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CD184: Midterm Election

Congressional Dish

Release Date: 11/13/2018

CD256: Poisonous Pet Collars show art CD256: Poisonous Pet Collars

Congressional Dish

Seresto Flea and Tick Collars for dogs and cats have been sold to Americans since 2013. During that time, the EPA has received approximately 100,000 reports of illnesses and 2,500 reports of deaths of animals that wore a Seresto Flea and Tick collar, by far the most reports received about any flea and tick treatment on the market. In this episode, hear testimony from scientists about the Environmental Protection Agency’s disturbingly lax review processes for pesticides in pet products and learn why your vote in November is likely to determine if these popular but dangerous products will stay...

CD255: Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) show art CD255: Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs)

Congressional Dish

The recently signed gun law, S. 2938: Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, contained a surprise dingleberry postponing a regulation designed to save seniors money on their pharmaceutical drugs by prohibiting kickbacks to an industry few have heard of: Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). This little-known but extremely powerful industry deserves much of the blame for ever rising prescription drugs costs in the United States. In this episode, Jen gives you the scoop on PBMs and how they make their money at the expense of Americans who are most dependent on medications. Please Support Congressional...

CD254: Baby Formula Shortage show art CD254: Baby Formula Shortage

Congressional Dish

After multiple formula-related infant deaths were reported to the FDA in February, samples from Abbott Laboratories' Sturgis, Michigan baby formula production facility tested positive for cronobacter, triggering a recall and a subsequent formula shortage. In this episode, Jen uncovers monopoly and neglect in the baby formula production industry, lack of oversight by the FDA, and the United States' refusal to adopt the World Health Organization's International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Contribute monthly or a lump sum via ...

CD253: Escalation of War show art CD253: Escalation of War

Congressional Dish

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Congress has signed four laws that send enormous amounts of money and weapons to Ukraine, attempting to punish Russia for President Putin’s invasion. In this episode, we examine these laws to find out where our money will actually go and attempt to understand the shifting goals of the Biden administration. The big picture, as it’s being explained to Congress, differs from what we’re being sold. Executive Producer: David Kovatch Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Contribute monthly or a lump sum via Support Congressional Dish...

CD252: Women’s Health Protection Act show art CD252: Women’s Health Protection Act

Congressional Dish

The Women’s Health Protection Act is a bill written by Democrats that would guarantee access to abortion services in the United States. While this bill is unlikely to become law, learning what exactly the Democrats are proposing is instructive, as many of us will be voting with abortion in mind later this year. Now that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn previous decisions that guaranteed access to abortion services for the past 50 years, what do Democrats hope to do in response? Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Contribute monthly or a lump sum via Support...

CD251: BIF: Driving Dangers Sustained show art CD251: BIF: Driving Dangers Sustained

Congressional Dish

The recently signed infrastructure law continues the United States’ over-reliance on the most dangerous way to travel: driving a vehicle. Did Congress make sufficient safety improvements to decrease the dangers posed by driving in the United States? This episode will examine all vehicle-related safety provisions to help you weigh your own transportation options. Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Contribute monthly or a lump sum via Support Congressional Dish via (donations per episode) Send Zelle payments to: [email protected] Send Venmo payments to:...

CD250: Congress Saves the Postal Service show art CD250: Congress Saves the Postal Service

Congressional Dish

Congress did a good thing! In this encouraging episode, learn about a new law that saved the Postal Service from financial doom without spending one extra penny in taxpayer money. Then, listen to the highlights from a recent hearing about the electrification of the Postal Service’s vehicle fleet. Louis DeJoy may not have sabotaged the 2020 election, but is he sabotaging the effort to transition the Postal Service away from fossil fuels? Executive Producer: Stephen McMahan Executive Producer: Jose Huerta Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Contribute monthly or a lump sum via ...

