Arkansas

Trump’s Fluid Views on Policy Drive Headaches in Senate
Health care flip-flop latest in a series of policy shifts by the president

President Donald Trump, seen here Monday at the White House Rose Garden with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has rankled senators with his shifting policy views. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray went to bed Tuesday evening thinking they had hit a home run. The duo at the helm of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee did the seemingly impossible and reached bipartisan consensus on a bill to help stabilize the insurance markets that had the support of President Donald Trump.

Then came the tweet.

Contrary to Rhetoric, Military Mishaps Have Been Declining
The Pentagon’s deadly accident-filled summer bucked a larger trend

The destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a chemical tanker in August, one of several deadly military accidents this year. Such incidents are on the decline, according to a Roll Call analysis. (Courtesy U.S. Navy)

Hawks in Congress have said military mishaps are up because the defense budget is down, but the data says otherwise.

The summer of 2017 saw a rash of fatal military accidents — ships colliding at sea, planes crashing and vehicles catching fire — that were deadlier than attacks from America’s enemies.

Rob Woodall Doubles Down in Budget Chairmanship Race
Georgia Republican vying with two others for gavel

Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall hopes to succeed Tennessee Rep. Diane Black as chairman of the House Budget Committee. (Al Drago/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Rob Woodall is all-in in the race to succeed House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, if and when she steps down.

“Absolutely,” the George Republican said when asked if he will compete for the top spot when Black leaves the chairmanship. Black is running for governor of Tennessee next year, though she has not yet said when she plans to leave her position at the Budget panel.

House Appoints Defense Bill Negotiators As Space Corps Fight Looms
F-35 fighter jets will be another point of contention as the chambers confer

The Senate so vigorously opposes the Space Corps proposal that it adopted by unanimous consent an amendment — offered by Sens. Bill Nelson and Tom Cotton, shown here in 2016 — to the Senate NDAA that would block it. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

The House on Thursday agreed by unanimous consent to begin negotiations with the Senate on the fiscal 2018 Defense authorization bill. Throughout the coming weeks, a panel of conferees from each chamber will negotiate a final version of the legislation before Congress votes to send the bill to the president.

The House will send to the conference 46 Republicans and 27 Democrats. Eighteen Republicans and 13 Democrats will represent the Armed Services Committee in the negotiations.

Capitol Police Score Early, Beat Members’ Team in Congressional Football Game
Win fourth straight game, 7-0

The Guards’ Chad Nieto, center, tries to catch a pass in the end zone as California Rep. Pete Aguilar, left, and Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin break it up during the Congressional Football Game for Charity on Wednesday night. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Even Santana Moss and Herschel Walker couldn’t help the members’ team. The Capitol Police won the Congressional Football Game for Charity, 7-0, their fourth consecutive win.

The members’ team — the Mean Machine — was made up of a bipartisan group of congressmen and congresswomen plus former NFL players, and the Capitol Police team was called the Guards, a reference to the classic football film “The Longest Yard.”

Want to Know How to Curb Gun Violence? Don’t Ask Congress
Majorities have blocked gun-related research for decades

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords turns to shake her fist at the Capitol as her husband, retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, looks on during a news conference after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

The mass shooting in Las Vegas last week — like every high-profile mass shooting — raised a host of questions about why such horrors happen and how they can be prevented. But don’t look to Congress to help provide the answers.

Could gunman Stephen Paddock have been stopped while he was stockpiling dozens of weapons ahead of his rampage if law enforcement officials had tracked and flagged suspicious gun purchasing patterns?

New Foreign Surveillance Bill Would Boost Privacy Protections
Top House Judiciary leaders reached decision last week

House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte and ranking member John Conyers Jr. introduced the so-called USA Liberty Act on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte and the panel’s top Democrat Rep. John Conyers Jr. reached agreement last week on a new bill that would tighten privacy protections in a surveillance law considered vital by U.S. intelligence agencies.

The bill’s attempt to shore up civil liberties runs contrary to what the White House and intelligence agencies have sought, and is likely to face opposition from a group of national security hawks in the Senate who back the Trump administration position.

Members Prepare to Take On Capitol Police in Football
Capitol Police have won the last three Congressional Football Games

Illinois Rep. Robert J. Dold looks for an open man to pass the ball as former NFL player Ken Harvey blocks the Guards’ Irvin Washington during the 2015 Congressional Football Game for Charity. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress has been celebrating the Capitol Police for keeping them safe, especially after two officers took down a gunman in June at the Republicans’ baseball practice.

Members will get another chance at an upcoming charity sporting contest for Capitol Police officers. 

This Senator Has Gotten Two Audiences with Trump in Four Days
Monday dinner focused on border security, immigration system changes

Sen. Tom Cotton boards a shuttle bus that transported senators to the White House on April 26. Cotton has met with President Donald Trump at the executive mansion twice this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One lawmaker who could be crucial to Donald Trump’s goal of signing an immigration overhaul bill into law met twice with the president at the White House this week. But it wasn’t Speaker Paul D. Ryan or Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, or the chairmen of the House or Senate Homeland Security or Judiciary committees.

It wasn’t even Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, perhaps the senior-most Republican senator with much at stake from an immigration bill since he represents Texas and its 1,240-mile border with Mexico. Rather, it was the relatively junior GOP senator who hails from thousands of miles from the border: Arkansas’s Tom Cotton.

DCCC’s First National TV Buy Spotlights Paul Ryan, not Donald Trump
DCCC attacks Ryan and “establishment Republicans” for health care repeal efforts

The DCCC launched a six-figure cable TV and radio buy going after Ryan and “establishment Republicans” on health care. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched its first national TV buy on cable Thursday morning. 

The TV ad, which will run on MSNBC and CNN for one week, is part of a six-figure buy that also includes radio ads running in 11 districts for three weeks.