Abortion

Obama and Trump: Two Presidents, Same God
Mixing politics and religion is a longtime tradition

If some faith leaders see the hand of God in Donald Trump’s victory last November, how do they explain President Barack Obama’s two previous, more decisive wins? Mary C. Curtis asks. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

If Franklin Graham did not actually endorse Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency, he stepped right up to the line — the one separating church and state. Graham was absolutely giddy post-election, when he gave credit to a force greater than the electorate. The evangelist and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse credited the “God factor” for Trump’s poll-defying win.

You might be seeing a lot of Graham, starting at Friday’s inauguration where he is one of the faith leaders invited to offer a prayer for America’s new president. It marks a resurgence of a familiar name when it comes to mingling politics and religion, and a continuation of a tradition in a country that doesn’t have an official faith but celebrates a National Day of Prayer and seems most comfortable with leaders who praise a higher power.

Sex Worker Solidarity Sparks More Controversy for Women’s March
Phrase ‘We stand in solidarity with sex workers’ rights movement‘ removed then reappears in platform

Just days before the Women's March on Washington, organizers are facing questions about their stance on the sex workers’ rights movement after  a supportive statement disappeared from their platform and then reappeared after criticism.

It’s not the first issue the march has faced in its short, tumultuous planning period. Controversy first erupted over the name “Million Woman March,” which some felt exploited a march of African-American women in 1997 and the fact that organizers were all white. Since plans to begin at the Lincoln Memorial fell apart, marchers will now gather at the Capitol at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning and march down Independence Avenue.

Democratic Senate Incumbents Could Withstand Rust Belt Shift
An early look at the re-election prospects of 4 senators from Trump states

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown will be up for re-election in 2018 in Ohio, where Republicans Donald Trump and Sen. Rob Portman won handily last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the final stretch of the 2016 campaign, Paul Maslin could sense that former Sen. Russ Feingold was in trouble, as the Wisconsin Democrat tried to win back his Senate seat from Republican incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson.

“I could feel Johnson found a message groove and Russ was doing sort of a victory lap,” said Maslin, a Democratic consultant in the Badger State, who was doing work for the independent expenditure arm of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Booker, Lewis Challenge Sessions’ Commitment to Civil Rights
Say AG nominee has no track record of championing cause

From left, Louisiana Rep. Cedric L. Richmond of Louisiana, Georgia Rep. John Lewis and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker attend the second day of Senate Judiciary confirmation hearings for Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Three black lawmakers forcefully testified against Sen. Jeff Sessions becoming attorney general on Wednesday, closing out a confirmation hearing in which Democrats aired concerns about the Alabama Republican’s civil rights record.

Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, expressed concern with Sessions’ commitment to enforcing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, passed in the wake of a violent law enforcement reaction against Lewis and others marching from Selma to Montgomery. Lewis participated in that Alabama march known as “Bloody Sunday.”

Sessions Will Follow the Law, But He Won’t Lead on It
Job requires someone who is aware of oppression and discrimination

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions’s answers on the first day of his attorney general confirmation hearing on Tuesday were “deeply unsatisfying and basically meaningless,” Allen writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It sounds so good that Jeff Sessions said it over and over again when Democratic senators pressed him on how he would approach the job of attorney general: I will follow the law.

It’s what he said when Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin asked what he would do with “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Ditto when Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked him about gay rights and abortion rights. 

AG Pick Sessions Defends Record at Contentious Hearing
Alabama Republican argues he’s strong on civil rights

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, is sworn in on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:42 p.m. | Sen. Jeff Sessions made his case to be attorney general Tuesday, in a confirmation hearing punctuated by racially charged protesters and warnings from Democrats that minorities fear he wouldn’t protect their rights as the Justice Department leader.

The Alabama Republican decried accusations of racial insensitivity that sunk his 1986 nomination to be a federal judge as “damnably false,” and appealed to his colleagues on the Judiciary Committee to study his record of 20 years working beside them in the Senate.

Is There Space for a Republican EMILY’s List?
Litmus tests might not work the same way on the right

Alabama’s Martha Roby is one of only 26 Republican women in Congress. Some party members wonder if they need their own version of EMILY’s List to increase that number. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As recently as the second Reagan administration, Republicans had more women in Congress than Democrats. Then EMILY’s List took hold.

The political action committee, founded in 1984, dedicated itself to electing Democratic women who support abortion rights, becoming an influential force in primaries even when it clashed with the wishes of party leaders. Now, of the 104 women in the 115th Congress, 75 percent are Democrats.

GOP Poised to Undo Obama ‘Midnight Regulations’
Targeted rules include overtime, methane emissions and business loan debt

Republicans are targeting a host of federal regulations issued under President Barack Obama when the new GOP administration takes over in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional Republicans are poised to apply an infrequently used legislative gambit to formally disapprove of — and likely roll back — a host of federal regulations adopted since June on President Barack Obama’s watch. 

Rules dealing with disparate issues from overtime pay to federal funding for Planned Parenthood are being touted as targets for elimination under the Congressional Review Act, a vestige of the House GOP’s “Contract With America” that allows lawmakers to use a simple majority vote to rescind a regulation within 60 legislative days of publication. The law has only been successfully used once in its 20-year history.

How Tomi Lahren Could Get Elected to Congress
Open-seat opportunity in home state of the right’s emerging media star

With South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem leaving the House in 2018, conservative activist Tomi Lahren, center, could run to replace her. (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons file photo CC BY-SA 2.0)

With millions of video views and hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, young Tomi Lahren is leaving her mark on the political world from her new media perch on the right. Could Congress be next?

Lahren is no stranger to Republicans, conservatives, and Donald Trump supporters. Her “Final Thoughts” segment chastising San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for protesting racial injustice by sitting during the national anthem has been viewed more than 66 million times on Facebook. 

CQ Roll Call Survey: Democratic Staffers Prefer Tim Ryan Over Pelosi
Election results left a ’lot of shock and anger’

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan speaks with the media on Capitol Hill after losing the race for Democratic leader to Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If Democratic staffers, instead of their bosses, had voted in last month’s House caucus leadership elections, Tim Ryan of Ohio would be the new minority leader.

That, at least, was the result in CQ Roll Call’s latest Capitol Insiders Survey of congressional staff. Democratic respondents preferred Ryan to the actual winner, Nancy Pelosi of California, by a margin of 40 percent to 35 percent. Sixteen percent said they didn’t know, while 9 percent suggested other names, including Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the longtime Democratic whip, or Joseph Crowley of New York, the incoming caucus chairman.