Joe Manchin III

Manchin to Trump: Don't Make Marino the Drug Czar
Follows reports of legislative effort Justice Department decried

Rep. Tom Marino, the nominee to be the drug czar, is under fire for his legislative efforts on drug use. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratic senator from a state ravaged by opioid abuse wants President Donald Trump to pull back the nomination of Rep. Tom Marino to be the nation’s drug czar.

Citing reporting from the Washington Post, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin III said in a letter to Trump that he had concerns that Marino, a Republican from Pennsylvania, could be too favorable to the opioid industry if he were to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Lawmakers Seek to Crack Down on Veterans Affairs Budget Requests
VA would be required to provide a spending plan and justification

Sen. Jon Tester was among a bipartisan group of senators who introduced legislation that would require Veterans Affairs officials to provide a spending plan and justification for certain funding requests. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Following repeated last-minute requests from the Department of Veterans Affairs for billions of dollars to keep a private care access program running, lawmakers have introduced legislation to crack down on how the agency comes calling for more money.

Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., John McCain, R-Ariz., Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., introduced legislation that would require the VA to make additional funding requests outside the regular budget process 45 days before a veteran could lose health care or benefits, according to a press release late last week.

Photos of the Week: SCOTUS Is Back, Gun Debate Reignited and Federal Budget Steps
The week of Oct. 2 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

West Virginia Sens. Joe Manchin III and Shelley Moore Capito talk during their news conference on the introduction of the American Miners Pension Act in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court began its new term this week and heard oral arguments in a case that could determine whether political redistricting is constitutional. And after the Sunday night massacre in Las Vegas, GOP lawmakers appeared Thursday to be coalescing around a bill that would ban bump stocks, a type of device that effectively transforms a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic.

Also this week: The House passed a budget resolution for fiscal year 2018, as the Senate began committee consideration of its own resolution. These steps are meant to pave the way for a tax overhaul measure.

Bipartisan Efforts Behind Coal Miner Pension Push
Manchin and Capito lead Senate effort, as miners return to Capitol Hill

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III, center, United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts, center left, and coal miners arrive for a Tuesday press conference on the introduction of legislation to protect miner pension benefits. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The coal miners are back.

Last fall, you couldn’t walk through the Capitol’s hallways without running into mine workers wearing camouflage T-shirts.

Bernie Sanders, the Man With Single-Payer Clout
Vermont independent continues to direct the future of national Democratic Party

Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders bashed special interest groups when introducing the so-called Medicare for All Act of 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The seismic shift in support for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan to transform the U.S. health care system into a single-payer program indicates the reach the Vermont independent has within the Democratic Party.

At the same time that his onetime presidential foe Hillary Clinton is reminding people of the party’s devastating loss last fall, Sanders is trying to define its future. His bill to enroll every American in Medicare drew 16 co-sponsors, 16 more than when he first introduced similar legislation in 2013.

Frustrated by Congress’ Plodding Pace, Trump Urges Speed on Tax Bill
President feels let down by GOP leaders who promised health overhaul by April break

President Donald Trump, surrounded by aides, gets a briefing on counterterrorism operations and Hurricane Irma response on Monday in the Oval Office. (Shealah Craighead/White House)

Updated at 8:40 a.m. | Donald Trump on Wednesday implored lawmakers to quickly send him a tax overhaul package a day after his top liaison to Congress said the president is frustrated by the often-plodding pace on Capitol Hill.

Trump and his top aides are busily discussing the contents of a bill that would slash individual and corporate tax rates, while also simplifying the federal tax code, with congressional Republicans and Democrats. Trump wants to sign a bill into law this calendar year.

Trump Smiles With Manchin at Bipartisan Senate Tax Dinner
West Virginia Democrat posts photograph with the president

President Donald Trump posed for a photo with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III Tuesday evening. (Photo Via Manchin on Twitter)

Many Democrats might not want to be photographed alongside a smiling President Donald Trump, but then there’s Joe Manchin III.

Trump has been very popular in Manchin’s West Virginia. And Manchin was one of three Democratic senators who showed up for dinner and a tax overhaul discussion with the president Tuesday evening.

Trump Reaches Out to Centrist Democrats on Taxes
Trump’s team has ‘some optimism’ that Heitkamp will support coming overhaul package

President Donald Trump is making overtures to centrist Democrats like Sens. Jon Tester and Heidi Heitkamp, who will accompany him on Air Force One on Wednesday to her home state of North Dakota. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is sending mixed messages to incumbent Senate Democrats up for re-election in red states as he and GOP leaders try to woo bipartisan support for a major tax overhaul package. 

With his public calls for centrist Democrats to support an emerging GOP tax plan, Trump has underscored his desire to cement a legislative victory before the 2018 midterm elections. But Democrats wonder if he is sincere or if he simply intends to attack them, as he did last week by calling out Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, during a tax speech in her home state. 

Word on the Hill: Flake Honored for Courage Under Fire
Staffer recognized by HBCUs, and CODEL news

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., walks away from the scene of the shooting at the Republican baseball team’s practice in Alexandria, Va., in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the same day that President Donald Trump was bashing him at a rally in Phoenix, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was honored Tuesday in Tucson by Arizona sheriffs for his actions during the shooting at the Republicans’ Congressional Baseball Game practice in June.

Flake was recognized by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and the Arizona Sheriffs Association for running from cover to help House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who was seriously wounded, and for calling Scalise’s wife to inform her about what happened.

Gillibrand Leads Democrats in Opposing Trump’s Nominees
Parties largely split along partisan lines on president’s pics

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, seen here with Gen. James Mattis in January prior to his confirmation as Defense secretary, has recorded the most votes opposing President Donald Trump’s nominees so far. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the last day before the August recess, the Senate confirmed 65 of President Donald Trump’s nominees with a single bipartisan voice vote.

That has been a marked difference from the way Democratic senators have approached Trump’s picks for his team.