Charles E Schumer

GOP spending hawks hang up 9/11 bill; passage still likely
Fiscal hawks, Sens. Lee and Paul, often oppose new spending unless paid for with cuts elsewhere in the federal budget

Comedian Jon Stewart is a strong advocate for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A House-passed bill that would extend a financial lifeline to thousands of victims suffering health problems from the 9/11 terrorist attacks is facing some political resistance in the Senate.

Utah Republican Mike Lee has a hold on the legislation, according to the nation’s top firefighters union. And Kentucky Republican Rand Paul objected Wednesday when New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand sought unanimous consent to bring up the bill for a vote.

Pelosi: Debt ceiling, caps deal possibly on floor next Thursday
To make the deadline, talks would need to wrap up by this Friday night in order to post legislative text sometime over the weekend

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds her weekly news conference on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Pelosi said negotiators on a deal to lift tight discretionary spending caps and raise the debt ceiling aim to have a bill on the House floor next Thursday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said negotiators on a sweeping package that would lift tight discretionary spending caps and raise the debt ceiling are aiming to have a bill on the House floor next Thursday.

Accordingly, the California Democrat said, talks would need to wrap up by this Friday night in order to post legislative text sometime over the weekend, required under the House’s rule that 72 hours’ notice is necessary for lawmakers to read bills before voting on them. “When we have an agreement we’ll write it up, and we have to do all of that by Friday evening,” Pelosi told reporters.

Leahy casts his 16,000th vote, joining an exclusive Senate club
No currently serving senators have cast more career votes

Sen. Patrick Leahy cast his 16,00th vote Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

“Just a little perspective, imagine taking 16,000 pennies and stacking them one on top of the other, they’d surpass the height of the Washington Monument. They’d more than double the height of the Capitol Dome,” said Schumer. “It’s a reminder that a multitude of smaller actions and the accumulation of smaller accomplishments over a lifetime of quiet dedication can amount to a great monument of achievement.”

After accolades and congratulations, Leahy had some words of his own. 

Trump drops census effort, announces new plan to ‘count’ noncitizens
‘The 2020 reelect is a big factor in this battle for Trump,’ GOP strategist says

President Donald Trump speaks at the “Salute to America” ceremony in front of the Lincoln Memorial on July 4. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump lost a battle Thursday when he dropped his bid to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, but by reviving the effort in dramatic fashion he amassed more ammunition for his coming reelection campaign.

During an unrelated social media forum event at the White House, Trump criticized federal judges and the Supreme Court for blocking his attempt to add the question, calling it a “left-wing” effort to erode rights. And he teased a “solution.” Once in the Rose Garden to address the citizenship matter, he declared, “we are not backing down.”

Democrats denounce immigration raids slated for weekend
‘We pray that the president will think about this again,’ Pelosi says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrats and advocacy groups are raising concerns over the latest reports that the Trump administration is planning to ramp up enforcement efforts and conduct immigration raids across the country Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats and advocacy groups are raising concerns over the latest reports that the Trump administration is planning to ramp up its enforcement efforts and conduct immigration raids across the country on Sunday.

“We pray that the president will think about this again,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday.

Harry Reid still has a few punches left
Former Senate majority leader keeps working more than a year after pancreatic cancer diagnosis

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks with CQ Roll Call about Nevada politics, the presidential horse race and how much he hates the Yankees in his office at the Bellagio in Las Vegas on July 2. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

LAS VEGAS — Former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid retired from Congress back at the end of 2016, but the old boxer still has a few punches left for the institution he served in for 30 years, not to mention the New York Yankees. 

The 79-year-old Nevada Democrat met with CQ Roll Call in his office off the casino floor at the Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip last week to talk his health, politics and a little baseball.

Senate Republicans tiptoe around Acosta, largely defer on his future
Labor secretary's role in cutting deal with Jeffrey Epstein

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says he’ll defer to the president on Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s future. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Some Republicans in Congress are looking for more answers about Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s conduct as U.S. attorney, but they’re  not joining calls by Democrats that he step down because of a generous plea deal he cut with accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

One Republican member of the Judiciary Committee said Tuesday that Acosta should explain his handling of the plea agreement with Epstein.

Amid Epstein child sex scandal, Trump doesn’t rule out firing Secretary Acosta
About 2007 plea deal, president says he will ‘look at it very carefully’

Alex Acosta, center, then-nominee for secretary of Labor, talks with Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, after the senators introduced him during his Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions confirmation hearing in March 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday left open the possibility that he might fire Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta over a plea deal he struck last decade with accused child sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein after top congressional Democrats called for his ouster.

Acosta has been an “excellent secretary of Labor,” Trump said. But the president stopped short of saying Acosta would remain a part of his Cabinet as yet another scandal has engulfed his administration.

In shift, Trump touts issue not important to his base: the environment
Environmental groups, Democrats not impressed

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pa., on May 20. On Monday, he touted his own environmental record. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Monday pivoted to an issue to which he has devoted little time and tends not to register much with his political base: the environment.

The president said he gave his Cabinet heads early in his term “clear direction to focus on addressing environmental challenges so we can provide the highest quality of life to all Americans.” At the same time he said his administration brought energy-related business back to the United States after the Obama administration “waged a relentless war on American energy.” Under the Obama administration, the United States continued a long trend of making its way to being a total net energy exporter.

Both parties scored political points in war powers debate
Senate debate was feisty, fierce and principled — and transparently tailored for partisan effect

An amendment offered by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., spiced up debate on the annual Defense bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — The Senate’s debate last week on presidential war powers was substantive, serious and passionate — with the added benefit of enabling each party to score some political points.

The debate pertained to whether and how to hem in President Donald Trump’s authority to attack Iran amid heightened tensions in the Middle East that spiked this month when Iran shot down a U.S. drone and Trump pulled up just short of launching a counterattack.