Kelly Ayotte

Trump Lashes Out at Blumenthal Over Gorsuch Comments
President attacks an undecided Democrat even as he needs 8 Dem votes

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal was attacked by President Donald Trump over the senator’s description of comments the president’s Supreme Court nominee made in a private meeting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:02 a.m.President Donald Trump lashed out at Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Thursday, saying the Connecticut Democrat “misrepresents” what his Supreme Court nominee said during a private meeting.

The attack on an undecided Democrat on the Judiciary Committee won’t make the White House’s job any easier as it searches for Democratic votes to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch, who met with Blumenthal on Wednesday. And Trump drew a parallel between criticism in 2010 that Blumenthal had misrepresented his military service during Vietnam and what he said Gorsuch told him.

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.

Gorsuch Calls Trump’s Judge Comments ‘Disheartening’
Trump referred to a federal judge as a “so-called judge”

Supreme Court Judge Neil Gorsuch has been meeting with senators this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By TODD RUGER and JOHN T. BENNETT, CQ Roll Call 

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, in a meeting Wednesday with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, characterized as “disheartening” and “demoralizing” a tweet by President Donald Trump that called a federal judge a “so-called judge.”

Take Five: Maggie Hassan
New Hampshire Democrat took up crossword puzzles while campaigning

New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan previously served two terms as governor was governor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Freshman Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, who gave her maiden floor speech on Monday, talks to HOH about playing rugby, her son, and the greatest quarterback of all time.

Q: As a New Englander and someone who was born in Boston, what were your emotions when the Patriots and Falcons went into overtime at the Super Bowl last Sunday night?

Word on the Hill: How Would D.C. Fare in Trade War With Mexico?
A great place to take a nap

D.C. has the least amount of imports from Mexico as a percentage of total imports. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Except for Alaska, the District of Columbia would be least affected by the economic fallout of a trade war with Mexico, a new study shows.

The most affected states would be Texas, Arizona, and Michigan, according to the WalletHub study. D.C. ranked 50th, just ahead of Alaska.

Photos of the Week: Immigration Protests, Committee Boycotts and a High Court Nominee
The week of Jan. 30 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Protesters gather on Monday in front of the Supreme Court to oppose President Trump's executive order barring immigrants from certain countries entry into the U.S. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY TOM WILLIAMS AND BILL CLARK

A busy week in Washington started off with protests at Dulles International Airport and in front of the Supreme Court against President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order. Protests made it into the halls of Congress as well, as Senate Democrats boycotted several hearings for Trump’s Cabinet nominees. 

Kelly Ayotte to Guide Trump SCOTUS Nominee through Senate
The former New Hampshire senator was critical of Trump during re-election campaign

Former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who tried to distance herself from Donald Trump during the campaign, will be responsible for introducing his Supreme Court nominee to senators. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte is returning to Washington to help President Donald Trump’s White House.

The moderate Republican, who lost a close re-election last fall after revoking her support for Trump as the GOP presidential nominee, will head a team charged with shepherding Trump’s Supreme Court nominee through the Senate.

Is There Space for a Republican EMILY’s List?
Litmus tests might not work the same way on the right

Alabama’s Martha Roby is one of only 26 Republican women in Congress. Some party members wonder if they need their own version of EMILY’s List to increase that number. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As recently as the second Reagan administration, Republicans had more women in Congress than Democrats. Then EMILY’s List took hold.

The political action committee, founded in 1984, dedicated itself to electing Democratic women who support abortion rights, becoming an influential force in primaries even when it clashed with the wishes of party leaders. Now, of the 104 women in the 115th Congress, 75 percent are Democrats.

Word on the Hill: And They’re Off
115th Congress is underway

An aide walks on the fourth floor of the Russell Senate Office Building on the first day of the 115th Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It was the last Senate swearing-in for Joseph R. Biden Jr., and by now you’ve seen many photos and videos of the famously friendly vice president conducting the day. 

Word on the Hill’s favorite is a moment at the mock swearing-in in the old Senate chamber when Biden went in for a full kiss on the lips with Barbara Grassley, Iowa Republican Charles E. Grassley’s wife.

Pro-Gun Control Democrats Prep for Trump, GOP Congress
Democrats pushing to address gun violence remain hopeful

Connecticut lawmakers, from left, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sen. Christopher S. Murphy and Rep. Elizabeth Esty, have been pushing Congress to address gun violence. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats pressing for legislation to address gun violence are reassessing their strategy after a year in which they staged high-visibility demonstrations in the House and Senate to demand action.

With Republicans in control of both chambers and the White House next year, Democrats and advocates predict they will have to pivot and block measures that expand gun owners’ rights.