Podcasts


Why do you have to come to Iowa if you want to be president?
CQ on Congress, Episode 166

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at a campaign event in Fairfield, Iowa on Thursday August 15, 2019. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

A conversation with the Senate historian: Duels, bathtubs and other mysteries
Political Theater, Episode 89

The Russell Senate Office Building Rotunda is among the many places where the chamber’s unique history is on display. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Politicians and pundits are fond of saying that Washington has never been more polarized and that the Senate, in particular, may never recover from contemporary hyper-partisanship and rule-bending.

But it is assistant Senate historian Daniel S. Holt’s job to remind us all that disputes in the chamber used to result in pistols at dawn instead of dueling tweets.

IMF embraces new central bank digital currencies
Fintech Beat, Episode 15

IMF officials talk digital currency in the latest Fintech Beat podcast. (Credit: krblokhin/ iStock)

So much Iowa, so little time
Snapshots of a state that will be a big deal politically for a while

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg talks with attendees at a campaign event in Fairfield, Iowa, on Thursday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

DES MOINES, Iowa — It is difficult for some people to accept that Iowa, a relatively small state in the middle of the country, has such an outsize role in determining the next president. But the Hawkeye State is more of a microcosm of U.S. politics and the country than it might first appear.

Iowa’s population of roughly 3 million people is tiny compared to mega-states like California, Texas and Florida, and it has a lack of racial diversity (it is about 87 percent white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau). But its voting patterns and political infrastructure make it a valuable barometer. 

Google under pressure from Congress, activists, shareholders
CQ on Congress, Episode 165

Google is under pressure to change its corporate culture. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

In the face of gridlock in Congress, investors, pension funds, and some states are pushing public companies to do more to diversify their boards, combat climate change, stamp out sexual harassment and give workers a voice.

CQ Roll Call's Laura Weiss talks about what happened at Google's annual shareholder meeting where board members were confronted with protests and calls for change. 

The Iowa State Fair: Our hits, misses and lessons learned
Political Theater, Episode 88

Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, says a quick hello to her son, Gunnar, as he works at a corn dog booth at the Iowa State Fair on Monday August 12, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

DES MOINES, Iowa — For all its quaintness and fun, the Iowa State Fair does a pretty good job of approximating politics at the national level, be it questions about electability and charisma or trade and agricultural policy.

“The debate within the party that is happening right now, is happening right in front of me at the Iowa State Fair between these two people,” CQ Roll Call senior politics writer Bridget Bowman says, recounting a conversation between a couple after hearing South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg speak at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox on Aug. 13. The couple, both of whom told Bridget they were impressed with Buttigieg, were torn between what was more important for a Democratic candidate: offering bold ideas or being more likely to beat President Donald Trump.

The Iowa State Fair: Why do you have to come here to be president?
Political Theater, Episode 87

Iowa State Fair mascots walk by the Administration Building at the Iowa State Fair on Monday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Iowa plays a big role in presidential politics because of its first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. Even by that standard, though, the Hawkeye State this time feels busier, more significant.

There are more than 20 Democrats running for president, and unlike in previous years, no one is writing the state off. There are also several competitive congressional races here. That means a very busy Iowa State Fair, because all these politicians want to meet voters, make their case at The Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox, flip pork chops at the pork tent and eat.

The Iowa State Fair: A day in the deep-fried life
Political Theater, Episode 86

People wait in the rain Sunday to hear Republican presidential candidate Bill Weld, a former Massachusetts governor, speak at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Yes, there are a lot of politicians who attend the Iowa State Fair to court voters. But there is so much else to this unique event, from the almost 70 fried foods on a stick, to giant slides, sea lions, butter cows and butter Big Birds; even arm-wrestling. A day in the life of the Iowa State Fair with Political Theater. 

A conversation with Domitille Dessertine, head of fintech in France
Fintech Beat podcast, Ep. 14

The Arc de Triomphe is seen in Paris at night. (Credit: Leo Patrizi/iStock)

CQ Roll Call Analysis: Lower spending, deficits partially due to budget control law
CQ Budget podcast, episode 122

Copies of President Donald Trump’s budget for fiscal year 2020 are prepared for distribution at the Government Publishing Office in Washington on Thursday, March 7, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

CQ Roll Call's Budget Editor Peter Cohn combed through the numbers since Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 and found something remarkable: the spending caps produced some results but most of the savings were because of factors out of Congress' hands. 

What lawmakers can do about gun violence, and helping black families save ancestral lands
CQ on Congress, Episode 165

A demonstrator holds a sign on the East Front of the Capitol during the student-led March for Our Lives rally on Pennsylvania Avenue to call for action to prevent gun violence in March 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Public pressure on lawmakers is growing across the country to reduce gun violence, but Congress may only be able to pass incremental legislation, explains CQ Roll Call’s legal affairs writer Todd Ruger.

In the second segment of this podcast, we explore how Congress and a South Carolina center are trying to address the loss of land and wealth, particularly among African Americans, in what is commonly referred to as Heirs Property. Josh Walden of the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation in South Carolina discusses how thousands of acres of land, from the south to Appalachia, may be in dispute because of the lack of legal records.

The Iowa State Fair: Our proactive primer on politics, pork and public officials
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 85

Politicians love to hang out at the Iowa State Fair, so that is where Political Theater will relocate next week to cover all the political races — for president, Senate and House — as well as various foods served on a stick. Here, Republican Rep. Steve King and future Sen. Joni Ernst hang out amid the pork at the Pork Tent in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Political Theater is heading to the Iowa State Fair to check out how the 2020 races for president and Senate and four competitive House contests are shaping up in this bellwether state. Why Iowa? Because that’s where the candidates are.

Bridget Bowman, our senior political writer, and Leah Askarinam of Inside Elections lay it all out for us on the latest episode of Political Theater. 

Digging further into Libra's origin story
Fintech Beat podcast, Ep. 13

Facebook's Libra crypto coin logo is picture next to gold Bitcoins. (Cheng Feng Chiang/iStock)

Two tax battles await Congress in September
CQ Budget podcast, episode 121

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.,  announces at an Aug. 1, 2019 press conference that Senate Democrats will push to repeal a Treasury Department and IRS rule, which goes into effect Aug. 11, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats are preparing to fight the Trump administration over a $10,000 limit on deductions for state and local taxes, says CQ Roll Call's budget and tax editor Peter Cohn. And some conservatives are pressing the White House to bypass Congress to index capital gains taxes to inflation, in a move that would cut taxes for wealthy stock owners.

Show Notes:

Obamacare takes another hit, this time from Democrats
CQ on Congress, Episode 164

Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., sponsored the repeal of the so-called "Cadillac Tax," which has been a priority for both the insurance industry and labor unions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats were nearly unanimous in voting to end the so-called "Cadillac tax" on high cost health insurance plans that was the principal mechanism in the Affordable Care Act aimed at reducing health care costs. Josh Gordon, policy director for the Concord Coalition, a group that seeks to restrain budget deficits, says that's regrettable. And CQ Roll Call health care reporter Mary Ellen McIntire explains why Democrats are willing to weaken the financing of the 2010 law.