congressional-operations

At the White House and in Congress, a Slow Start on Nominations and Confirmations
A detailed look at how Trump compares to past presidents

President Donald Trump has submitted fewer nominations to the Senate than his predecessors had at this point in their presidencies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Leaders Spar on Republican Efforts to Repeal Obamacare
Weekly clashes could become the norm as health care remains top focus

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer used his post-policy lunch media appearance on Tuesday to blast Republican efforts on health care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s only the first full work week since the Senate received the House-passed measure to reorder the nation’s health insurance system, and leaders in both parties are wasting no time hurling criticism at each other over how to approach the legislation.

Using the time reserved for leadership press conferences after Tuesday’s policy lunches, Republicans criticized Democrats for refusing to come to the table and negotiate a fix to a health care system they described as in chaos. Democrats accused the GOP of crafting a bill in secret, by an all-male working group, that would drastically reduce benefits for vulnerable people.

Rand Paul Wants to Know if Intelligence Community Spied On Him
Makes public details of request to President Trump

Sen. Rand Paul wants to know if he was under surveillance. (George LeVines/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Rand Paul is renewing a request to know if he was subject to surveillance by the intelligence community during the Obama administration.

“This inquiry goes beyond just myself and my office,” the Kentucky Republican said in a statement Friday. “The American people need to know if their elected representatives in the Legislative branch have been swept up in Executive branch surveillance.”

New Calls for Public Access to Secret Congressional Reports
Privacy policy at Congressional Research Service full of holes, critics say

New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance introduced a bill with Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley that would require reports from the Congressional Research Service to be made public. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The secrecy surrounding Congress’ in-house think tank came under fire again Wednesday, with transparency advocates on and off the Hill renewing calls for free public access to its in-depth policy briefs. 

Rep. Leonard Lance, a New Jersey Republican, and Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat, reintroduced a bill the same day that would require all the reports produced by the Congressional Research Service to be published on a government website.

Key Republican Members Talk Health Care Deal With Trump
High-profile holdouts Upton and Long discuss changes to bill

Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., and other key Republican members met with President Donald Trump to see if they could be brought on board to the GOP health care bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By Erin Mershon and Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call

Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan and Billy Long of Missouri, the most high-profile holdouts on the Republican health care overhaul, are meeting with President Donald Trump Wednesday morning to discuss a policy change that could bring them on board with the plan.

Omnibus Shows Concerns About Congressional Cafeterias
Including issues with the quality of the food on the House side

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, left, and his brother Julian Castro have a snack with Julian Castro’s daughter Carina in the Cannon House Office Building cafeteria in 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress is once again putting its dining service vendors on notice.

On one side of the Capitol, the concerns are about the meals that are being served. On the other side, they are more about protecting the rights of the men and women preparing those meals.

Capitol Police, Library of Congress Get Boost in Omnibus
Bill would provide an additional $77 million compared to fiscal 2016

Additional funds for the Capitol Police are planned for boosting recruiting and for training and administrative needs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:00 p.m. | The Capitol Police and the Library of Congress would both get a boost in the $4.4 billion Legislative Branch title of the fiscal 2017 omnibus bill released early Monday. The bill would provide an additional $77 million compared to the fiscal 2016 level.

The bill would provide $632 million for the Library of Congress, which is $32 million more than the fiscal 2016 enacted level. The extra funds would be used to upgrade the library’s technology infrastructure to support growing storage needs and for increased cybersecurity measures for the institution, according to House Democrat and Republican summaries.

Rob Portman's Plan to End Government Shutdown Showdowns
Revives bill to provide automatic continuing resolutions

Sen. Rob Portman wants to end the threat of federal funding lapsing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the risk of a government shutdown at week's end, Sen. Rob Portman is making another attempt at ending such threats once and for all.

The Ohio Republican, who led the Office of Management and Budget in the last GOP White House, will be reintroducing legislation that he has spearheaded since arriving in the Senate in 2011 that would provide for automatic continuing resolutions when Congress fails to advance appropriations bills before fiscal year funding deadlines.

Government Shutdown Prevention on Republicans, Democrats Say
Leaders urge members to oppose stopgap measure if no bipartisan agreement is reached

Appropriations Committee ranking member Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., told House Democrats its unlikely a bipartisan agreement on funding the government will be ready by the April 28 deadline. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are putting the onus on Republicans to prevent a government shutdown.

It’s unlikely a bipartisan deal could be reached in time to meet the April 28 funding deadline, and unless an agreement is in place Democrats should vote-against a short-term stopgap measure, Democratic leaders said Thursday.

Poll: Border Wall Fight Should Not Prompt Government Shutdown
Majority say it’s more important to keep the government running

A view of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Tijuana, Mexico, in January. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images file photo)

A new Economist Group/YouGov poll found that a majority of Americans think it’s most important for Congress to avoid a government shutdown, even if it means leaving behind a proposal to start construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The opt-in, online poll found that 19 percent of those surveyed want Congress to come up with the $3 billion requested by President Donald Trump for a border wall, even if it prompts a government shutdown. But 60 percent think it’s more important to keep the government running past an April 28 deadline when a continuing resolution runs out. Another 22 percent are unsure.