congressional-affairs

White House Looks Forward to Fired Acting AG Testimony
Aide denies trying to block Sally Yates from talking to Congress

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer at a recent briefing in the White House. On Tuesday, he denied reports that the administration tried to prevent a former acting attorney general from testifying about Russia. (John T. Bennett/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump White House on Tuesday denied it tried to prevent the former acting attorney general whom President Donald Trump fired from testifying before a House committee about Russia.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said a Washington Post article, which reported just that, was inaccurate. He said the the president would prefer that Yates, the Obama administration’s last deputy attorney general and who was acting attorney general during the Trump administration’s first days, testify.

Senate Democrats Vow to Block Border Wall Funds
Schumer ‘prepared to fight this all the way’

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer wants to block President Donald Trump’s budget proposals on immigration and the border wall project. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Tuesday said Democrats will block President Donald Trump’s budget proposals on expanding federal immigration forces and starting the border wall project.

“Senate Democrats are prepared to fight this all the way,” the New York Democrat said at an event organized by the National Council of La Raza, the country’s largest Hispanic civil rights advocacy group. “Instead of spending taxpayer dollars on a pointless wall, we should be investing in creating jobs and fixing our infrastructure.”

GOP Gets a Second Shot at Governance Test
But as shutdown showdown looms, no signs of change in party factionalization

President Donald Trump and Congress soon face a partial government shutdown if they can’t work something out. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The tax overhaul can wait, and it’s going to have to.

For the Republican government that so phenomenally flopped its first big attempt at policymaking, a much more basic test of governance looms in the next month — and another failure seems hardly a politically acceptable option.

The Search for Intelligent Bipartisanship on Health Care
Rank-and-file lawmakers to keep pushing the issue

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bill Cassidy, R-La., say their bill could be a path forward on health care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ Roll Call 

With Republican leaders pausing their quest to overturn the 2010 health care law, rank-and-file lawmakers see an opportunity for outreach behind the scenes on the divisive issue.

House Floor Schedule Leaves Time for GOP Soul-Searching
Group meetings will be more crucial than usual after health care debacle

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his conference will spend much of the week soul searching and charting their path forward after last week’s health care defeat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House has a limited floor schedule this week, leaving Republicans plenty of time to huddle behind closed doors and chart the conference’s path forward after their failure to advance their top legislative priority of repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law. 

The intraparty soul searching will begin Tuesday morning during the weekly GOP conference meeting and continue throughout the week during smaller meetings of the Republican factions such as the Tuesday Group, Republican Study Committee and House Freedom Caucus.

Wounded White House is Uncharacteristically Quiet
Turf war could be brewing on tax overhaul

President Donald Trump, center, pushed hard but came up short on health care. He's now moved on, say senior aides, but the same pitfalls remain for future endeavors. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The White House on Monday continued licking the wounds of its first legislative defeat, even as President Donald Trump and his lieutenants gear up for a Supreme Court battle, a government funding fight and a tax overhaul push that will likely be bruising.

Apart from now-familiar contentious moments during the daily press briefing, Monday was eerily quiet at the executive mansion — a departure from the previous two frenetic weeks.

Joe Manchin Opposes Filibuster of Neil Gorsuch
West Virginia Democrat would vote to limit debate

Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W. Va., right, will back limiting debate on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III on Monday became the first Democratic senator to commit to at least voting for limiting debate on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Manchin’s office confirmed the senator announced he would vote to limit debate on President Donald Trump’s nomination of the federal appeals court judge for the seat vacated by the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, even if Manchin ultimately decides against voting for final confirmation.

A Republican Party Pulled in Multiple Directions
Same factors could bedevil other legislative priorities

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan will face the same factions in his Republican caucus that helped sink the GOP health care measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan wasted no time, fresh off his defeat on the Republican health care plan, in pivoting to priorities like a tax overhaul. But the constituencies pulling his party in different directions will still be present for those complicated debates as well.

“Our members know that we did everything we could to get consensus,” the Wisconsin Republican said shortly after he pulled a measure that would have partially accomplished what has motivated his party for more than seven years: getting rid of the 2010 health care law. But in the end, the GOP’s factions pulled it in so many directions that they couldn’t even muster a majority to pass a bill that would put a win on the board.

Capitol Ink | Beep Beep

How The GOP’s Health Care Law Went Down
A play-by-play of one of the most momentous days in Trump’s presidency

Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, R-Wisc., approaches the podium to make a statement and take questions from reporters after he pulled the Republican bill to partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It was a nail-biter of a day with a photo finish.

The Republican Party’s seven-year effort to repeal the 2010 health care law ended with a thud Friday when the GOP decided not to even subject its do-or-die alternative to a vote.