Deadline Approaches on Tim Scott’s Low-Income Tax Incentive
Governors have until March 21 to designate distressed communities where investors can get tax breaks

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott greets diners at Dell’z on the Macon, a vegan restaurant opened in 2017 in the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood of South Charleston with nonprofit support. (Courtesy Sen. Tim Scott)

It took three years for Tim Scott to rally his Senate colleagues around a tax plan he thinks will encourage investment in low-income communities.

Now Scott, who was born in a poor community in South Carolina, has until late March to get as many state officials as he can to sign on. He’s doing it with a national “opportunity” tour of low-income areas, including upcoming visits to Florida and Ohio.

Whitehouse Preps 200th Climate Speech, Hoping Senate Will Stir
“It is an indicator of the extent [to] which the fossil fuel industry owns the joint”

Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse speaks with Roll Call in his office on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Every week of every Senate session for the last six years, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has taken to the floor to urge his colleagues to “wake up” to the dire consequences of their inaction on climate change.

But the slumbering chamber keeps hitting the snooze button.

Gary Cohn’s Exit Leaves Major Void in Trump’s Orbit
He will be latest senior official to leave administration

Gary Cohn, White House economic adviser, and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster brief reporters in January. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Updated 10:14 p.m. | The departure of Gary Cohn, Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, instantly creates another key West Wing vacancy and removes a widely respected figure from the president’s ever-changing orbit.

Cohn’s departure is merely the latest from the Trump administration and comes amid a disagreement over the president’s promised steel and aluminum tariffs, which Cohn opposes. The president made clear again on Tuesday he is moving forward over the objections of Cohn, Republican lawmakers, many economists and a list of national security experts.

Analysis: Why the Gun Issue Has Shifted (It’s Not What You Think)
When courting swing voters, gun rights crowd is less part of the equation

Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, seen here on the East Lawn on Feb. 21 with students who were calling for action on gun control, represents the kind of suburban district that was once reliably Republican, but no longer, Rothenberg writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The gun debate has shifted dramatically. Suddenly, it looks as if the issue will benefit Democrats in November, not Republicans.

The reason for the shift doesn’t rest primarily on the intelligence and commitment of the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, although many of them have been articulate and persuasive.

10 Policy Issues to Watch in Omnibus Spending Bill
Policy debates could complicate process

Immigration rights demonstrators hold signs in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington in September to oppose the president’s decision to end the DACA program for “Dreamers.” The omnibus is the next opportunity for lawmakers to extend protections.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A swath of sticky policy debates could entangle an upcoming final spending package for fiscal 2018, as lawmakers aim to attach their pet policy “riders” to the must-pass bill.

Negotiators are aiming to complete work on the massive $1.2 trillion bill and pass it before March 23, when the fifth stopgap funding measure of the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, expires. Before they do, they’ll need a deal on which policy issues, from guns and immigration to Russia’s election meddling, will ride alongside the spending package.

Companies, Nonprofits Put Brakes on Foreign Lobbying Bills
Despite momentum to revamp foreign lobbying disclosures, opposition remains

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s indictment has revived interest in the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of senators on Thursday introduced an overhaul to foreign lobbying rules, while a similar, once fast-moving measure appears temporarily stalled in the House amid pressure from outside interests.

The new bill from Texas Republican John Cornyn and California Democrat Dianne Feinstein indicates that momentum to revamp foreign lobbying disclosures persists as the Russia probe has kept concerns about international influences in the spotlight. But opposition remains.

Democrats Plan to Craft Tax Law Changes, Van Hollen Says
Don't expect a #fullrepeal effort

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said Democrats planned to craft a plan to change the tax law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats plan to craft a plan to rework last year’s overhaul of the tax code,  but don’t expect them to push full repeal.

That was the sense from the leader of the Democrats’ political operation, who focused on support within the caucus for rolling back provisions most beneficial to those in higher income brackets.

‘Crisis Budgeting’ Likely Ahead Despite White House Claim
‘All sorts of riders’ could bring new shutdown threats, experts say

Copies of President Donald Trump’’s 2019 budget request are unpacked by House Budget Committee staff on Monday. Experts say it won’t end Washington’s decade of ‘crisis budgeting.’ (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

White House officials contend the two-year budget deal that became law last week will end Washington’s spending crises and government shutdown threats. But President Donald Trump’s new budget request suggests otherwise.

Trump himself was lukewarm about the spending package he signed last week, which raised defense and domestic spending caps for the remaining seven-and-a-half months of this fiscal year and the next. And the president had little to say about the fiscal 2019 budget blueprint his administration sent to Capitol Hill on Monday. But his top aides painted each one as game-changing documents.

Martha McKenna Returns to DSCC to Lead Independent Expenditure Program
In 2012, she became the first woman to lead a Senate committee’s IE arm

Democratic campaign consultant Martha McKenna, seen here in her Baltimore dining room in 2015, will return to the DSCC as IE director. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic strategist Martha McKenna is returning to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to lead its independent expenditure efforts for 2018.

McKenna held the role for the 2012 cycle, when she was the first woman to head a Senate committee’s IE arm, and again for the 2014 cycle. She served as political director for the DSCC for the 2008 and 2010 cycles. Before that, she spent a decade at EMILY’s List.

The ICE Man Cometh, Prompting a New Look at E-Verify
After high-profile federal raids, Congress is revisiting an employment verification system

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents serve an employment audit notice at a 7-Eleven convenience store on Jan. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Chris Carlson/AP file photo)

When federal agents arrived at nearly 100 7-Eleven locations across the country last month to check the paperwork of store clerks selling Big Gulps and coffee, it was the clearest sign that President Donald Trump is serious about taking on employers who illegally hire undocumented immigrants.

Twenty-one arrests were made during the Jan. 10 raids at convenience stores in 17 states and the District of Columbia in what was the Trump administration’s strongest action yet targeting employers. Thomas Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said at the time that the raids sent “a strong message” to employers that “ICE will enforce the law, and if you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable.”