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House GOP Still Bickering Over Budget
Defense increase, mandatory spending cuts primary areas of disagreement

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent says Republicans should not waste time arguing over topline levels for nondefense discretionary spending since those will likely be raised in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican squabbling over a defense spending increase and mandatory spending cuts continues to put in danger a fiscal 2018 budget resolution, and subsequently, plans to overhaul the tax code.

After a Friday conference meeting to discuss the budget and appropriations process, their second “family conversation” of the week on the topic, the House GOP appeared no closer to consensus on a budget resolution that could get the 218 needed votes on the floor.

Trump Says He Hopes Dems Don’t Force Pelosi Out
‘That would be very bad for the Republican Party,’ president tweets

President Donald Trump wants Nancy Pelosi to stay on as House Democratic leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that he hopes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stays as leader of the Democrats.

But the presidential tweet was not well-wishing. Rather, Trump said, “That would be very bad for the Republican Party” if Pelosi were forced out.

Karen Handel Proves Third Time’s the Charm
Georgia Republican heads to Congress after 2 losing bids for higher office

Karen Handel gives her victory speech to supporters in Atlanta on Tuesday, as her husband Steve Handel looks on. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Republican Karen Handel comes to Congress after a 28-year career with a diverse portfolio of public- and private-sector jobs ranging from overseeing elections as Georgia’s secretary of state to heading the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to serving as the vice president of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which supports breast cancer research.

Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff 52 percent to 48 percent in Tuesday’s 6th District special election runoff to replace former Rep. Tom Price, who vacated the seat to become secretary of Health and Human Services.

Opinion: A Don’t-Blame-Us Congress Ducks on Syria
Be bipartisan and authorize a war

Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., right, and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., conduct a news conference in the Capitol to introduce an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against ISIS, al Qaeda, and the Taliban on May 25, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It is, of course, not nearly as important as the struggle in GA-6 that is testing what happens when you inject more than $50 million into a single House race and batter the voters into submission with attack ads.

And the topic could not possibly compete with the learned analyses of Megyn Kelly’s NBC interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones — a TV show that was probably the biggest broadcast since King Edward VIII went on British radio to announce his abdication to marry “the woman I love.”

Prospect of Repeat Budget Failure Puts Pressure on Republicans
Budget needed for GOP to get to tax overhaul, possibly mandatory spending cuts

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, seen here at a committee hearing last month with ranking Democrat John Yarmuth, is confident Republicans will pass a budget this year, despite GOP divisions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans face the possibility of failing to pass a full budget resolution for the second year in a row, despite making progress on their goals for a fiscal 2018 budget resolution.

The stakes are much higher than last year as the budget, through the reconciliation process, has become a tool for Republicans to advance legislation without Democratic support, something they lack on nearly all of their top priorities.

Senate Democrats Can’t Slow GOP Health Care Bill Once It’s Written
But minority party will try to slow down proceedings until then

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and his Democratic colleagues want to draw attention to the closed-door nature of the GOP health care talks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer had a warning for his Republican colleagues on Monday.

“If Republicans won’t relent and debate their health care bill in the open for the American people to see, then they shouldn’t expect business as usual in the Senate,” the New York Democrat said.

Ossoff and Handel Blast Ad Tying Democrats to Baseball Shooting
Comes after increased security concerns in Georgia House race to fill Price’s seat

An ad by a conservative outside group ties Democrat Jon Ossoff to the shooting in at the Republicans’ practice last week for the Congressional Baseball Game. (Principled PAC)

Both Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican candidate Karen Handel criticized an ad by a PAC tying Democrats to the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise and others last week.

The ad by Principled PAC says “the unhinged left is endorsing and applauding shooting Republicans” before saying it won’t stop “if Jon Ossoff wins.”

At AFI Docs, Timely Topics

AFI Docs will screen the climate change documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel,” starring former Vice President Al Gore. (Photo courtesy of “An Inconvenient Sequel”).

AFI Docs, the annual documentary film festival put on by the American Film Institute in Washington, has to plan months ahead to get its slate of nonfiction movies.

Nevertheless, festival organizers seem to have a knack for finding films that have political currency.

Democrats Look to Oust Mike Coffman — Again
Colorado Republican remains a top Democratic target

Rep. Mike Coffman has been a top target in the past three campaign cycles. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats are once again eyeing Rep. Mike Coffman’s elusive Colorado seat as they look to take back the House in 2018.

For the past three election cycles, the Republican congressman’s personal brand and relationships with minority communities in the diverse 6th District in suburban Denver, along with a relentless campaign apparatus, have propelled him to re-election since the district was redrawn in 2012. Some Democrats say an anti-Republican environment could sweep Coffman out of office, while others aren’t as confident. 

Trump Raises $800,000 for MacArthur
New Jersey congressman was main broker for health care law repeal

President Donald Trump held a fundraiser for Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump raised more than $800,000 at a fundraiser on Sunday for New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur.

MacArthur was the main broker behind the House Republican caucus’ repeal of the the 2010 health care law. The event was held at Trump's golf club in Bedminister.