Chris Coons

Why Democrats Didn’t Go to the Mat on Linda McMahon
Former WWE chief breezed to confirmation

Blumenthal, left, and McMahon, right, previously ran against each other for the Connecticut Senate seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees have sparked fierce fights in the Senate, but Democrats declined to go to the mat on one of his picks: former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon. 

The businesswoman and two-time Republican Senate nominee from Connecticut was easily confirmed Tuesday morning to lead the Small Business Administration, with 81 senators voting in her favor. On the surface, that may seem surprising, given that Democrats have decried Trump’s nominees’ exorbitant wealth and their lack of governing experience.

Trump Open to 'Gang of 8' Immigration Bill, Sort Of
The bill included a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants

Trump apparently told senators he is open to the bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By DEAN DeCHIARO and BRIDGET BOWMAN, CQ ROLL CALL

President Donald Trump might be open to comprehensive immigration legislation — or maybe not.

Democrats in a Dilemma Over Trump's Court Nominee
Senate Democrats will get a lot of advice about how to handle President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court — and it appears they need it.

Judge Neil Gorsuch, Supreme Court Justice nominee, meets with North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in her Hart building office on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There’s pressure from liberal advocacy groups and the party’s energized base for Democrats to pull out all the stops in an attempt to block Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation. Not only do those interests have concerns about his approach to abortion rights and environmental law, but they thirst for revenge for Republicans’ obstruction of former President Barack Obama’s nominee for the same seat.

Some moderate legal and political commentators, meanwhile, have urged Democrats to wait for another potential Supreme Court nominee to launch an all-out confirmation war — a possibility during the Trump administration since two justices are in their 80s. Gorsuch would replace the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, so his elevation from a federal appeals court in Denver wouldn’t shift the ideological balance of the high court anyway.

Congress Reacts to Trump Ban on Refugees
McConnell said tighter vetting is good, but highlighted need for Muslim allies

A passenger from a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight from Jeddah walks by demonstrators at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Sunday. Protests erupted at airports around the country following President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered some skepticism of President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily barring refugees and immigrants from certain countries, but declined to offer a “blanket criticism” of the order.

Trump issued an order Friday evening that banned for 90 days citizens from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Sudan and Yemen. Syria, Iraq and Somalia were among the top five countries of origin for refugees entering the United States in 2016, according to the State Department.

Highlights of Donald Trump’s Inauguration
Bushes arrive for 45th president’s swearing in

President Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts on the West Front of the Capitol on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The inauguration of President Donald Trump was full of both Trump bombast and the ceremonial pomp and circumstance that comes with the swearing in of a new commander in chief.

On one end, many worked to uphold the democratic traditions while Trump sought to drive home the points of his inauguration.

Sessions Will Follow the Law, But He Won’t Lead on It
Job requires someone who is aware of oppression and discrimination

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions’s answers on the first day of his attorney general confirmation hearing on Tuesday were “deeply unsatisfying and basically meaningless,” Allen writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It sounds so good that Jeff Sessions said it over and over again when Democratic senators pressed him on how he would approach the job of attorney general: I will follow the law.

It’s what he said when Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin asked what he would do with “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Ditto when Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked him about gay rights and abortion rights. 

Warren Pushes for Presidential Divestment Bill
Democrats say a blind trust is the only way

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren says it has been the standard for presidents to divest themselves from financial interests, “and our bill makes clear the continuing expectation that President-elect Trump do the same.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced Thursday that Senate Democrats will introduce legislation that would require President-elect Donald Trump to divest from any financial entanglements that could conflict with his presidential duties.

The bill more strictly codifies the U.S. Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, and would force the president, vice president, their spouses and any dependent family members to place their financial assets in a blind trust. 

Word on the Hill: We Want to Party With You
Coons finds an old friend in D.C.

A man dressed as Santa Claus looks out over the National Mall from the Washington Monument during the annual Santarchy gathering on Dec. 10. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As you’re tying up loose ends to finish off this Congress, is your office having a holiday party?

If you’re celebrating with co-workers, whether inside the Capitol or at a spot nearby, send us your photos to be featured on HOH. 

Biden is 'Mr. President' for an Afternoon in the Senate
Senators spoke about the vice president for more than two hours

Vice President Joe Biden stops to speak with reporters following a vote on the 21st Century Cures Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., spent part of Wednesday afternoon being addressed as “Mr. President,” presiding in his role as president of the Senate during a two and a-half-hour tribute to his years of public service.

He later took pains to show he isn’t overly attached to the salutation, dousing speculation he might make a run for the Oval Office in 2020 by telling reporters he had no intention of running.

Emotional Biden Won’t Rule Out 2020 Run
Visited Senate to preside over vote on medical research bill

Vice President Joesph R. Biden Jr., stops to speak with reporters in the Senate Reception Room following the cloture vote on the “21st Century Cures Act” in the Capitol. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By Niels Lesniewski and Bridget Bowman CQ Roll Call

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., said Monday he wouldn’t rule out a 2020 run for president.