Financial Services

With Tax Deal in the Works, Questions Turn to Timing
Deal could be announced as early as Tuesday, with votes next week

Capitol Hill was relatively calm Tuesday morning, as Washington braced for the results of the Alabama Senate election and timing on a vote on tax overhaul and spending is in flux. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Hill was relatively calm Tuesday morning, even as the timing on two big-ticket items — voting on a tax overhaul package and what to do about year-end spending questions — hung in the air unresolved and the nation remained fixated on Alabama’s special Senate election, where voting is underway.

House Republicans meeting as a conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters said there was no specific timeline for voting on the tax package, as the formal conference committee is set to meet, perhaps for the only time, Wednesday.

With Levin Leaving, Dan Kildee Seeks Ways and Means Spot
Third-term Michigan Democrat spent the weekend lobbying leadership

Rep. Dan Kildee, second from left, is angling for a spot on the Ways and Means Committee now that fellow Michigan Rep. Sander M. Levin, second from right, isn’t seeking re-election in 2018. Also pictured, from left, Virginia Rep. Robert C. Scott and Michigan Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With longtime House Ways and Means member Sander M. Levin announcing Saturday he won’t run for re-election next year, his fellow Michigan Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee spent the weekend lobbying leadership for a spot on the influential panel.

Kildee sent letters to each member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which is responsible for making committee assignments after the midterms.

Opinion: Ensuring We All Count
If we don’t act fast, many people will be uncounted in 2020 census

From left, Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves, acting Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in December 2010 at an event announcing the U.S. population. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution, they knew that for our country to be the true democratic republic they envisioned, it must reflect the ever-changing makeup of its people.

To meet this need, they enshrined, in Article I, Section 2, the decennial census. This exercise stands alone as the only constitutionally mandated task of the federal government, required by the framers to be renewed every ten years, to make sure each and every person living in the United States is counted.

The Hottest Holiday Parties on the Hill
Are you on the list?

The holidays are party time in D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s the holiday season, which in D.C. means parties for politicos, hosted by nearly every lobbying shop and communications firm in town. 

Despite the busy days of legislating ahead, the party starts this week and goes through the end of the year.

Senate’s Defense Spending Bill Shows Need for Budget Deal
Defense appropriators would bust budget caps

Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick J. Leahy is highlighting the urgency of a bipartisan budget agreement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s decision to release the four remaining fiscal 2018 spending bills last week — including a cap-busting defense measure — underscores the urgency to get a deal on the bigger picture.

If the Senate defense bill became law, arbitrary automatic cuts would take place in the middle of January, as Democratic Sens. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois pointed out in a Nov. 21 statement.

Republican Jeb Hensarling Not Running for Re-Election
Texas congressman says he has stayed far longer than originally planned

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling will not seek a ninth term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling said Tuesday he will not run for re-election next year.

“Today I am announcing that I will not seek reelection to the US Congress in 2018. Although service in Congress remains the greatest privilege of my life, I never intended to make it a lifetime commitment, and I have already stayed far longer than I had originally planned,” the eight-term congressman said in a statement.

Word on the Hill: Trump and the Awkward Buffet
Breast cancer info, a McCain anniversary, and the devilishly handsome Angus King

Samantha Yeider of the Senate Press Gallery, clears a path for Minnesota Sen. Al Franken in the basement of the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s been a hectic week between budget talks, President Donald Trump’s trip to Capitol Hill and Republican senators taking shots at their president.

Then imagine Trump having to fend for himself in a buffet line in front of a roomful of senators, one of whom the president had engaged in a war of words with that morning.

Media Interference Talk Dominates FCC Head’s Appearance
Pai: ‘Federal government has no business intervening in the news’

FCC head Ajit Pai, shown here in September, spoke Wednesday before the Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai vowed to pull government “out of the newsroom” by changing media ownership rules. As he appeared before a House panel Wednesday, Pai proposed to end longstanding restrictions on ownership of daily newspapers and broadcast radio or television stations serving the same community. 

Pai also deflected criticism from Democrats that he did not offer a more forceful defense of NBC and other networks against social media jabs by President Donald Trump. The president raised the prospect of revoking NBC’s license after one of its news reports early this month.

Steny Hoyer Really Wants to Talk About Scott Garrett
Minority whip asks Banking Committee for chance to testify against former colleague

House Minority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., really doesn’t want former Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., to run the Export-Import Bank. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There is apparently no love lost between House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., and his former House colleague, Republican Scott Garrett of New Jersey.

On Wednesday, Hoyer told the Senate Banking Committee he wants to testify against Garrett’s nomination to head the Export-Import Bank, saying Garrett is “precisely the wrong pick to lead the” bank, writing in a letter to the panel that Garrett “led efforts to block its reauthorization and played a key role in causing a lapse in its charter.”

Garrett’s Jabs at Export-Import Bank May Stop His Bid to Lead It
The former N.J. congressman once voted against reauthorizing the bank

Former New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett, center — shown here at a 2015 House Financial Services hearing — has been nominated to head the Export-Import Bank, an organization he once said “embodies the corruption of the free enterprise system.” (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett faces an unusual combination of Democrats and business groups opposing his nomination to lead the Export-Import Bank as the Senate hearing on his confirmation approaches.

Garrett, who lost his bid for re-election in 2016, is part of the wing of the Republican Party that sees the Ex-Im Bank’s loan, insurance and guarantee programs as corporate welfare that mainly benefits large companies. He was a founding member of the hard-line conservative House Freedom Caucus.