Chris Coons

Eight Is Enough: Trump’s Tough Search for Gorsuch Democrats
‘Deep red five’ and others targeted to vote to break coming SCOTUS filibuster

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch testifies on the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump’s first quest for a Hard Eight began long before Neil Gorsuch’s two days as a Senate witness made it as easy as it’s ever going to be for the president to win his first big judicial bet. 

That’s still not going to be that easy.

Tough Choices for Democrats: Obstruct or Govern
Angry constituents want members of Congress to step up

Police escort Republican Rep. Tom McClintock through a town hall audience from the Tower Theatre in Roseville, California, on Feb. 4. (Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee via AP file photo)

It’s now well known in Washington that on Feb. 4, police escorted GOP Rep. Tom McClintock, a fifth-term libertarian whose district stretches from the Sacramento suburbs to Yosemite National Park, out of a town hall meeting full of angry constituents in Roseville, Calif., 30 miles northeast of the state capital. The calls of activists opposed to President Donald Trump rained down: “This is what democracy looks like!”

Less than a week later, activists ambushed another Republican representative also starting his ninth year in Congress, Jason Chaffetz, at a town hall in a high school auditorium in suburban Salt Lake City. “Do your job!” they yelled at the Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, demanding that he investigate Trump’s conflicts of interest.

Democrats Delight in Delaware Special Election
Party hopes turnout boost in legislative race marks beginning of a trend

Democrat Stephanie Hansen’s victory in Delaware last week kept the state Senate in Democratic hands. (Courtesy Hansen for Senate)

From the women’s marches to town hall protests, Democrats are starting to feel emboldened about their prospects in the midterms. A recent special election for the state Senate in Delaware only added to Democratic optimism, but the realities surrounding the race are more sobering.

Democrat Stephanie Hansen, a former New Castle County Council president, scored a 58 percent to 41 percent victory over Republican realtor John Marino last weekend. The win was described as “critical” by Daily Kos Elections, considering control of the Delaware state Senate was hanging in the balance. Democrats were specifically encouraged by a boost in turnout, particularly for a special election in February. 

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.