government shutdown

The Border Wall Funding Fight Could Lead to Another CR, or Partial Federal Shutdown
Penn Ave Report — connecting Congress and the White House at the intersection of politics

Women Won at the Ballot in Record Numbers. Here’s What’s Next
4 things we’ll watch as the ‘Year of the Woman’ matures

Virginia Democrat Jennifer Wexton watches election returns as campaign staffers yell out returns in the campaign's war room on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Historic wins for women in the midterm elections drove home the interpretation that 2018 was, indeed, the “Year of the Woman.” But it remains unknown whether women’s political capital will continue to rise.

The 101 women and counting who won House races face numerous obstacles to standing out in a divided Congress where seniority often plays more of a role in determining political power than success at the ballot box or legislative ingenuity.

Cruz Defeats O’Rourke, Dashing Democratic Hopes in Texas
Democrat had shattered fundraising records in race that captured national attention

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz defeated Democrat Beto O’Rourke on Tuesday night. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won a second term Tuesday night, beating back a spirited challenge from Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke in one of the most closely watched contests of the cycle.

Cruz’s victory comes after O’Rourke had shattered fundraising records in his high-profile challenge, and could dampen Democratic hopes that the Lonestar State is shifting in their direction.

Republicans Poised to Stand by Trump, Win or Lose
No matter the outcome in November, those who have backed Trump will continue to do so

No matter what happens in the midterms, most Republicans will continue to stand behind their man for the second half of his term, most in the party predict. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

In 2006, the reckoning finally came for Republicans. After 12 years in power in the House, scandal after scandal brought the party down — Tom DeLay, the powerful majority whip from Texas, quit after being indicted, and Rep. Mark Foley of Florida resigned following a scandal involving underage congressional pages. The Iraq War was looking lost. And the president was a drag on everyone. Republicans lost 30 seats in the House, six in the Senate.

Almost immediately after the election, Republicans started eating their own.

GOP Congressman Floats Passing Border Wall Funding Through Budget Reconciliation
Process would allow for simple-majority vote in the Senate, but both chambers would need to pass a budget first

Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., says his legislation aims to prevent Democrats from continuing to “block our efforts to build a wall along our southern border.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alabama Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne announced Monday that he has introduced legislation to use the budget reconciliation process to provide for up to $25 billion for President Donald Trump to construct his border wall before the end of his first term.

The bill, co-sponsored by 15 House Republicans, would allow the GOP to pass wall funding with a simple-majority vote in the Senate by using the reconciliation process — if the measure can withstand a “Byrd bath,” the scrubbing of the bill for violations of the Senate’s reconciliation rules. 

Nuclear Plants Go Belly Up in Democratic Districts. Then What?
Most declining plants are in blue areas, and Congress is taking notice

There wasn’t much celebration when the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant shut its doors — just worry over how to decommission. (Michael Springer/Getty Images file photo)

In Vermont, the relationship between the town of Vernon and its nuclear power plant, known as the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station, had always been contentious.

From 1970s-era antinuclear protests to more recent legal battles over a proposal to extend the plant’s license, Vermont residents and their state legislature kept a skeptical eye on the power source, which at one point provided some 70 percent of the state’s electricity.

Hurricanes Stir Up Toxic Legacy of Coal-Fired Power Plants
Trump administration has worked to roll back federal coal ash regulations

A coal ash pond at Buck Steam Station in Salisbury, N.C. (Courtesy Les Stone/Greenpeace)

After Hurricane Florence deposited its last drop of rain on the Carolinas, the worst of the flooding was still to come as water made its way down mountainsides, through gullies and into creeks and accumulated in the Cape Fear River.

Spilling over the river’s banks, the water reached and breached a cooling lake used by Charlotte-based Duke Energy’s L.V. Sutton power plant in Wilmington, North Carolina. From there it flowed over one of the three surrounding coal ash disposal sites, prompting fears that the cancer-causing byproduct of bygone coal operations could be flowing through a major groundwater system.

Failures of Congress Keep Nuclear Waste Scattered Across the US
Government’s liability is $34 billion and growing as communities wait and wait some more

A sign warns away trespassers near the shuttered Zion Nuclear Power Station along the shore of Lake Michigan. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

In Zion, Illinois, 257 acres of prime lakefront property about 40 miles northwest of Chicago should be at the center of a redevelopment plan to revive a struggling community caught in the aftermath of a closed nuclear plant, says its mayor, Al Hill.

But after decades of federal inaction on a comprehensive strategy to move the nation’s high-level radioactive waste from some 121 sites across the country, Zion and its local officials are coming to the same stark realization as many other communities with shuttered or aging plants: The federal government’s foot-dragging on nuclear waste policy may seem as long as the radioactive materials’ 10,000-year half-life.

McCarthy Bill Would Fund Border Wall, Boost Speaker Bid
Legislation not likely to move this year, but raises issue profile

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has introduced legislation to fund a border wall, something that could boost his bid to lead the House Republican Conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has introduced legislation that includes more than $23 billion for President Donald Trump’s border security agenda and numerous enforcement provisions aimed at cracking down on sanctuary cities and undocumented criminals, a proposal that could boost his bid to lead the House GOP after next month’s elections.

The California Republican introduced the bill on Friday after visiting the El Paso, Texas, sector of the southern border on Thursday.

Senate Starting Campaign Recess Two Weeks Early, Gone Through Midterm Election
Upper chamber reaches agreement on nominations

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., center, will allow the Senate to depart early for the remainder of the midterm campaign cycle after reaching an agreement with Democrats to speed up consideration on several judicial and executive nominations. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate leaders on Thursday reached an agreement to accelerate consideration of several judicial nominations — a deal that will allow the chamber to depart two weeks early for its midterm campaign recess. 

The Senate will recess through the Nov. 6 election and is scheduled to return the following Tuesday.