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Current Issues Blog & More

 

Our civics blog helps teachers connect articles on current issues in the USA to their classrooms and students. Teaching the news is time-consuming and complicated; by the time you are able to find and process important issues and identify how to teach them, they are old news. This blog will be updated weekly, with links to classroom-ready news items, relevant context, and suggested discussion questions for teachers. 

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C-SPAN Cameras on the House Floor

Post | January 25, 2023

When the 118th Congress convened on January 3, what is usually a quick procedural vote for speaker turned into a contentious five days of voting on the floor of the House of Representatives.1 The frustrations, negotiations, and heated debates were on display on C-SPAN. Since the House could not adopt rules without a speaker—members-elect could […]


A New Rule Results in Cost-Of-Living Reimbursement for House Members

Post | January 18, 2023

An under-the-radar rule change proposed by Democrats in the House of Representatives in the waning days of 117th Congress could potentially increase members’ yearly compensation. The provision, approved by the House Administration Committee, would allow reimbursement for a number of living expenses, including lodging, food, and travel in Washington, D.C. How Much Do Members of […]


Close Up’s Election Recap

Post | November 17, 2022

By the end of the day on Election Day, 47 percent of eligible voters in the United States had cast a ballot in the 2022 midterm elections.1 After a week of waiting with several races still uncalled, heading to a runoff, or requiring a recount, it looks like Republicans will have a slim majority in […]


The Voting Rights Act Goes to Court, Again

Post | October 6, 2022

On October 4, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Merrill v. Milligan. In that case, the Court is considering whether the Voting Rights Act of 1965 should apply to Alabama’s recent congressional redistricting. One section of the Voting Rights Act requires that states provide minority voters with “an equal opportunity to […]


Ranked-Choice Voting: A Curiosity or Coming Reform?

Post | September 6, 2022

In August, Democrat Mary Peltola won Alaska’s lone seat in the House of Representatives in a special election to replace Don Young (R), who passed away in March 2022.1 Peltola defeated two Republicans, former Governor Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III. Peltola becomes the first Alaska Native person to be elected to Congress.2 This election […]


Summer Roundup: Back to School with the Supreme Court, the Midterms, and the Search of Mar-a-Lago

Post | August 30, 2022

In communities across the country, teachers are welcoming students back to school as the summer draws to a close. The beginning of the school year is an exciting and important time for establishing good civic habits in students. To help facilitate dialogue among students and spark civil discussion in the classroom, we are reviewing several […]


Diversity, Discord & Democracy

Post | August 24, 2022

We do not have to look far to find evidence of strong partisan hostility in the United States. People are ending long-term friendships, or even cutting off communication with family, over political differences.1 Partisan animosity—feelings of anger, fear, and distrust toward those with whom we disagree—has been steadily increasing for decades.2 Earlier this month, the […]


Should Members of Congress Be Banned from Trading Stocks?

Post | February 15, 2022

Last month, Senators Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., and Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., introduced the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act, a reform bill which would require members of Congress to divest their stock market investments or face fines totaling the entire amount of their congressional salary.1 So, should members of Congress be allowed to trade stocks? According to […]


Censure Divides the Republican Party

Post | February 9, 2022

On February 4, the Republican National Committee (RNC) officially censured two members of the party, Representatives Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., for their role in the ongoing House of Representatives investigation into the Capitol riot that occurred on January 6, 2021. The RNC resolution claims that Cheney and Kinzinger “support Democrat efforts to […]


Capitol Hill: Internships, Careers & Opportunities

Videos | November 23, 2021

During this #CloseUpConversations webinar, sponsored by Johnson and Johnson, we discuss internships and career pathways that drive policy-making on Capitol Hill.


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