Humberto Sanchez

3 Republicans Defy Ted Cruz, Back Loretta Lynch (Updated)

Updated 1:36 p.m. | It's starting to look like yet another loss under the Dome for Ted Cruz.  

The Texas firebrand's fellow Republicans aren't on board with his plan to block Loretta Lynch's nomination to be attorney general.  

McConnell's Move to Avert Shutdown Cheers Vulnerable Senators Up in 2016

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is always looking ahead to the next election.  

And as much as the Kentucky Republican's move to go ahead with a clean bill funding the Department of Homeland Security drew the ire of the conservative base, others including those on the ballot and vulnerable in 2016 said it was important to resolve the issue and get on with the GOP agenda.  

Reid Allies See Immigration Fight Helping Re-Election (Updated)

Updated Feb. 17, 2:35 p.m. | The Senate showdown over immigration could help Minority Leader Harry Reid energize Latino voters in what is expected to be a tough re-election fight — giving him little incentive to cut a deal.  

“There is no political downside for Sen. Reid here,” said Jose Parra, a former staffer for the Nevada Democrat and now head of ProsperoLatino, a Latino-focused public relations firm.  

Reid Allies See Immigration Fight Helping Re-Election (Updated)

Updated Feb. 17, 2:35 p.m. | The Senate showdown over immigration could help Minority Leader Harry Reid energize Latino voters in what is expected to be a tough re-election fight — giving him little incentive to cut a deal.

“There is no political downside for Sen. Reid here,” said Jose Parra, a former staffer for the Nevada Democrat and now head of ProsperoLatino, a Latino-focused public relations firm.

GOP Senator Wants to Wave the White Flag on DHS Funding

Facing a potentially tough re-election battle, Illinois Republican Mark S. Kirk has had enough of the standoff over funding the Department of Homeland Security and wants the Senate to pass a clean bill.  

“Yeah, I think in the end,” Kirk said when asked if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should have the Senate pass a DHS spending bill without language designed to block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. “I generally agree with the Democratic position here,” Kirk said. “I think we should have never fought this battle on DHS funding.”  

Reid on Bob Packwood Return: 'No Need to Pile On'

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said he did not want to denigrate former Sen. Bob Packwood when asked about his return to Capitol Hill Tuesday. The Oregon Republican, who resigned amid a sexual harrasment scandal in 1995, returned Tuesday to testify before the Senate Finance Committee.

Packwood Returns to Talk Taxes, Not Scandal (Updated)

Updated 3:17 p.m. | The Finance Committee was in a mood to reminisce Tuesday morning about the good old days, when Sen. Bob Packwood played a key role in negotiating a bipartisan overhaul of the tax code.  

The Oregon Republican was back Tuesday at the committee he once chaired to testify about that bipartisan success, where lawmakers in both parties worked with President Ronald Reagan on the 1986 tax deal. Packwood's successor, Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, was on the dais as the ranking member of the Finance panel, having held the gavel last Congress with Democrats in charge.  

Packwood Returns to Talk Taxes, Not Scandal (Updated)

Updated 3:17 p.m. | The Finance Committee was in a mood to reminisce Tuesday morning about the good old days, when Sen. Bob Packwood played a key role in negotiating a bipartisan overhaul of the tax code.

The Oregon Republican was back Tuesday at the committee he once chaired to testify about that bipartisan success, where lawmakers in both parties worked with President Ronald Reagan on the 1986 tax deal. Packwood’s successor, Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, was on the dais as the ranking member of the Finance panel, having held the gavel last Congress with Democrats in charge.

Republicans Want to Send Message to SCOTUS on Obamacare

Senate Republicans want to send a message to the Supreme Court that it's OK to undermine Obamacare.  

They keep asking the Obama administration what it plans to do if the Supreme Court upends health insurance subsidies in the King v. Burwell case. It's a hypothetical question the administration has been reluctant to entertain, leading the GOP to undertake an effort to craft a resolution.  

ISIS AUMF Debate a 2016 Foreign Policy Test

Congress is gearing up — belatedly — for a full-throated war debate that will serve as a proving ground for potential presidential candidates heading into 2016.  

With a draft Authorization for Use of Military Force against the Islamic State terror group expected on Capitol Hill by the middle of the week, as lawmakers complete work before a weeklong Presidents Day recess, the debate over how much authority to give President Barack Obama will soon take center stage.  

ISIS AUMF Debate a 2016 Foreign Policy Test

Congress is gearing up — belatedly — for a full-throated war debate that will serve as a proving ground for potential presidential candidates heading into 2016.

With a draft Authorization for Use of Military Force against the Islamic State terror group expected on Capitol Hill by the middle of the week, as lawmakers complete work before a weeklong Presidents Day recess, the debate over how much authority to give President Barack Obama will soon take center stage.

Bipartisan Lunch Gets Plaudits, but Senate Still Stuck

Baby steps.  

The first bipartisan Senate lunch brought praise from both sides of the aisle Wednesday, but anyone expecting instant results will be disappointed.  

Senator: Government Should Stay Out of the Bathroom

Freshman Sen. Thom Tillis on Monday wrapped up a discussion on regulatory reform by explaining why the government should not require coffee shop employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom, using a conversation he had with an opponent at Starbucks a few years ago to illustrate his point.

Graham Dings Cruz Effort to Block Loretta Lynch

Sen. Lindsey Graham is knocking Sen. Ted Cruz's effort to block Loretta Lynch from becoming attorney general over immigration.  

Graham said Cruz's proposed blockade would just leave Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in charge.  

Democrats Unified, in Campaign Mode on Immigration Orders

The gavel had barely dropped on Senate Republicans' failed first attempt to block President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration when the Democratic campaign arm started blasting GOP senators for their votes.  

Democrats defied Republicans in hopes the GOP would splinter on the House Homeland Security funding bill, with every single Democrat voting to filibuster  debating the House's Homeland Security bill over its attempt to roll back executive actions for millions of immigrants.  

Susan Collins Savors Tuber Win (Updated)

Updated: 6:30 p.m. | Chalk up another victory for the fresh, white potato.  

A report released Tuesday recommends that the Department of Agriculture allow fresh, white potatoes to be eligible for purchase under the Women, Infants and Children food assistance program. The white potato had been the only vegetable or fruit excluded from the WIC roster.  

Thom Tillis: Keep Government Out of the Bathroom

Freshman Sen. Thom Tillis likes to tell a story about why he doesn’t believe government should require coffee shop employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom.  

“Just to give you an idea of where my bias is when it comes to regulatory reform,” the North Carolina Republican said Monday, before telling the story at a discussion at the Bipartisan Policy Center. In 2010, when he was in the state legislature, he had a conversation with an opponent of his views on regulations at a Starbucks.  

Democrats Unified, in Campaign Mode on Immigration Orders

The gavel had barely dropped on Senate Republicans’ failed first attempt to block President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration when the Democratic campaign arm started blasting GOP senators for their votes.

Democrats defied Republicans in hopes the GOP would splinter on the House Homeland Security funding bill, with every single Democrat voting to filibuster debating the House’s Homeland Security bill over its attempt to roll back executive actions for millions of immigrants.

Alaska, Hawaii Delegations Look to Build On Relations

The relatively new members of the Alaska and Hawaii Senate delegations are working to build up their relationships as they seek to continue a decades-long alliance forged by the late Sens. Daniel K. Inouye and Ted Stevens.  

"We don't have that strength yet," Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said. "But you've got to put it into context. ... The Hawaii delegation is a very young delegation; actually the Alaska delegation is also a very new delegation, so we need to form those same bonds."