Agriculture

Six Who Could Succeed Pelosi — Someday
Ouster talk fades, but speculation continues about the next generation of House Democratic leaders

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she’s “very confident” she retains the support of most members of her Democratic Caucus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One week after House Democrats finished 0-for-4 in this special election season, their burst of frustration and pique vented toward Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appears to have fizzled.

The vexation is not going to fade away altogether, however, and neither will the lawmakers’ whispered talk in the cloakrooms or after their nightly fundraisers about which of them has a plausible shot at someday becoming Pelosi’s successor.

Budget Disagreements Bedevil House GOP

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, R-Tenn., continues to look for agreement amid GOP factions on the spending blueprint. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Budget Committee is unlikely to unveil a fiscal 2018 budget resolution until after the Independence Day recess as Chairwoman Diane Black continues to struggle to marry competing interests on using the reconciliation process to cut mandatory spending.

Conservatives are pushing for several hundred billion dollars in mandatory savings cuts through reconciliation, with House Freedom Caucus members saying the Budget Committee’s latest offer of $200 billion in cuts over 10 years is not enough to win their support. Meanwhile, committee chairmen are pushing back on a continually increasing target, saying they need to preserve some of those savings for other legislative negotiations.

House GOP Still Bickering Over Budget
Defense increase, mandatory spending cuts primary areas of disagreement

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent says Republicans should not waste time arguing over topline levels for nondefense discretionary spending since those will likely be raised in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican squabbling over a defense spending increase and mandatory spending cuts continues to put in danger a fiscal 2018 budget resolution, and subsequently, plans to overhaul the tax code.

After a Friday conference meeting to discuss the budget and appropriations process, their second “family conversation” of the week on the topic, the House GOP appeared no closer to consensus on a budget resolution that could get the 218 needed votes on the floor.

GOP Frets About Fiscal Restraint Progress
Conservatives pushing cuts to mandatory spending

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan says Republicans are still discussing options for the budget and appropriations process, even as conservatives are pushing for steep cuts to mandatory spending. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Fiscal restraint has long been part of the Republican Party’s brand, but GOP lawmakers have made little progress on reducing the amount of money the federal government spends. And frankly, they’re sick of it.

That’s the impetus for what has become a serious push by rank-and-file House Republicans to use the budget reconciliation process to enact mandatory spending cuts.

Word on the Hill: Happy Birthday, Dianne Feinstein!
‘Game of Thrones’ and Japanese agriculture

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein arrives at the Capitol for the Senate Democrats’ policy lunch in May. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s Dianne Feinstein’s birthday. The oldest currently serving senator turns 84 today. The California Democrat has been in the Senate since 1992.

Feinstein also happens to share a birthday with other powerful Democrats in Congress: Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts turns 68 today.

Karen Handel Proves Third Time’s the Charm
Georgia Republican heads to Congress after 2 losing bids for higher office

Karen Handel gives her victory speech to supporters in Atlanta on Tuesday, as her husband Steve Handel looks on. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Republican Karen Handel comes to Congress after a 28-year career with a diverse portfolio of public- and private-sector jobs ranging from overseeing elections as Georgia’s secretary of state to heading the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to serving as the vice president of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which supports breast cancer research.

Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff 52 percent to 48 percent in Tuesday’s 6th District special election runoff to replace former Rep. Tom Price, who vacated the seat to become secretary of Health and Human Services.

Newhouse Gets Challenger For Washington Seat
Democratic former news anchor to challenge two-term Republican

Christine Brown says her experience as a TV anchor will serve her well in Congress. (Christine Brown for Congress via Facebook)

Democrat Christine Brown formally announced Wednesday that she will run against two-term Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse for Washington's 4th District congressional seat.

Brown is a former reporter and TV news anchor, which she said would be an asset in her run for office. 

Ad Says Bacon Fights to Keep Base Open — But Nobody’s Trying to Close it
In reality, Offutt Air Force Base is getting a new $1.2 million investment

Nebraska Republican Rep. Don Bacon’s district includes Offutt Air Force Base. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New ads from a Republican super PAC emphasize GOP Rep. Don Bacon's fight to “keep Offutt Air Force Base open.” The problem is, there are no current efforts to close the base or cut its funding.

In fact, the base is currently receiving new investments that include $1.2 billion for a U.S. Strategic Command headquarters.

Commodities Agency Gets Cool Reception on Funding Bump Request

Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., didn't seem to buy the CFTC's argument that it needs more money. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The acting chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission is asking for a funding bump above the White House’s fiscal 2018 proposal, a request being declined by Republican agriculture policymakers despite their endorsing the agency’s message of keeping a balance between regulatory enforcement and vibrant futures and derivatives markets.

California’s David Valadao, the No. 2 Republican on the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, brushed aside J. Christopher Giancarlo’s $281.5 million request for fiscal 2018 at a hearing on Thursday. Valadao, said the panel would focus on President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 request of $250 million.

Schumer Passes on Chance to Star With Kate Mara
Capitol Hill gets cameo in new film ‘Megan Leavey’

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, left, is portrayed by actor Andrew Masset in the new film “Megan Leavey.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo, Ben Rose/Getty Images for Corday Productions)

The old saying that the most dangerous place in Washington is between Sen. Charles E. Schumer and a camera? New evidence suggests otherwise.

“I didn’t want to ruin the film,” the New York Democrat said about turning down an offer to play himself in the new movie “Megan Leavey.”