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Democrats Tell Trump to Withdraw Clovis Nomination for USDA
Schumer, Schatz cite nominee’s “extremist views” on race, homosexuality

Sam Clovis Jr. is President Donald Trump’s nominee for undersecretary for research, education and economics at the Agriculture Department. (Courtesy Alex Hanson/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)

Senate Democrats said Wednesday they would “vehemently oppose” the appointment of Sam Clovis Jr., President Donald Trump’s nominee for a top scientific post at the Department of Agriculture, potentially dovetailing with unrelated reservations already expressed by a key Senate Republican.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York and Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii cited Clovis’ rejection of climate science and his “extremist views” on race and homosexuality in a press release. They called for the immediate withdrawal of his nomination as USDA undersecretary for research, education and economics.

McConnell Quells Report of Strains With Trump
Kentucky Republican vows teams are working together

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., listens as Senate GOP leaders speak following the vote on the motion to proceed on health care legislation on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday disavowed the notion of increasing tensions between himself and President Donald Trump in response to a report that indicated their relationship had “disintegrated.”

The New York Times reported Tuesday that McConnell and Trump had grown so mutually irritated that neither had spoken to each other since an Aug. 9 phone call that ended with both men fuming.

Legislative Agenda Takes Back Seat to Trump’s ‘Beautiful Apartment’
Former Jeb Bush aide: ‘One step forward, one step back’

President Donald Trump opted against selling his legislative agenda in an address to supporters in Phoenix on Tuesday. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump roared, blamed, boasted, omitted and obfuscated Tuesday night at a campaign rally in Phoenix, but there was one thing he decided against doing: selling his stalled legislative agenda.

A night after delivering a measured and somewhat-detailed prime-time address that laid out his new counterterrorism-focused Afghanistan strategy, Trump’s criticism of the news media, his increasingly visible insecurities and his fixation on his political base took over just minutes into his remarks in the Valley of the Sun.

7 Ways Trump’s Arizona Speech Complicates Congress’ Fall Agenda
President threatens a shutdown, criticizes senators and their chamber’s rules

President Donald and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, pictured shaking hands after Trump's address to Congress in February, are at odds over willingness to shutdown the government and change the Senate's filibuster rules. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Short on legislative accomplishments so far in his tenure, President Donald Trump went out of his way to complicate Congress’ fall legislative agenda during a campaign-style rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday.

Here are seven ways in just that one speech that Trump said things that don’t bode well for his ability to work with Congress:

Word on the Hill: Kickstart an Obama-Biden Sci-Fi Sitcom
What some former members are up to

Graphic courtesy of creator Adam Reid via Kickstarter.

“Barry and Joe: The Animated Series” is actually being created and has an executive producer — local activist and communications consultant Erick Sanchez. He was put in the position on Monday to get the ball rolling on production.

The series, created and directed by Adam Reid, is an animated science fiction sitcom in which former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. are “bromancing the multiverse to save us from ourselves.”

Senate Health Panel Will Hear From Governors, Insurance Leaders

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and ranking member Patty Murray, D-Wash., will hear from a range of policy figures in constructing a bill to stabilize the health insurance markets. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate’s key health care panel announced plans to hear from governors and state insurance commissioners early next month about ways to rein in rising prices for medical insurance purchased directly by consumers.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday set a hearing Sept. 6 with state insurance commissioners and another on Sept. 7 with governors. The committee, which has not yet said who will appear at the hearings, is also expected to announce additional sessions.

Puerto Rico Pressing On in Its Quest for Statehood
Island’s governor swore in its would-be congressional delegation last week

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló arrives for a news conference about the June 11 vote in favor of U.S. statehood at the National Press Club in Washington on June 15. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló recently swore in his dream team for political representation — two senators and five representatives to match the commonwealth’s population.

They are expected to travel to Washington soon and ask lawmakers to be seated as the official congressional delegation for Puerto Rico. 

Word on the Hill: Government Gets Eclipsed
Financial planning, and #GardnerFarmTour

Now that the eclipse has passed, staffers need other fun things to do over recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Life on Capitol Hill came to a standstill Monday afternoon as staffers streamed out of their offices to get a look at the partial solar eclipse.

Check out the scene outside the Capitol and learn how lawmakers watched the eclipse back home in their districts.

Lawmakers Watch Eclipse From Back Home
With Congress on recess, members watched the show with friends, family, and constituents

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas,  watches Monday’s eclipse from San Antonio, where he was visiting the Chamber of Commerce. (Sen. Ted Cruz via Twitter)

Unlike President Donald Trump, many lawmakers listened to the warnings and wore solar eclipse glasses to look at the sun on Monday.

The president briefly looked skyward before putting on his protective glasses when he and first lady Melania Trump joined millions of Americans to view the solar eclipse.

Eclipse Day in Photos: D.C. and N.C. Residents Look Up to the Sun
An eclipse was on the minds of most American residents on this Monday

The moon passes in front of the sun during the solar eclipse in Sylva, N.C. on Monday. The town lies in the path of totality. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call’s photographers caught the eclipse and the event’s spectators in two different locations on Monday. Tom Williams traveled to Sylva, N.C.,  in the path of totality. And Bill Clark stuck close to Roll Call’s home and captured moments as congressmen, reporters, congressional staffers and other Hill personnel ventured out on the Capitol steps and plaza to catch a glimpse of the historic event. 

Here’s the day in photos: