Kentucky

Trump Encouraged Corker to Seek Another Term, Despite Recent Friction
Tennessee senator to decide legislative future ‘very, very soon’

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was encouraged to run for re-election by President Donald Trump in a face-to-face meeting last Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump encouraged Sen. Bob Corker to seek a third term in a face-to-face meeting last week even though the two butted heads throughout August and September, the Tennessean reported Monday.

The Tennessee Republican has asked multiple members of the GOP brass, including the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for advice as he weighs whether to re-up for another term or return to the private sector, where he was a construction and real estate titan before entering public service.

McConnell In Difficult Spot With Latest Health Care Push
Senate majority leader tasked with shepherding bill he had no role in writing

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is in an unfamiliar position of pushing a health care repeal bill that he had little role in crafting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is counting on an 11th-hour attempt to repeal the 2010 health care law and change directions on a disappointing year for Republicans.

Having put health care on the back burner after lacking the votes this summer, McConnell has thrown his weight behind a proposal from GOP Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Dean Heller of Nevada.

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.

Senate Finance Staff — Old and New — Ready for Tax Challenge
Staffers promoted to replace departed colleagues

From left, Senate Finance majority staffers Jay Khosla, Jeff Wrase, Jen Kuskowski, Julia Lawless, Chris Armstrong, Mark Prater, and Shane Warren in the committee’s Dirksen hearing room. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“A little bit like Bill Belichick.”

That’s how Jay Khosla, the new staff director for the Senate Finance Committee, described the personnel management style of Chairman Orrin G. Hatch.

Podcast: Lifting the Spending Caps
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 31

House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black, R-Tenn., and Ranking Member John Yarmuth, D-Ky., listen to testimony by OMB Director Mick Mulvaney during a committee hearing on May 24, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle would like to lift the spending limits established by law, says CQ budget reporter Jennifer Shutt, adding that it's just the latest budget issue to confront lawmakers along with passing a budget resolution and a tax overhaul.

 

Which of These Bills Is Not Like the Others? The Defense Budget
Testy and balky debate, like this year, still has ended with authorization for 57 straight years

Two U.S. army Blackhawk helicopters approach for landing at an airfield in Australia during a joint U.S. and Australian training exercise in July. (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images File Photo)

For the uninitiated, it might have seemed last week like the annual legislation authorizing the nation’s military was about to come off the rails. And only now does it appear to be clamoring out of some thick mud — yet another example of a Congress so challenged when it comes to discharging even its most fundamental responsibilities.

Rest assured, though: There’s truly nothing more certain in the Capitol’s life cycle than enactment of the annual National Defense Authorization Act.

Opinion: Dancing With the Democrats Will Not Save Trump
Long-term consequences of president’s actions will catch up with him

President Donald Trump would remain a reprehensible president even if he were to permanently move from the nationalistic right to the progressive left, Walter Shapiro writes. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Memo to the Democrats: Figure out how far Donald Trump is willing to travel on the ground before he gets bored and restless. Whatever the number is for our short-attention-span president (maybe a mile by golf cart and 10 miles by limousine), the Democrats should agree to build a border wall of precisely that length.

Consider it a Potemkin Wall.

Senate Set to Pass Defense Authorization Measure

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, left, seen here with Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, expressed regret the chamber could not agree on how to bring up all the amendments senators wanted to vote on. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the Senate’s 2018 defense authorization bill passing a procedural hurdle Thursday, the chamber is expected to vote on final passage of the massive military policy bill Monday.

The Senate voted 84-9 to invoke cloture and limit debate on a substitute version of the bill that includes 104 amendments.

Trump Casts Doubt on GOP Clearing 60-Vote Hurdle in Senate on Tax Bill
Criticizes UK officials after terror attack on London

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Senate Republicans in the East Room of the White House on June 27. On Friday, he again called for Senate GOP leaders to change the rules so legislation can pass with 51 votes; the president said Republicans “can't get” to 60 votes. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday declared Senate Republicans “can’t get” 60 votes in the Senate and again urged GOP leaders to alter rules for major legislation.

He followed his Twitter rant against Senate Republicans with his first comments on Friday’s terrorist attack in London to criticize British security officials.

Booker Tacks Toward Democratic Party’s Base
Liberals eye New Jersey senator warily over ties to Wall Street and drug companies

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker speaks Wednesday during Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ event to introduce the so-called Medicare for All Act of 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker worked on burnishing his liberal credentials on economic and health care policy this week, which could appeal to his Democratic Party’s skeptical base. 

The first-term senator is considered among the many potential Democrats in the chamber who could run for president in 2020. But liberals are wary of him because of what they see as his ties to financial industries.