breaking-news

Decision Day for Avoiding a Government Shutdown?
Appropriators think that decision on another stopgap bill could come today

Appropriations Committee member Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., a former chairman, says there are still some “knotty issues” to work out on a 2017 spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Appropriators think they are close to a deal to fund the government through September, but the hour is fast approaching where a stopgap might be needed to prevent a shutdown at midnight Friday.

Kentucky Rep. Harold Rogers, a former Appropriations chairman and still a senior member of the committee, described the leaders as, “within striking distance” on a fiscal 2017 spending bill.

Schumer Hopeful That Trump Has Caved on the Wall
Calls Trump’s comments to conservative journalists ‘really good news’

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is warning against "poison pills." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Even after President Donald Trump tweeted, “Don't let the fake media tell you that I have changed my position on the WALL,” the Senate's top Democrat is sounding optimistic that the commander-in-chief has caved.

“I want to say that it’s really good news that the president seems to be taking the wall off the table in the negotiations we’re having on an appropriations bill this week,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said. “It would remove the prospect of a needless fight over a poison pill proposal that members of both parties don’t support.”

Trump Administration Plans to Roll Out Tax Plan Next Week
Unveiling would join government shutdown threat and health care re-try on week’s docket

President Donald Trump delivers his address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28. He plans to roll out his long-promised tax reform plan next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By JOHN T. BENNETT and LINDSEY McPHERSON, CQ Roll Call

A government shutdown deadline, maybe a second try at pushing a health care overhaul bill through the House, an image-focused president approaching his 100th day. And, now, a White House tax reform plan.

Report: Marino To Become Trump’s Drug Czar
Pennsylvania Republican finalizing transition to president’s team

Rep. Tom Marino is preparing to leave his House seat to become director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a position effectively known as the country’s drug czar.

Dems to Trump: Now Let’s Talk About Refugees
Air strikes alone can’t mitigate humanitarian disaster, Democrats say

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., left, and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., head to the Senate floor for a vote on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats who were quick to express support for the American air strikes in Syria followed up Friday with a warning that the Trump administration cannot hope to fully address the humanitarian disaster without reassessing its intolerance toward refugees.

“The President said that images of slaughtered Syrian children contributed to his decision to take military action,” said California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris. “That should also compel the Administration to rethink its misguided refugee policy and open our doors to the children and families fleeing ongoing violence and oppression in Syria and elsewhere.”

Congress Wants to Hear Trump’s Syria Policy — and Fast
Members say Trump needs to consult them before taking any more action

The top Democrats on Capitol Hill, Charles E. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, both advocate a role for Congress in future actions in Syria by the Trump administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle say they are waiting to hear President Donald Trump’s plan for his next step in Syria.

Many lawmakers — including some of Trump’s most vocal critics — offered support in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. bombing of a Syrian airbase Thursday night. But they said Trump needs to consult Congress before he takes any more steps.

In Abrupt Reversal, Trump Fires Cruise Missiles at Syria
President: Strikes in ’vital national security interest’

President Donald Trump arrives back at the White House on Feb. 6. On Thursday night, he ordered missile strikes on a Syrian air base in response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons on civilians (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By JOHN T. BENNETT and BRIDGET BOWMANCQ Roll Call

In an abrupt policy reversal, President Donald Trump on Thursday evening ordered missile strikes on a Syrian air base after that country’s embattled regime carried out a deadly sarin gas attack that killed dozens of civilians.

Senate’s Supreme Court Nuclear Countdown Reaches Zero
Filibuster of Neil Gorsuch followed by procedural motions triggering ‘nuclear option’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, left, is set to use the “nuclear option” to get Judge Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court. (Al Drago/The New York Times/Pool File Photo)

The Senate’s Supreme Court doomsday clock has reached midnight.

Senators voted, 55-45, to limit debate on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court — short of the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster under precedents in effect as of the opening of business Thursday.

Nunes Steps Aside From Russia Investigation
House Intelligence chief has faced criticism for his handling of the probe

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes is stepping aside from leading the Russia investigation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes announced Thursday that he is temporarily stepping aside from the panel’s probe into Russian interference in last fall’s election and ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian officials. The House Ethics Committee is investigating Nunes’ conduct.

The California Republican, a Trump supporter, has faced Democratic calls to relinquish his chairmanship over criticism that he could not lead an impartial investigation. His announcement said he would remain as chairman, but would allow GOP Reps. K. Michael Conaway of Texas, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, and Tom Rooney of Florida to temporarily take control of the investigation.

Merkley Stages 15.5-Hour Anti-Gorsuch Talk-a-Thon in Senate
Merkley’s action won’t delay procedural vote on nomination, which was already set before speech

Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley wrapped up his marathon floor speech Wednesday morning after more than 15 hours. He then gave bagels and muffins to Senate staff following the all-nighter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Jeff Merkley staged a nearly 15½-hour long marathon speech to protest Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, wrapping up at just before 10:15 Wednesday morning. 

The speech fell just a few minutes short of the seventh-longest Senate speech in the chamber’s history, which lasted 15 hours and 30 minutes. But Merkley’s action did not delay a procedural vote on Gorsuch, which was set before he began his speech.