Skip to content
Search

Latest Stories

Top Stories

Senate Democrats unite behind their version of HR 1

All 47 Democratic senators, including the six running for president, signed on to legislation introduced today that mirrors the campaign finance, election administration and ethics overhaul passed by the House this month.

Their unanimity has no utilitarian effect, because Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear he'll never put the bill to a vote and not one of his fellow Republicans (let alone the 13 necessary) has even hinted at breaking ranks to advance the bill over his opposition.

But the Democrats who announced the bill made clear that, at least until the next election, they are more content to make a political point than to make a new law.


"This is the bill I think we should use as our talking points across the country when people are running for president or running for Congress," said Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, the only one of the presidential aspirants to attend the news conference unveiling the bill. "This is the whole collection of what we need to do, from taking the dark money out to making it easier to vote."

The measure's principal sponsor, Tom Udall of New Mexico, conceded that his options for advancing his cause were limited before he retires at the end of next year. At best, he said, he might be able to put all senators on record by securing a vote on an amendment that would attach the bill to the annual budget resolution, a purely symbolic move because the budget measure does not have the force of law.

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter

Udall's office described his measure as "a near identical copy" of HR 1, the measure the House passed three weeks ago on a party line vote of 234-193. Among the bill's most prominent features are the re-enfranchisement of felons after their release from prison, the lowering of barriers to voting across the country, the creation of public matching funds for candidates who raised money from others in small donations, a tougher code of ethics for the executive branch and a mandate that all states turn their congressional mapmaking over to nonpartisan commissions.

Read More

Gift box with an American flag sticking out
Fernando Trabanco Fotografía/Getty Images

A birthday gift for America

Breslin is the Joseph C. Palamountain Jr. Chair of Political Science at Skidmore College and author of “A Constitution for the Living: Imagining How Five Generations of Americans Would Rewrite the Nation’s Fundamental Law.”

This is the latest in “A Republic, if we can keep it,” a series to assist American citizens on the bumpy road ahead this election year. By highlighting components, principles and stories of the Constitution, Breslin hopes to remind us that the American political experiment remains, in the words of Alexander Hamilton, the “most interesting in the world.”

Coming together in shared purpose and mutual celebration is decidedly cheugy (meaning “uncool”… for those of us who are). Americans can hardly agree that 2+2=4 or that Taylor Swift is somewhat popular at the moment. To put it mildly, we are struggling to find common ground.

Keep ReadingShow less
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Voters should be able to take the measure of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., since he is poised to win millions of votes in November.

Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty Images

Kennedy should have been in the debate – and states need ranked voting

Richie is co-founder and senior advisor of FairVote.

CNN’s presidential debate coincided with a fresh batch of swing-state snapshots that make one thing perfectly clear: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. may be a longshot to be our 47th president and faces his own controversies, yet the 10 percent he’s often achieving in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and other battlegrounds could easily tilt the presidency.

Why did CNN keep him out with impossible-to-meet requirements? The performances, mistruths and misstatements by Joe Biden and Donald Trump would have shocked Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, who managed to debate seven times without any discussion of golf handicaps — a subject better fit for a “Grumpy Old Men” outtake than one of the year’s two scheduled debates.

Keep ReadingShow less
Bar graph of shopping carts
Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

Have prices increased 40 percent to 50 percent since Trump left office?

This fact brief was originally published by Wisconsin Watch. Read the original here. Fact briefs are published by newsrooms in the Gigafact network, and republished by The Fulcrum. Visit Gigafact to learn more.

Have prices increased 40 percent to 50 percent since Trump left office?

No.

Cumulative inflation since former President Donald Trump left office in January 2021 through May 2024 was 20.1 percent according to data from the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, or CPI-U.

Trump told a crowd on June 18 in Racine, Wis., that "real inflation" is more than twice that.

Keep ReadingShow less
Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs on stage
Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs perform "Fast Car" at the Grammys.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Luke Combs, politics and healing our nation's divide

Nevins is co-publisher of The Fulcrum and co-founder and board chairman of the Bridge Alliance Education Fund.

It’s been a year and a half since I wrote about “The Great Divide,” Luke Combs' song written by Naomi Judd, Paul Overstreet and John Barlow Jarvis. I was moved by the tremendous response I received, and that article is still one of The Fulcrum’s most-read posts.

The lyrics are as powerful today as they were in November 2023:

Keep ReadingShow less