Bridget Bowman

Burr: Too Early to Draw Conclusions on Russia-Trump Team Contact
Burr and Warner update Senate Intelligence Committee investigation

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee effectively rebuked the White House Wednesday, declining to rule out whether people associated President Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.

“We would be crazy to try to draw conclusions from where we are in the investigation,” Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. said, standing next to ranking member Mark Warner at a press conference. “I think Mark and I are committed to let this process go through before we form any opinions.”

Lawmakers Hope to Avert Government Shutdown
The deadline to fund the government is April 28

After weeks of partisan fighting over health care and the Supreme Court, lawmakers have less than one month to come together and avert a government shutdown.

Government funding for the 2017 fiscal year expires on April 28, five days after lawmakers return to the nation’s capital after a two-week recess. But negotiations appear to be moving forward.

The Search for Intelligent Bipartisanship on Health Care
Rank-and-file lawmakers to keep pushing the issue

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ Roll Call 

With Republican leaders pausing their quest to overturn the 2010 health care law, rank-and-file lawmakers see an opportunity for outreach behind the scenes on the divisive issue.

Van Hollen Frames Trump Proposals as Dicey for GOP
DSCC chief cites health care plan, budget as politically tricky

Nuclear Option Looms as Supreme Court Hearings Wrap Up
Senators ready to blame opposing party for any upending of Senate rules

With Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings wrapping up, senators will soon confront whether his nomination will upend Senate rules.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet said  whether he would move to change Senate rules that currently require 60 votes to end debate on Gorsuch’s nomination. If eight members of the Democratic caucus do not join the 52 Republicans to move the nomination forward, McConnell could move to change the rules, lowering the threshold to a simple majority.

Vulnerable Senate Democrats Stand Firm in Opposing GOP Health Care Plan
Senators in tight races are making a moral argument against the bill

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Senate Democrats up for re-election in Republican-leaning states are united in opposition to the GOP health care plan.

For them, overhauling the health care system is not just about policy. It’s a matter of right and wrong.

Bennet Faces Colorado Blitz on Supreme Court Nominee
Colorado Democrat could help GOP move Neil Gorsuch’s nomination

Sen. Michael Bennet is facing pressure to support his home state’s Supreme Court nominee not just from Republicans, but also from one of Colorado’s most popular figures, Denver Broncos great John Elway.

Shortly before the Colorado Democrat was set to introduce Judge Neil Gorsuch at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Monday, the appellate judge’s publicity team released a letter that the revered former quarterback and current Broncos’ general manager sent to the committee in favor of Gorsuch’s nomination. 

DSCC Raises $3.8 Million in February, With Digital Boost
The committee sees successful grassroots digital campaign

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $3.8 million in the month of February, according to figures provided first to Roll Call.

The committee noted February was particularly successful month for email and online donations. The DSCC currently has $7.7 million in cash on hand.

‘What Does It Mean?’ West Virginians Weigh GOP Health Care Plan
Voters at town hall meeting wanted to know more about the overhaul

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Diane Hughes took the microphone, looked down at the paper in front of her and said, “I’m nervous and I don’t like politics, but here it goes.”

Hughes was among the West Virginia residents gathered at the Robert C. Byrd Health Science Center here on Thursday for a town hall meeting on the Republican plan to overhaul the 2010 health care law. The meeting’s organizers had asked her to share her story, and she admitted she was initially reluctant to do so.

Flashback Friday: Garland Heads to the Senate
One year later, a different nominee is up for confirmation

On St. Patrick’s Day in 2016, Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick G. Garland made his first visit to the Senate. But the luck of the Irish wasn’t enough to move his nomination forward. One year later, a different judge is facing a confirmation hearing.

Garland, the chief judge for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, made his way to the Senate one year ago today, the day after President Barack Obama nominated him to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Manchin: Only Trump Can Stop Obamacare Repeal
Democratic senator gives his constituents White House phone number

MARTINSBURG, W. Va. — There might be a few more West Virginians clogging up the White House phone lines, courtesy of their home-state senator. 

Sen. Joe Manchin III encouraged his constituents gathered at a town hall meeting here Thursday to phone the White House and implore President Donald Trump to slow down the effort to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.

