policy

Senate Confirms Two Trump Nominees, But Democrats Delay CIA Director
Defense and Homeland Security nominees move right away

Rep. Mike Pompeo is the nominee for director of the Central Intelligence Agency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate moved quickly to confirm two of President Donald Trump’s key national security nominees, but there’s bad blood about Democratic objections to a third.

The confirmation of retired Gens. James Mattis to be Defense secretary and John Kelly to be Homeland Security secretary came immediately, but the Senate only voted to turn to the confirmation of Rep. Mike Pompeo to be the CIA Director, setting up a final vote late Monday.

HHS Nominee Tom Price, Staff Aided Donors in Agency Battles
Democrats seek to undercut his nomination

Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., takes his seat before the start of his confirmation hearing in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Trump: ‘From This Day Forward ... Only America First’
45th president signals major policy shifts in inaugural address

Donald Trump greets President Barack Obama moments before Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, on the West Front of the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump, very much still in campaign mode, vowed in his inaugural address to use his new powers to turn the country inward and “rebuild” America, telling his countrymen and the world he will govern with a simple principle: “It’s going to be only America first.” 

In a striking scene, the bombastic businessman and former reality television star, spoke from the very spot where American political giants like Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama delivered their first remarks as commander in chief.

Highlights of Donald Trump’s Inauguration
Bushes arrive for 45th president’s swearing in

President Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts on the West Front of the Capitol on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The inauguration of President Donald Trump was full of both Trump bombast and the ceremonial pomp and circumstance that comes with the swearing in of a new commander in chief.

On one end, many worked to uphold the democratic traditions while Trump sought to drive home the points of his inauguration.

Trump’s Inauguration Day Arrives, With Many Questions
Top spokesman, amid concerns, vows ’we're ready to go’

Members of Marine Barracks Washington gather on the West Front of the Capitol on Inauguration Day before President-elect Donald Trump’s swearing in. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 9:51 a.m. | Washington is undergoing a major transformation, but Donald Trump’s inauguration brings more questions than answers.

To be sure, very little is known about what to expect from his much-anticipated inaugural address from the West Front of the Capitol. His top spokesman has promised a “personal” speech that is “unique” while laying out a vision for his presidency.

Ryan Still Doesn't Want to Run for President
Speaker says ‘the left’ is trying to delegitimize Trump’s presidency before it starts

Speaker Paul D. Ryan insists he still does not want to run for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has been asked hundreds, if not thousands, of times if he wants to run for president one day. The answer has not changed. 

“No,” Ryan said in an interview with Charlie Rose scheduled to air on PBS late Thursday. “It’s just not an ambition that I’ve long harbored, or I’ve harbored.” 

Oversight Panel Democrats Want Flint Investigation Reopened

Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, right, and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., talk before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in Rayburn Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee want to reopen its investigation into the Flint, Mich., water crisis, according to a letter written by ranking member Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland and released Wednesday.

The investigation, which led to a high profile oversight hearing that turned into partisan finger-pointing last March, was quietly closed before the Christmas holiday by Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

Trump Administration’s First (Unofficial) Day in Washington
Spokesman clashes with Schumer; press credentials get you to nowhere

Several temporary toilets placed on Capitol grounds for the Inauguration have been labeled “Trump’s Tower” with a marker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Inauguration Day is Friday but the Trump administration’s first official day in Washington was Thursday, as the incoming team clashed with Senate Democrats over its Cabinet nominations.

“There is no excuse,” White House Press Secretary-designee Sean Spicer said, for what he dubbed “delay tactics” by Senate Democrats on some of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet selections. Spicer was in mid-administration form as he added that the Democrats’ tactics “call into question” whether they want a “government of continuity.”

HealthCare.Gov Enrollment Tops 8.8 Million

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell testifies during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing in Longworth on the HHS Fiscal Year 2017 budget request, February 10, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

More than 8.8 million Americans signed up for 2017 insurance coverage through HealthCare.gov as of Jan. 14, 2017, about 100,000 more than over a similar time frame last year.

The enrollment snapshot provided Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the final one of President Barack Obama’s administration. The numbers do not include people in the 12 state-based marketplaces that use their own websites. About 2.8 million people in these states were enrolled as of Dec. 24.

History Provides Trump a Guide for His Inaugural Address
Changes in party rule show how presidents both praise and criticize

An aide to President-elect Donald Trump, seen here at a news conference on Jan. 11 at Trump Tower in New York City, says his inaugural address will be “unique to him.” (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Newly sworn-in American presidents taking over for a predecessor of another political party have employed a number of rhetorical approaches from which Donald Trump could choose to borrow on Friday. Trump has met with historians and watched past inaugural addresses, but a top aide said his first speech as president will be “unique to him.”

Given the unprecedented tone of both his campaigning style and brash tenor during the transition period, anything is possible when the new president steps to the podium bearing the seal of the president around noon Friday. It is a safe bet some or most of Trump’s address will sound much different than those delivered in the past.