Indiana

Democrats Make Campaign Issue out of GOP Health Care Proposal
Three Democratic groups launched digital ads Wednesday

Democrats have launched digital ads attacking House Republicans, including New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur, who’s behind the latest health care proposal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As soon as House Republicans started talking about another vote on a revised health care plan, Democrats began sharpening their knives.

Both Democratic campaign committees and Priorities USA Action, a major Democratic super PAC, released digital ads Wednesday that accuse Republicans of stripping coverage for Americans with preexisting conditions while exempting themselves.

Moderates Hedge On New Obamacare Repeal Amendment

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., makes his way to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's office in the Capitol on Thursday, March 23, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By ERIN MERSHON and LINDSEY McPHERSON, CQ ROLL CALL

Moderate Republicans are not embracing the latest Republican amendment to the party’s GOP health care overhaul.

Senate Republicans Became More Bipartisan in the Last Congress — Democrats, Not So Much
Report places Sen. Bernie Sanders as the least bipartisan senator

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, talk before a committee hearing. Collins was identified in a report as the most bipartisan senator of the 114th Congress. The report ranked Warren 88th. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats, once happy to rail against what they called obstructionist Republicans in the chamber, flipped positions with their friends across the aisle when it came to partisanship in the 114th Congress.

A new report from the Lugar Center and Georgetown University shows that most senators — almost two-thirds of the chamber — acted more bipartisan when it came to cosponsorships on bills during the most recent Congress, compared to the Congress before.

Tense Senate Confirms Gorsuch to Supreme Court
Colorado jurist will restore conservative tilt as Scalia replacement

Neil Gorsuch is the next associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 1:41 p.m. | The Senate confirmed Judge Neil Gorsuch as the next Supreme Court justice on Friday on a mostly party-line vote, 54-45. Democrats Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana joined all Republicans present in voting to confirm. Republican Johnny Isakson of Georgia did not vote.

Gorsuch was supported by the fewest number of senators since Justice Clarence Thomas was confirmed in 1991 on a 52-48 vote. 

Nunes Steps Aside From Russia Investigation
House Intelligence chief has faced criticism for his handling of the probe

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes is stepping aside from leading the Russia investigation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes announced Thursday that he is temporarily stepping aside from the panel’s probe into Russian interference in last fall’s election and ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian officials. The House Ethics Committee is investigating Nunes’ conduct.

The California Republican, a Trump supporter, has faced Democratic calls to relinquish his chairmanship over criticism that he could not lead an impartial investigation. His announcement said he would remain as chairman, but would allow GOP Reps. K. Michael Conaway of Texas, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, and Tom Rooney of Florida to temporarily take control of the investigation.

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. 

Merkley Stages 15.5-Hour Anti-Gorsuch Talk-a-Thon in Senate
Merkley’s action won’t delay procedural vote on nomination, which was already set before speech

Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley wrapped up his marathon floor speech Wednesday morning after more than 15 hours. He then gave bagels and muffins to Senate staff following the all-nighter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Jeff Merkley staged a nearly 15½-hour long marathon speech to protest Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, wrapping up at just before 10:15 Wednesday morning. 

The speech fell just a few minutes short of the seventh-longest Senate speech in the chamber’s history, which lasted 15 hours and 30 minutes. But Merkley’s action did not delay a procedural vote on Gorsuch, which was set before he began his speech.

Mike Pence: Congressional Buddy or Fixer?
Vice president enjoys goodwill, but his Hill role is evolving

Vice President Mike Pence, seen here with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, was hailed as President Donald Trump’s congressional point man, but he fell short on cutting a deal on health care last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vice President Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s often-celebrated chief liaison to Capitol Hill, failed in his first attempt at brokering a deal with Congress. And some House Republicans appear split on whether the White House should hand him a bigger role as they give a health care overhaul another try. 

Pence, who spent more than a decade in the House and was part of the GOP leadership team, was supposed to be Trump’s legislative get-things-done guy. Yet, so far, the vice president’s measurable legislative feats end with his votes, as president of the Senate, to break three volatile ties in that chamber.

Senate Moves Closer to Supreme Court Showdown on Gorsuch
Graham: ‘If we have to, we will change the rule and it looks like we’re going to have to.’

Sens. John Kennedy of Louisiana, left, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina listen to Minnesota Sen. Al Franken make a statement during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Monday on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:22 p.m. | Long-held Senate rules that require consensus for Supreme Court nominees appear doomed, after enough Democrats announced they would block Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and force Republicans to alter filibuster rules if they want to put President Donald Trump’s pick on the high court.

The Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-9 along party lines Monday, as expected, to favorably advance Gorsuch’s nomination to the Senate floor, but not before key Democrats said they would oppose the 49-year-old federal appeals court judge from Colorado.

Toppling Cruz Will be a Tall Order for O’Rourke
But supporters call him a ‘giant slayer’

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, left, gained national attention when he and Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd livestreamed their road trip from their home state to Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke on Friday became the first Democratic challenger to Sen. Ted Cruz in what will be an uphill fight between the possibility of a primary to toppling a conservative hero in a deep red state.

In announcing his candidacy in his hometown of El Paso, O’Rourke said the incumbent was putting his own interests ahead of his constituents, saying he would be “a senator who is not using this position of responsibility and power to serve his own interest, to run for president, to shut down the government,” and said the state needed “a senator who is working full-time for Texas.”