Charles E Schumer

Weekend Work for the Senate? The Bluff That Won’t Go Away
Upon Wednesday return, a quickly defused musing of weekend work

Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., seen here walking by a nonfunctioning elevator in the basement of the Capitol, and other senators returned from recess on Wednesday and were hit promptly with a threat of weekend work, which fizzled quickly. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators returned to Washington on Wednesday and scarcely had time to head to lunch before their leaders unsheathed the threat of weekend work, an oldie but goodie bluff that was taken off the table before dinner time. 

Returning around noon from a two-week recess that was to stand in for the traditional month-long state work period, the chamber’s official order of business was considering the nominations of two judges to be on the 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals: First A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr., then  Julius Ness Richardson. The plan all along has been to confirm those two South Carolinians, then turn to a two bill appropriations package consisting of the Defense and Labor-HHS measures, at some point. 

Kavanaugh Makes Strategic Stops on His Senate Tour as Chamber Returns
Heitkamp, Donnelly and other swing votes are on his schedule

Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., are among those expected to meet with Trump’s Supreme Court pick. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will ramp up his behind-the-scenes preparation over the next three weeks for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, starting with more one-on-one meetings Wednesday with senators whose votes could prove pivotal.

Kavanaugh, who is more used to asking questions from the dais as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the past 12 years, has been going through mock hearings that last several hours with questions from people assigned to the role of different senators, a White House official said.

Trump Touts New York GOP Senate Candidate at Fundraiser for Vulnerable House Republican
President endorses Rep. Claudia Tenney but shows more excitement for Chele Chiavacci Farley’s long-shot Senate bid

President Donald Trump, here at a rally in Ohio on Aug. 4, offered praise for New York GOP Senate candidate Chele Chiavacci Farley at a fundraiser in Utica, N.Y., on Monday. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump’s visit to upstate New York on Monday was ostensibly to fundraise for Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney. But he appeared to spend more time in his opening remarks touting the long-shot GOP candidate for Senate than the vulnerable congresswoman.

In his remarks, which were opened to the press less than an hour before the start of the fundraiser in Utica, Trump did endorse Tenney, noting that she invited him to visit New York’s 22nd District and he was happy to oblige, given his many friends there. 

Kavanaugh Feared Looking ‘Silly’ on Flip-Flop on Presidential Records
Documents show Supreme Court nominee fretted about position switch while working in White House

Aides attend a news conference with Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman in Dirksen Building on August 2, 2018, with boxes representing roughly 1 million pages of documents to be submitted to the committee on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Long before the current Senate fight over access to presidential records as part of his Supreme Court nomination, Brett Kavanaugh sent an email to his co-workers in the White House counsel’s office about a soon-to-be-published article on access to presidential records that “makes me look very silly.”

Kavanaugh let the office know that Washington Post columnist Al Kamen planned to write a blurb to highlight how he had switched legal positions — now that he was a lawyer in the George W. Bush administration — when it comes to how much power former presidents and their families had to block the release of presidential records.

Feinstein Fighting Back at National Archives Over Kavanaugh Document Trove
Democrats want to see information about Kavanaugh’s time working for Bush

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wrote in a letter that she is “alarmed.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein isn’t happy with the National Archives.

The office is withholding documents related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh from Democrats on the panel.

Lindsey Graham Cheers Trump China Policy After Golf Outing
South Carolina Republican was President Trump’s golf partner Sunday in New Jersey

Sen. Lindsey Graham golfed with President Donald Trump on Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham, fresh off a Sunday golf outing with President Donald Trump, said he stands with the president on getting tough on trade with China.

But the South Carolina Republican told reporters in his home state Monday that he said the best way to combat China’s trade practices like mandatory technology transfers is through U.S. deals with allies in North America and Europe.

White House Slams Schumer, Feinstein for ‘Disingenuously’ Demanding Kavanaugh Docs
Reviewing requested materials could take until October, National Archives says

Aides attend a news conference with Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman in Dirksen Building on August 2, 2018, with boxes representing roughly 1 million pages of documents to be submitted to the committee on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The White House slammed Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Judiciary ranking member Dianne Feinstein for “disingenuously” demanding records about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh that are “irrelevant” to his legal views.

“Despite published reports, the White House’s requests for meetings between Judge Kavanaugh and Senators Schumer and Feinstein remain unanswered after over three weeks,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement.

Photos of the Week: Senate Summer Session Commences, and Breaks
The week of July 30 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., jokes with Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, as he walks down the Senate steps after the last vote of the week in the Senate on Wednesday. Risch was posing for a photo with interns on the steps. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate was at work this week passing a four-bill spending package, which completes the chamber’s 12 appropriations bills for the year. The House got its first week of summer recess under its belt, and by the end of the week, the Senate joined them. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is allowing for a truncated recess, with senators in their home states next week but expected back on the Hill on Wednesday, Aug. 15. 

More Than Just ‘Regular Order’ at Stake in Senate Spending Push
Most vulnerable Senators now have material to take on the campaign trail

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate approval of a $154.2 billion, four-bill spending package this week wasn’t just a banner moment for bipartisanship and the open debate and amendment process senators have been promoting.

There’s also a more practical reason: giving the most vulnerable senators on both sides of the aisle something to crow about on the campaign trail.

Archives Can’t Deliver Reams of Kavanaugh Docs Fast Enough for GOP
Request could top 900,000 pages, lawyer for National Archives and Records Administration says

Senate Republicans stand in front of stacks of boxes at a news conference Thursday in the Dirksen Building to drive home how many pages of documents they’re seeking on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. From left, Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:13 p.m. | The National Archives and Records Administration said Thursday it will need until the end of October to process documents Senate Republicans requested on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which could derail plans for a speedy confirmation process where Democrats had already complained they weren’t seeing enough information.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, in a July 27 letter, had asked to get records by Aug. 15 from the George W. Bush Presidential Library about Kavanaugh’s work in the White House counsel’s office.