Third Trump Judicial Pick Withdraws Nomination
Matthew Petersen could not answer basic questions about legal principles

Sen. John N. Kennedy, R-La., asked Matthew Petersen basic questions about litigation that Petersen could not answer. Petersen withdrew his nomination on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Matthew Petersen on Monday withdrew his nomination to be a judge on the federal district court in Washington, less than a week after a video of his confirmation hearing went viral because it showed him unable to answer Sen. John N. Kennedy’s questions on basic litigation principles.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., mocked Petersen’s performance when he posted the video of the nominee stumbling over answers as a “MUST WATCH” in a tweet that concluded “he can’t answer a single one. Hoo-boy.”

Napolitano’s Husband Dies at 90
Frank Napolitano battled cancer

Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Calif., missed votes in the summer to care for her husband, Frank Napolitano. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Grace F. Napolitano’s husband Frank has died at the age of 90 after battling esophageal cancer.

The onetime restaurateur died Friday, according to the Los Angeles Times. The couple married in the early 1980s after the death of the California Democrat’s first husband.

How Do You Put 2017 Into Words? Debbie Dingell’s ‘Dingell Jingle,’ Of Course
Trump’s tweets and the House floor schedule make the holiday tradition

Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., ends the jingle with a push for bipartisanship. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The traditional ‘Dingell Jingle’ has been released and it’s full of jabs against Republican leadership. The author, Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., told HOH that her husband, former Rep. John Dingell, contributed to this year’s poem.

The jingle opens with a line about Congress still being in town to vote this week. It quickly turns to President Donald Trump’s tweets, which Mr. Dingell very clearly dislikes.

Whether Broom Closets or Cozy Cabins, Capitol Hideaways Are a Choice Senate Perk
Undercover Capitol takes you inside the historic workplace — one video at a time

Podcast: The Long and Winding Road to a Spending Deal
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 42

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., says his colleagues are preparing to fully revamp the temporary spending bill. “The House bill is not going to pass over here,” he said this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

CQ budget and appropriations editor Peter Cohn explains why a long-running standoff over spending limits is complicating passage of a stopgap measure needed to avoid a government shutdown come Christmas.

Trump Should Not Resign Over Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Jones Says
Democratic senator-elect from Alabama committed to working on ‘the real issues’

Alabama Sen.-elect Doug Jones says President Donald Trump should not step aside due to years-old allegations of sexual misconduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen.-elect Doug Jones agreed with the White House that President Donald Trump should not step aside due to years-old sexual misconduct allegations that have resurfaced after they were a linchpin issue dogging the president during his 2016 campaign.

“I don’t think the president ought to resign at this point,” Jones said on the Sunday morning news show circuit. “We’ll see how things go, but certainly those allegations are not new, and he was elected with those allegations at front center.”

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Around the Capitol
Metro update — and Himes has a cool constituent

Rafael Evelio Sarabia, dressed as Santa Claus on horseback, waves to passing traffic along Las Vegas Blvd. in Las Vegas on Saturday. Mandalay Bay hotel, used by the gunman in the nation’s deadliest shooting in modern history, is seen in the background. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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

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.

McCain Back in Arizona Until January
Absence comes as GOP prepares for vote on tax bill

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is seen in the senate subway before a vote in the Capitol on Dec. 6. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. John McCain returned to Arizona this weekend to receive therapy related to his cancer treatments as Republicans prepared a major vote for their tax overhaul bill.

A statement released Sunday from Dr. Mark Gilbert, chief of neuro-oncology at the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute, said McCain responded well to treatment he received for a viral infection.

Trump Says GOP Will Do ‘Well’ in 2018
‘I said Gillespie and Moore would lose,’ president tweets

Roy Moore rides away on his horse after voting at the Gallant Volunteer Fire Department in Gallant, Ala., on Dec. 12. President Donald Trump says he predicted Moore’s loss. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 9:01 a.m. | In the wake of Democrat Doug Jones’ stunning upset over Roy Moore in Alabama’s special Senate election, President Donald Trump on Monday used a tweet to tout the Republican Party’s performance this year in House races.

Trump last week referred to himself as “the leader of the party” — something he rarely does. He used a tweet Monday morning to imply that the GOP should listen to his prognostications about which potential candidates can and cannot win general election races.

Senate Tax Positions Prevail in Conference, House GOP Doesn’t Care
Concerns muted amid political imperative to achieve a legislative victory

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, left, and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, led negotiations on the GOP tax overhaul conference committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The tax overhaul conference report looks a lot like the Senate bill. Senate negotiators prevailed on most of the major issues — and House Republicans say they’re fine with that.

House Republicans interviewed for this story said they will support the final product despite it being very different from the one they voted on in November, with reasons ranging from specific provisions they championed to the overall benefits of the sweeping package.