represents the best of America, and we can be proud of the global legacy it has created.

Opinion: Agency Watchdogs Can Do Much More Than Bark and Bite
For inspectors general, collaborative approach would lead to better oversight

Disgraced former GSA head Martha Johnson prepares to testify before Congress in 2012 after an inspector general report revealed her agency’s “excessive and wasteful” spending on short ribs, artisanal cheese and souvenir carabiners. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Americans’ trust in our government institutions is near all-time lows.

Some of the cynicism — and criticism — stems from more than a decade of hyperpolarization. But much of the distrust is due to high-profile government scandals, such as the initial failure of the Healthcare.gov website, insufficient care at Veterans Affairs hospitals, and the General Services Administration’s over-the-top Las Vegas conference.

Opinion: Small Businesses Win Big With New Health Care Options
As premiums skyrocket, association health plans help level the playing field

The new rule expanding the use of association health plans is a simple solution to a big problem, Blunt write. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For Kalena Bruce, a fifth-generation cattle farmer in Stockton, Missouri, finding affordable health coverage under Obamacare hasn’t been easy. She’s a young mom and business owner paying $700 a month in premiums alone, not to mention deductibles and copays.

That’s why she’s become an advocate for allowing more small businesses like hers to bring down their health care costs by pooling together. It’s an idea that’s worked for Missouri businesses for more than 15 years and will now be available nationwide thanks to the Trump administration’s new rule expanding access to association health plans, or AHPs.