Senate Democrats Preview Their Case Against Gorsuch
Supreme Court nominee cast as foe of workers

Senate Democrats are preparing for next week’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing, and previewed their case Wednesday that Judge Neil Gorsuch’s rulings have favored corporations over individuals. 

“Judge Gorsuch may act like a neutral, calm judge,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer. “But his record and his career clearly show he harbors a right wing, pro-corporate, special interest agenda.”

GOP Grapples With Path Forward for Health Care Plan
Some senators are clamoring for changes to the House bill

Republicans grappled Tuesday with how to advance their health care proposal following a report from the Congressional Budget Office that the plan would dramatically increase the number of uninsured Americans.

House lawmakers had more time to digest the report thanks to a winter storm that delayed their schedule. But senators trudged through the slush and snow to the Capitol, where they faced questions about the CBO report that said the GOP plan would lead to 24 million more people uninsured by 2026, and reduce the deficit by $337 billion over 10 years.

GOP Plan Doesn’t Address Members, Staff Health Care
Unanswered questions on fate of 11,000 people

As lawmakers delve into questions about the Republican health care plan, one big one will remain unanswered for the time being: What happens to health care for members of Congress and their staffs?

The 2010 health care law required members and their staff to enroll in health care programs created by the law. But it’s not clear if that requirement will continue, or whether lawmakers and staff will return to the coverage plans they had prior to the law taking effect.

The Regular Order Revue on House GOP Obamacare Bill
Signs from Republicans indicate deviation from transparency promises

Republican lawmakers scrambled on Tuesday to explain their health care plan and how they will move it quickly through Congress, but Democrats and even some GOP members accused leaders of rushing through the process and jeopardizing Republican promises to move through regular order.

Lawmakers have one month before they are scheduled to leave for recess on April 7, and GOP leaders hope to pass legislation undoing the 2010 health care law before Congress heads out of town. House committees are marking up the legislation this week, though it’s not clear whether the bill will go through Senate committees or go straight to the Senate floor.

Senate Democrats Adopt Staff Diversity Rules
New rules will increase the diversity in caucus staff, Schumer says

Senate Democrats have taken a formal step to codify their push for staff diversity in the Senate. 

Lawmakers approved new conference rules at the Democrats’ policy lunch last Tuesday, which encourage offices to use the NFL’s “Rooney Rule,” the requirement named after the Pittsburgh Steelers’ owner Dan Rooney that teams interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching vacancies. Democratic offices are now formally encouraged to consider at least one minority candidate when interviewing for an open position.

GOP Senators Threaten Obamacare Repeal Effort
Four senators voiced concerns, which would be enough to block the GOP bill

BY BRIDGET BOWMAN AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ ROLL CALL

Four Republican senators have raised concerns about a House GOP plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  And that could threaten the fate of the plan in the Senate.

Democrats Have Few Options on Trump Travel Ban
Minority status means they can’t file a lawsuit or force legislation

Congressional Democrats were quick to condemn President Donald Trump’s new executive order temporarily barring travel from a handful of predominantly Muslim countries, but there isn’t much they can do about it.

As the minority party in the House and Senate, they cannot force Congress to take up legislation overturning the ban. And legal and procedural hurdles prevent Democratic lawmakers from taking the order to court themselves. 

Trump Questions Schumer-Putin Doughnut Moment
The president said Schumer should be investigated, citing an old photo

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and JOHN T. BENNETT, CQ ROLL CALL

President Donald Trump took to Twitter to once again criticize Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, this time calling for an investigation over Schumer’s “ties to Russia” and Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing a 14-year old photo of Schumer and Putin eating doughnuts together.

Trump Joint Address Spotlights Deep Partisan Divide
Lawmakers left to interpret president's statements on pet issues

When President Donald Trump exited the House chamber after his first address to a joint session of Congress, one half of the floor was almost completely empty.

Democrats headed for the exits after Trump wrapped up his Tuesday night speech, while Republicans stayed to applaud. The floor became the embodiment of partisan divisions that persist in Congress, especially when it comes to Democrats’ willingness to work with the bombastic new president.