Politics

Former President George H.W. Bush Hospitalized

Former President George H. W. Bush, shown here with President Barack Obama in 2013 celebrating the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award winner, is expected to be discharged from the hospital in the next few days. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Former President George H.W. Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital, but is expected to be released in the next few days.

Bush’s Chief of Staff Jean Becker said doctors have a few theories about his condition but he is responding to treatment, the Houston Chronicle reported.

44 Sitting Members of Congress Have Accepted Donations From Trump
Group includes prominent lawmakers from both parties

Arizona Sen. John McCain, whom President-elect Donald Trump once criticized, has received the most donations of any current lawmaker from Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Much has been said about how Vice President-elect Mike Pence, with his 12 years as a congressman, could be incoming President Donald Trump’s bridge to Congress. But Trump has his own ties to the Hill, in the form of nearly two decades worth of political contributions to sitting members of the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle.

Trump has donated to the campaigns of 44 current members of Congress, according to a Roll Call review of Federal Election Commission electronic records that are available since 1997. Nineteen of those members are in the Senate, and 25 are in the House.

Senators to Watch as Trump Era Begins
Rank-and-file senators likely to be key players in 115th Congress

Georgia Sen. David Perdue, left, and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III are both senators to watch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans may have full control in Washington, but the Senate remains the Senate, which means it’s the place where rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans retain the most clout and potential for influence. Here are the key senators from outside of the top echelons of the leadership structures to watch as the 115th Congress gets underway.

The moderate from Maine will be the first person to watch on any contentious votes, particularly on budget reconciliation votes that aim to repeal parts of the 2010 health care law. She has, for instance, been among the small number of Republicans opposing efforts to tie the GOP health care plans to stopping federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

The House Version of ‘Law and Order’
A sentencing, some commutations and other House news

Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson speaks with New York Rep. Louise M. Slaughter during a press conference by House Democrats in November 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Bennie Thompson’s chief of staff was sentenced Tuesday to four months in prison for failing to file income tax returns.

Issac Lanier Avant was also ordered to pay $149,962 to the IRS for failing to file tax returns from 2009 to 2013 after he had assumed the role of Democratic director for the House Homeland Security Committee, earning more than $165,000, the Justice Department said in a statement.

House Freshmen to Watch
115th Congress provides a platform for ambitious new members

Kihuen, left, comes to Congress with a record of success in Nevada, and the blessing of former Sen. Harry Reid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not all freshmen are created equal.

While there is always a learning curve for new members of the House, some of the newly elected come to the institution with an enhanced profile. This could be because they are former statewide officeholders, or perhaps scored a big one for the team by knocking off a longtime incumbent. Maybe they are natural leaders or their ambitions are such that they are already looking at other federal offices. 

Mike Pence Tells Mayors Infrastructure Bill Will Be ‘Big’
Obama commutations draw a crowd

Vice President-elect Mike Pence, pictured here with House GOP leaders, on Tuesday let a group of U.S. mayors know the incoming Trump administration plans to push a “big” infrastucture bill. How to pay for the measure, however, will be a major hurdle. (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President-elect Donald Trump wanted a group of U.S. mayors gathered in Washington to know his administration will be a “friend” starting Friday, when he will be sworn in.

So he instructed his vice president-in-waiting, Mike Pence, to deliver a message to them on Tuesday when he addressed their conference: “Tell ‘em we’re going to do an infrastructure bill, and it’s going to be big,” the Republican president-elect said during a phone conversation with Pence.

Democrats Use CBO Report to Message Against Obamacare Repeal
Number of House Democrats skipping Trump’s inauguration continues to grow

Pelosi, right, and other Democrats are using a new CBO report to message against Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats gained a useful messaging tool Tuesday in their efforts to thwart the GOP’s plan to dismantle the 2010 health care law, as the Congressional Budget Office released a report saying up to 32 million people would lose their insurance under a previous Republican proposal.

The CBO also estimated that marketplace premiums would nearly double under the GOP repeal legislation President Barack Obama vetoed last year. Republicans are using that prior budget reconciliation bill as a model for legislation they are drafting. Speaker Paul D. Ryan has said the new legislation will include some pieces of replacement policy as well. 

