Politics

Louisiana Runoffs Increase Republican Majorities in Senate and House
State Treasurer John Kennedy easily outpaces Democratic challenger

Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy won Louisiana’s Senate runoff on Saturday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans increased their Senate majority to 52 seats in the 115th Congress and also retained two House seats after Saturday’s Louisiana runoffs, the final elections of 2016. 

GOP state Treasurer John Kennedy easily outdistanced his Democratic opponent, Public Services Commissioner Foster Campbell, 61 percent to 39 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. He replaces Republican Sen. David Vitter, who is retiring after two terms.

Reports: Oil Exec Tillerson Is Trump’s Pick for Secretary of State
President-elect: He ‘knows many of the players,’ including in Russia

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson is said to be President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of State. (William Munoz/Creative Commons CC BY 2.0)

By Rachel Oswald and John T. Bennett CQ Roll Call

President-elect Donald Trump is said to have selected ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be his secretary of State, The New York Times and NBC News reported Saturday, citing two sources close to the transition.

Trump Openly Clashes With CIA Before Taking Office
Citing Iraq WMD intel, transition team bashes agency for Russian hacking findings

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has dismissed reports of Russian hacking involvement in the last month’s election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Presidents have openly clashed with the U.S. intelligence community for decades. Few, however, have done so before being sworn in. But that’s what Donald Trump did Friday night.

Trump’s feuds have been many: First, there were his Republican primary challengers, then Hillary Clinton, then “Saturday Night Live,” then China, and several corporate executives. Other than the skit-comedy show, the rest were rooted in his political strategy and plans for governing.

Sessions AG Confirmation Hearing Set for January
Grassley promises ‘fair and thorough’ review by Judiciary Committee

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, left, and Sen. Jeff Sessions met shortly after the Alabama Republican was tapped by President-elect Donald Trump as his attorney general. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The confirmation hearing for Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general will run for two days starting Jan. 10, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa announced Friday.

Grassley limited the length of the hearing, having said previously that he wants to head off Democratic attacks on the Alabama Republican’s character. He said prior confirmation hearings for attorney general nominees lasted one or two days and featured three to nine outside witnesses at each.

Democrat Wastes No Time Announcing for 2017 Washington Special Election
But Trump team yet to confirm McMorris Rodgers’ selection as Interior secretary

A Democrat has already announced his candidacy for a special election in Washington’s 5th District, but President-elect Donald Trump hasn’t yet nominated House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers to a position in his Cabinet. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As of Friday afternoon, President-elect Donald Trump had not officially announced Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers as his pick for secretary of the Interior. 

But that didn’t stop Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, a Democrat, from congratulating McMorris Rodgers “on her appointment” and announcing his bid for a special election to replace the six-term congresswoman in Washington’s 5th District.  

Photos of the Week: Biden's Senate Farewell, Camels at the High Court and the Sun Sets on the 114th
The week of Dec. 5 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., was the first member of Congress down the House steps following the final House vote of this session of Congress on Thursday. The House passed a spending bill to fund the government through April before heading home for the holiday recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The business of the 114th Congress is coming to a close. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, who served in the Senate for 36 years, visited the Hill several times including to preside over a health care vote. A live nativity took place in front of the Supreme Court complete with camels. And Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada saw the unveiling of his portrait, which prompted the first Hill appearance by Hillary Clinton following the election.

Organizers Say Women’s Anti-Trump March Will Go on
Group blocked from Lincoln Memorial, but group says it will happen ‘near the Capitol’ the day after inauguration

Thousands converged in 2013 to march from Capitol Hill to the Lincoln Memorial to honor the 50th anniversary of the 1963 march on Washington. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The planned women’s march to protest Donald Trump’s inauguration won’t be in front of the Lincoln Memorial as planned, but organizers say it will go on somewhere near the Capitol.

The planned Women’s March on Washington quickly went viral in the day’s after Trump’s election, calling on women to gather at the Lincoln Memorial on the day after the inauguration. Organizers’ Facebook page shows 227,000 people interested in attending and 138,000 people listed as saying they’re going.

