John A Boehner

Opinion: Strange Times for Mitch McConnell in the Alabama Senate Race
A Moore victory could be a big headache for the Senate majority leader

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has become the Nancy Pelosi of the right, Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When President Donald Trump tapped Sen. Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general last year, the last thing on anyone’s mind was what would happen to the Alabama Senate seat that Sessions would leave behind. With a Republican governor in a reliably Republican state, the assumption was that the governor would appoint a safe placeholder for the seat, who would then easily get elected to finish out Sessions’ term in the next election.

But fast forward nine months, and the Alabama governor who appointed that placeholder has resigned in disgrace. The placeholder, Sen. “Big” Luther Strange, finished second in the GOP primary to former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has been removed from the bench twice.

Taxes, Immigration Bigger Tests for Ryan Speakership Than Fiscal Deal
Conservatives concerned about how speaker will handle DACA

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s leadership will be tested in upcoming debates over taxes and immigration, potentially determining whether he remains the House’s top Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s leadership capabilities are back in the spotlight after September’s fiscal crises were quickly resolved last week without any wins for conservative policies. But that deal is unlikely to define his speakership the way upcoming legislative battles on taxes and immigration will.

Whether the 10-term Wisconsin Republican remains speaker — either by his or the House GOP’s choosing — may depend on his ability to deliver legislation in those areas that can both appease his largely conservative conference and get through the more moderate Senate to President Donald Trump’s desk.

‘Very Competitive’ House GOP Conference Takes the Digital Challenge
Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers started competition to push colleagues into the 21st century

From left, California Rep. Mimi Walters, More magazine Editor-in-Chief Lesley Jane Seymour, House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Tennessee Rep. Diane Black, North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx take a selfie in McMorris Rodgers’ conference office. (Courtesy McMorris Rodgers’ office)

It’s not often House Republicans get a chance to compete against one another, but Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is giving them the opportunity. 

“Clearly, this is a conference full of a lot of Type A, very competitive individuals and so they embrace the challenge and it creates a lot of energy,” the House GOP conference chairwoman said.

Opinion: How Trump and the Democrats Spared McConnell and Ryan
The Art of the Backroom Deal

President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders did House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a huge favor by working out a deal on disaster relief, the debt ceiling and government funding, Allen writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan want you to know they’re plenty angry about President Donald Trump’s trifecta deal with Democratic leaders on keeping the government open, averting a debt-limit crisis and sending aid to hurricane-and-flood-ravaged Texas.

McConnell and Ryan were “shell-shocked” when Trump, in a meeting with congressional leaders of both parties, opted to go with the plan favored by Senate and House minority leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, according to a CNN source. After all, Ryan had publicly said their proposal — the obvious solution to all three legislative headaches — was “ridiculous.”

White House Brushes Off Calls for Updated Authorization of Military Force
Despite bipartisan interest in new AUMF, administration says it’s not happening

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Thursday called for a new authorization for use of military force, before the White House said it did not support such a measure. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite calls from members of both parties, President Donald Trump will not propose an updated authorization for use of military force measure to cover ongoing U.S. operations against groups such as al-Qaida, the Islamic State and others, a White House National Security Council official said Thursday.

White House officials have concluded they have ample legal authorities to continue conducting such military missions.

Opinion: A Big-Spending Liberal Is a Conservative Who Has Been Flooded
Hurricane Harvey challenges Republican party

President Ronald Reagan once described the nine most terrifying words in the English language as, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ronald Reagan began a 1986 press conference by trotting out one of his favorite lines: “I’ve always felt the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’”

That sentiment succinctly summarizes the conservative philosophy that has governed the Republican Party since the 1980s — all federal spending is suspect unless it goes to the Pentagon. And it helps explain why in early 2013 virtually every Republican in the Texas congressional delegation voted against the $51-billion emergency aid package after Hurricane Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey.

Money Is There to Deal with Hurricane Damage, Pence Says
VP: Officials ‘truly believe’ ample federal funds are on hand

Vice President Mike Pence (far right, seated at table) sits at the head of the table on Sunday in the White House Situation Room as senior officials discussed Hurricane Harvey. President Donald Trump was at Camp David, and is pictured on the right video screen. (White House photo)

Vice President Mike Pence said Monday the federal government has adequate funding on hand to deal with the historic flooding and damage done by Hurricane Harvey, possibly looking to tamp down concerns that Congress could get into a spending fight over the cost of the storm’s aftermath.

Lawmakers from hard-hit Texas and Louisiana say they expect Congress will have to add a Hurricane Harvey aid bill to its packed autumn agenda. But Pence told a Houston television station that could be unnecessary.

Legislative Agenda Takes Back Seat to Trump’s ‘Beautiful Apartment’
Former Jeb Bush aide: ‘One step forward, one step back’

President Donald Trump opted against selling his legislative agenda in an address to supporters in Phoenix on Tuesday. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump roared, blamed, boasted, omitted and obfuscated Tuesday night at a campaign rally in Phoenix, but there was one thing he decided against doing: selling his stalled legislative agenda.

A night after delivering a measured and somewhat-detailed prime-time address that laid out his new counterterrorism-focused Afghanistan strategy, Trump’s criticism of the news media, his increasingly visible insecurities and his fixation on his political base took over just minutes into his remarks in the Valley of the Sun.

Analysis: Why Recent Tax Overhaul Efforts Failed and This One May, Too
Republicans taking tax message on the road this week without details

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, second from right, and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, third from right, speak with executives at an appliance store in Lawrence, N.J., during a stop on their 2013 tour to promote their tax overhaul effort. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The last time Republican tax writers unveiled legislation for overhauling the tax code, it elicited this telling response from the speaker of the House: “Blah, blah, blah, blah.”

It was Feb. 26, 2014, and the House Ways and Means Committee had just unveiled a tax overhaul discussion draft, with full legislative text and both dynamic and static scores from the Congressional Budget Office.

Opinion: Trump’s Two-Front War Against McConnell and North Korea
And why Democrats are in no position to laugh

It may not be long before President Donald Trump starts portraying Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as almost as much of a villain as Kim Jong Un, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Pool file photo)

If we survive the tweets of August, a Wall Street Journal headline should be immortalized as a symbol of this long hot summer in Trumpland. In the online edition of Friday’s Journal, the subhead on a stock-picking article actually read: “Analysts are trying to work out what happens to the markets they cover in the event of an all-out nuclear war.”

Here’s my personal stock tip for the apocalypse: Invest in personal hygiene companies like Procter & Gamble since we will need plenty of deodorant in our crowded fallout shelters.