Bernie Sanders

Vulnerable Senate Democrats Stand Firm in Opposing GOP Health Care Plan
Senators in tight races are making a moral argument against the bill

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III talks with constituents during a town hall meeting in Martinsburg, W.Va., last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Senate Democrats up for re-election in Republican-leaning states are united in opposition to the GOP health care plan.

For them, overhauling the health care system is not just about policy. It’s a matter of right and wrong.

Tough Choices for Democrats: Obstruct or Govern
Angry constituents want members of Congress to step up

Police escort Republican Rep. Tom McClintock through a town hall audience from the Tower Theatre in Roseville, California, on Feb. 4. (Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee via AP file photo)

It’s now well known in Washington that on Feb. 4, police escorted GOP Rep. Tom McClintock, a fifth-term libertarian whose district stretches from the Sacramento suburbs to Yosemite National Park, out of a town hall meeting full of angry constituents in Roseville, Calif., 30 miles northeast of the state capital. The calls of activists opposed to President Donald Trump rained down: “This is what democracy looks like!”

Less than a week later, activists ambushed another Republican representative also starting his ninth year in Congress, Jason Chaffetz, at a town hall in a high school auditorium in suburban Salt Lake City. “Do your job!” they yelled at the Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, demanding that he investigate Trump’s conflicts of interest.

Lesson for Lawmakers: It’s Hard to Take Things Back From Americans
Why repealing Obamacare is turning out to be tougher than expected

Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at an event in the Capitol in 2015 behind letters and petitions containing more than 2 million signatures to be delivered to Capitol Hill offices asking Congress to reject proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin confirmed many Republican fears when he said recently that President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal would not include cuts to Social Security or Medicare. 

Meanwhile, after years of saying that immediate repeal of the 2010 health care law was necessary before it collapsed, GOP leaders are finding their members under pressure to back off unless they have something to replace it with. And in Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday, he emphasized maintaining aspects of the health care law like protection for people with pre-existing conditions, far from the campaign-trail rhetoric of total repeal. 

Nevada’s Hill Sway Sinks While Other Small States Surge
New Roll Call Clout Index reveals big disconnects between population and Capitol influence

With the retirement of former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada congressional delegation has lost much of its legislative leverage, Hawkings writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Harry Reid may have masterminded one of 2016’s biggest statewide Democratic sweeps as he headed toward retirement, but the Nevada congressional delegation he left behind has lost much of its legislative leverage as a result. 

In fact, only two delegations have less collective influence at the Capitol this year than the six lawmakers from the Silver State, the newest Roll Call Clout Index reveals.

Cummings, CBC to Trump: Wrong!
Maryland Democrat has "no idea" why Trump said what he did

Cummings said he is not sure why Trump made up an anecdote about him at a press conference. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., says President Donald Trump is making things up when he said he backed out of a meeting with the president.

Trump, answering a question at his Thursday press conference about whether he would include the Congressional Black Caucus in his agenda for inner cities, went off on a tangent about how he was supposed to meet with Cummings but that the Maryland Democrat decided against it because of politics.

A New DNC Chair: This Time It Really Counts
Democrats have much to overcome

The choice of a permanent successor to Debbie Wasserman Schultz as Democratic National Committee chairman has taken on larger-than-usual significance, Walter Shapiro writes. (Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

BALTIMORE — Watching the Democratic Party’s regional forum here last week, my mind kept flashing back to that nearly century-old Will Rogers crack, “I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat.”

In normal times, the selection of a Democratic chair is one of those topics that primarily interest political reporters in the postelection doldrums and consultants hoping for future contracts. But with the Democrats in their worst shape organizationally since the 1920s, the choice of a permanent successor to Debbie Wasserman Schultz takes on larger-than-usual significance.

A Case of the Mondays: Recent Senate Session Third-Longest Since 1915
Chamber didn't adjourn from noon Monday until Wednesday at 9:07 p.m.

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If this week felt a little long, that’s because it was. When the Senate gaveled out at 9:07 p.m. on Wednesday, it adjourned a session that began Monday at noon. That made it the third-longest legislative session in Senate history since 1915. In the world of arcane Senate procedure, that means the chamber never moved off the legislative business day of Monday, leaving Capitol Hill watchers with that tired, cranky feeling they never could quite shake.

The Senate debated for those 57 hours and 7 minutes several of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees, including the senators’ colleague Jeff Sessions of Alabama for attorney general, and the contentious Education secretary pick, Betsy DeVos, which ended with a history-making tiebreaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence.

Word on the Hill: The New City That Never Sleeps?
Twitter trolling

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and his colleagues seem to be working nonstop. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators seem to never go home these days, and you can find people walking around the Capitol at all hours of the night.

Senate Carryout and the Refectory have opened earlier and remain open later than usual. Capitol Police and workers around the complex have had extended shifts.