Idaho

Authorized Flood Projects Left High and Dry on Funding
Desperate cities fear the next floods as Congress dawdles

Residents look down a flooded street in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in June 2008. The city is still recovering from some of its worst flooding on record. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

Ten years ago this month, the Cedar River overflowed into Cedar Rapids, Iowa, destroying a wide swath of the city’s downtown and residential neighborhoods.

The flooding caused $5.4 billion in property damage, according to the city. It affected more than 1,000 blocks of homes and businesses, City Hall, the county courthouse and hundreds of other buildings.

Mitch McConnell, Now the Senate’s Longest-Serving GOP Leader
Kentucky senator surpasses Bob Dole at more than 11 years

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell greets former Sen. Bob Dole during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in January. On Tuesday, McConnell surpasses Dole as the longest-serving Senate GOP leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Majority LeaderMitch McConnell highlighted the accomplishments of Senate Republicans on his watch at a gathering of conservatives Friday, the Kentucky Republican was taking a bit of a victory lap ahead of becoming the longest-serving GOP leader in history.

“It’s a lot of fun when you have as much good news to report as we do,” McConnell said at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference. “In my view, the last 16 months have been the single-best period for conservatives since I came to Washington ... back in 1985.”

Fall Elections Key Moment in Medicaid Expansion Debate
Recent developments in Virginia are giving advocates hope

From left, former Reps. Adam H. Putnam and Gwen Graham and Rep. Ron DeSantis are running for Florida governor. Graham, a Democrat, supports expanding Medicaid in the state, while Punam and DeSantis, both Republicans, oppose broadening the program. (Ryan Kelly/Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photos)

The midterm elections are poised to play a pivotal role in whether more states expand Medicaid eligibility, as the number of red-state holdouts dwindles.

Governors’ races in states such as Florida and Kansas, along with ballot initiatives in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah, are being watched closely by Medicaid experts this year.

White House Would Seek Congressional Approval Of N. Korea Deal
Trump has been preparing for ‘months and months,’ Pompeo says

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has “personally” assured him he intends to give up his nuclear weapons. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Trump administration officials intend to ask Congress to approve any nuclear deal President Donald Trump might strike with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says has vowed to give up his nuclear arsenal.

Pompeo told reporters at the White House Thursday the administration would submit a “document” to Congress for their review and possible approval. The idea is to give Kim confidence that a possible nuclear accord would be honored when the next U.S. administration takes over in 2021 or 2025.

Curtailed Recess Puts Summer Fundraising, Lobbying in Flux
Senators may seek new campaign events in D.C. if they will be here anyway

Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran’s summer retreat fundraiser is slated for Aug. 12-14. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The official Senate calendar isn’t the only agenda in flux after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he would cancel much of the chamber’s cherished summer recess.

The change may also disrupt plans for fundraising events outside Washington — as well as the dockets of lobbyists, who typically take their annual respite along with the congressional recess.

Trade Groups in Turmoil in the Trump Era
Industry associations change dramatically with the times

When Tim Pawlenty announced earlier this year that he was walking away from the Financial Services Roundtable, K Street expected the group to put out a “help wanted” sign. Instead, the membership pushed for consolidation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Pamela Bailey, who heads the Grocery Manufacturers Association, announced in February that she will leave her $3 million-a-year gig, it came as no shock. After all, the lobbying group had in the past year lost some of its biggest members, including candy-maker Mars Inc. and Tyson Foods, the world’s second-largest producer of chicken, beef and pork.

The organization is undergoing a “reinvention,” in the words of its spokesman Roger Lowe, and this week tapped Geoff Freeman, who runs the American Gaming Association, as its next CEO. The group will move from its downtown Washington headquarters into a smaller space across the river in the Rosslyn section of Arlington.

House GOP Immigration Talks Raise Questions on Path to Law
Negotiators float cuts that couldn’t pass Senate

Speaker Paul D. Ryan tested the waters with a small cross section of House Republicans ahead of Thursday’s conference-wide immigration discussion. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans say the goal of immigration negotiations is to reach agreement on legislation that could become law, but the ideas floated Wednesday run contrary to that claim.

While the negotiators appear to be seriously attempting to compromise on the legal status of so-called Dreamers, they’re also discussing cuts to legal immigration — like reducing family and diversity visas — that if passed through the House would have no chance of advancing in the Senate.

Bipartisan Breakout Gives Vulnerable Senators Wins Ahead of Recess
VA and banking bills headline measures heading to President Donald Trump

Sen. Jon Tester is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents will be scoring big legislative victories just in time for the Memorial Day parades.

The most timely outbreak of bipartisanship will come with passage, expected Wednesday afternoon, of a bill designed to improve health care access and options for veterans, known as the VA MISSION Act.

Members Join Rubio in Criticizing Trump Over China Talks
President says he is not satisfied with outcome of latest trade negotiations

Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and James Risch, R-Idaho, attend a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in January 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It was Sen. Marco Rubio, not Donald Trump, who used a morning tweet Tuesday to help shape the day’s agenda. The Florida Republican slammed the president’s trade talks with China, prompting other members to voice their concerns.

Rubio wrote that China is “out-negotiating the administration & winning the trade talks right now,” criticizing the Trump administration for putting on hold tariffs aimed at Beijing while moving ahead with efforts to save troubled Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE. He also panned the White House for not forcing concessions from Chinese officials.

Russ Fulcher Wins GOP Primary for Raúl Labrador’s Idaho House Seat
Labrador opted to run for governor, but lost Republican primary Tuesday

Idaho Republican Russ Fulcher was endorsed by GOP incumbent Raúl R. Labrador in his bid to replace him in the 1st District. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former state Sen. Russ Fulcher won the Republican primary Tuesday night for Idaho’s 1st District, a seat Rep. Raúl R. Labrador vacated to run for governor. 

With 69 percent of precincts reporting, Fulcher had 43 percent of the vote, The Associated Press reported, compared to 17 percent for his nearest rival, Dave Leroy, a former lieutenant governor and attorney general.