The Consensus

The Georgetown Bipartisan Coalition’s student publication. The Consensus aims to provide a platform for students to express their policy opinions and foster civil political debate.

How Do We Save a Backsliding Democracy?

By Margaret Edsey In the wake of September 11th, the entire nation found itself in a common struggle to uphold American values and protect what millions believed to be the strongest democracy in the world. President Bush saw his approval rating hover between 80 and 90 percent for several months following the attacks. This was…

Death Penalty Roundtable Reflection

By Emily Cheesman The roundtable discussion on the death penalty was significantly one-sided. From the beginning of the discussion, there were at most three pros who offered their perspectives to the largely anti-death penalty panel. In deference to the minority, I will attempt to summarize their arguments first.  First, there is the question of how…

Fight for the Filibuster

By Alexander Rowley Given the seemingly ever-widening gap between America’s two political parties, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Senate has failed to pull itself out of its current legislative funk. As Democrats struggle to make consistent use of their control of the Senate in the face of largely unified Republican opposition to their agenda,…

The Consensus Podcast – Intro and Episode 1

Click on the button below to listen to the Consensus Podcast on Spotify. So far we have an introduction and preview of what the show will look like this fall, and episode 1 featuring Matteo Caulfield and Tyler Van Patten discussing gun control. You can also search “The Consensus Georgetown” in Spotify. DISCLAIMER: the views…

Bipartisan Solutions to the Pro-Life/Pro-Choice Debate

by Matteo Caulfield I identify as a Pro-Lifer. However, I see the issue of abortion differently than most Pro-Lifers do. While many in the movement are over-concerned with directly restricting the ability of a woman to have an abortion, I think we should be directly helping women to be in a situation where they don’t…

Infrastructure Funding: What Can be Done?

By Thomas Rausch Infrastructure is a broad category that includes everything from roads and bridges to water mains and power lines to airports and seaports. It plays a fundamental, yet often overlooked, role in society. As infrastructure is something that is used by everybody, there is a vested social interest in maintaining functionality. This is…

Why Not Amy?

by George Zhai In the last Democratic presidential candidate debate, one out of the twelve candidates on stage best articulated a blueprint for Democrats to defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. This candidate was not the co-front runners, former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, nor was it Vermont Senator…

Renewable Energy: Innovation and International Security

By Thomas Rausch In recent decades, renewable energy (i.e., solar power, wind energy, geothermal energy, etc.) has become a topic of partisan discussion. Both conservatives and liberals argue about whether renewable energy production should be pursued. Opponents contend that it’s too expensive and impractical. Proponents say that it’s profitable and easier to implement than traditional…

Qatari Oil: A Microcosm of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

By Jacob Imber Last week, Israeli officials confirmed a groundbreaking deal to funnel Qatari oil into the Gaza Strip for a six month trial period. This arrangement is intended to improve the quality of life for Arab refugees living in Gaza who rarely have access to consistent electricity. In the past, these types of agreements…

House Ways and Means Committee Takes on Bipartisan IRS Reform

On Friday, April 13, the House Ways and Means Committee reported favorably on a package of bills intended to reform and modernize the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Sponsored by two Democrats and three Republicans, the set of bills is expected to pass the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. Several of the bills are designed…

Perspectives on Speaker Paul Ryan’s Retirement

By Kelly Wert Last Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that he will not run for reelection and will retire from the House of Representatives in January 2019.  After reluctantly accepting the job after John Boehner stepped down in 2015, Ryan announced that though he was satisfied with what he has accomplished and is ready…

Ryan Announces Retirement, Spurs Leadership Contest

By Jack Brownfield Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced this Wednesday that he will not run for reelection in November, sparking a competition among Republicans for the House leadership and, depending on how the midterm elections play out, the role of Speaker. Ryan said he believes that he has “done [his] part…to set…

Omnibus Spending Bill

by Lindsay Tausch On Thursday, March 22, the House of Representatives passed a $1.3 trillion bipartisan spending bill that will fund the federal government until the end of fiscal year 2018, which runs from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018. The massive “omnibus” package combines several appropriations bills, which Congress would ordinarily pass individually…

Senate Passes Banking Reform Bill with Bipartisan Support

On March 14th, the US Senate passed the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act” by a vote of 67 for and 31 against to reform the Dodd-Frank banking bill of 2010. Twelve Democrats and one independent joined the Republican majority to pass the bill. Sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID),…

Trump to Propose New Drug Plan

by Jack Brownfield President Trump is set to propose a new plan to tackle the country’s growing opioid abuse problem, a focus of his 2016 campaign. The proposal contains a range of new policies designed to attack the problem from both the public health and law enforcement angles. That is, Trump hopes to both increase…

Medicaid Expansion Gains Bipartisan Traction

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, it forced states to expand Medicaid as part of its plan to create universal healthcare coverage. The federal government would provide 100% of the funding for the first few years, and then gradually have the states contribute up to 10% by 2022. In June 2012,…

The Bipartisan Future of Space Exploration

by Lindsay Tausch Four months away from the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing, the United States has reason for renewed hope in the future of human space exploration. The commercial space sector is thriving; in early February, SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy, a rocket designed with an eye toward founder Elon Musk’s long-term goal…

Finding Bipartisanship in Environmental Disaster

Superfund sites remain some of the most ecologically damaged places in America. As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines them, these sites are “any land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the EPA as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or…

Kasich Tries for Gun Reform in Ohio

By Jack Brownfield Ohio Governor John Kasich has proposed a series of new gun control measures that he calls common sense in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. “We want to make sure that we can bring greater safety to the state, but at the same time not frightening people who believe…

