republicans

Rating Change: Flake More Vulnerable in Arizona
Ongoing feud with Trump complicates GOP senator’s re-election bid

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is drawing heat from both sides as he seeks a second term next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The acrimony between President Donald Trump and Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, which is already making the senator’s re-election bid more challenging, should only intensify during the president’s rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night. 

Flake is known as a Trump opponent, which could make him vulnerable in the primary. The feud appeared to start in a private meeting a year ago, but has since escalated. Earlier this summer, Flake published a book, titled “Conscience of a Conservative,” publicly criticizing the Republican Party for the rise of Trump. 

There’s a Good Reason Trump Will Rally Supporters in Phoenix
After a rough few weeks, president could use a boost from friendly crowd

Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to a crowd of supporters during a campaign rally in June 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. Trump campaigned seven times in Arizona before Election Day last year. (Ralph Freso/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump on Monday gave a somber address about his strategy in America’s longest-running war in Afghanistan. But that tone will likely change as he holds a campaign-style rally Tuesday night in Phoenix — where Trump has tossed out some of his more visceral rhetoric — and feeds supporters samples of what made them love him in the first place.

It could be a pep rally for Trump after the criticism he got last week from many Republicans for the way he appeared to give a nod to white supremacists after the racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The president has also come under heavy criticism for the disarray in the White House that has led resignations and firings in his team’s top tier, and for having no major legislative accomplishments to show for his seven months in office.

Judge Gives Gianforte Until Sept. 15 to Have Mugshot Taken
Democrats can’t wait to see it

Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., pled guilty to assaulting a reporter on the eve of his special election win. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A judge ordered that Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte be fingerprinted and photographed by Sept. 15 in relation to his assault of a journalist earlier this year. 

Judge Rick West ordered that the Republican report to a jail in Bozeman to be booked for his assault charge, The Associated Press reported.

Analysis: Why Recent Tax Overhaul Efforts Failed and This One May, Too
Republicans taking tax message on the road this week without details

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, second from right, and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, third from right, speak with executives at an appliance store in Lawrence, N.J., during a stop on their 2013 tour to promote their tax overhaul effort. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The last time Republican tax writers unveiled legislation for overhauling the tax code, it elicited this telling response from the speaker of the House: “Blah, blah, blah, blah.”

It was Feb. 26, 2014, and the House Ways and Means Committee had just unveiled a tax overhaul discussion draft, with full legislative text and both dynamic and static scores from the Congressional Budget Office.

Puerto Rico Pressing On in Its Quest for Statehood
Island’s governor swore in its would-be congressional delegation last week

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló arrives for a news conference about the June 11 vote in favor of U.S. statehood at the National Press Club in Washington on June 15. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló recently swore in his dream team for political representation — two senators and five representatives to match the commonwealth’s population.

They are expected to travel to Washington soon and ask lawmakers to be seated as the official congressional delegation for Puerto Rico. 

Word on the Hill: Government Gets Eclipsed
Financial planning, and #GardnerFarmTour

Now that the eclipse has passed, staffers need other fun things to do over recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Life on Capitol Hill came to a standstill Monday afternoon as staffers streamed out of their offices to get a look at the partial solar eclipse.

Check out the scene outside the Capitol and learn how lawmakers watched the eclipse back home in their districts.

On Afghanistan, Trump Bets On Generals He Once Criticized
President says ‘my original instinct was to pull out’

U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson (right) shakes hands with troops ahead of a handover ceremony at Leatherneck Camp in Lashkar Gah in the Afghan province of Helmand on April 29, 2017. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images)

Candidate Donald Trump often said he knew more when it came to the country’s foes than America’s top military leaders. But by siding with retired and current four-star generals on Afghanistan, Trump placed a big bet on a group he once believed had been “reduced to rubble.”

Trump announced Monday night at Joint Base Fort Myer Hamilton Hall in Arlington, Va., he will keep thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan despite his long-held disdain for the operation there. The president’s decision came after a months-long review by his national security team, and reports indicate he will raise the American military presence there to around 12,000.

Lawmakers Watch Eclipse From Back Home
With Congress on recess, members watched the show with friends, family, and constituents

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas,  watches Monday’s eclipse from San Antonio, where he was visiting the Chamber of Commerce. (Sen. Ted Cruz via Twitter)

Unlike President Donald Trump, many lawmakers listened to the warnings and wore solar eclipse glasses to look at the sun on Monday.

The president briefly looked skyward before putting on his protective glasses when he and first lady Melania Trump joined millions of Americans to view the solar eclipse.

McConnell, Mnuchin Unequivocal About Avoiding Default on the Debt
Majority leader and Treasury secretary say debt limit will be increased on time

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin expressed confidence the debt limit would be increased. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared without hesitation Monday that Congress will raise the debt limit come September.

“There is zero chance — no chance — we won’t raise the debt ceiling. No chance. America is not going to default, and we’ll get the job done in conjunction with the secretary of the Treasury,” the Kentucky Republican said, appearing alongside Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Beefing Up Afghan Troop Level Would Be Major Shift for Trump
In 2012, he called conflict ‘complete waste,’ adding, ‘Time to come home!’

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Melissa Fusco gives candy to an Afghan boy on the streets in Logar Province in Afghanistan in 2009. President Donald Trump will address the nation Monday night on his plan for U.S. military operations there. (Courtesy Spc. Richard Jones/Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump is expected to announce Monday night that he is sending thousands more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, breaking with his yearslong disdain for the nearly 16-year-old conflict there.

As a candidate, Trump rarely talked about the Afghanistan War and stability operation other than to disparage it. He used it as an example of why his nationalistic approach would be better than any of his Republican or Democratic foes, arguing the George W. Bush and Obama administrations had wasted billions of dollars there for little strategic gain.