Joe Manchin III

Photos of the Week: Puppies, Pence and Press Conferences
The week of Feb. 13 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks with reporters after the Senate policy luncheons in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As a resignation and withdrawn Cabinet nominee rocked the White House this week, Congress was at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue proceeding through consideration of several other Cabinet nominees, debating Obamacare alternatives and much more. 

On the lighter side of this Valentine's Day week, some pets up for adoption stopped by the Capitol to bring love to staffers and members alike.

Despite Email Flap, Scott Pruitt Confirmed to Head EPA
Court order unsealing records prompted calls to postpone vote

Scott Pruitt was confirmed Friday as the new administrator of the EPA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate continued powering through its march on Cabinet confirmations, approving on Friday the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA, despite questions surrounding the appropriateness of his contacts with the fossil fuel industry.

Senators voted 52-46 to confirm Pruitt.

Harris Was Only 2016 Senate Democratic Candidate to Get Cash From Mnuchin
And she voted against him for Treasury secretary

California Sen. Kamala Harris received a $2,000 campaign contribution from Steven Mnuchin last year, but voted against confirming him as Treasury secretary on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the 2016 election cycle, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin donated to only one Democratic Senate candidate. 

But it wasn’t Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, the only Democrat who voted to confirm him for the position Monday night and who is up for re-election next year. It was freshman Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who has her own history with the new Cabinet official and voted against Mnuchin’s nomination.

Year-End Coffers Pad the Two-Year Fundraising Sprint
Some senators started 2018 cycle with millions; others with much less

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown’s campaign committee ended 2016 with $3.2 million in cash on hand, ahead of what is likely to be very competitive re-election for the two-term senator next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the 2018 election cycle underway, incumbents gearing up for re-election will begin fundraising in full force this spring.

It helps to have a stockpile of cash already in the bank, but not everyone starts with an equally comfortable cushion. 

Amid Senate Tensions, Hatch Eyes Bipartisan Tax Deal
Utah Republican says House GOP plan will not pass the Senate

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch says that despite “a lot of bitterness around here,” he plans to meet with Senate Democrats to gauge interest in a bipartisan tax proposal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch has launched a new push for a bipartisan Senate alternative to the contentious House Republican tax plan, as President Donald Trump begins to frame administration priorities.

The Senate Finance chairman said last week he was meeting with Democratic tax writers one-on-one and hoped there would be leeway for deals, after bitter debates over Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin riled the Senate and exposed deep partisan fault lines.

‘Gang of Eight’ Revival Unlikely on Immigration Overhaul

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., talks with reporters before the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol, January 31, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY DEAN DeCHIARO AND BRIDGET BOWMAN, CQ ROLL CALL

President Donald Trump may want senators to re-form a “Gang of Eight”-style group focused on passing comprehensive immigration legislation. But a hyper-partisan atmosphere in Congress combined with the bitter legacy of the last failed overhaul means Trump’s wish will likely go unfulfilled.

Trump Open to 'Gang of 8' Immigration Bill, Sort Of
The bill included a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants

Trump apparently told senators he is open to the bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By DEAN DeCHIARO and BRIDGET BOWMAN, CQ ROLL CALL

President Donald Trump might be open to comprehensive immigration legislation — or maybe not.

Democrats in a Dilemma Over Trump's Court Nominee
Senate Democrats will get a lot of advice about how to handle President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court — and it appears they need it.

Judge Neil Gorsuch, Supreme Court Justice nominee, meets with North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in her Hart building office on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There’s pressure from liberal advocacy groups and the party’s energized base for Democrats to pull out all the stops in an attempt to block Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation. Not only do those interests have concerns about his approach to abortion rights and environmental law, but they thirst for revenge for Republicans’ obstruction of former President Barack Obama’s nominee for the same seat.

Some moderate legal and political commentators, meanwhile, have urged Democrats to wait for another potential Supreme Court nominee to launch an all-out confirmation war — a possibility during the Trump administration since two justices are in their 80s. Gorsuch would replace the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, so his elevation from a federal appeals court in Denver wouldn’t shift the ideological balance of the high court anyway.

Jeff Sessions Caps Off 31-Year Comeback
Once rejected for a judgeship, the Alabamian is now nation's top cop

President Donald Trump introduces former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as his new attorney general on Thursday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

More than 30 years ago, Jeff Sessions probably couldn’t have imagined what just happened. Sworn in as attorney general Thursday after being confirmed Wednesday by the same body that once rejected his bid to be a federal judge, the Alabama Republican now faces the monumental task of enforcing the nation’s laws when its lawmakers are at each others’ throats.

In 1986, the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee rejected Sessions’ nomination to be a federal district judge in Alabama. Sessions, who was then a U.S. attorney, dusted himself off and began a long political assent that culminated in Wednesday’s 52-47 vote. The same issues that bedeviled Sessions in the 1980s, questions about whether he sought to suppress black voter turnout and whether his views on race made him fit for public service, defined the nasty confirmation fight he faced.

Neil Gorsuch's Dance Card Filling Up
Supreme Court nominee to meet with key Democrats

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, left, greets Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., before a meeting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ Roll Call

Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Senate dance card is filling up with Democrats who could be key to his confirmation to the Supreme Court.