policy

Flake Confirms He’s Stalling Trump’s Judicial Nominees Over Tariffs
Said Sunday he wants the Senate to respond to president’s trade policy

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has announced plans to hold up President Donald Trump’s judicial nominations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Jeff Flake has gone public with his threat to stall judicial nominations seeking action to rebuff President Donald Trump on tariffs.

It comes more than a week after the Arizona Republican first held up the nomination of Britt Grant to be a judge on the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals at the Judiciary Committee.

House GOP ‘Uphill Fight’ on Immigration About More Than Trump
President’s tweets not helping, but Republicans still have major policy divisions

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., leaves the Capitol in the rain after the final vote of the week on Friday. He plans to spend his weekend continuing negotiations over immigration legislation, striving to reach an agreement on changes before a rescheduled vote next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump is certainly not helping House Republicans by deeming their immigration negotiations a waste of time, but he’s far from the only issue they face in what one GOP leader called an “uphill fight” to pass legislation.

The House Republican Conference is still struggling internally to coalesce around a bill that members from the various GOP factions negotiated in recent weeks, dubbed the compromise bill. Republican leaders had initially scheduled a vote on the measure for Thursday, and then thought about Friday. Ultimately, they decided to push it off into the next week to negotiate further changes

Opinion: To Keep Drug Costs Low, Think Competition, Not Price Controls
A robust, competitive market is the best way to promote innovation and reduce prices

If we truly want to reduce drug costs and make life-changing medications accessible to all Americans, we must increase competition among prescription drugs, Hatch writes. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

Even in today’s highly partisan environment, there’s one thing nearly all Americans agree on: The soaring cost of prescription drugs is alarming.

In fact, 80 percent of Americans consider the cost of prescription drugs unreasonable. At the same time, a majority of Americans recognize that prescription drugs have improved countless lives. The president’s recently unveiled comprehensive blueprint to lower prescription drug costs has many ideas worthy of exploration. However, if we truly want to reduce costs and make life-changing and life-saving medications accessible to all Americans, we must increase competition among prescription drugs — particularly new drugs that have the ability to cure diseases, but face limited competition.

From a Scream to a Whisper: Rescissions Push Goes Dark
Clock runs out on GOP effort to assuage Trump’s omnibus displeasure

Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., arrives in the Capitol on May 15. His decisive vote last week effectively drove a final dagger in a rescissions effort the president had sought. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After much sound and fury, President Donald Trump’s push to cut nearly $15 billion in unspent funds sitting in federal coffers ended with a whimper last week.

The House-passed rescissions plan was unceremoniously scuttled in the Senate on Wednesday when Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr of North Carolina cast the decisive vote against a discharge petition to advance the measure. With a 45-day clock expiring Friday — and senators long gone for the weekend — Republicans could no longer take advantage of filibuster protections under the 1974 budget law to advance the measure with a simple majority in the Senate.

Analysis: Donald Trump’s No Good, Very Bad Week
‘I cannot think ... of a similar terrible week’ for any POTUS, veteran Republican says

President Donald Trump makes a remark to the media as he arrives for a House Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The self-created child migrant crisis was bad enough for Donald Trump, but then he insulted a well-respected House Republican and refused to help leaders pass an immigration overhaul bill many feel is key to their re-election. Republicans reacted angrily, with one party veteran declaring this is Trump’s “Katrina moment.”

The president was riding high as Air Force One ferried him back from his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un last week. Top aides planned a quiet Friday, wanting to ride the perceived momentum into the weekend. Then Trump, without the input of aides, walked out to the North Lawn to talk to Fox News anchor Steve Doocy and then other reporters.

Trump to GOP: Stop ‘Wasting’ Time on Immigration
President, Schumer, Ryan agree current Congress unlikely to pass a bill

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan escorts President Donald Trump to a House Republican caucus meeting on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 8:49 a.m. | With a compromise measure stalled in the House, President Donald Trump on Friday urged Republican lawmakers to “stop wasting their time” pursuing an immigration overhaul bill until after November’s midterm elections.

That House immigration bill is merely a compromise among the chamber’s GOP leadership and its various conservative and moderate factions. It is not expected to get any Democratic support and appears to lack the GOP votes to pass — like a conservative measure that flopped on the floor Thursday.

Lawmakers Call for More Resources for Separated Migrant Children
Murray questions whether HHS can handle the situation

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said she was troubled by the lack of information from the administration about the children in its care. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers and public health groups on Thursday urged the Trump administration to commit more resources to the health needs of the immigrant children who have been separated from their families at the border.

Even as Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar visited the Texas-Mexico border with first lady Melania Trump, questions remained about whether the department has adequate funding to handle the situation and how much more might be needed.

Energy Panel Advances Bills to Support New Nuclear Plants
Bills will help maintain nuclear in the domestic electricity mix, lawmakers say

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, who chairs the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, says the bills will help establish a coherent and defined federal nuclear policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A quartet of bills meant to ease the path to commercialization of new nuclear reactors moved out of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee Thursday.

The bills are intended to speed up Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing for so-called advanced reactors, including smaller units, and to spur a domestic fuel supply. Lawmakers have proposed the bills as a way to help nuclear retain its place in a domestic electricity mix increasingly powered by natural gas and cheap renewable sources, such as wind and solar.

Defense Officials: US Needs Coordinated China Tech Strategy
“China is the embodiment of the military technology transfer challenge”

Michael Griffin, under secretary of Defense for research and engineering, says it’s time to look at China’s efforts as a whole, not as a series of individual actions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chinese efforts to acquire U.S. intellectual property and technology are pervasive and not limited to cyber theft, defense and intelligence officials told members of the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

Beijing is also investing in U.S. companies, sending students to American universities, embarking on joint business ventures and cheating on trade agreements, said Anthony Schinella, national intelligence officer for military issues at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

House GOP Farm Bill Passes; Compromise With Senate Next
Senate bill expected on the floor next week

House Agriculture Chairman K. Michael Conaway says the farm bill vote was about “providing certainty” to struggling farmers and ranchers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House on Thursday passed, 213-211, the Republican-written farm bill that seeks to restructure the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a month after a stinging defeat when the legislation became embroiled in an unrelated battle over immigration legislation.

The vote “was about providing certainty to farmers & ranchers who have been struggling under a 5yr recession & about providing our neighbors in need w/ more than just a hand out, but a hand up,″ House Agriculture Chairman K. Michael Conaway wrote on Twitter after the bill passed. There was no floor debate.