CD249: A Few Good Laws show art CD249: A Few Good Laws

Congressional Dish

We have some new laws! In this episode, a brief overview of the government funding law that (finally) funds the government for 2022 and provides money and weapons to Ukraine, a new law that protects drinking water, a new law that slightly reduces the corruption of Puerto Rico’s financial oversight board, and a new law that guarantees you rights that corporate contracts have been taking away. Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Contribute monthly or a lump sum via Support Congressional Dish via (donations per episode) Send Zelle payments to: [email protected]

CD248: Understanding the Enemy show art CD248: Understanding the Enemy

Congressional Dish

Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched an illegal, unjustified war against Ukraine and Putin himself is the only person who can stop the war immediately. In this episode, we seek to understand why President Putin has launched this horrific war in order to judge our country’s ability to bring the war to a quicker end. Executive Producer: Alex Bilotta Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Contribute monthly or a lump sum via Support Congressional Dish via (donations per episode) Send Zelle payments to: [email protected] Send Venmo payments to:...

CD247: BIF: The Growth of US Railroads show art CD247: BIF: The Growth of US Railroads

Congressional Dish

The infrastructure law provides the most significant investment in passenger rail in U.S. history, but substantial hurdles - including a powerful cartel - stand firmly in the way of a real national network. In this episode, learn the ways the infrastructure law paves the way for a better future for passenger rail along with the significant obstacles that it failed to address. Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Contribute monthly or a lump sum via Support Congressional Dish via (donations per episode) Send Zelle payments to: [email protected] Send Venmo payments...

More Episodes

Divided government! The 2018 midterm elections are over and we know what the 116th Congress is going to look like: The Republican Party will continue to control the Senate and the Democratic Party will control the House of Representatives. In this episode, we discuss the likely ramifications of a divided Congress, some of the interesting results of individual Congressional races, and the opportunities available for Republicans to get their last wishes rammed into law before their complete Congressional control ends in January.

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Interview: Schiff responds to threat from President Trump, CNN Politics, November 8, 2018.
News Conference: Minority Leader Pelosi on 2018 Election Results, C-SPAN, November 7, 2018.
  • 19:30 Representative Nancy Pelosi: In any event, next week we look forward to welcoming our new class of freshmen. We will celebrate their diversity, the freshness of their thinking, and the rest. And they will immediately be incorporated into our building consensus and how we go forward in a very open, transparent, bipartisan, unifying Congress. Any questions?

  • 21:10 Representative Nancy Pelosi: In appropriations and in many of the other committee—all of the other committees—we have a responsibility for oversight. And, hopefully, in the course of asking for information, we can just make the request and the information will come in. We’re concerned about what’s happening at EPA, for example, to degrading the air we breathe and the water we drink despite what the president said today. So, that’s only one example.

  • 27:30 Unknown Speaker: Follow up on what the president said this morning. He made clear that if Democrats launch investigations, that any hopes for bipartisanship is off. Do you have any concerns that these investigations could jeopardize your opportunities to legislate? Representative Nancy Pelosi: We do not intend to abandon or relinquish our responsibility as Article I, the first branch of government, and our responsibilities for accountability, for oversight, and the rest. This doesn’t mean we go looking for a fight, but it means that if we see a need to go forward, we will. But that will be the work of our committees. Every committee has oversight responsibility. Congresswoman Eshoo’s on Energy and Commerce, and that’s a big oversight committee, as some of you probably are aware. But, specifically, to some of the concerns that the president may have, the Judiciary Committee, the Intelligence Committee, the Oversight Committee, the—well, there’re a number of committees that—depending on how we go down that path—the Financial Services committee, did I say Intelligence? Oh, Homeland Security Committee, because, of course, we are shamed as a nation by a policy that takes babies out of the arms of their mothers, that builds tents, and all the rest to house people, and there’s separation of families. So we want to look into that, and we would hope that we can do so by simply having oversight. If, in fact, requires a subpoena—I hope not, but—so be it.

