government shutdown

GOP Unified Control Still Means Divided Congress
Flameout of health care reveals dissension, but some accomplishments obscured

Neil Gorsuch's confirmation stands out as a big achievement for the GOP Congress. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The demise of the Republican effort to repeal the 2010 health care law put an exclamation point on what has become obvious in Washington: The GOP, for all its enthusiasm following its election win last year, is too riven with dissension to meet ambitious goals it set out for itself.

And President Donald Trump seems to have oversold his skills as a deal-maker.

GOP Leaders Want Vote on National Security Appropriations Bills
Move suggests lack of support to pass full omnibus

Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., wanted the House to pass an omnibus spending bill before the August recess, but GOP leaders are pushing for a vote just on a package of national security-related appropriations bills. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

House GOP leaders on Tuesday announced a plan to have the chamber vote next week on a package of national security-related appropriations bills.

The announcement comes as a blow to several GOP lawmakers who had been pushing for the House to pass a 12-bill omnibus spending bill before the August recess.

K Street Ups Pressure for Congress to Raise Debt Limit
“We’d like this to be resolved quickly”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has urged Congress to address the debt limit soon, but lawmakers have not yet set a schedule, prompting concern among business and financial services groups. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Wall Street and K Street haven’t hit the panic button just yet, but lobbyists for financial services and business groups are increasing their pressure on lawmakers to swiftly extend the debt limit and fund the government without drama.

Their main focus is on the debt limit, which the Trump administration has asked Congress to increase by this fall. Without an increase — or suspension — lawmakers would jeopardize the nation’s ability to pay its bills. Even just debating the debt limit can cause global stock market losses, and an actual breach of the nation’s borrowing authority carries potentially catastrophic consequences.

Capitol Police Officer Paints to Heal
Federico Ruiz searched for survivors in the Pentagon on 9/11

Capitol Police officer Federico A. Ruiz uses his garage as an art studio. (Screenshot)

Sitting in his garage just a few miles from the Capitol, where his job is to protect the building and those in it, Federico A. Ruiz is surrounded by splatters, brushes stiff with dried paint, and the rattling of a fan mounted on the wall.

The Capitol Police officer is an artist when he comes home and his garage is his studio. Painting is a way for him to cope with his memories from the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

Brooks in Senate Ad: Build the Wall or Face Shutdown
Alabama congressman running for Senate promises to read Bible on Senate floor ‘until the wall is funded’

Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, a candidate in the special election for the open Senate seat in Alabama, casts himself as an opponent of establishment Republicans. (Mo Brooks for Senate via YouTube)

Rep. Mo Brooks’ new TV ad is titled “Build the Wall,” and he uses it to cast himself as a Trump ally and opponent of “establishment Republicans” who stand in his way, a sentiment that could determine who wins the Alabama Senate special election.

In the ad, Brooks says he will “fight every spending bill that doesn’t fund that wall,” if elected to the Senate, and he promises to “read the King James Bible” on the Senate floor to filibuster any such legislation.

Budget Cuts Would Sting in Trump Country
Republicans shy away from proposed cuts to popular programs

Rep. Claudia Tenney, seen here with Georgia Sen. David Perdue and President Donald Trump in April, opposes certain cuts to social services programs vital to her upstate New York district. (Rex Features via AP Images)

CHITTENANGO, N.Y. — It would make sense that the hometown of L. Frank Baum, the creator of the Wizard of Oz, would be in a county that voted for President Donald Trump.

Trump easily carried this part of upstate New York, which contains places just as rural as Dorothy Gale’s Kansas. But despite the nearby Yellow Brick Road Casino in a converted strip mall, there’s no Emerald City. So Republican members of Congress who represent these parts have a particular challenge and have to fight for federal dollars for their districts.

Recess Starts With No Timeline for Addressing Debt Limit

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, is looking to vote on a debt limit bill before the August recess. He might not be on the same page as his House GOP colleagues. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House and Senate Republican leaders differ on their approach to the looming debt limit, as a key Senate Republican appears ready to vote on a measure before the August recess, but the House may not be on board with that timeline.

Ahead of the two chambers departing for the Independence Day recess, Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn of Texas said on Thursday he wants to vote during the three weeks in July Congress is in session on a debt limit bill that includes changes in future spending — despite ongoing work on a GOP health care bill.

Travelers From Six Muslim Countries Drop Without Travel Ban
U.S. also sees marked decline in admission of Syrian refugees

Demonstrators rally in Los Angeles on Feb. 4 in support of a judge’s restraining order against President Donald Trump’s first temporary travel ban. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

Even though President Donald Trump’s travel ban has run afoul of the courts, the number of visas issued to people from six majority-Muslim countries targeted by the executive order appears to be slowing down dramatically.

Separately, refugee resettlement in the U.S. from February through May has also plummeted, according to CQ Roll Call’s review of data released by the State Department.

GOP Group Ponders Debt Limit/Omnibus Combo
Republican Study Committee aims for votes before August recess

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., chairman of the Republican Study Committee, says his group would like to combine a debt ceiling increase with an omnibus appropriations bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With Congress needing to both prevent a government shutdown and a debt default in a matter of a few short months, the Republican Study Committee on Wednesday discussed the idea of combining a debt limit increase and an omnibus appropriations bill into one fiscal package to be voted on before Aug. 1.

“That’s what we’re shooting for,” RSC Chairman Mark Walker told Roll Call.

White House to Congress: Address Health Care, Debt Ceiling by August
Aide: Trump would take tax cuts only if more sweeping measure not possible

President Donald Trump has signaled he wants the health care and debt ceiling debates over before lawmakers' August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

White House officials are pressing lawmakers to pass bills that would replace the 2010 health care law and raise the debt ceiling before they leave for their August break, clearing the fall months for tax overhaul and government spending fights.

President Donald Trump intends to discuss Republicans’ “path forward” on a health care overhaul and his proposed tax package during a Tuesday afternoon meeting at the executive mansion, said Marc Short, White House legislative affairs director.