Bridget Bowman

Hillary Clinton Returns to the Senate for Dinner Date
Ex-presidential candidate spent an hour with Sen. Dianne Feinstein

Hillary Clinton found herself back in the Senate Thursday evening and took time to have dinner with a friend and former colleague.

Over a glass of California chardonnay and a salmon dinner, Clinton caught up with Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the California Democrat’s hideaway office on the Senate side of the Capitol.

Biden is 'Mr. President' for an Afternoon in the Senate
Senators spoke about the vice president for more than two hours

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., spent part of Wednesday afternoon being addressed as “Mr. President,” presiding in his role as president of the Senate during a two and a-half-hour tribute to his years of public service.

He later took pains to show he isn’t overly attached to the salutation, dousing speculation he might make a run for the Oval Office in 2020 by telling reporters he had no intention of running.

Some Democrats Plan Slowdown as Senate Wraps Up Year
Chamber races to wrap up several broad bills by Friday

Some Senate Democrats are planning to block or slow down legislation as Republicans try to whittle down what’s left of their to-do list for the 114th Congress this week.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the floor Monday that he plans to complete work on a spending measure to keep the government funded and a conference report authorizing defense programs. McConnell added that work continues on water infrastructure legislation and an energy policy bill.

Democrats Want to Require Trump Nominees to Provide Tax Returns
Senators expressed concern about extremely wealthy Cabinet picks

Senate Democrats are pushing to require President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees to release their tax returns, something Trump refused to do during his campaign.

Currently the only Senate committees that can require such information are Finance, Budget, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. But Democrats want to expand that authority to other committees that hold confirmation hearings, and plan to propose changing the rules when committees convene for the next Congress in January.

Tillis Might Not be Back After 2020 if Things Don’t Get Done
North Carolina senator wants progress on criminal justice reform, other issues

Sen. Thom Tillis said Wednesday that if Congress cannot tackle a criminal justice overhaul and other big-ticket issues with bipartisan solutions in the next few years, he might not run for re-election.

“I don’t run again until 2020, and if we’re not able to get things like this done, I don’t have any intention of coming back,” the North Carolina Republican said at The Washington Post Juvenile Justice Summit.

Senate Staff Diversity Efforts Turn to New Congress
While lawmakers are more diverse, their staffs are not

The Senate is about to become more diverse with a new crop of senators, but staffers who work behind the scenes are clamoring for more diversity in their own ranks.

For current and former staffers, the start of a new Congress is a unique moment to bring varied perspectives to Senate offices where staffers advise their bosses and play a role in shaping policy. 

Black Senate Staffers Push for More Diversity
Staffers sent recommendations to every Senate office

A group of African-American Senate staffers are pushing lawmakers to increase diversity in their offices as they prepare for the next Congress.

The Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus sent a letter and a document of recommendations to Senate leaders and every Senate office Tuesday evening.

Busy Lame-Duck Session Ahead in the Senate
McConnell plans to act on a number of bills before the session ends

December is shaping up to be a busy month for the Senate, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intent on addressing six bills over the next three weeks, including a massive biomedical research package and the annual defense policy bill.

I would encourage colleagues on both sides to continue working together so that we can complete our work soon,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor Monday afternoon.

Senate Democrats Can't Stop Sessions, So How Much Will They Fight?
AG hopeful only needs a majority to approve his nomination

President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general leaves Senate Democrats with a complicated choice.

Sen. Jeff Sessions appears poised to lead the Justice Department, despite accusations of racism that derailed his nomination for a federal judgeship three decades ago. As far as records go back, no sitting senator has ever been denied confirmation to a Cabinet post.

Senators to Spend More Time in D.C. in 2017
Next year’s calendar was unveiled Friday

Senators will spend more time in the nation’s capital in 2017, according to the Senate calendar released Friday.

