Author Archive

Russell Berman

Russell Berman is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers political news. He was previously a congressional reporter for The Hill and a Washington correspondent for The New York Sun.

'God Made Republicans to Cut Taxes'

On a 227-203 party-line vote, the House on Tuesday passed a far-reaching, $1.5 trillion revision of the tax code, cutting rates for corporations, small businesses and individuals.


The Republican Tax Bill Might Need an Escape Hatch to Pass

Ahead of a key vote this week, senators from states where tax cuts busted the budget want the plan to include a “backstop” in case the party’s rosy revenue predictions don’t come true.


The Red-State Revolt Spreads to Oklahoma

Republican voters soured on tax cuts in Kansas. Now a similar budget crisis is playing out in Oklahoma, and in a string of special-election wins, Democrats are taking advantage.


A Major Step Forward for the Republican Tax Bill

The House on Thursday approved its legislation in a surprisingly drama-free vote. But hurdles await in the Senate.

Health & Human Services

A Victory Lap for Obamacare at the Ballot Box

With Medicaid expansion in Maine and Democratic wins in Virginia, voters affirm a bigger role for government in health care.


The Essential Questions the GOP Tax Bill Will Finally Answer

After months of secret talks, Republicans are just about ready to provide the critical details of their long-awaited proposal for tax reform.


The Republican Who Left Congress to Drain an Actual Swamp

Former Representative Candice Miller gave up a senior post in the House to manage the drains and sewers of Macomb County, Michigan. She has no regrets.


Kansas Republicans to Congress: 'You Better Learn Our Lesson'

Lawmakers from the Sunflower State say they are worried that Congress and the Trump administration will repeat the mistake they made in enacting budget-busting tax cuts.

Public Safety

Why a Hurricane Like Irma Poses a Particular Challenge to Florida

The storm’s enormous size, spanning both coasts of the state, could slow the rescue and recovery efforts, officials warned on Sunday.


Sam Brownback Might Not Be Governing Kansas Much Longer

President Trump reportedly will send the beleaguered Republican to Rome as ambassador to U.N. for food and agriculture.


Kansas Republicans Sour on Their Tax-Cut Experiment

The state legislature nearly reversed Governor Sam Brownback’s signature policy after a voter rebellion. His economic legacy, one GOP lawmaker says, “is going down in flames.”


The Next Fight to Expand Voting Has Already Begun

Before the 2016 race ends, advocates for automatic registration are already eyeing new efforts in Illinois, Nevada, and elsewhere.


5 States Eye Recreational Marijuana

Election Day 2016 could be the point of no return for legalized pot.


America Is Mostly Ignoring a Dire Emergency In Louisiana

The American Red Cross has described the flood as the nation's worst disaster since Superstorm Sandy. But not that many people are paying attention.


A Vote to Save Puerto Rico From Default

A bipartisan coalition in the U.S. Senate advanced legislation just in time to allow the island territory to make a July 1 payment and restructure its $70 billion debt.


How Syphilis Came Roaring Back

The 18th-century ailment was on the brink of elimination before budget cuts helped resurrect it.


Congress Rejects D.C.'s Declaration of Fiscal Independence

The District wants to control how it spends its money. Republicans in the House say no.


A Major Leap for the Minimum Wage

California announced a deal to reach $15 an hour by 2022, and New York could soon follow.


Seattle's Experiment With Campaign Funding

City residents approved a public-financing program in which voters will get $100 worth of election vouchers—the first of its kind in the nation.


How Bathroom Fears Conquered Transgender Rights in Houston

A city ordinance protecting residents from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is defeated after a fierce campaign.