Policy

Trump’s Plan Needs Mechanism to Steer Money to Infrastructure

U.S. Highway 14 in Minnesota. (Doug Kerr/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

Congressional Republicans have been reluctant to comment on — or even work on — legislation to deliver on President Donald Trump’s pledge to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure over 10 years. 

Lawmakers say they’re waiting for the administration to provide details of a proposal that has raised more questions than it answered. Among the questions is how Trump would entice investors to put more than $150 billion in equity into infrastructure projects.

Club for Growth Singles Out Noem in Border Tax Fight

Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., center, leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol, May 17, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Club for Growth has begun an advertising campaign aimed at pressuring Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., a tax writer, to oppose a contentious House GOP proposal to tax imports and exempt exports, the latest salvo in the battle to shape lawmakers’ attempts to overhaul the tax code.

David McIntosh, a former Republican representative from Indiana and now president of the conservative advocacy group, said he strongly opposed the plan’s call for border adjustments to taxes. The group still supports parts of the House GOP tax blueprint, issued by Speaker Paul D. Ryan last year, that would lower rates and end the estate tax.

Trump Intends to Release 2018 Budget in Mid-March

President Donald Trump speaks at the GOP Congressional retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. House and Senate Republicans are holding their retreat through Friday in Philadelphia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Pool)

President Donald Trump’s administration is aiming to release a fiscal 2018 budget outline on March 14, a White House official confirmed Sunday to CQ.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it is the White House’s “intention” to release the outline, also called a “skinny” budget, on that date.

Appropriators Watch Trump’s Next Move on Obamacare Lawsuit

Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, arrives on the West Front of the Capitol before President Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, January 20, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY TODD RUGER AND KELLIE MEJDRICH, CQ ROLL CALL

The Trump administration faces a key legal deadline Tuesday in the push to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law — and it could prompt Republican lawmakers to appropriate funds for a part of the statute they once sued to stop.

One Thing Congress Agrees On: Vaccines Work
They said lawmakers should support the use of vaccines

From left, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., at a HELP hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A bipartisan group of lawmakers are stressing the need to highlight benefits of vaccines amid reports of local outbreaks of infectious diseases.

“The science is clear: FDA-licensed vaccines are proven to be safe and effective, and save the lives both of those who receive them and vulnerable individuals around them,” the lawmakers wrote in a Tuesday letter sent to their colleagues. “As Members of Congress, we have a critical role to play in supporting the availability and use of vaccines to protect Americans from deadly diseases.”

Mulvaney Confirmed as Budget Director
Arizona’s John McCain is only defector in party-line vote

South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney was confirmed as director of the Office of Management and Budget on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate confirmed Rep. Mick Mulvaney as the new director of the Office of Management and Budget on Thursday morning, allowing the budget process to move forward.

The South Carolina Republican was confirmed by a 51-49 vote, with Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain the only Republican defector. The Arizona senator announced on Wednesday that he could not support Mulvaney’s nomination because of the congressman’s work to cut defense spending. 

Conversation: Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government
Trump’s election represents ‘quantum shift’ on attitudes on free trade

Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, says current free trade deals haven’t allowed American workers to compete on the world stage. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As president of the activist group Americans for Limited Government, Rick Manning has lobbied conservatives for years about the failings of free trade deals.

He says Donald Trump’s election shows that there’s been “a quantum shift in attitude” in the U.S. toward opposing such deals, and Republicans on Capitol Hill are coming around, too.

Effort to End D.C. Assisted-Death Law Appears Over

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., is administered an oath by Vice President Joe Biden during swearing-in ceremony in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, January 03, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The congressional effort to overturn a District of Columbia law allowing doctors to prescribe terminally ill patients with life-ending drugs appears likely to fail, two of the lawmakers involved in the effort said Tuesday.

On Monday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform approved a resolution to overturn the law, potentially setting it up for a House floor vote later this week. However, under the laws governing congressional involvement in D.C. lawmaking, Congress only has 30 days from the time the District submits its bills to pass disapproval resolution with a simple majority of votes. In this case, the Senate deadline is this Friday.

Ambitious House Agenda on Medicaid Could Stall in Senate
GOP senators doubt changes could gain traction in upper chamber

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said he thinks there might not be enough “political will” for a major Medicaid overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators are warning that major changes to the Medicaid program may not survive the upper chamber, despite an aggressive push from House Speaker Paul D. Ryan to include a substantial overhaul of the program in the Republican measure to repeal the health care law.

In the House, Ryan and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden are pushing their colleagues to consider major Medicaid changes on a repeal bill this spring. Those include funding mechanisms like so-called block grants and per capita caps or a cap on Medicaid enrollment for states that expanded the program under the health care law, according to House aides.

Amid Senate Tensions, Hatch Eyes Bipartisan Tax Deal
Utah Republican says House GOP plan will not pass the Senate

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch says that despite “a lot of bitterness around here,” he plans to meet with Senate Democrats to gauge interest in a bipartisan tax proposal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch has launched a new push for a bipartisan Senate alternative to the contentious House Republican tax plan, as President Donald Trump begins to frame administration priorities.

The Senate Finance chairman said last week he was meeting with Democratic tax writers one-on-one and hoped there would be leeway for deals, after bitter debates over Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin riled the Senate and exposed deep partisan fault lines.