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Kavanaugh Controversy and Violence Against Women Act Collide on Capitol Hill
Not the first time a Supreme Court fight and VAWA have been linked

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., hold a press conference with Holton-Arms alumnae in support of Christine Blasey Ford in the Hart Senate Office Building on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh upended his confirmation process and brought sexual misconduct back into the spotlight on Capitol Hill. While the Senate Judiciary Committee digs into what happened more than 30 years ago, other lawmakers are working to extend and expand protections for victims under the Violence Against Women Act.

The competing claims from Ford and Kavanaugh have divided both the Senate and the country, with Ford accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party when they were teenagers, and Kavanaugh issuing blanket denials and saying he welcomes the chance to “clear my name.” 

How Congress Made CHIP a Budgetary Boondoggle
Lawmakers have routinely used the Children’s Health Insurance Program to fund other priorities

Senator Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., is a lonely voice in opposition to the way CHIP funds are being used. (Meredith Dake-O’Connor/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s getting harder and harder not to think of the nation’s signature health insurance program for children who aren’t quite poor enough to qualify for Medicaid as a “slush fund” to tap for other congressional priorities.

Lawmakers are on the verge of wringing another $7.7 billion in budgetary savings out of the Children’s Health Insurance Program to finance the discretionary portion of the Department of Health and Human Services’ fiscal 2019 budget, among other expenses in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations conference report. That would bring the CHIP offsets tally to $58.3 billion since the GOP House takeover after the 2010 midterms, according to a review of Labor-HHS-Education spending laws over the past nine years.

Kavanaugh to Face 4 Female Senators. Why Not More?
Supreme Court hearings shed light on Senate’s gender gap — and other panels skew even more male

The Senate Judiciary Committee has no female Republican senators on it. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

As the Senate Judiciary Committee weighs its next move on Brett Kavanaugh, only four women will have a voice. All of them are Democrats.

That’s hardly unusual in the chamber. While none of its 20 committees are entirely male, eight lack female Republicans.

DC Denizens, Don’t Throw Out the Manual Just Yet
A few things are in flames. This reading list can help

Chaos got you down? Try a little light reading. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Supreme Court nomination is running aground, a president is hurling shutdown threats at his own party, and the midterms are 44 days away.

Let’s get back to the basics, shall we?

‘Regular Order’ Still Not Out of the Woods
Current appropriations process is still a far cry from before the late 2000s

Sens. Richard C. Shelby, left, and Patrick J. Leahy ride the Senate subway in 2011. Shelby, now the Senate Appropriations chairman, has touted the return to regular order in this year’s appropriations process. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS | Senate leaders have spent the past few months crowing about the return to “regular order” on appropriations, justifiably in many respects. They’ve passed nine spending bills, the first time that’s happened since 2009, and a first before September since 1999. And Congress sent three spending bills to the president’s desk before the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year, which hasn’t happened in 10 years.

But by several metrics, the Senate hasn’t matched the fuller appropriations debate in the “world’s greatest deliberative body” that existed prior to the late 2000s. Senators have spent roughly 16 days this year debating their appropriations bills on the floor; the average was nearly 28 days from fiscal 1986 through 2006. The Senate has considered 165 amendments to fiscal 2019 spending bills, compared with 269 per year during the fiscal 1986-2006 period.

Kavanaugh Has Bumpy Week Ahead as Two More Women Come Forward
Sen. Dianne Feinstein calls for stop to the confirmation process

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process has been upended by allegations of sexual assault. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:25 p.m. | The same day the Senate Judiciary Committee set a hearing about a decadesold allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, more allegations of sexual misdeeds from women in his past emerged to cause more turbulence for Republican efforts to make him a justice.

One woman told The New Yorker in an article Sunday that the federal appeals court judge sexually assaulted her at a college party in the 1980s. Separately, an attorney for another woman said his client had information about Kavanaugh’s behavior at parties at high school parties and wanted to testify as well.

Kavanaugh Accuser Commits to Thursday Testimony, Judiciary Committee Announces Hearing
Some questions remain unresolved ahead of potentially pivotal Thursday hearing

The Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, is expected to hear from Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Christine Blasey Ford is now scheduled to testify Thursday morning at the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding her sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The panel formally announced the rescheduling of the continued high court confirmation hearing Sunday afternoon. The hearing had been expected to continue Monday, but Ford’s lawyers have been in negotiations about timing with the committee’s Republican majority.

Kavanaugh Accuser Agrees to Talk to Senate Judiciary Committee
Christine Blasey Ford has accused nominee of sexually assaulting her decades ago

Protesters at the Dirksen Building office of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Thursday show their support for Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Christine Blasey Ford agreed Saturday to discuss with the Senate Judiciary Committee next week her allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her decades ago.

In an email from Ford’s lawyers to Senate Judiciary Committee staff, Ford accepted the “request to provide her first-hand knowledge of Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct” but did not specify how she would do that. Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley offered to have Ford testify Wednesday in public or private, but also offered her a public or private interview.

Game On: Grassley and Kavanaugh Accuser Continue to Play Chicken
Deadlines come and go as nomination is delayed

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has extended a deadline for Christine Blasey Ford to testify about her claim she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when they were teen-agers (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When — or if — Chistine Blasey Ford will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her claim that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her is very much up in the air.

But a pattern has emerged. Deadlines come. Deadlines go. In the meantime, the debate over what happened — and the fate of Kavanaugh’s nomination — continues.

Trump Slams McCaskill for Opposing ‘Truly Spectacular’ Kavanaugh
Missouri attorney general is in Senate dogfight with Democratic incumbent

President Donald Trump, here at a rally in Las Vegas on Thursday, was in Missouri the following day to boost Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump hailed Missouri Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley as a “star” Friday night, while lambasting the Democratic incumbent, Claire McCaskill, for opposing his “truly spectacular” Supreme Court nominee. 

The president, as he often does for Republican candidates, attempted to boost Hawley, the state attorney general, by calling him onstage at the rally in Springfield, Missouri, to speak behind the presidential podium with the executive seal.