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Capitol Ink | Budget Showdown

Congressional Audit Reports That Nuclear Bomb Budget Falls Short
Building new weapons will cost 35 percent more, take longer

A U.S. Air Force F-16 similar to this aircraft dropped a mock, inert version of the B61-12 nuclear bomb in the Nevada desert last month, according to news reports. It was the first test of the bomb’s non-nuclear functions. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Building new atomic bombs to replace the oldest such weapons in the U.S. arsenal will cost 35 percent more than the Energy Department has budgeted for the effort, and production will start two years late, according to an internal department estimate cited in a new congressional audit.

Critics have assailed the rising cost of the B61-12 bomb program for several years. The new internal estimate is likely to add to the scrutiny, at a time when modernizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal is fast becoming one of the biggest federal budget challenges of the next two decades.

Eye Doctor Tied to Robert Menendez Convicted of Fraud
The two men face separate corruption charges in New Jersey

Sen. Robert Menendez is facing a federal trial on corruption charges. With his prominent donor Salomon Melgen convicted in a separate case on Friday, Melgen might face pressure to testify against Menendez. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Robert Menendez is facing a federal trial on corruption charges. With his prominent donor Salomon Melgen convicted in a separate case on Friday, Melgen might face pressure to testify against Menendez.

Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, a prominent donor to Sen. Robert Menendez, was found guilty Friday by a South Florida jury on 67 counts of fraud. 

Rob Bishop Discounts Prospect of Senate Run
Utah Republican chairs House Natural Resources Committee

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, is not interested in running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If Sen. Orrin G. Hatch decides not to run for an eighth term, at least one Utah congressman is not likely to run for his Senate seat.

Rep. Rob Bishop said in an interview with C-SPAN’s Newsmakers airing Sunday that he would rather stay in the House. The Utah Republican was first elected to the House in 2002 and chairs the House Natural Resources Committee.

GOP May Again Change Health Care Proposal As They Seek Votes

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., conducts a news conference with members the GOP caucus in the Capitol Visitor Center to announce a new amendment to the health care bill to repeal and replace the ACA, April 6, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By ERIN MERSHON and LINDSEY McPHERSON, CQ ROLL CALL

House Republicans still hope to vote on their health care overhaul next week, though lawmakers said Friday they may need further changes to scrape together enough votes to pass it.

Report: DeMint On His Way Out at Heritage Foundation
Former senator moved the organization into a more combative role

Former Sen. Jim DeMint stepped down in 2012. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Sen. Jim DeMint is expected to be ousted from his role as president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, according to multiple reports.

DeMint had been criticized for moving the think tank toward a more combative approach, Politico reported. He had also moved to align the organization closer toward President Donald Trump. 

Trump Signs CR Into Law, Avoiding Government Shutdown
Measure had easily cleared Senate and House

President Donald Trump on Friday signed the stopgap spending measure, which gives Congress an additional week to complete work on the fiscal 2017 omnibus spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:45 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Friday evening signed into law a one-week continuing resolution that gives Congress more time to work through disagreements in a massive fiscal 2017 wrapup.

The Senate earlier in the day had cleared the CR that will keep the government from a shutdown for another week.

Democrats Come Around on Stopgap Spending Bill
Minority party coalesces to support government funding

House Democrats coalesced at the last minute to vote with Republicans on a one-week stop gap spending measure that will keep the government open one more week. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats backed off threats to oppose a stopgap spending bill to keep the government funded, allowing the chamber to overwhelmingly pass the measure as Congress faces a midnight deadline to keep money flowing to the government.

The continuing resolution that would fund the government until May 5 passed the chamber 382-30. Lawmakers expect to introduce and pass a spending measure next week that would keep the government running until the end of the fiscal year September 30.

Kasich Not Ruling out Presidential Run
Gives Trump an ‘incomplete’ on three-month report card

Ohio Gov. John Kasich did not rule out another presidential run (Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Friday refused to rule out running for president on Friday but said it’s “unlikely.”

“In terms of politics, I don’t know what the future brings, but I know it’s in front of me,” Kasich told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington.

Auto Bailout Chief of Staff to Run Against Trott
Haley Stevens calls incumbent ‘out of touch,’ wants to ‘bring people together’ in Washington

A spokesman for Rep. Dave Trott, R-Mich., called challenger Haley Stevens a “carpetbagger.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Haley Stevens, who was chief of staff for the Obama administration’s auto bailout, announced Thursday that she’ll challenge Michigan Republican Rep. Dave Trott next year.

Trott appears “out of touch,” Stevens told the Detroit News, and there is a general “dysfunction” in Congress.