Irony Alert: Chinese State-Run Network Pulls Trump Pool Duty
President-elect continues harsh words, actions toward Beijing

China's state-run CCTV America has pool duty at Trump Tower as the U.S. president-elect continues criticizing the government in Beijing. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images File Photo)

It only took the Chinese government a month to penetrate Donald Trump’s headquarters in Manhattan amid the president-elect’s ongoing aggressive words and deeds against Beijing.

CCTV America is the U.S.-based arm of China Central Television, which is run by the Chinese government. A blurb on its website defines the network as “the media crossroads where news and ‘views’ about the world’s two largest national economies intersect and sometimes collide.”

Dismantling Obama Climate Plan Won’t be Easy for Trump’s EPA Pick Pruitt
Obama’s Clean Power Plan could withstand Trump administration challenges

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt arrives at Trump Tower on Wednesday to meet with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, may find it difficult to deregulate many of President Barack Obama’s climate protection initiatives. 

Though a Republican Congress could overturn some of Obama’s last-minute “midnight” regulations with a simple majority vote, longer standing rules like the Clean Power Plan could prove tougher to cut, according to Reuters

McMorris Rodgers Said to Be Picked for Interior Secretary
Selection would create a House GOP leadership vacancy

As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted for legislation to allow more oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President-elect Donald Trump has selected Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to lead the Interior Department, according to The New York Times, which cites two people close to the transition effort. If confirmed, the Washington Republican would be in charge of the nation’s public lands and waters in an administration that may aim to open them up to fossil fuel extraction.

McMorris Rodgers, 47, is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and has voted for legislation to allow more oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf.

‘Cajun John Wayne’ Tells Ex Congressional Pay Will Help With Child Support
House hopeful Clay Higgins taped discussing the more than $100,000 he owes

Clay Higgins, who made his name with a series of viral Crime Stoppers videos, is in a runoff for Louisiana's open 3rd District seat. (Screengrab)

Clay Higgins, better known by his Internet moniker Cajun John Wayne, was taped telling his ex-wife getting elected to Congress would help pay back thousands of dollars in child support.

Higgins is one of two Republicans in the runoff race to fill retiring Louisiana Rep. Charles Boustany Jr.'s congressional seat.

Trump's Labor Secretary Pick Puzder Supported Immigration Reform
Selection of nominee is getting criticism from the right

Andrew Puzder, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of Labor, said in a 2013 conference that too much was being spent on border security. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of Labor Andrew Puzder praised immigration reform in the past and criticized border security as a waste of money, which is drawing criticism from some Trump supporters.

During a Q&A in 2013 at the American Enterprise Institute, Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, said immigration reform would be good for business, Yahoo News reported.

Tim Ryan Encouraged to Run for Ohio Governor
Pelosi challenger navigates his political future

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan speaks with the media at the Capitol after losing the Democratic leadership race to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Tim Ryan’s phone is ringing — and on the other end are people urging the Ohio Democrat who defied House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her team to come home and run for governor.

John Glenn’s Life in Photos: From Astronaut to National Hero to Long-Time Senator
The Ohio Democrat died Dec. 8, according to the Columbus Dispatch, at 95

On Nov. 16, 2011, Glenn (center with red tie) is among a group of the first astronauts to win the Congressional Gold Medal. Astronaut Neil Armstrong receives a medal from then-Speaker of the House John A. Boehner of Ohio, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada presents Glenn’s and then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky presents one to astronaut Buzz Aldrin, at a ceremony in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth and national hero as a member of the Mercury 7, has died at 95, according to reports. While John Glenn’s life in the public eye began well before he headed to Washington in 1975 as a four-term senator from Ohio, that’s certainly when CQ Roll Call’s camera lens turned on the distinguished senator. 

Former Senator and Astronaut John Glenn Dies at 95
First American to orbit Earth, national hero and later four-term Democratic senator from Ohio

Astronaut and former Sen. John Glenn of Ohio, seen here on Nov. 16, 2011, when he and other astronauts received the Congressional Gold Medal in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Ohio Sen. John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth, has died at the age of 95.