Elections

Schiff Wonders, is a Tweet an Official Response?
Top Intel House Dem concerned that Devin Nunes still involved in Russia probe

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, is wondering if President Donald Trump’s tweets constitute an official response. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee wants to clarify with White House counsel whether President Donald Trump’s tweets about not having tapes of conversations with former FBI Director James B. Comey constitutes an official statement from the White House.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the committee, said Thursday he believes a request that the panel receive any evidence of tapes by Friday prompted Trump to respond the day before in an effort to avoid the administration from being subpoenaed. 

Trump Has ‘No Idea’ if There Are Comey Tapes
President tweets he did not make recordings of former FBI director

President Donald Trump says he did not tape his conversations with former FBI Director James B. Comey. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

On the day Senate Republicans released their until now secret health care bill, President Donald Trump used Twitter to answer a question hanging over his embattled presidency: He does not have recordings of his conversations with former FBI Director James B. Comey.

The president and his top aides had promised to provide information before week’s end about whether or not he had, as he alluded to in a May 12 tweet, “tapes” of his private talks with Comey. His Twitter disclosure also came one day before a House Intelligence Committee deadline for the White House to hand over any such recordings or information.

Senate Republicans Raise Questions About Health Care Bill
‘My concern is this doesn’t repeal Obamacare,’ Rand Paul says

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy talks with reporters Thursday after a meeting in the Capitol on the Senate Republicans’ health care draft. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A few key Senate Republicans are already raising concerns with the discussion draft of a health care bill unveiled Thursday, which could threaten its passage if the measure comes up for a vote next week.

Multiple senators raised concerns with the draft they were briefed on Thursday morning, although many said they needed to review the proposal in full. Senate GOP leaders can only lose two Republican votes on the measure for it to pass with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote as no Democrats are expected to vote for the measure. GOP leaders hope to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote next week.

United Utah Party Sues to Get on Ballot to Replace Chaffetz
Party is led by Jim Bennett, son of late Sen. Bob Bennett.

Jim Bennett could have appeared on the ballot as unaffiliated, but he said, “I’m not unfailliated and I don’t want to run and pretend that I am.” (United Utah Party)

Jim Bennett, the son of former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett, has a new political party, and he wants it on the ballot in the Utah special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Bennett is suing the state of Utah to get on the ballot with United Utah Party next to his name, after state officials ruled in May that there wouldn't be time to verify the 2,600 signatures gathered to create the new party before the election.

Pelosi Blows Off Calls to Step Down
‘It's not up to them,’ she says of Democrats calling for new leadership

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed calls on Thursday for her to step down. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Describing herself as “worth the trouble,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday blew off calls from some chamber Democrats for her to step down from leadership in the wake of special election losses this year and a failure to win a House majority in four straight national elections. 

“It’s not up to them,” the California Democrat said of members calling for her to let someone else give it a try, before calling herself a “master legislator.”

Trump Says He Hopes Dems Don’t Force Pelosi Out
‘That would be very bad for the Republican Party,’ president tweets

President Donald Trump wants Nancy Pelosi to stay on as House Democratic leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that he hopes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stays as leader of the Democrats.

But the presidential tweet was not well-wishing. Rather, Trump said, “That would be very bad for the Republican Party” if Pelosi were forced out.

Will Georgia’s 6th District Do This All Again in 2018?
Closely watched district likely won’t be as competitive next year

Republican Karen Handel, seen here the day before the election, won the closely watched special election in Georgia’s 6th District on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Despite initial relief among Georgia’s 6th District residents that the barrage of campaign ads has come to an end, the reprieve might not last too long.

“Now we know what New Hampshire looks like,” said Chip Lake, a GOP consultant based in Georgia.

Health Care Politics Serve as Senate Bill Text Prelude
Wednesday’s campaign fodder a preview of Thursday’s discussion draft

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is preparing to release a draft bill to rework the U.S. health insurance system he has assembled in secret. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate procedural wonks huddled Wednesday with the parliamentarian’s office, making their case for whether Republican legislation to rework the health insurance system complies with the chamber’s rules, even as Washington braced for the release of the draft GOP measure. 

Over the next week, though, the debate will play out on both the procedural and political fields.

Opinion: Of Shakespearean Lessons and Art That Makes Us Think
The president doth tweet too much, methinks

The artistic licenses taken by The Public Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” would be appreciated by the bard himself, Curtis writes. (Courtesy Public Theater)

When Barack Obama burst onto the national stage and consciousness with his eloquent speech of unity at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, listeners delighted at its deliberate thoughtfulness — the flip side of the George W. Bush “everyman” style. (And yes, that the polished orator was the child raised without a father and the other had a lineage of political privilege was part of the irony and appeal of the shiny, new package.)

President Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, was, as everyone knows, the opposite of all that — a man of immediate reaction and few, sometimes incoherent and contradictory words, often strung together in 140 characters or less. Those who favored this new style eventually read the former’s quality of reflection as indecision, and compared President Obama, often unfavorably, to “Hamlet.”

Ros-Lehtinen on Retirement: ‘I’ve Got No Complaints’
Florida Republican comments on Congress after softball game

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., says she goes to sleep happy and wakes up happy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s next to last Congressional Women’s Softball Game was bittersweet for the Florida Republican.

“Well, one more year to go and I’m going to miss it a lot,” she said after the members lost 2-1 to the media team.