Budget

Rick Perry Can Help Launch the Next Great Era in American Energy
Trump‘s Energy secretary pick cuts through bureaucracy

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, President-elect Trump's nominee for Energy secretary, meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during a photo op in the Capitol on Jan. 4. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Texas and energy are synonymous with one another. Most Americans probably think of the Lone Star State as an oil and gas economy with a lot of heft, and for good reason. The industry supports tens of thousands of jobs in the state and helps power one-third of the country.

But what many don’t know is that my state’s energy dominance isn’t confined to oil and gas alone — in recent years, Texas has become a leader in renewables, thanks in large part to former Gov. Rick Perry.  

Confirmation Specualtion Swirls in the Senate
Leaders are negotiating whether Cabinet picks can be swiftly confirmed Friday

Defense Secretary nominee James Mattis could be one of the nominees confirmed on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

<strong>By BRIDGET BOWMAN AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI</strong><br> <strong>CQ Roll Call</strong>

Senators’ focus on President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees continued Wednesday afternoon, with some attention turning toward which nominees might be confirmed on Friday.

Mulvaney: I Paid $15,583 in Back Taxes for Household Employee

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., participates in the Citizens Against Government Waste press conference to release the 2016 Congressional Pig Book report on pork spending on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, the staunch conservative nominated to become President-elect Donald Trump’s budget chief, failed to pay more than $15,000 in federal payroll taxes for a past household employee, he told the Senate Budget Committee in a questionnaire.

“I have come to learn, during the confirmation review process, that I failed to pay FICA and federal and state unemployment taxes on a household employee for the years 2000-2004,” Mulvaney, R-S.C., wrote in a section of the document, obtained by Roll Call on Wednesday. “Upon discovery of that shortfall, I paid the federal taxes.”

Warren and Price Spar Over Medicare Funding

Burwell: Repeal and Delayed Replacement is Repeal

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell testifies during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing in Longworth on the HHS Fiscal Year 2017 budget request, February 10, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said that when the agency Wednesday releases its final report under her watch on marketplace enrollment, the figures will show “a marketplace that millions of folks have come to” rather than a system on a downward trajectory.

However, if Republicans repeal the 2010 health care law without creating an alternative, Burwell told reporters Tuesday that “it is fair to say it puts the marketplace in that kind of negative spiral, in a death spiral.”

Sparring Over Price Takes Center Stage
Has first of two confirmation hearings

Rep. Tom Price, seen here meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, faces his first confirmation hearing Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate chamber might be the quietest place in Washington this week (except for the House chamber).

The Senate’s keeping the floor lights dimmed until inauguration morning on Friday, and the Senate GOP is forgoing the usual weekly media stakeout by the Ohio Clock in the Capitol, citing extra access restrictions this week.

44 Sitting Members of Congress Have Accepted Donations From Trump
Group includes prominent lawmakers from both parties

Arizona Sen. John McCain, whom President-elect Donald Trump once criticized, has received the most donations of any current lawmaker from Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Much has been said about how Vice President-elect Mike Pence, with his 12 years as a congressman, could be incoming President Donald Trump’s bridge to Congress. But Trump has his own ties to the Hill, in the form of nearly two decades worth of political contributions to sitting members of the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle.

Trump has donated to the campaigns of 44 current members of Congress, according to a Roll Call review of Federal Election Commission electronic records that are available since 1997. Nineteen of those members are in the Senate, and 25 are in the House.

Senators to Watch as Trump Era Begins
Rank-and-file senators likely to be key players in 115th Congress

Georgia Sen. David Perdue, left, and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III are both senators to watch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans may have full control in Washington, but the Senate remains the Senate, which means it’s the place where rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans retain the most clout and potential for influence. Here are the key senators from outside of the top echelons of the leadership structures to watch as the 115th Congress gets underway.

The moderate from Maine will be the first person to watch on any contentious votes, particularly on budget reconciliation votes that aim to repeal parts of the 2010 health care law. She has, for instance, been among the small number of Republicans opposing efforts to tie the GOP health care plans to stopping federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

House Republican Women See a Boost in Authority
3 committees, other powerful posts newly under control of 21-person caucus

Texas Rep. Kay Granger is the new chairwoman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which drives the allocation of more than half a trillion dollars annually to the military. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For the past four years, Republicans endured pointed barbs about how the only woman with a House committee gavel was presiding over the fittingly sexist-sounding “housekeeping committee,” the Hill’s nickname for the panel overseeing the Capitol’s internal operations.

That’s not a fair jape anymore. Exactly a century after the arrival of the first female elected to Congress, Jeannette Rankin of Montana, her GOP successors will be wielding more titular power in the Republican-run House than ever. Women will soon be presiding over three standing committees, a record for the party, while a fourth has taken over what’s arguably the chamber’s single most consequential subcommittee, because it takes the lead in apportioning more than half of all discretionary federal spending.

Democrats Use CBO Report to Message Against Obamacare Repeal
Number of House Democrats skipping Trump’s inauguration continues to grow

Pelosi, right, and other Democrats are using a new CBO report to message against Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats gained a useful messaging tool Tuesday in their efforts to thwart the GOP’s plan to dismantle the 2010 health care law, as the Congressional Budget Office released a report saying up to 32 million people would lose their insurance under a previous Republican proposal.

The CBO also estimated that marketplace premiums would nearly double under the GOP repeal legislation President Barack Obama vetoed last year. Republicans are using that prior budget reconciliation bill as a model for legislation they are drafting. Speaker Paul D. Ryan has said the new legislation will include some pieces of replacement policy as well.