Bridget Bowman

Senate to Vote on at Least Two Cabinet Nominees Friday
Democrats are calling for more time to vet controversial nominees

The Senate is expected to vote on at least two of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees after he is sworn in on Friday. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Thursday that he expected votes on retired Gens. John Kelly to be the next Homeland Security secretary and James Mattis to lead the Defense Department. Schumer also said debate will begin on Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo’s nomination to be the CIA director, with a vote possible on Friday or early next week.

Perry, Mnuchin Round Out Senate Hearings Before Inauguration
Democrats will try to keep the focus on health care

Donald Trump’s nominees to run the Energy and Treasury departments are the last to face Senate committees before the incoming president is sworn in on Friday. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is acknowledging the Senate may only confirm a few nominees right away. 

The Senate is on track to confirm just three of Trump’s Cabinet nominees on Jan. 20, McConnell told USA Today on Wednesday. He blamed Democrats for slowing down the process, though Democrats say they need more time to properly vet Trump’s nominees.

Patience and Perspective: Inauguration Memories and Advice
This inauguration will be the first for nearly one quarter of Congress.

The inauguration festivities that will take over the Capitol on Friday will be a new experience for nearly a quarter of Congress.

Roughly a dozen senators and nearly 120 House members will be attending their first presidential inauguration as a member of Congress when President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in. But luckily, they can defer to more senior members for advice on how to navigate the chaotic day.

Confirmation Speculation Swirls in the Senate
Leaders are negotiating whether Cabinet picks can be swiftly confirmed Friday

<strong>By BRIDGET BOWMAN AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI</strong><br> <strong>CQ Roll Call</strong>

Senators’ focus on President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees continued Wednesday afternoon, with some attention turning toward which nominees might be confirmed on Friday.

Confirmation Hearings Bring Out the Senate Angst
McConnell said to expect votes on Cabinet nominations Friday

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and JASON DICKCQ Roll Call

The Senate eased into inauguration week with a pair of confirmation hearings, with committees taking up the cases for, or against, Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to be Interior secretary and Betsy DeVos to be Education secretary.

Trump Team Pushes Back on HHS Nominee‘s Stock Trading Issue
Rep. Tom Price is criticized for investments he made while working on health policy

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is disputing a recent report that raised questions about whether Rep. Tom Price, the nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary, violated insider trading laws while serving in Congress.

A Monday CNN report revealed that Price bought shares in Zimmer Biomet, a medical device company, in March. Price introduced a bill delaying a regulation that could have damaged the company less than a week after the purchase. CNN also reported that the company’s political action committee also donated to Price’s re-election campaign.

Senate Preview: DeVos and Price Face Skeptical Dems
 

In the week leading up to President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Senate is continuing it’s marathon of confirmation hearings for Trump’s Cabinet appointees. With eight hearings on the schedule this week, Senate reporter Bridget Bowman breaks down what to look for Read more...
Zinke, DeVos Kick Off Week of Senate Hearings
Senate is also voting on a bill relating to the GAO

Preparations for the incoming administration will likely dominate the Senate this week with hearings each day leading up to President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday. Two of his nominees are facing Senate committees Tuesday. 

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold its confirmation hearing at 2:15 p.m. for Montana Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke to be the next Interior secretary.

Staff Mourns Loss of Veteran Democratic Staffer Tim Mitchell
Mitchell served as a Senate staffer for 25 years

Senate staffers are mourning the loss of longtime Democratic staffer Tim Mitchell, who passed away Saturday night after a battle with brain cancer.

“My dear friend Tim Mitchell was an institution,” former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wrote in a Facebook post. “He helped make the Senate function appropriately, and he was integral in helping us pass many pieces of legislation. He was fair and was never pushed around. I will always remember all the good he did for me and the country.”

John Lewis to Skip Trump Inauguration
Says Trump is not a legitimate president

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis will not attend President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, charging that Trump’s presidency is illegitimate. 

