Library of Congress

Democrats Tell Trump to Withdraw Clovis Nomination for USDA
Schumer, Schatz cite nominee’s “extremist views” on race, homosexuality

Sam Clovis Jr. is President Donald Trump’s nominee for undersecretary for research, education and economics at the Agriculture Department. (Courtesy Alex Hanson/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)

Senate Democrats said Wednesday they would “vehemently oppose” the appointment of Sam Clovis Jr., President Donald Trump’s nominee for a top scientific post at the Department of Agriculture, potentially dovetailing with unrelated reservations already expressed by a key Senate Republican.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York and Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii cited Clovis’ rejection of climate science and his “extremist views” on race and homosexuality in a press release. They called for the immediate withdrawal of his nomination as USDA undersecretary for research, education and economics.

McConnell Quells Report of Strains With Trump
Kentucky Republican vows teams are working together

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., listens as Senate GOP leaders speak following the vote on the motion to proceed on health care legislation on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday disavowed the notion of increasing tensions between himself and President Donald Trump in response to a report that indicated their relationship had “disintegrated.”

The New York Times reported Tuesday that McConnell and Trump had grown so mutually irritated that neither had spoken to each other since an Aug. 9 phone call that ended with both men fuming.

Podcast: Jeff Flake Feels the Heat
The Big Story, Episode 68

Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake talk before the start of the Senate Foreign Relations hearing to debate the authorization for use of military force in Syria on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Jeff Flake's path to re-election is complicated. The Arizona Republican was potentially vulnerable even before President Donald Trump touched down in Phoenix to criticize him at a campaign style rally.

Now Flake, who has argued for more civility in politics, finds himself in a big fight in both the GOP primary and, if he gets past that, a compressed general election. Roll Call elections analyst Nathan Gonzales discusses the 2018 Senate race in Arizona with Roll Call leadership editor Jason Dick on the Big Story Podcast.

Rating Change: Democratic Prospects Improve in Kansas House Race
Republican incumbent Lynn Jenkins not seeking re-election

In former state House Minority Leader Paul Davis, Democrats have a credible contender in Kansas’ 2nd District, Gonzales writes. (Courtesy Paul Davis Facebook page)

President Donald Trump won Kansas’ 2nd District by nearly 20 points last fall, but Democrats have Republicans on the defensive in the open seat race.

GOP Rep. Lynn Jenkins is not seeking re-election to a sixth term in the eastern Kansas district, retiring from public office altogether. Republicans normally wouldn’t have to worry about the seat falling into Democratic hands. Trump topped Hillary Clinton last year, 56 percent to 37 percent, according to calculations by Daily Kos Elections, while Jenkins won 61 percent to 33 percent.

GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick Can’t Escape Trump Back Home
What happens when a Republican in swing district faces his constituents

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., talks with guests during a town hall meeting in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BENSALEM TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was not surprised by the first question at his town hall meeting here Tuesday night.

“I’m shocked to get a Donald Trump question tonight,” the Pennsylvania Republican joked, eliciting laughter from the crowd gathered in the Bensalem Township’s Council meeting room prior to the president’s speech in Phoenix

Democrats Warn Trump Against Shutdown, Remain Opposed to Border Wall
Threat 'is the polar opposite of leadership,' House Appropriations Committee ranking member says

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are warning President Donald Trump not to shut down the government. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Threatening to shut down the government is the “polar opposite of leadership” and it “won’t accomplish anything” other than “chaos,” congressional Democrats warned President Donald Trump on Wednesday. 

During a rally in Arizona Tuesday night, Trump said he is willing to risk a shutdown to secure funding for a border wall. 

Analysis: Why Won't Trump Discuss Troop Numbers?

President Donald Trump has delegated much of the troop deployment details on Afghanistan to Defense Secretary James Mattis and the Pentagon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a speech to the nation on Aug. 21, President Donald Trump issued a clarion call on Afghanistan, effectively asking Americans to indefinitely extend their longest war at untold additional cost in lives and money. But he declined to say how many of America’s sons and daughters he plans to deploy there.

Trump did not quantify the military deployment even though it has been widely reported that he has already authorized the Pentagon to augment its nearly 8,500 strong force in Afghanistan with almost 4,000 additional service members. The first of the extra troops could arrive within days or weeks, and those numbers could grow depending on conditions in Afghanistan, officials have said.

7 Ways Trump’s Arizona Speech Complicates Congress’ Fall Agenda
President threatens a shutdown, criticizes senators and their chamber’s rules

President Donald and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, pictured shaking hands after Trump's address to Congress in February, are at odds over willingness to shutdown the government and change the Senate's filibuster rules. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Short on legislative accomplishments so far in his tenure, President Donald Trump went out of his way to complicate Congress’ fall legislative agenda during a campaign-style rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday.

Here are seven ways in just that one speech that Trump said things that don’t bode well for his ability to work with Congress:

Word on the Hill: Kickstart an Obama-Biden Sci-Fi Sitcom
What some former members are up to

Graphic courtesy of creator Adam Reid via Kickstarter.

“Barry and Joe: The Animated Series” is actually being created and has an executive producer — local activist and communications consultant Erick Sanchez. He was put in the position on Monday to get the ball rolling on production.

The series, created and directed by Adam Reid, is an animated science fiction sitcom in which former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. are “bromancing the multiverse to save us from ourselves.”

Senate Health Panel Will Hear From Governors, Insurance Leaders

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and ranking member Patty Murray, D-Wash., will hear from a range of policy figures in constructing a bill to stabilize the health insurance markets. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate’s key health care panel announced plans to hear from governors and state insurance commissioners early next month about ways to rein in rising prices for medical insurance purchased directly by consumers.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday set a hearing Sept. 6 with state insurance commissioners and another on Sept. 7 with governors. The committee, which has not yet said who will appear at the hearings, is also expected to announce additional sessions.