senate

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
More Bono backlash, Graves chips in on LSU fine, and The Dude rallying for Tester

(Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Trump to Headline Rally for Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas Ahead of Midterms
Dem opponent O’Rourke is mounting one of most expensive campaigns in history to unseat Cruz

President Donald Trump will rally for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, next Monday, Oct. 22. (George LeVines/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump will rally Texans for Sen. Ted Cruz in Houston next Monday, Oct. 22, as Cruz’s race with Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke enters the home stretch before the Nov. 6 midterm elections there.

Trump had promised in August to campaign on Cruz’s behalf, a promise Cruz heartily welcomed.

Bob Casey Pulls Ad After Barletta’s Emotional Appeal
Ad that slams Barletta on votes to repeal health care law will still play statewide except in his home market

While Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey’s campaign said he has included a constituent’s story of her children’s fight with cancer in speeches for years, he said he would pull an ad that strikes close to home for Republican challenger Rep. Lou Barletta in his hometown market. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Sen. Bob Casey has pulled a television ad from his opponent’s home market, giving in to criticism from Republican Rep. Lou Barletta that the family in the ad too closely resembles his own personal troubles.

The ad hit Barletta on his vote for the American Health Care Act during Republicans’ prolonged effort to roll back the 2010 health care law last year. The ad accurately states that the AHCA would have weakened protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, but Barletta took issue with the ad’s parallels to his family.

Lindsey Graham Wants to ‘Sanction the Hell Out of Saudi Arabia’ Until Crown Prince Is Ousted
South Carolina senator has no doubts about murder of Jamal Khashoggi

Sen. Lindsey Graham will not return to Saudi Arabia until Crown Prince Mohamed bin  is removed from the Kingdom’s power structure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham plans to “sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia” in the aftermath of the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“You know, we deal with bad people all the time, but this is in our face. I feel personally offended. They have nothing but contempt for us,” the South Carolina Republican said Tuesday morning. “Why would you put a guy like me and the president in this box?”

Trump Says Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Test Is ‘Bogus’
President unleashes invective on Democratic senator who might be 2020 opponent

President Donald Trump slammed Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whom he again referred to as “Pocahontas,” the day after she released a DNA test which she says proved her Native American lineage. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The DNA test released by Sen. Elizabeth Warren showing a distant Native American ancestor is “bogus,” President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday as his feud with the Massachusetts Democrat escalated.

Warren on Monday made public the results of a DNA test conducted by a Stanford University expert she says supports her claims of Native American ancestry. Other experts had questioned her claim, and Trump said he would donate $1 million to charity if it was proved true.

Is Beto O’Rourke the Next Jon Ossoff?
Democrats can’t seem to help falling for white, Southern men in unlikely races

Democrat Beto O’Rourke historic fundraising numbers set off alarm bells in the GOP that the Texas Senate race was not one to be ignored, Murphy writes. Above, O’Rourke arrives for a rally in Lockhart, Texas, on Oct. 1. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — There have been so many glowing profiles of Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic Senate hopeful in Texas, that there is a running joke  among journalists about the ingredients for a perfect O’Rourke piece. The short version goes something like this: He looks like a Kennedy! He’s got tons of cash! He’s a Democrat in a Red State! Let’s do this thing!

The one detail that’s almost always missing in those profiles is reality — namely, the fact that O’Rourke could run a perfect race against Sen. Ted Cruz and will still probably lose based solely on the fact that far more Republicans are likely to vote in Texas this November than Democrats. Although twice as many Texans (about 1 million) voted in the Democratic primary this year compared to 2014, 1.5 million votes were cast in the Republican primary. Even as the state’s demographics are changing, the math for Texas Democrats still doesn’t look good.

Menendez, Pompeo Feud Over Diplomatic Nominees
Secretary of state accuses New Jersey Democrat of ‘putting our nation at risk’

From right, Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Robert Menendez, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker arrive for a hearing on July 25. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A tiff between New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is slowing down the confirmation of nominees for the nation’s diplomatic corps, already understaffed at a time of mounting global challenges.

Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, is objecting to some State nominees over their qualifications even as he continues to press Pompeo to fulfill long-standing oversight document requests.

‘Treason’ Accusation Punctuates Heated Arizona Senate Debate
Democrat Sinema condemns Republican McSally for smear tactics

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., faces Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in the Arizona Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One of the most contentious moments of the Arizona Senate debate Monday night involved Republican Martha McSally accusing Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of “treason,” bringing a more predictable back-and-forth to a dramatic end.

Over the course of the hourlong debate — their only scheduled one — the two congresswomen running to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake split over health care, immigration, and the Supreme Court’s newest justice. Sinema stressed that she would be independent of her party, while McSally touted the accomplishments of GOP-controlled government.

Former Senate Intelligence Committee Security Chief Pleads Guilty
James A. Wolfe admits to one count of making false statements to FBI

James A. Wolfe, right, seen here with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The former head of security for the Senate Intelligence Committee has pleaded guilty to one charge of making false statements to the FBI.

The guilty plea, which was announced by the Justice Department on Monday, comes along with a commitment by the government to move to dismiss related charges.

Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein Again Sparring Over Judicial Nominations Schedule
Argument about October nomination hearings could be Kavanaugh fallout

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley and ranking member Dianne Feinstein are once again sparring over the judicial confirmation process. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even with senators having left the Capitol, the battle over the pace of judicial nominations is not slowing down.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, led panel Democrats in protesting the scheduling of nomination hearings for federal judgeships while the Senate is holding only pro forma sessions.