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Warner Says ‘Great, Great Deal of Smoke’ on Russia

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, and Senate Intelligence Vice Chair Mark Warner confer with staff as they arrive for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Russian intelligence activities on Thursday, March 30, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Thursday that he will not jump to conclusions in the panel’s investigation into Russian election meddling, but said “so far there is a great, great deal of smoke.”

The remarks from Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner came at the opening of the committee’s hearing on Russian intelligence operations to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential race. The panel is conducting an investigation into Moscow’s meddling, including possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Kelly: Homeland Isn't Targeting Law-Abiding ‘Dreamers’
“By definition, they’re no longer DACA if they have a violation”

Gen. John F. Kelly, USMC (Ret.), testifies during the Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on his confirmation to be Secretary of Homeland Security on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Homeland Security Department is not seeking to deport undocumented young people enrolled in an Obama administration program who have not violated the terms of their protected status, Secretary John F. Kelly told Senate Democrats on Wednesday.

The status of these young people, known as Dreamers, who were brought to the United States by their undocumented immigrant parents has been a subject of concern since President Donald Trump promised during his campaign to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and deport millions of people living in the country illegally. 

Mnuchin's ‘Batman’ Flap is No Joke, Ethics Experts Say
“It reflects a lack of concern for the ethics rules.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin arrives in the House Chamber before President Donald Trump addressed a joint session of Congress in the Capitol, February 28, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s disclaimer before promoting a movie he produced does not clear him of potential violations of ethics rules, experts said.

Mnuchin’s comments last week urging people to send their children to “The LEGO Batman Movie” prompted Sen. Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee, to inquire this week on the Treasury secretary’s progress of divesting his financial assets. 

FDA Nominee Addresses Conflicts as Panel Sets Hearing
“I will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter”

The outside of the Food and Drug Administration headquarters is seen in White Oak, Md., on Monday, November 9, 2015. The FDA is a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and has been in commission since 1906. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump administration’s nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, will resign from positions with drug industry clients and divest himself of stock holdings. Gottlieb said in a letter about his plans to avoid conflicts of interest that he would also recuse himself from decisions affecting firms he is linked to for a year after his confirmation. Gottlieb has ties of some sort to 38 companies.

Gottlieb was an FDA deputy commissioner during the George W. Bush administration. Before and after his government tenure, he worked or consulted for a variety of pharmaceutical interests.

Republicans Reverse Course, Open Door To Another Health Care Debate
Ryan: ‘We are all going to work together and listen together until we get this right’

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., speaks during his press conference to announce the canceled vote on the American Health Care Act of 2017 on Friday, March 24, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By ERIN MERSHON, JOE WILLIAMS and LINDSEY McPHERSON, CQ Roll Call

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Tuesday he isn’t abandoning his quest to overhaul the 2010 health care law, even after his first attempt to pass such legislation ended in catastrophic failure on Friday.

The Senate’s Big Week That Wasn’t
Senators fill the week before Gorsuch comes to the floor

Without a health care bill to consider, senators are waiting for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to hit the floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators were gearing up for a marathon week of debate on a House-passed health care measure, including the peculiar ritual of voting on an unlimited number of amendments known as the vote-a-rama, but political reality has laid that plan to waste. 

The House’s failure to pass a rollback of the 2010 health care law has left senators burning time until the Judiciary Committee sends to the floor the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice on the Supreme Court.

Capitol Ink | Reaching Out

“You losers will reach out to me when the whole thing collapses.”

After Health Care Defeat, Brady Schedules Markup on Trump Tax Returns
Democrats using procedural tool to force committee vote

House Ways and Means chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, announced that the committee would mark up a “resolution of inquiry” into President Donald Trump’s tax returns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hours after House GOP leaders and President Donald Trump on Friday made the decision to finally pull their ill-fated health care plan, one of the bill’s architects made an interesting pivot to Trump’s tax returns.

But not by choice.

Democrats Delight in GOP Health Care Defeat
Pelosi says party is glad to own 2010 health law

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, left, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, right, welcomed the decision by Republican leadership to pull the health care bill from the House floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cheers went out from the Democratic cloakroom Friday when the news broke that Republicans were pulling their health care bill from the floor, and Democrats on the floor chanted “vote! vote!” as the majority lacked the votes opted to pass it. 

The minority party was more subdued at a press conference afterward, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team still delighted in their victory.

Republicans Cancel Vote on Health Care Bill
Democrats chant ‘Vote, vote, vote’

Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price leave their meeting with members of the House Freedom Caucus at the Capitol Hill Club. A failed final effort to secure the votes necessary to pass legislation repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Friday canceled a scheduled vote on the Republican bill to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, in what could be a catastrophic blow to the party’s seven-year campaign against the law.

Cheers could be heard from the House Democratic cloakroom as the news spread.