Jeff Flake

Photos of the Week: Trump Budget Arrival, ADA Protests, and Immigration Debate Grinds to a Halt
The week of Feb. 12 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Boxes containing President Donald Trump’’s fiscal 2019 budget arrive in the House Budget Committee hearing room on Monday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress has already left town ahead of next week’s Presidents Day recess.

This week saw the arrival of President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2019 budget (if you missed it, we boiled down the agencies that would win and lose under the budget in one chart), House passage (though not without protests) of a bill aimed at curbing American with Disabilities Act lawsuits, and the Senate consideration (and likely the end of consideration) of immigration proposals. 

Immigration Debate Sputters at the Starting Line
While McConnell and Schumer disagree, second federal judge issues DACA injunction

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer were at an impasse Tuesday over how to structure the immigration debate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:13 p.m. | The Senate kicked off its long-awaited immigration debate Tuesday not with the flurry of bipartisan cooperation that some lawmakers had hoped for, but with a thud.

Before a single vote was cast to amend the shell bill serving as the vehicle for a potential deal, leaders of both parties were at an impasse over how to structure the debate, which is aimed at reaching a compromise to protect 690,000 “Dreamers” from deportation and meeting President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement and border security goals.

Some Answers, More Questions for Mysterious Club for Conservatives PAC
Background, finances a tangled web

Club for Conservatives PAC has given to the Senate campaigns of Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta and Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photos)

Inflammatory, hyperpartisan fundraising emails are a standard part of the election process, but who’s behind them can sometimes be a mystery. Take the case of a political action committee set up last fall that raised over $160,000 by sending out roughly a dozen emails.

Since its inception in October, the Club for Conservatives PAC has been a confusing web of details. The group’s year-end report with the Federal Election Commission provided more information about its fundraising and spending, but also raised new questions about its operations.

The Other Memo Lawmakers Want the Public to See — But Trump Doesn’t
The White House has shrouded a seven-page memo outlining POTUS’ interpretation of war powers

Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., right, and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., conduct a news conference in the Capitol to introduce an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban in May 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Tim Kaine is demanding that the White House release a secret memo outlining President Donald Trump’s interpretation of his legal basis to wage war.

The Virginia Democrat, a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday requesting that he hand over the seven-page document drafted last spring.

DACA Debate the Latest to Bypass Senate Committee Process
Decline and fall of regular order has been building for years

President Donald Trump talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Whip John Cornyn after his State of the Union address Tuesday night. McConnell has said he would like to have an open debate on immigration legislation on the floor. But it would still bypass the committee process. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For an institution renowned worldwide for its historically open debate of contentious issues, the Senate has done little public deliberation under unified Republican government. The reason could be simple: the decline and fall of the committee process.

The ongoing negotiations on an immigration deal is the latest legislative package to bypass committee deliberation, but it follows a year in which so-called regular order fell by the wayside.

Train Carrying GOP Lawmakers to Retreat Hits Truck
Reports: At least one dead, others injured

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a train crash involving a garbage truck in Crozet, Va., on Wednesday. An Amtrak passenger train carrying dozens of GOP lawmakers to a Republican retreat in West Virginia struck a garbage truck south of Charlottesville, Va. No lawmakers were believed injured. (Zack Wajsgrasu/The Daily Progress via AP)

Updated 2:51 p.m. | A train transporting Republican lawmakers to the GOP retreat in West Virginia was involved in an accident with a truck late Wednesday morning.

Representatives were seen attending to injured people from the truck, according to a source on the train. At least one person was reported dead. 

State of the Union Latest Marching Order for Marc Short
Legislative affairs director is ultimate utility player for Team Trump

Marc Short, White House legislative affairs director, talks with reporters in the Capitol on Nov. 13. He has become an unlikely messenger for President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For Marc Short, the work began in earnest the moment President Donald Trump wrapped up his first official State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

Short, the White House legislative affairs director, played a role in crafting the president’s speech. But he told Roll Call in an interview on Monday that the work of crafting, editing and re-crafting the address fell to a team led by Stephen Miller, Trump’s top domestic policy adviser.

President Pitches ‘Dreamers’ Deal to Skeptical Congress
Signs of the ongoing immigration battle were seen all over the chamber Tuesday night

Supporters of the so-called DREAM Act protest outside the Capitol this month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump used Tuesday night’s State of the Union address to rally a divided Congress behind his unpopular “compromise” plan to grant a path to citizenship for 1.8 million “Dreamers” in return for $25 billion for a border wall and other security measures.

As millions watched the self-described master salesman implore lawmakers who have been at odds for months over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, there were unmistakable reminders of the immigration debate throughout the House chamber.

Gosar Asks Capitol Police, DOJ to Arrest ‘Illegal Aliens’ at State of the Union
At least 27 Democratic lawmakers have invited ‘Dreamers’ as guests

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar has asked the Capitol Police to arrest any “illegal aliens” at President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Paul Gosar has asked the Capitol Police and the Department of Justice to “consider checking identification” of everyone attending President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address and “arresting any illegal aliens in attendance,” the Arizona Republican announced Tuesday on Twitter.

The move is presumably aimed at so-called Dreamers who will be in attendance.

From Ford to Trump, Patrick Leahy Has Seen It All at the State of the Union
Vermont Democrat thinks Obama and Reagan gave best speeches; doesn’t have high hopes for Trump

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., greets President Barack Obama after his 2013 State of the Union address. (Charles Dharapak, Pool via AP file photo)

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy has sat through a lot of State of the Unions.

The Vermont Democrat has seen seven presidents deliver the speech — and Tuesday will make it eight.