News Conference: President Trump on 2018 Election Results, C-SPAN, November 7, 2018.
  • 23:00 President Donald Trump: Their whole agenda has been to try not giving me anything for the wall. I really believe politically they’re hurting themselves. I actually think politically that’s a good thing for me, but I want to get the wall up because we need to— Unknown Speaker: So no shut-down scenario— President Trump: I don’t know. I can’t tell you that. Unknown Speaker: —for the, for the mid, for the lame duck. President Trump: No, I can’t commit to that, but it’s possible.
News Conference: Democrat Richard Neal says he plans to seek Trump tax returns, APNews, YouTube, November 7, 2018.
Hearing: Unaccompanied Immigrant Children, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, C-SPAN, August 16, 2018.
  • 1:14:30 Senator Claire McCaskill: This is about the fourth or fifth time I’ve been on this dais, and no one seems to be worried about the fact that you all get to wash your hands of these children. You want to talk about catch and release? You’re catching these children and then you’re releasing them and everyone goes like this. Not my problem. I think the thing that really stuck out to me in the report that the committee issued was the finding—and this was finding number 14—HHS has a plan to notify state governments before placing unaccompanied children previously held in secure facilities, but HHS has failed to implement that plan. HHS explained it cannot implement the plan because it cannot determine who to notify in state government. Well, let me just tell you, Commander, I will make an offer to you today: I think my staff can get you a list of agencies and phone numbers before close of business tomorrow. Would that be helpful? Commander Jonathan White: I’ll be glad to convey that, but I think it does address—I think there are very real questions, but— Sen. McCaskill: No, they’re not. White: —widely appro— Sen. McCaskill: No. They’re not. Every state has a child-welfare agency. In Missouri, it’s the Missouri Department of Social Services, the Children’s Division, and they’re responsible for foster care, for child placement, for monitoring child detention centers, they are responsible for the welfare of children who have been separated from their families. And they have contacts in every corner of my state. There’s a hotline that they administer. There is all kinds of ways that they can communicate with school systems, with local governments, with all the people that are working as foster parents. There is a huge network in every single state, because you know what the states do? They take the responsibility for having children in their care seriously.

  • 1:54:30 Senator Heidi Heitkamp: One facility provider basically, if my rough math is right, 11,000 children have been assigned to Southwest Key over a number of facilities, not one facility, but they’re obviously a large provider. The reports coming out of Dallas say that they basically, in a half-year period, have a contract that’s worth a half a billion dollars that they’re being paid, which, if you do the rough math, that’s about $45,000 per child. I think that we should have some pretty high expectations at $45,000 per child. So I would love a list of all the contractors that you currently have, the number of complaints, and the severity of the complaints, in each one of those cases, what disciplinary action has been, and how you’re cooperating consistently with state authorities, who usually are the licensing authorities, and I understand that.

Audio Recording: Nunes on secret tape: Kavanaugh vote, then Rosenstein impeachment, MSNBC, July 30, 2018.
Hearing: Wartime Contracting, Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee, C-SPAN, July 16,2013.
  • 3:30 Senator Claire McCaskill: I learned just this week that the Defense Department spent millions to construct a building in Afghanistan that has never been used. This facility was built despite the fact that the forward commander said they neither needed nor wanted this facility, in May 2010, almost a full year before construction began. We now have a brand-new state-of-the-art building that cost the taxpayers 34 million to build. The worst part is that all indications are, we’re going to tear it down. We can’t even give it away to the Afghanistan government for free because they don’t want a building that they will have to spend millions to rewire because it was built to U.S. electrical code. I also recently learned that more than 13 million may have been wasted on a USAID agricultural development contract with a company called Chemonics. The waste alone is bad enough, but the Special Inspector General also found that the contractor failed to cooperate with the audit. Frankly, that’s just unacceptable.
Hearing: Wartime Contracting, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, C-SPAN, September 21, 2011.
  • 46:30 Senator Claire McCaskill: I want to talk about something that I mentioned—and you mentioned in your report, but I think it’s something we need to flesh out for this committee—and that’s contractors being subject to the jurisdiction of the United States of America. Heartbreaking incident in Iraq, that I'm sure you all are aware of, where the negligence of one of our contractors killed one of our soldiers. And in trying to find justice for that family, the contractor avoided the jurisdiction of the United States, and the most insulting thing about it was he then got another—that company then got another contract with our government. After they had used the fact that they were not subject to the jurisdiction of our country as a way to avoid justice for this man’s family, we then decided we should sign up again with them.

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Music Presented in This Episode

Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)