Harry Reid

GOP Lawmakers Pushing for Nuclear Waste Facility in Nevada
Yucca Mountain repository project halted by Obama administration.

A “no trespassing” sign warns people to stay away from a proposed nuclear waste dump site at  Yucca Mountain in Nevada. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have released a discussion draft for a bill that would create incentives to put the shuttered Yucca Mountain repository on track to become the nation’s main nuclear waste disposal site.

The draft text to amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act is the first of many steps lawmakers must take to bring the project online again after the Trump administration expressed a willingness to re-engage on the issue following the project’s halt by the Obama administration in 2010.

Nuclear Option Deployed in Quiet Senate Chamber
Gravity of situation tempers reactions amid historic moment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gives a thumbs-up on Thursday after the Senate invoked the "nuclear option" to allow for a simple majority vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Thursday was a day for the Senate history books, but the ultimate change of the chamber’s rules for ending debate on Supreme Court justices was met with a quiet resignation.

Just after 12:30 p.m., the Senate clerk read the tally: 52 in the negative, 48 in the affirmative, overruling the presiding officer’s ruling that cloture, or ending debate, on Supreme Court justices required 60 votes.

Senate’s Supreme Court Nuclear Countdown Reaches Zero
Filibuster of Neil Gorsuch followed by procedural motions triggering ‘nuclear option’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, left, is set to use the “nuclear option” to get Judge Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court. (Al Drago/The New York Times/Pool File Photo)

The Senate’s Supreme Court doomsday clock has reached midnight.

Senators voted, 55-45, to limit debate on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court — short of the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster under precedents in effect as of the opening of business Thursday.

Why McConnell Vowed to Preserve Minority’s Big Remaining Power
After going ‘nuclear’ for Gorsuch, legislative filibuster not endangered

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has accrued and sustained power in Washington for longer than three decades in part by being a man of his word, Hawkings writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Thursday’s showdown at the Capitol has been heralded by such melodramatic rhetoric — a miasma of transparent flip-flopping and brazen hypocrisy sullying virtually every senior senator, from both parties — that two genuinely meaningful consequences of the moment may be hard to appreciate.

The first is more obvious: The views of the political minority will never again matter when filling the confirmation-required government job with by far the biggest and longest-lasting impact on the lives of Americans.

The Bipartisan Effort to Make Senate History
Lack of Senate retirements could be unprecedented

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein appears more likely to run for a fifth full term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For all of the moaning and groaning about Washington being dysfunctional, members of Congress aren’t exactly tripping over each other to get out of town.

So far, all of the Republican and Democratic senators up for re-election this cycle seem intent on seeking another term. And if that trend continues, it would be historic. 

Survey: GOP Staffers Reeling From Health Care Setback
Ryan’s approval rating drops among House Republican aides

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s approval rating among House GOP staffers stands at its lowest level since he assumed the speakership, according to the latest CQ Roll Call Capitol Insiders Survey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican aides are reeling from the implosion of their party’s attempt to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law, according to the latest CQ Roll Call Capitol Insiders Survey.

Paul D. Ryan’s approval rating among House GOP staffers has dropped to its lowest level since he became speaker in 2015, plummeting from 85 percent three weeks after Election Day to 44 percent in March. Those are levels not seen — for either party’s congressional leaders — since the ouster of Ryan’s predecessor, John A. Boehner of Ohio, a year and a half ago.

How Senate Republicans Will Likely Invoke the Nuclear Option
 

With 41 senators having announced they will vote against cloture on the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Senate Republicans will need to change Senate procedure in order to ensure the Colorado appeals court judge makes it to the high court. Here’s how the historic rules overhaul will likely go down when the cloture vote takes place — slated for this Thursday.

McConnell, Norton Have ‘Natitude’ for Season Opener, Trump Not So Much
Senate majority leader and D.C. delegate on players to watch this season

Nationals outfielders Bryce Harper, left, and Jayson Werth confer during batting practice before a home game at Nationals Park. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Washingtonians, including members of Congress, are caught up in ‘Natitude’ as the Washington Nationals start their new season, 

The Nats take on the Miami Marlins at 1:05 p.m. Monday.

GOP Lobbyists Launch New Shop as High-Profile Firm Fades
QGA Public Affairs was once among K Street's top moneymakers

QGA was founded as a bipartisan lobbying and public affairs shop in 2000. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The once high-profile K Street shop QGA Public Affairs is restructuring with the departure of Democratic founder Jack Quinn, and some of its marquee lobbyists are planning to open a new venture.

Republicans John Feehery, John Easton and Adam Belmar all are leaving to start EFB Advocacy, a boutique lobbying and communications shop in the Eastern Market section of Capitol Hill.