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Trump Message at Davos: Invest in America
Despite rhetoric, economic adviser says U.S. is not pulling back from world

Gary Cohn, White House Economic Advisor, left, and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster brief reporters on President Donald Trump's upcoming trip to the World Economic Forum later this week in Davos Switzerland, at the White House on January 23, 2018. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Senior White House officials denied that President Donald Trump is withdrawing the United States from the worldwide trade scene on the eve of his departure for a major global economic forum.

“The U.S. is pulling back from nothing,” said Gary Cohn, chief White House economic adviser when asked about worries around the globe that the Trump administration is turning inward.

House Harassment Bill on Fast Track, but Maybe Moving Too Fast?
 

Podcast: How Trump is So Quickly Remaking the Federal Bench
Roll Call Decoder, Episode 2

President Donald Trump arrives for Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in the Capitol rotunda to honor former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., on January 17, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The end of filibusters, changes in other Hill customs and subcontracting nominations to conservative groups – all have combined to make Senate judicial confirmations much more about “consent” than “advice,” CQ legal affairs reporter Todd Ruger explains.

Show Notes:

Report: Meehan Still Running for Re-election Amid Sexual Harassment Probe
Meehan said he told his former staffer they were soul mates

Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Pa., has been accused of sexual harassment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Patrick Meehan told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday that he is still running for re-election amid a sexual harassment investigation. He said he expressed “affection” for a former staffer and told her they were soul mates, but he is still denying that he sexually harassed her. 

The New York Times first reported over the weekend that Meehan used an undisclosed amount of taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment case brought by his former staffer, who has not yet been named. Meehan told the Inquirer that he would repay the settlement if the House Ethics Committee finds that he did harass the staffer.

Report: Duckworth Would Be First to Give Birth While a Senator
Illinois Democrat is six months pregnant

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., had her first daughter while in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Expecting a new daughter in her family, Tammy Duckworth would be the first in history to give birth while serving as a senator.

The senator told the Chicago Sun-Times that she is six months pregnant with her second child. She is expecting a late April delivery, weeks after her 50th birthday.

Lobbying Hits $3.9 Billion in Trump’s First Year
But number of disclosure reports falls short of President Barack Obama’s inaugural year in office

Lobbying was up during the Trump administration’s first year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lobbyists reported an uptick in tax and other federal policy work during the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, but the money spent to influence the federal government still didn’t surpass the inaugural year of the Obama administration, a Roll Call review of new disclosure reports found.

The number of federal disclosure reports that lobbyists filed last year — 50,000 — fell short of the 58,000 reports filed during 2009, President Barack Obama’s first year in office. Despite the fewer reports last year, companies and trade organizations spent roughly the same amount of money to influence Congress and the executive branch — $3.9 billion — in both years.

Republicans Weigh Ways to Block Trump on Trade Actions
Despite concerns about pocketbook effects, president imposes tariffs, bad-mouths trade pacts

President Donald Trump is pursuing his America First approach to trade, even as it makes some Republicans nervous. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Even as members of his own party weigh whether Congress has the authority to push back on his trade actions, President Donald Trump on Tuesday slapped new tariffs on solar panels and washing machines.

“It will provide a strong incentive for LG and Samsung to follow through on their recent promises to build major manufacturing plants for washing machines right here in the United States,” Trump said during an Oval Office signing event, adding the actions “uphold a principle of fair trade and demonstrate to the world that the United States will not be taken advantage of anymore.” That echoes a major theme of his 2016 campaign and the first year of his presidency.

The Many Ways to Draw a Gerrymander
Roll Call Decoder with David Hawkings: wonky explainers from a Capitol Hill expert

Rating Change: Special Election in Ohio’s 12th Likely to Get Closer
Enthusiasm advantage could give Democrats a shot at Tiberi’s seat

Former Rep. Pat Tiberi’s resignation to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable opened up Ohio’s 12 District for the first time since 2000. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

In a time of political uncertainty, there appears to be one constant: Special elections in Republican districts and states are neither boring nor safe. Right now, there’s no reason to believe the race in Ohio’s 12th District will be any different.

GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi’s resignation to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable opens up the central Ohio seat for the first time since 2000, when Republican Rep. John R. Kasich left Congress to run for president. The district hasn’t elected a Democrat since the early 1980s, but the minority party has demonstrated an enthusiasm advantage over the last year that could boost an unlikely candidate once again.

Cold Snap Showed Grid Resilience, Lawmakers are Told

Tourists walk past the U.S. Capitol as snow flurries blow in heavy winds in Washington on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. A bomb cyclone winter storm battered the east coast of the United states with heavy winds, snow, and frigid temperatures. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The recent cold snap and “bomb cyclone” weather event that chilled much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast this month appears to have showed the reliability and resilience of the electric grid as currently operated, energy officials said Tuesday at congressional oversight hearing.

But it also showed some of the vulnerabilities to the grid, especially as they relate to energy infrastructure, including natural gas pipelines, as wholesale market consumers saw high prices in response to record demand.