“I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” the Georgia Democrat told NBC’s “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd” in an interview to air this Sunday. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”

Lights Out at CIA Director Confirmation Hearing
Pepco says issue was internal to Senate office buildings

Updated 2:20 p.m. | Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner had just brought up Russian hacking and the 2016 election during a high-profile Senate Intelligence Committee hearing when the lights went out.

If the scene Thursday morning in the Hart Senate Office Building didn’t exactly stoke paranoia, it at least elicited some chuckles during an otherwise dead-serious confirmation hearing for Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo to be the next director of the CIA.

Schumer Says He’ll Oppose Sessions’ Nomination
Democrats unlikely to be able to block nomination, however

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced Thursday that he will oppose Sen. Jeff Sessions' nomination to be the next attorney general.

“After reviewing his record and giving careful consideration to his answers during the hearing, I am not confident in Senator Sessions’ ability to be a defender of the rights of all Americans, or to serve as an independent check on the incoming administration,” the New York Democrat said in a statement.

Tillerson Grilled on Russia at Confirmation Hearing
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle pose questions about sanctions

Secretary of State-designee Rex Tillerson faced questions on Russia throughout a lengthy confirmation hearing Wednesday, but the most aggressive exchange came from a Republican senator who could sink his nomination in committee: Marco Rubio.

At the Senate Foreign Relations hearing, the fast-talking Floridian and former presidential candidate grilled the former Exxon Mobil CEO on sanctions against Russia and whether Russian president Vladimir Putin was a war criminal who murders his political opponents.

Protesters Escorted Out of Sessions Hearing
 

Several protesters were escorted out of the room throughout attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing Tuesday, including two dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes....
Senate Democrats Use the Floor and Facebook to Protest Obamacare Repeal
Democrats launched a coordinated push to speak out against GOP effort

Senate Democrats launched the first of what will likely be numerous efforts to derail Republican plans to repeal the 2010 health care law, taking to the Senate floor and social media Monday night in a talk-a-thon to portray the move as reckless and chaotic for the health care system.

“I think the point is to send a clear message to the country, to the American people that, No. 1, we’re going to do everything we can to prevent Senate Republicans from destroying the Affordable Care Act,” Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen said. “We’re focused on making sure that we get on the Senate floor and talk about the damaging consequences and the chaos that’s going to be created throughout the health care system.”

Senate Democrats Plan Late-Night Obamacare Speeches
Schumer: Health care law repeal will unleash chaos in insurance market

Senate Democrats are planning to hold the Senate floor late into the night Monday to make speeches about the 2010 health care law as Republicans look to adopt a budget resolution this week, which would start the process for repealing the law.

“We cannot allow Republicans to make America sick again by repealing the ACA without a replacement plan that will ensure millions of Americans are not kicked off of their insurance, seniors do not face cuts to their Medicare, women are not denied access to care because of their gender, and many other groups, including Medicaid recipients, do not suffer,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said in a statement, referring to the health care law.

Thom Tillis Appoints New Legislative Director
Courtney Temple is one of the Senate’s few African-American senior staffers

North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis has appointed a new legislative director, who will be one of the few African-American senior staffers in the Senate.

Courtney Temple will lead Tillis’ legislative team after she was promoted from legislative assistant to director on Monday. She replaces Katy Talento, who will join President-elect Donald Trump’s White House Domestic Policy Council, focusing on healthcare policy. 

Senators Gear Up for Confirmation Battles
9 of Trump’s Cabinet picks face Senate committees this week

Updated 1/9/2017 at 4:50 p.m.

The Senate is moving full steam ahead on President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees, and Democrats are clamoring for a fight. 

Freedom Caucus Weighs Pitch to Block Obamacare-Killing Budget Resolution
Members met with Sen. Rand Paul over deficit concerns

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and LINDSEY McPHERSON

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky pressed House conservatives Thursday to block the budget resolution that starts the process to repeal the 2010 health care law because it would add trillions of dollars to the deficit.

Schumer Prepared to Hold Supreme Court Seat Open
Minority leader says Democrats will push for ‘mainstream’ nominee

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is preparing to block President-elect Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee if he or she is not in the “mainstream.”

“It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support that we could support,” the New York Democrat told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Tuesday night.