A Broader Look at Trump’s New Tariffs

By Lindsay Tausch In a meeting with steel and aluminum industry executives on March 1, President Donald Trump announced that he would impose a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on imported aluminum. The announcement has garnered support from Democrats and backlash from Republicans, reflecting developments in the positions of both parties…

Trump Administration Floats “Food Box” Plan

by Jack Brownfield One idea contained in the White House’s proposed 2019 fiscal budget took many observers by surprise. The proposal, championed by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, would replace roughly half the money provided to low-income families through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with boxes of food. Instead of giving recipients food stamp…

Russian Indictment

Recently in Washington, D.C., a federal grand jury resulted in the indictment of thirteen individuals from Russia with fraud and other charges related to the 2016 presidential election. The base of the operations is said to be in St. Petersburg, where the 13 who were indicted worked on a three-year scheme to influence the election.…

Responses to the Parkland School Shooting

By Lindsay Tausch On Wednesday, February 14, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz gunned down 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Cruz used an assault rifle that authorities believe he purchased legally, despite having a “significant” history of mental illness. Republicans and Democrats alike have voiced their horror at yet another mass shooting…

Dow Fluctuations

by Kelly Wert The Dow Jones Industrial Average, a stock market index of 30 large American companies, has had an erratic week.  At the beginning of 2018, the Dow reached a record high of 26,616.71 points on January 26, inspiring great confidence in the market.  However, shortly after this record growth, the Dow hit records…

Changing Standards for Air Pollution

By Jack Brownfield While President Trump’s relationship with environmental groups has been rocky, recent decisions by members of his administration have created even more conflict. On January 25, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a memo revising how hazardous air pollution sources are classified. While supporters argue that the change will cut regulation while keeping strong…

Trump’s First Year – A Reflection

By Chloe Li Donald Trump has been America’s president for a little over one year. In January 2017, Trump was sworn into office amidst cheer and protest. In the past year, Trump’s presidency has undeniably been a source of turbulence, debate, and political coverage. Trump is clearly not an ordinary or conventional president, which was…

Congress Takes Bipartisan Action on Native American Rights

In a year already marked by a government shutdown, unanimous passage of legislation that would substantially improve a group of Americans’ lives was probably seen as unlikely. And yet, with the signing of the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017 on January 29, Congress has markedly improved the lives…

A Bipartisan Year in Review

As only 13% of Americans approve of Congress’s performance in 2017, many Americans would likely be surprised that lawmakers on both Capitol Hill and throughout many of America’s statehouses have been able to find common ground. While it is true that most of the national bipartisan legislation that has passed is relatively insignificant, such as…

Sexual Harassment Prevention in Congress Transcends Partisanship

From the beginning of October, America has slowly begun to confront its public secret of sexual harassment. While many of the accused predators have been entertainment and media moguls like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Mark Halperin, and Charlie Rose, politics has also begun the lengthy process of recognizing its persistent culture of sexual harassment. Although…

Outcry Over Elephants

By Jack Brownfield A couple weeks ago, President Trump announced that his administration would not remove the current ban on importing elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Trump’s statement came after widespread and bipartisan outcry over the proposed change from the Interior Department. The incident was a perfect example of common sense and decency transcending…

Highway Trust Fund Paves Way for Bipartisanship

By Ethan Knecht Arguably, it is the most important issue Americans never think about. Without it, Walmart, health care, public education, family vacations, Amazon.com, broadband internet, and even America’s national security would be in jeopardy. The Unite States’ interstate highways connect every corner of the country from Madawaska, Maine to Imperial Beach, California, and every…

Trump’s Asia Tour

By Chloe Li Recently, President Trump embarked on his tour of Asia. Trump just finished the last leg of his trip in Manila, and he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hanoi. During this five-nation trip, Trump visited Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Notably, this twelve-day trip is the longest presidential…

Moving Toward the Radical Center – The Hoya

Thanks to the Radical Center Column for considering GBC as part of the solution to polarization! Political student groups play a foundational part in shaping our society and we’re proud to work with both College Democrats and Republicans to refine our politics. Larkin: Moving Toward the Radical Center

Swimming Against the Tide on Abortion

By Jack Brownfield America’s two main political parties seem locked in a race towards extremism on abortion. Examining their platforms from year to year, we see both Republicans and Democrats increasingly unwilling to allow for compromise on the issue. The problem is not that Republicans are generally pro-life and Democrats pro-choice, but that their platforms…

Metro Funding Crisis Prompts Bipartisan Compromise

by Ethan Knecht The District’s transportation system has faced a myriad of crises over the past decade. With delayed trains, broken infrastructure, and severe accidents like train crashes and fires, what was once America’s premier transit system has fallen into disarray. For the Georgetown students, local commuters, and tourists who use the Metro’s rail and…

A Multifaceted Approach to Gun Violence

By Jack Brownfield After every horrific mass shooting, Americans of all political backgrounds propose policies that they believe could address this serious issue. While everyone wants to reduce gun violence in the United States, liberals and conservatives typically have radically different ideas about possible solutions. The former focus on gun control measures ranging from universal…

Obamacare Senate Bill News Roundup

By Chloe Li The political spotlight has recently been on the bipartisan Senate bill of Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash) which aims to stabilize Obamacare and decrease the federal deficit. The bill’s focus, according to Alexander and Murray, is to “benefit taxpayers and low-income Americans, not insurance companies.” Despite strong…

Georgetown University: A Political Snapshot

A few weeks ago, we conducted a poll at our booth at the Student Activities Fair regarding the political climate here on campus. We deeply enjoyed everyone’s input and the discussion it provided. Through the data we collected from those who participated, we were able to put some graphs together that better illustrate the diversity…

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