House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday he is still not ready to endorse Donald Trump, despite reports that he is about to back the businessman as the Republican presidential nominee. “I don’t have a timeline on my mind and I haven’t made a decision,”the Wisconsin Republican said, adding, “Nothing has changed from my perspective.” As many Republican leaders fall in line behind Trump's campaign, Ryan has said he needed more time to decide whether he would support the front-runner. A May 12 meeting in Washington reportedly went well, with Ryan declaring that attempts to unify the party were "going in a positive direction. Ryan, who as speaker will run the GOP convention in July, has said he recognizes the need for party unity but wants to ensure that Trump supports an agenda that conservative Republican can embrace. Ryan's agenda, outlined in January, includes addressing national security, restoring economic growth, rethinking healthcare, overhauling poverty programs and restoring the constitution. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren isthrowing down the gauntlet, calling Donald Trump "a small, insecure moneygrubber," and telling progressives they must work to ensure he is never elected president. And in doing so, she might be paving the way to become her party's uniter-in-chief. "Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown — because it meant he could buy up abunch more property on the cheap," the Massachusetts Democrat said of Trumpin prepared remarks for the Center for Popular Democracy's annual gala. Warren was referring to a 2007 quote, in which Trump said he was "excited" for housing prices to fall, since "I've made more money in bad markets than in good markets." "What kind of a man does that?" Warren asked in her speech. "Root for people to get thrown out on the street? Root for people to losetheir jobs? Root for people to lose their pensions? Root for two little girls in Clark County, Nevada, toend up living in a van? What kind of a man does that?" "I'll tell you exactly what kind — a man who caresabout no one but himself. A small, insecure moneygrubber who doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as hemakes some money off it. What kind of man does that? A man who will neverbe President of theUnited States." Warren and the presumed Republican presidential nominee have traded barbs on social media, but Warren said that her points Tuesday evening, "won't fit in a Twitter war." In one her points, Warren went after Trump's declining to release current taxreturns. "Maybe he's just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims.But we know one thing: the last time his taxes were made public, Donald Trump paid nothing —zero," Warren said. It's part of a developing pattern for Warren, afavorite of many in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, who is seen as an essential peace broker once the often-contentious primary process between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., comes to a close. Warren has yet to endorse either candidate. She is making the case to supportive audiences, including many backers of the Sanders presidential campaign, that defeating Trump must be goal number one. Warren was critical of Trump during a weekend commencement speech at Suffolk University in her home state of Massachusetts where, as MassLive reported, the senator brought up Trump's lack of support among women voters. "How's this speech polling so far?" Warren asked the university president during her remarks. "Higher or lower than Donald Trump's unfavorable numbers with women?" Contact Lesniewski at NielsLesniewski@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter @nielslesniewski. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.
The next Senate Democratic leader is looking forward to adding another, more important title to his resume: grandpa.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz is facing rising pressure to resign as head of the Democratic National Committee after she and Sen. Bernie Sanders exchanged barbs last week, according to media reports. Schultz has withstood criticism from Sanders throughout the presidential campaign for what Sanders says has been a pattern of favoritism shown toward Hillary Clinton. Some senators have now concluded that Wasserman Schultzmay be "too toxic" to reunite the party after the bitter primary battle, CNN reported Wednesday. "There is a lot of sentiment that replacing her would be a good idea," a senior Senate Democrat told CNN. "It is being discussed quietly among Democratic senators on the floor, in the cloakroom and in lunches." CNN quoted the source anonymously. Tensionsflared when Wasserman Schultz criticized Sanders on CNN last week for his response to aggressive displays by his supporters at the Nevada Democratic Party convention this month. Sanders responded by endorsing her opponentTim Canova in her Florida primary campaign. The Hill first reported the concerns about Wasserman Schultz's leadership, quoting a pro-Clinton Democratic senator. Other Democratic party leaders told both news outlets that they supported Wasserman Schultz. The CNN source said there was no formal effort to oust her. A spokesman for the Democratic National Committee did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday morning. Contact Akin firstname.lastname@example.org follow her on Twitter at @stephanieakin. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.
