2017

Trump Appears to Finally Admit Russia Meddled in Presidential Race
President demands an apology, saying investigators have no evidence of collusion

President Donald Trump is accusing former President Barack Obama with opting against responding to Moscow's meddling in the U.S. presidential election.(Wikicommons)

President Donald Trump for the first time appeared to definitively acknowledge an unanimous U.S. intelligence community conclusion that Russia interfered in America's 2016 presidential election.

He even demanded an apology from those investigating the matter.

Opinion: What’s at Stake for McConnell, Conservatives and the GOP
Now or never for Republicans who want to repeal Obamacare

It’s now or never for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders who want to replace Obamacare, Allen writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican leaders have a once-in-a-lifetime shot to dismantle Medicaid, a costly entitlement program that provides health care for the poor and the disabled.

In what other scenario could Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell find themselves working with a president so totally focused on the optics of “winning” in the short term and so utterly unconcerned about the real-life and political ramifications of taking benefits away from his own voters?

Disgraced Lobbyist Abramoff Registers as Foreign Agent
Lawyer: Abramoff ‘is not on probation and is not the subject of any ongoing investigation’

After leaving Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C. in 2006, Jack Abramoff, waits to leave the premises, after entering a plea agreement on three felony charges. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The conviction of Jack Abramoff, perhaps the most infamous modern K Street character, apparently wasn’t the end of the Justice Department’s interest in the former hot-shot lobbyist.

Abramoff, who was sentenced to prison in 2008 on federal corruption and other charges, recently filed a retroactive foreign agent lobbying registration for unpaid — and unsuccessful — work aimed at helping the Republic of Congo arrange a meeting with President Donald Trump, new DOJ filings showed.

Analysis: Mike Pence Works the Trenches
Vice president plays small ball, seeking to shore up support

Vice President Mike Pence greets tourists in the Capitol Rotunda on May 2. He has been busily addressing key issue-specific groups, trying to shore up support with key voters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump and Mike Pence are the most effective pitchers in the Republican bullpen. The president has the starpower and gets the headlines, but the vice president’s emerging role could be just as valuable.

Trump is the flame-throwing closer with one pitch: his signature sharp rhetoric that metaphorically is his political fastball. But Pence’s recent public appearances showcase his role as the in-the-trenches long reliever who huddles with GOP members and reassures key constituent groups, and could be even more valuable.

Opinion: Bickering Democrats — Still Mired in the 20th Century
Time for a new agenda and an end to self-destructive proxy battles

Only Democrats get into a deep funk over the failure of Jon Ossoff — a 30-year-old first-time candidate — to win the Georgia 6th district special election, Walter Shapiro writes. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Only the downtrodden and dispirited Democrats could work themselves into a bout of I’m-on-the-ledge-and-thinking-about-jumping depression over the failure of a 30-year-old first-time candidate to win a House seat in a Georgia district where he didn’t even live.

Equally ludicrous are the recriminations over Democratic tactics in Georgia-6. Last Tuesday’s special election in the upscale Atlanta suburbs might be a bellwether if it were typical for both sides to spend $50 million on a single House race. At that rate of spending, the 2018 House races would cost about $21 billion.

Coons: Senate Can Reassert Foreign Policy Clout
Chance to ‘make the Senate great again’

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., suggests that the Trump Administration’s conflicting statements provide the Senate with an opportunity to reassert its clout on foreign policy matters.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Trump administration’s often conflicting statements regarding foreign affairs have provided the Senate an opportunity to reassert its clout in directing U.S. foreign policy, Sen. Chris Coons suggests. 

In a public sit-down conversation with former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright on U.S. global leadership this week, the Delaware Democrat said that “one unexpected outcome of the Trump administration may be to make the Senate great again” by forcing the chamber to draft bipartisan legislation to fill the gaps the Trump administration leaves.

House GOP Still Bickering Over Budget
Defense increase, mandatory spending cuts primary areas of disagreement

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent says Republicans should not waste time arguing over topline levels for nondefense discretionary spending since those will likely be raised in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican squabbling over a defense spending increase and mandatory spending cuts continues to put in danger a fiscal 2018 budget resolution, and subsequently, plans to overhaul the tax code.

After a Friday conference meeting to discuss the budget and appropriations process, their second “family conversation” of the week on the topic, the House GOP appeared no closer to consensus on a budget resolution that could get the 218 needed votes on the floor.

Chaffetz Formally Sends Resignation Letter
Sets off race in his home district

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, will resign on June 30. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s letter of resignation was read on the floor of the House of Representatives Friday.

Chaffetz’s resignation is effective on June 30 at 10 a.m. He had announced his resignation last month.

Photos of the Week: House Officially Adds a Member, Georgia Stays Red and Senate Health Care Unveiled
The week of June 19 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., his wife Susan, and family, arrive for a swearing in ceremony in the Capitol with Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., before the actual event on the House floor on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY BILL CLARK and TOM WILLIAMS

A busy week in politics was capped off with the unveiling on Thursday of the Republican's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Roll Call's photographers captured the scrums of reporters surrounding senators for reactions as they made their way through the Capitol.

Syracuse Mayor Challenges Katko to Health Care Debate
Comes after Katko calls mayor ‘failed politician’

Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y.,called the mayor of Syracuse a "failed politician" and is now being challenged to a debate against her. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)