The Senate of the 115th Congress will convene on Tuesday, Jan. 3, and is set to be in session for 182 days in 2017. Lawmakers will have a five-week August recess next year. Friday sessions are also on the docket, though senators seldom worked that day of the week over the past year.

Van Hollen Named Chairman of Senate Democrats‘ Campaign Arm
Incoming Maryland freshman faces daunting 2018 electoral map for party

Sen.-elect Chris Van Hollen of Maryland will chair the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2018 cycle, incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced Friday.

Chris Van Hollen was our first choice for DSCC chairman because of his talents, his work ethic, and his experience,” Schumer said in a statement. “He has the confidence of our caucus and will do a great job for our candidates running in 2018. The map is tough for Democrats, but I have no doubt that Sen.-elect Van Hollen is up to the task.” 

Sessions Is Trump’s Pick for Attorney General
Alabama Republican was the first incumbent senator to back president-elect

Updated as of 10:33 a.m.

Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions has been tapped as President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Trump’s transition team announced Friday.

Cory Gardner Takes Helm of NRSC
Colorado freshman is lone new member of Senate GOP leadership team

Senate Republicans will have at least one fresh face on their leadership team next year.

Senate Leadership Elections Set Stage for 2017
McConnell and Schumer take top posts

The Senate’s leadership elections went off without a hitch Wednesday, with victorious Republicans keeping their top echelon intact.

Democrats elevated Charles E. Schumer to the role of minority leader for the next Congress, as anticipated, but the most interesting development might be that the Brooklyn lawmaker is going to need a bigger meeting table.

Senate Democrats Come Out Swinging Against Trump
Reid speaks of ‘responsibility to be the voice of millions of Americans’

Senate Democrats have embraced their role as the loyal opposition to Donald Trump, with several using the chamber’s first post-election session to criticize the president-elect for fomenting divisions across the country. 

Democrats have said that they are willing to work with Trump on areas of common ground. But Minority Leader Harry Reid used floor remarks on Tuesday to assail the real estate mogul, accusing him of sparking “a wave of hate crimes.”

Schumer: I’ll Fight to Preserve LGBT Progress
New York Democrat is expected to become next Senate minority leader

Sen. Charles E. Schumer acknowledged the fears that many LGBT Americans have about an uncertain future under President-elect Donald Trump, and said Tuesday he would fight to protect progress made so far in marriage equality and anti-discrimination.

“I am not sure what will come next after so many fought so hard for so long to gain the right to say, ‘Love is love,’ no matter what,” the New York Democrat wrote in an op-ed in The Advocate, a gay news publication. “I am worried about what tomorrow holds and what this new administration may attempt to roll back.”

House and Senate Preview: New Faces and a Lame Duck
 

The House returned Monday and the Senate returns Tuesday to begin the lame-duck session. In the House, Republican caucus leadership elections dominate the start of the week. House reporter Lindsey McPherson previews what to expect from Speaker Paul D. Ryan. And in the Senate, new senators report for orientation while the chambers legislative business is to be determined. Senate reporter Bridget Bowman has more....
Protesters Arrested Outside Schumer’s Office
Protesters chant for Schumer to ‘grow a spine,’ step aside for Sanders or Warren

Seventeen people were arrested on Monday after staging a sit-in at the office of incoming Senate minority leader Charles E. Schumer.

About 40 people called on the New York Democrat to step aside from the position and allow Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders to take it. 

Will Pence Be Trump's Key to Capitol Hill?
The vice president-elect has congressional chops

Day Two of Donald Trump’s presidential transition brought the president-elect and his running mate Mike Pence to Capitol Hill. It’s almost certain to be a frequent haunt for the former six-term congressman and current governor of Indiana.

Trump and Pence both sat down with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday afternoon, in the leaders’ first face-to-face meeting since Trump’s stunning win on Tuesday.

Here’s Roll Call’s Perspective of Trump’s Arrival at the Capitol
 

President-elect Donald Trump arrived on the Hill for meetings on Thursday....