Steve Israel Finds New Platform
Former DCCC chairman, former Sen. Rick Santorum to join CNN as contributors

Former Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., talks with reporters in the Capitol Visitor Center after a meeting with House Democrats in June 2016. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former New York Democratic Rep. Steve Israel, an eight-term veteran of the House, is joining CNN as a contributor to its political coverage.

CNN anchor and media correspondent Brian Stelter tweeted Tuesday morning that the former chairman of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee and former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will join the network.

Lewis Backs Out of Inauguration Ban Claim
Georgia Democrat acknowledges Trump won’t be first swearing-in he refused to attend

Rep. John Lewis testifies against the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions,  President-elect Trump’s nominee for attorney general. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. John Lewis’ office is walking back comments he made Sunday about boycotting the presidential inauguration for the first time after he was blasted by Donald Trump about not attending the swearing-in of former President George W. Bush.

Citing a 2001 Washington Post article, Trump tweeted Tuesday that Lewis had also skipped the inauguration of the 43rd president because “he thought it would be hypocritical to attend Bush’s swearing-in because he doesn’t believe Bush is the true elected president.”

Rep. Meeks Undecided on Trump Inauguration Attendance
‘If I go, it’s not there to celebrate’

Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, conducts a news conference at the DNC where members of the CBC PAC endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, February 11, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

More than 40 Democratic lawmakers plan to boycott the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. But Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., hasn’t made a decision.

“I am not decided yet.” Meeks said Tuesday morning in an interview on CNN’s “New Day”.

Low Approval Ratings Could Speed Possible Trump-GOP Clash
President-elect at 40 percent in 2 polls, around half of Obama’s 2009 rating

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that the opinion polls that show him with a lower transition rating than his predecessors were “rigged.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President-elect Donald Trump tried to cast doubts Tuesday on his low approval ratings, but the numbers — around half of those of his predecessor in 2009 — could accelerate an emerging collision with his own party. 

Two new polls put Trump’s approval rating at 40 percent just three days before he will be sworn in as the 45th president. At the same point in President Barack Obama’s transition period eight years ago, one of those polls, conducted by CNN/ORC International, had his approval rating at 84 percent.

Former Congressman to Host Pro-Trump TV Show
Fossella left office after a drunk driving rap

Former Rep. Vito Fossella, right, resigned after it was revealed he had a second family. (Newsmax)

Disgraced former Rep. Vito Fossella is now co-hosting a pro-Donald Trump television show on Newsmax.

According to the New York Post, Fossella left his consulting job at former Sen. Al D’Amato Park Strategies Firm to co-host “Table Talk” on Newsmax.

Court Nixes Key Spot on Parade Route for Anti-Trump Protest
Group holds permit for demonstration at Navy Memorial

An anti-Trump protest group lost its court battle for a key spot on Pennsylvania Avenue. (AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

Protesters won’t get to displace bleachers at a key inauguration parade spot on Pennsylvania Avenue so they can stage an anti-Donald Trump demonstration, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. 

Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition, known as ANSWER, had pressed a lawsuit seeking access to Freedom Plaza with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. A three-judge panel ruled that the government has the authority to restrict demonstrations in the public space located between 13th and 14th Streets on Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest.

Republican Members Hear from Obamacare Supporters
Democrats hold rallies to defend Obama’s signature law

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., called a swarm of Obamacare supporters at a constituent event "partisan activists." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican members of Congress heard from constituents supportive of the Affordable Care Act over the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend as they take steps to repeal the law.

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., saw hundreds of people at a constituent meeting event at a library in Aurora, according to one eyewitness account to 9News.

Here Are the Democrats Skipping Trump’s Inauguration
More than 50 Democratic House members won’t attend Friday’s swearing-in

California Rep. Barbara Lee was one of the first members of Congress to announce that she wouldn’t attend the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even before President-elect Donald Trump attacked Georgia Rep. John Lewis on Twitter over the weekend, a handful of Democratic lawmakers had planned to boycott Trump's inauguration on Friday.

But by the end of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday night, that group had ballooned. Nearly 50 Democrats in the House have now said they will not attend. No Democratic senators have announced similar intentions.