defn

McMaster Needs Senate Confirmation to Keep All Three Stars
New job would entail demotion unless Senate signs off

McMaster, left, was announced as the new national security adviser by President Donald Trump on Monday at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (Jenna Johnson/Washington Post/Print Pool)

National security advisers don’t need the consent of the Senate, but the decision by President Donald Trump to tap Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster for the assignment brings up an unusual question of military rank. Why? Without the Senate confirmation, McMaster would effectively be demoted as result of the new responsibilities, since three star generals generally have their rank tied to a particular function.

A National Security Council spokesman confirmed to Roll Call that McMaster is expected to face a Senate confirmation vote to maintain his three stars as a result of his new job, with the process already getting under way.

Robbing the Poor to Pay Paul Ryan’s Pals
Speaker may have powerful ally for assault on Medicaid

Speaker Paul D. Ryan Ryan has another shot at Medicaid with longtime ally Tom Price running the Department of Health and Human Services, Jonathan Allen writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan wants you to know that he cares about the poor. He wants you to know that his deeply held Catholic convictions drive him to seek opportunity for those in poverty, particularly people of color.

He speaks in the compassionate tones of someone who means to help not harm, and I believe that these are his real values, even if I often don’t agree with his policy prescriptions.

Rep. Reed Surprises Sit-In Participants
New York Republican has two-hour discussion at district office

Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., surprised constituents who were requesting a town hall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., surprised people staging a sit-in at a district office when he dropped by Thursday after a meeting with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Washington.

Six people from Ithaca Catholic Workers began the sit-in on Tuesday to highlight that Reed not holding a town hall since May 2, 2016. Reed arrived around 10:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Trump Tries to Change the Subject on Flynn
'The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?' president tweets

President Donald Trump had little to say about National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation, but plenty to say about the leaks that exposed him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Normally a prolific morning tweeter, President Donald Trump was notably silent until mid-morning after the resignation of his national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump didn’t mention his former adviser by name, but instead commented on the situation surrounding Flynn’s departure and the leaks about the White House.

A New DNC Chair: This Time It Really Counts
Democrats have much to overcome

The choice of a permanent successor to Debbie Wasserman Schultz as Democratic National Committee chairman has taken on larger-than-usual significance, Walter Shapiro writes. (Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

BALTIMORE — Watching the Democratic Party’s regional forum here last week, my mind kept flashing back to that nearly century-old Will Rogers crack, “I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat.”

In normal times, the selection of a Democratic chair is one of those topics that primarily interest political reporters in the postelection doldrums and consultants hoping for future contracts. But with the Democrats in their worst shape organizationally since the 1920s, the choice of a permanent successor to Debbie Wasserman Schultz takes on larger-than-usual significance.

Trump’s National Security Adviser Resigns
Growing concerns over communications with Russian ambassador to U.S.

Michael Flynn, the national security adviser to President Donald Trump, has submitted his resignation amidst controversy over his communications with a Russian ambassador. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s mercurial national security adviser, submitted his resignation late Monday amidst growing controversy over his communications with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.

Flynn wrote in his resignation letter that he provided “incomplete information” about conversations with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

It’s Huge: Trump Administration Sets Record with Empty OMB Director Slot
S.C. Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney still waiting for confirmation

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., President Donald Trump’s nominee to be director of the Office of Management and Budget, testifies during his Senate Budget Committee confirmation on January 24, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate’s slow pace in confirming Cabinet nominees appears to be holding up lawmakers’ work on major fiscal legislation while they wait for President Donald Trump’s budget shop to get up and running.

The White House needs to move on budget priorities and discretionary spending levels for fiscal 2018; a wrap-up of fiscal 2017 appropriations; and supplemental funding requests to boost military spending and begin construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

‘Gang of Eight’ Revival Unlikely on Immigration Overhaul

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., talks with reporters before the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol, January 31, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY DEAN DeCHIARO AND BRIDGET BOWMAN, CQ ROLL CALL

President Donald Trump may want senators to re-form a “Gang of Eight”-style group focused on passing comprehensive immigration legislation. But a hyper-partisan atmosphere in Congress combined with the bitter legacy of the last failed overhaul means Trump’s wish will likely go unfulfilled.

A Case of the Mondays: Recent Senate Session Third-Longest Since 1915
Chamber didn't adjourn from noon Monday until Wednesday at 9:07 p.m.

.

If this week felt a little long, that’s because it was. When the Senate gaveled out at 9:07 p.m. on Wednesday, it adjourned a session that began Monday at noon. That made it the third-longest legislative session in Senate history since 1915. In the world of arcane Senate procedure, that means the chamber never moved off the legislative business day of Monday, leaving Capitol Hill watchers with that tired, cranky feeling they never could quite shake.

The Senate debated for those 57 hours and 7 minutes several of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees, including the senators’ colleague Jeff Sessions of Alabama for attorney general, and the contentious Education secretary pick, Betsy DeVos, which ended with a history-making tiebreaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence.

Air Force‘s Top General Emphasizes Need for Apolitical Military

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter briefs the official announcement of Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, center, who was nominated to become the 21st Air Force chief of staff, in the Pentagon on April 29, 2016. With them is Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

The Air Force’s top general told reporters Tuesday that wars should be fought as humanely as possible and the military is apolitical — statements that, in tone if not substance, are at odds with the president’s.

Gen. David Goldfein, the service’s chief of staff since last July, did not directly say he takes issue with President Donald Trump. And the four-star general explicitly said that he was not referring particularly to Trump’s recent statements contending that the U.S. military supported his candidacy in the election.