Jeff Flake

Mueller protection bill reintroduced in the Senate, but still no prospects for floor time
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has argued the bill is unconstitutional

Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., left, and Chris Coons, D-Del., are among the leaders of the legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The senators pushing legislation Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III from any risk of improper termination by President Donald Trump are not giving up.

Their bipartisan legislation expired at the end of the last Congress, and they announced Tuesday that they were introducing it again, despite continued opposition from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Mitt Romney, Rand Paul Preview GOP Debate Over Donald Trump in New Congress
Paul speaks out against Romney’s criticism of the president ahead of swearing-in

Mitt Romney, left, and Rand Paul have different approaches to President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photos)

Two Republicans with among the largest national profiles of senators in the new Congress aren’t wasting any time in drawing the contours of a debate that is sure to run over for the next two years.

Namely, the extent to which members of the Senate GOP hitch their wagons to President Donald Trump as an election cycle gets underway with a map that might be more favorable to the Democrats.

Trump Compares His Win, Romney’s Loss in Responding to Harsh Critique
RNC chairwoman McDaniel condemns her uncle’s ‘attack’ on Trump — without naming him

Mitt Romney will be sworn in this week as the junior senator from Utah, but the former GOP presidential nominee already is in a war of words with President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump on Wednesday fired back at Sen.-elect Mitt Romney after the onetime GOP nominee for president wrote in an op-ed that the sitting president “has not risen to the mantle of the office.”

As he waits to be sworn in on Thursday as the junior senator from Utah, the former Massachusetts governor provoked the president Tuesday with a Washington Post opinion piece that harshly criticized Trump. And in classic counter-puncher fashion, Trump questioned in a Wednesday morning tweet whether Romney would be “a Flake,” a reference to outgoing Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, who clashed with Trump but ultimately opted to leave office after Trump’s base in his state abandoned him.

Three Roadblocks to Ending The Shutdown
Biggest hurdle appears to be a president unsure of how much border barrier funding he would accept

The Capitol Visitor Center, usually full of tourists, sits empty on Jan. 22 as negotiations to reopen the government continued during a previous Trump-era shutdown. Several Cabinet departments and smaller offices shuttered at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As senior White House officials huddled in Capitol backrooms with Democratic leaders Friday as a government shutdown beckoned, a cable news anchor dramatically called the last-ditch meetings a sign “something big is in motion.”

Reality check: Major differences remain with no clear plan on resolving them.

Shutdown Effects: Breakdown by Department and Agency
Thousands of federal employees will be working without a paycheck

The Federal Reserve building is seen on Constitution Avenue address on Saturday, the first day of a partial government shutdown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Thousands of federal employees face the prospect of working without a paycheck as the White House budget office Friday night directed the heads of government departments and agencies to begin implementing shutdown plans.

Funding for nine departments and other agencies lapsed at midnight as President Donald Trump remained in a standoff with Congress, his demand for funding for wall construction along the border with Mexico the sticking point in talks over appropriations and a stopgap funding measure.

Senate, House Convene as Some Government Agencies Shut Down
Talks between White House and Senate Democrats over Trump’s border wall come up short

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives at the Capitol for a rare Saturday session of the Senate. With no progress made in the impasse over funding President Donald Trump’s border wall that has caused a partial government shutdown, the Senate adjourned until after Christmas three hours after convening. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate and House convened in a rare Saturday sessions after nine Cabinet-level departments and several other federal agencies ceased operations Saturday morning in the latest government shutdown of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney issued a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies late Friday directing them to implement shutdown plans for departments not funded by the spending bills for fiscal 2019 that have become law.

Negotiations on Spending Deal Will Continue, But No Deal in Sight
Senate won’t vote on House spending plan, McConnell says he hopes White House and Democrats can make a deal

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., is seen on the Capitol's Senate steps before a procedural vote on the spending bill on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker reached an agreement with the two Senate leaders that no vote on a spending plan will happen until there’s agreement between Senate Democrats, House Republicans and the White House.

“We’re not voting on anything else ... until there’s a global agreement,” Corker said on the Senate floor.

The Train Is Leaving the Station for the Last Rational Republicans
If they want to save themselves and repudiate Trump, they better do it fast

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, waits for the Senate subway in the Hart Building in September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — In a classic demonstration of Southern populist oratory at the 1956 Democratic convention, Tennessee Gov. Frank Clement excoriated the misdeeds of the Republican Party by dramatically asking, again and again, “How long, O how long America, shall these things endure?”

As the nation reels towards the end of the second year of Donald Trump’s cataclysmic presidency, Frank Clement’s long-ago question takes on a new urgency. How long, O how long America, will the once-proud Republican Party serve as Trump’s willing enabler?

Senators Christmas Carol Their Way to Approval of Stopgap Government Funding
Live quorum call comes with melody of O Come All Ye Faithful

Christmas carols rang out throughout the Senate on Wednesday as the chamber passed a continuing resolution to fund the government.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A Senate procedural vote turned into sing-along session late Wednesday night as a group of senators gathered for a live quorum call and passed the time by singing Christmas carols, all leading up to a voice vote that passed stopgap spending legislation to avert a partial government shutdown.

The group of senators, which included Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Bill Nelson of Florida, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Angus King of Maine and others gathered together to sing a range of festive tunes.

Six States Will Boast All-Women Senate Delegations in 2019
Martha McSally appointment in Arizona sets makeup for 116th Congress

A record of six states will be represented by two women in the Senate in the new congress, a phenomenon made possible by the appointment of Martha McSally to an Arizona Senate seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The appointment of GOP Rep. Martha McSally to the late Sen. John McCain’s Arizona Senate seat for the new year will push the chamber to a new milestone: The Senate in the 116th Congress will have the highest number of all-women delegations in history.

Six states will be represented by two women in the Senate in the new congress, surpassing the previous record of four states, which was the case in 2011 and again in 2012, 2013 and 2018.