John Barrasso

EPA Watchdog to Step Down as Scott Pruitt Probes Continue
Arthur Elkins had contradicted the former administrator’s account of his security detail

Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies during a hearing in May. The inspector general who led multiple investigations of his spending habits is retiring this fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The EPA’s inspector general, who led multiple investigations into former Administrator Scott Pruitt’s spending and management practices at the agency, will leave in October, his office announced Tuesday.

Arthur A. Elkins Jr., who has been EPA inspector general since 2010, said in a news release that he will retire on Oct. 12, but did not indicate whether his departure is related to issues at the agency. Before becoming inspector general, Elkins worked as associate general counsel in the EPA’s Office of General Counsel.

Senators Get Informal as FAA Deadline Nears
Reauthorization didn’t make the summer cut. Now senators are looking for a pre-conference shortcut

Sen. John Thune says negotiating with the House before Senate passage is the best option to avoid a lapse of authorization Sept. 30, even if process questions remain. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Staff members on both sides of the Capitol are trying to work around obstacles in the Senate by negotiating “pre-conference” versions of Federal Aviation Administration authorization and water infrastructure bills, according to lawmakers.

Despite the stated goals of the bills’ sponsors, the Senate did not consider either the FAA or water infrastructure measure over the summer, preventing a true conference committee from hashing out differences with the House-passed versions of the FAA and water infrastructure bills.

Senate Quandary: How to Sanction Russia Without Harming Europe
Foreign Relations chairman predicts resolution in coming weeks

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As senators deliberate over legislation to impose new sanctions on Russia, former government officials warned against any action that would harm European allies that rely on gas imports from Russia.

“It’s very difficult with some of the bills that have been laid out to only punish Russia without punishing our European friends,” said Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., at a Wednesday hearing on the importance of NATO.

Here Are the Senators Attending John McCain’s Funeral
List includes 14 Republicans and 10 Democrats

At least 24 senators will attend the funeral service Thursday of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in Phoenix. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At least 24 current U.S. senators will attend Sen. John McCain’s memorial service Thursday in Phoenix, his office said.

The service, which will begin at approximately 10 a.m. local time, follows a procession from the Arizona state Capitol, where visitors on Wednesday could observe McCain’s casket draped in the American flag.

As Dems Campaign on Pre-Existing Conditions, 10 Republicans Move In
Tillis touts ‘common-sense’ solution, Murray calls it a ‘gimmick’

As the 2010 health care law weathers its latest legal challenge, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., has introduced a bill aimed at pre-existing conditions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ten Senate Republicans on Friday released a bill meant to guarantee the protections for patients with pre-existing conditions included in the 2010 health care law.

The measure is a response to the latest legal challenge to the health law, which seeks to invalidate the law after Congress effectively ended the so-called “individual mandate” that requires most Americans to maintain health insurance coverage or pay a fine.

At the Races: Into the Badlands
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Barrasso Easily Wins Primary for Wyoming Senate Race
Republican Policy Committee chairman will face Democrat Gary Trauner

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., defeated primary challengers on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Sen. John Barrasso, a member of Republican leadership, fended off a primary challenge Tuesday night in Wyoming. 

Barrasso had garnered 65 percent of the vote while Dave Dodson, his next closest primary opponent, had won 29 percent when the Associated Press called the race with 21 percent of precincts reporting. 

Democrats Pledge CRA to Kill EPA’s Clean Power Plan Replacement
Trump hopes to gut Obama-era regulations at the center of Paris climate agreement pledges

Donald Trump had made the rollback of Obama-era carbon emission regulations a central talking point at his rallies. (Justin Merriman/Getty Images file photo)

Updated 2:35 p.m. | Democrats are already promising a Congressional Review Act challenge to the Trump administration’s proposal Tuesday to replace an Obama-era regulation curbing climate-warming carbon emissions from the electric power sector.

For President Donald Trump and Capitol Hill Republicans, the draft proposal marks the culmination of a three-year battle to repeal the Clean Power Plan, a rulemaking finalized in 2015 that required states to devise plans to cut carbon emissions from existing coal-powered electricity plants and other high carbon-emitting energy sources.

Wyoming, Alaska Hold Primaries Tuesday
A member of GOP Senate leadership is facing a primary

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., has a handful of primary challengers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Voters in Wyoming and Alaska will pick their parties’ nominees on Tuesday, including in one race featuring a member of Senate Republican leadership.

The general election races are not expected to be competitive. But the primaries will set the matchups in one of the few states where Republicans are defending a Senate seat, and in a race involving the most senior House Republican.

Burr to Hold Up Water Bill, Slow Others, for Conservation Fund
North Carolina senator: ‘We’re going to vote on it on every vehicle leaving the United States Senate’

A move by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., could become a major hurdle for his Republican colleagues as they try to pass a water infrastructure bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Richard M. Burr will not allow a vote on a key water infrastructure bill unless he receives a commitment for a vote on his legislation to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, senators said.

The North Carolina Republican is also threatening to force senators to vote on his bill as a prelude to action on any other measure that reaches the Senate floor, potentially including the appropriations bill receiving floor consideration this week.