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McCain Returns, Will Likely Lead Defense Policy Debate

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., returns to the Capitol and will be involved in the defense authorization debate. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., recently diagnosed with brain cancer, made the surprise announcement Monday he would return to the Capitol for a procedural vote today on health care legislation, as well as anticipated debate on the chamber’s Pentagon policy bill and sanctions legislation.

Over in the House, lawmakers are preparing to take up a so-called security minibus, which includes the Defense appropriations bill. And that chamber is expected to take up a Russia, Iran and North Korea sanctions bills today.

Analysis: Moving Past Obamacare May Include Embracing Some of Its Conservative Roots
Parts of 2010 health care law based on Republican ideas

Montana Sen. Max Baucus, seen here in 2013, solicited Republican opinions while crafting a template for what became the 2010 health care law. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Missteps, miscalculations and mistakes have almost defined efforts to repeal the 2010 health care law. 

Some political theorists and economists — including conservatives — suggest that one of the biggest mistakes may be the reluctance by Republicans to acknowledge that significant parts of President Barack Obama’s signature law were based on conservative principles.

Jared Kushner, After Intel Meeting, Denies Russia Impropriety
Trump son-in-law says no collusion with Kremlin during 2016 race

Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to President Donald Trump, leaves the Hart Senate Office Building on Monday after his interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee staff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

UPDATED 5:15 p.m. | Following nearly three hours of testimony before Senate Intelligence Committee staffers on Monday, senior presidential adviser Jared Kushner stood outside the White House and denied colluding with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, saying all of his actions were both legal and proper.

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law defended himself during rare public remarks just outside the executive mansion’s West Wing, saying: “I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so.”

Health Care, Tax Overhauls Drive Lobbying in Trump Era
“We’re feeling really confident going into the second half of the year”

During the turbulent first six months of the Trump administration, some of the biggest lobbying groups scaled back their spending as his signature initiatives collapsed. But major agenda items, including a tax overhaul, will continue to fuel K Street work.

Other wish-list items in the coming months will include a measure to raise the nation’s debt limit, funding the government for fiscal 2018, and continued negotiations about shoring up the nation’s health care system, even as Republican efforts to dismantle the 2010 health care law have cratered.

Senate GOP: Knowing Health Care Plan Is ‘Luxury We Don’t Have’
Uncertainty surrounds floor strategy for Republicans’ health care effort

Many members in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s conference do not know what they would be considering days before a key vote . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS and LAUREN CLASON

Republican senators left Washington no closer to a deal on their health care effort, with no idea what measure might be brought up for a vote early next week or whether the chamber could even clear a key procedural hurdle needed to begin consideration of any legislation.

Democrats Want Probe of Interior Scientists' Reassignments

Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and other Democrats are concerned the administration is reassigning scientists to try to get rid of them. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats at a hearing for Interior and Energy Department nominees seized on the published comments of an Interior scientist who claims that Secretary Ryan Zinke was using forced reassignments to coax experienced scientists to resign.

The top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Maria Cantwell of Washington, said at the Thursday hearing that she will ask Interior’s Inspector General to investigate the allegations raised by the scientist, Joel Clement, in an op-ed published by The Washington Post.

Opinion: The Freewheeling John McCain — An Appreciation
Flawed, but still the embodiment of honor, civility, patriotism and bipartisanship

Arizona Sen. John McCain deserves to be ranked among the two or three leading Senate figures of the last quarter-century, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For all their outward cynicism, campaign reporters tend to be closet idealists who dream of covering a candidate who will summon forth the better angels of the American people. Such a mythic candidate is not aloof like Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, but rather is a flawed figure who transforms himself in the act of running for president.

The doomed Bobby Kennedy of 1968 was that kind of uplifting candidate for an earlier generation of reporters. For a few short months during the primaries, Kennedy rose above his life of privilege and his reputation for ruthlessness to become the tribune of the poor and the dispossessed of all races.

Ralph Regula, Avuncular Appropriator from Ohio, Dies at 92
Canton-area congressman unapologetic for pushing bipartisanship

Former Rep. Ralph Regula, a long-time congressman from Northeast Ohio, has died at age 92. (CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Former Rep. Ralph Regula, a moderate Republican from Ohio known for his deal-cutting acumen, avuncular manner and skills as an appropriator, died July 19. He was 92.

Born in Beach City, Ohio on Dec. 3, 1924, Regula was first elected to Congress in 1972 after stints in the Ohio state House and Senate. Between then and his retirement after the 2008 elections, he embodied a middle-of-the-road Midwestern approach to politics that valued working across the aisle and taking care of the folks back home.

Word on the Hill: Whipping Votes for Tilly
Emgage, White Ford Bronco, and hip hop

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, right, lobbies Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey on Wednesday to vote for Tilly, a Boston terrier in Tillis’ office, in a cutest dog on the Hill contest. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call’s Bridget Bowman spotted a bipartisan pup moment Wednesday.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., brought seven-month-old Boston terrier Tilly around with him on Wednesday, whipping votes for her in a cutest dog contest, and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., stopped to say hello.

Why Ted Lieu Trolls Donald Trump
California Democrat, a prolific tweeter, sees president as a “bully”

California Rep. Ted Lieu has become one of President Donald Trump's main Twitter antagonists on the Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The first thing you see outside California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu’s Washington office is a piece of paper taped to his nameplate that says, “Alternative Fact Free Zone, Period.”

The sign is meant to poke fun at White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s now infamous pronouncement about the crowd size at President Donald Trump’s inauguration and it is indicative of Lieu’s approach on social media in response to Trump’s prolific and provocative tweets.