As the presumptive GOP nominee, Donald Trump may have elevated anti-Muslim rhetoric to new prominence this year. But the two Muslim members of Congress want Americans to know that it’s not just Trump.
Release of the long-awaited audit sharply criticizing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email practices Wednesday did little to change the dialogue on Capitol Hill.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen,who spurned an invitation to testify at a House hearing, will not be permitted to provide an on-the-record statement, the committee ruled at the beginning of a hearing on Monday.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said it might be time to give Sen. Bernie Sanders a break. At a moment when the underdog presidential candidate and his supporters have taken on the Democratic party establishment with endorsements, lawsuits and unruly behavior, Reid cautioned restraint Tuesday. "I think we should kind of lay off Bernie Sanders a bit, okay?" Reid said at a news conference, responding to a question about whether he was concerned about Vermont senator's loyalty to the Democratic Party. "He has done, I think, some really good things. The party has changed during his tenure here. And we'll see whathappens," Reid said. "I think Bernie's a good man, he tries to do the right thing, and everything will work out well." Sanders, who has served for years as an independent caucusing with Democrats, has troubled some party members as he continues to pursue the presidential nomination, despite being well behind former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in both pledged and super delegates. This week Sanderswent after the party establishment, backing the primary opponent trying unseat Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. His supportersfiled a lawsuitin California over voter registration. Last week Sanders defended the conduct of his supporters who disrupted the Nevada State Convention on May. 14. Sanders delegates reportedly threw chairs, shouted and sent threats to the state's Democratic Party chairwomandue todiscontent over delegate distribution. Sanders condemned the violence, but pointed to what he called irregularities at the Nevada convention. The Senate minority leader offered no commentary on how Sanders dealt with the situation in Reid's home state. "I have no criticism of Bernie at this stage," Reid said Tuesday. Reid indicated that Sanders will still support the party's choices in other races. Reid saidhe spoke with former Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, who is challenging current Sen. Ron Johnson, on Tuesday, and Reid was pleased to hear Sanders was supporting Feingold's bid for his former seat. Contact Bowman email@example.com follow her on Twitter at @bridgetbhc. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.
Media outlets are reporting some grumbling about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's leadership of the Democratic National Committee and whether she can bring the party back together after a divisive presidential primary between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Wasserman Schultzwas arising star from a swing state when President Barack Obama selected her for the chairwoman post in 2011. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., in a letter to supporters, said Obama picked her for her"tenacity, her strength, her fighting spirit and her ability to overcome adversity." But those qualities have at timesrubbed some in her party the wrong way. Here are a few of those times: 2016: She limited the number of Democratic debates in the primary cycle to six, compared to 25 in 2008. The decision was seen by some as an effort to pave the way to the nomination for Hillary Clinton, whom Wasserman Schultz supported in 2008. 2015: Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaignsued the Democratic National Committeeafter Wasserman Schultz and other party leaders blocked hiscampaign from accessing a DNC voter database because a Sanders staffer had accessedClinton's data. 2014:Wasserman Schultzwaswidely criticized for comparing members of the Tea Party and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to wife beaters, saying Walker has, "given women the back of his hand," and “What Republican tea party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is, they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back.” She was already in hot water for criticizing the Obama administration's policy of sending undocumented immigrant children back to their home countries a couple weeks earlier. 2014: A scathing Politico report, based on interviews with Democratic Party insiders, attributed a litany of ills to Wasserman Schultz. They include alleged requests for the DNC to pay for her wardrobe; an alleged attempt to double-cross Hillary Clinton by secretly pledging her support to Obama in 2008; and allegedly complaining to Obama in 2011 about a blocked attempt to award a patronage job. 2008: She raised $230 million for Clinton as co-chairwoman of Clinton's first presidential campaign, a fact cited by detractors as evidence of her bias against Sanders. Contact Akin firstname.lastname@example.org follow her on Twitter at @stephanieakin. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.