Opinion: It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again in Southwest Pennsylvania
Republicans still have time to remember the lessons learned

Democrat Mark Critz’s victory in a 2010 Pennsylvania special election ended up being a gift for Republicans, who regrouped to take back the House that fall, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Here’s the scenario. A special congressional election in southwest Pennsylvania becomes the center of national attention as control of the House hangs in the balance come fall. The Democratic candidate runs as an anti-Nancy Pelosi, pro-gun, pro-life candidate concerned with economic issues — in other words, as a centrist.

Meanwhile, the Republican nominee, for the most part, runs a mostly negative ad campaign trying to tie his opponent to Pelosi and her liberal agenda. Both national parties make huge multimillion-dollar investments in the outcome for a district that is going to disappear in a matter of months thanks to redistricting. Meanwhile, the media has upped the ante by declaring this a bellwether race whose outcome will signal whether the minority party is about to win a wave election or the majority will defy the odds and hold on to the House.

Opinion: Fossil Fuels Aren’t Dead, and North Dakota Is Proof
Investing in coal and natural gas still pays dividends for our communities

Investing in fossil fuel research doesn’t mean throwing good money after bad; it means prosperity for our communities, Hoeven writes. Above, workers watch a gas flare at an oil well site in Williston, North Dakota, in 2013. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images file photo)

One of the most important challenges we face as a nation is reducing our deficit and debt. As a proud fiscal conservative, I understand we must make tough financial decisions; that is why I have worked diligently on measures that will put our nation on a path to a balanced budget.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which formulates the federal government’s spending plans, I know there is a distinct difference between making wise investments and frivolous spending. I believe it is important that we steer our scarce federal dollars toward effective investments like energy research and innovation.

Opinion: Putting the ‘N’ in SNAP Should Be a Farm Bill Priority
Program should be strengthened to promote nutrition among SNAP recipients

Among the recommendations of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s SNAP Task Force is continuing incentives for recipients to consume fresh fruits and vegetables (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Congress begins its deliberations on this year’s farm bill, it’s time to pay more attention to the “N” in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Launched as a pilot program by President John F. Kennedy and expanded nationwide by President Richard Nixon, the food stamps program — now SNAP — has enjoyed bipartisan support over its nearly 60-year history. From its initial goals of supporting farm incomes and ensuring low-income families did not face hunger, it has evolved into an effective anti-poverty program. That evolution continues today with a focus on nutrition.

Opinion: We All Have the Same Challenges
Female staffers should be judged by the results they produce

Barrett Karr, center, is chief of staff to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Also pictured, Kelly Dixon, director of legislative operations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

I am often asked what it is like to be a female chief of staff. My answer is that it is probably not that much different from being a male chief of staff — we all have the same challenges. 

But the question reminds me that I am fortunate to have worked for Kay Granger, John Kline and now Kevin McCarthy.

Opinion: Building a Water Workforce for America’s Future
Infrastructure investment must include training for those who manage our critical water systems

It is critical to invest in training for the engineers and technicians  who keep the nation’s critical water systems in operation, Tonko writes. Pictured above, the Kensico Dam and Reservoir in Valhall, N.Y. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images file photo)

America faces a tough reality when it comes to our drinking water infrastructure. Eighty-six percent of U.S. households today depend on public water, and the EPA has estimated that nearly $400 billion will be needed in the coming decades just to keep those systems in working order.

Unfortunately, underground pipes and pumps aren’t the only critical components of these systems that are being overlooked. Even as water system failures hit communities all across the U.S., the professionals who keep these beleaguered systems operating safely are aging too. Many are already approaching retirement. In fact, some 37 percent of water utility workers and 31 percent of wastewater utility workers are expected to retire in the next decade.

Opinion: The Attack on the CFPB Threatens Consumers and Ignites a Race to the Bottom
Mulvaney’s zealous pursuit of deregulation also hurts our economy

Comedian Jon Stewart, center, flanked by New York Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney and Jerrold Nadler, speaks during a press conference on March 5, calling on OMB Director Mick Mulvaney to withdraw his proposal to separate the World Trade Center Health Program from the direction of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health direction. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As a congressman, Mick Mulvaney once co-sponsored a bill to abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And since being appointed by President Donald Trump to temporarily lead the agency, he has worked to cripple it from the inside.

What he is doing will hurt consumers not once but twice — first, by letting off the hook financial institutions that take advantage of their customers, and second, by giving other companies large incentives to do the same.

Opinion: Under Mulvaney’s Leadership, the CFPB Can Finally Live Up to Its Name
Acting director is steering agency away from unlawful legislating and toward protecting consumers

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney testifies before a Senate Budget hearing on the administration’s fiscal 2019 budget in the Dirksen Building on Feb. 13. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mick Mulvaney and I served on the House Financial Services Committee together for nearly four years before President Donald Trump selected him to run the Office of Management and Budget. In that time, we worked together to ensure transparency and accountability across the financial sector.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created by the Obama administration and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., with the promise of being a “strong, independent agency that levels the playing field and protects American families, seniors, students and veterans.” But in practice, the CFPB has been an unaccountable, unconstitutional, politically driven agency that has punished consumers and pushed them to riskier, unregulated financial products.

Opinion: Once Again on Immigration, a Victory for the All-Or-Nothings
With DACA tied up in the courts, the urgency for Congress to act is gone

The inability of President Donald Trump and Democrats to compromise on DACA and border security has given hard-liners on both sides of the immigration debate a win, Cardinal Brown writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When President Donald Trump travels to California later this month to view the prototype designs for a new border wall, perhaps he will take a moment to think about what could have been. Because as things stand, those eight 30-foot-long samples are the only walls likely to be built.

Trump could have had his wall. He had numerous opportunities to get it, dating all the way back to the “Chuck and Nancy” deal last fall. All he had to do was agree to something he says he wants — a permanent replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program he canceled in September.

Opinion: We Built the Panama Canal. Surely We Can Fix Infrastructure
Trump’s proposal gets it just about right

While the past century was marked by building triumphs, the U.S. now faces an infrastructure crisis — and a chance to seize the next great American moment, Peterson writes. Above, reel tender Mo Laussie installs fiber-optic cable in June 2001 in Louisville, Colorado. (Michael Smith/Getty Images file photo)

Few issues have been free of partisan wrangling of late, and few occasions have inspired unified feelings of greatness in our country. Yet the public and private sectors together have an opportunity with infrastructure to chart a different course and seed the path for the next great American moment.

The past 100 years brought some remarkable triumphs in infrastructure. Railroads linked our vast nation. The Panama Canal twice transformed global commerce. The telegraph became broadband.

Opinion: Congress Likely to Ignore Parkland Teens’ Case for Action on Gun Violence
Former Rep. Forbes: Even children’s tiny caskets could not get Congress to act

Students hold flowers as they arrive for classes Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, for the first time since the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 people. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

As a Republican member of Congress, I was compelled to abandon my party in 1999. America’s children had been murdered in their school and the GOP, which controlled the fix to gun violence, did nothing about it.

I sat listening to the debate on gun control in the United States House of Representatives with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York, whose husband had been murdered and son wounded several years earlier by a deranged gunman. It was June 19, 1999. The unspeakable tragedy of Columbine had sparked an intense debate on the House floor to do something to protect our children in the nation’s schools. After all, these were America’s children, these were all our children, our future. It could have been my child, or your child, murdered at Columbine High School.