Mike Rounds

Why Pups Push Partisanship Aside on the Hill
‘These little animals here, they don’t care about political parties’

Riggins from Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s office attended the holiday party dressed as an elf. (Screenshot from Roll Call's Facebook Live)

It seems like Sen. Thom Tillis started a trend.

Office dogs have always been part of the culture on Capitol Hill, but the North Carolina Republican raised the bar when he hosted a Halloween party for dogs.

Wheelin’ and Dealin’ McConnell in Full Force on GOP Tax Bill
Successful vote on the motion to proceed ignites last-minute scramble to 50 votes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is assembling the votes for the GOP tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans on Wednesday evening got the necessary votes to launch debate on the party’s measure to overhaul the U.S. tax code. But this came after a day of backroom deal-making by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that could lead to several major changes to the current version of the legislation.

The pressure on the Senate GOP is sky-high as the party looks to achieve at least one major legislative victory during President Donald Trump’s first year in the White House.

Opinion: The Conscience of Two Conservatives
Jeff Flake and Bob Corker call President Donald Trump out

Republican Sens. Bob Corker, center, and Jeff Flake, right, denounced their party’s Faustian bargain in embracing the presidency of Donald Trump, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There are many muscular arguments against term limits, from arbitrarily depriving voters of their choice to the sterling Senate careers of long-serving legislators like Joe Biden and John McCain.

The case for term limits can be expressed in five words: Bob Corker and Jeff Flake.

GOP Insists All Is Well, Despite Chaotic Day on Hill
Corker feud, Flake retirement send shock waves through Senate

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso speaks with President Donald Trump as they arrive for the Senate Republicans’ policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On a day when President Donald Trump went after one GOP senator and another announced his retirement while accusing his party of failing to stand up to the president, most Senate Republicans said the circus-like atmosphere was not distracting them from their legislative agenda.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell smiled as he dismissed the notion that Trump’s feud with a respected member of his caucus is keeping members from doing their work. So, too, did Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican involved in an escalating war of words with Trump

Word on the Hill: Drag Racing
Bonus digital challenge results, ‘Flint’ screening, and raising funds from ‘Hamilton’

Members of Gays Against Guns DC dress in drag as Rep. Barbara Comstock during the costume parade before the start of the 30th Annual 17th Street High Heel Race in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

So what is Gays Against Guns DC’s problem with Rep. Barbara Comstock?

The group, known has GAG, will be back at the annual 17th Street High Heel Race tonight, high heels and all, protesting the Virginia Republican. While last year’s protest was a week before her re-election, this year’s will focus on her stance on guns and “her lack of action for common sense gun violence prevention measures,” the group said in an emailed statement. 

Photos of the Week: Senate Grills Sessions and Adopts Budget
The week of Oct. 16 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., takes a selfie on Tuesday outside of Dirksen Building along Constitution Avenue NE. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate was the only congressional chamber in session this week as the House recessed for members to spend time in their districts. On the list of what the Senate tackled this week — a hearing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the adoption of a budget resolution that's another step in the path toward a tax overhaul.

Regular Order? Maybe Not For Alexander-Murray Bill
A markup could open door to partisan battle over the 2010 health law

Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., ranking member, are seen during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing in Dirksen Building titled "Examining How Healthy Choices Can Improve Health Outcomes and Reduce Costs," on October 19. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A committee markup of a bipartisan health bill from Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray could add another potentially fatal complication for the measure that is already under significant pressure.

Senators from both parties have for months decried the lack of regular order in the chamber as Republicans tried to jam through legislation to repeal the 2010 health law.

Senate Considers Broadening Budget Resolution
Move would allow GOP to legislate on more topics without filibuster fear

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leaves after speaking to reporters in the Capitol following the Senate Republicans’ policy lunch Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate is considering beefing up the fiscal 2018 budget resolution to address a broader swath of issues beyond a tax overhaul, including the rollback of regulations on the financial industry, lawmakers said.

The additions might not be included in the Senate’s version before a floor vote, lawmakers said, but could be added during an expected conference with the House. The Senate Budget Committee begins its markup of the budget resolution Wednesday.  

Senate Republican Class of 2014 Looking to Shake Things Up
The group has become more vocal in their desire to change business as usual

Republican members of the Senate class of 2014 were instrumental in delaying the start of the August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. David Perdue keeps a calendar in his office to remind him how many working days the Senate has left this year.

But with just 43 legislative days remaining and a packed agenda ahead, it’s not a countdown he particularly enjoys. To make matters worse, that number counts most Fridays as in-session days, though the chamber almost always wraps up its weekly work Thursday.

Pence Didn't Push on Health Care Vote
Veep did not seek to force Senate hand on latest bill

Vice President Mike Pence joined Senate Republicans at their weekly lunch, but did not opt to force the issue of taking a vote on the health care bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vice President Mike Pence opted not to make a last-ditch pitch to Republican senators Tuesday to vote for the GOP’s latest health care bill.

Instead, Republican senators leaving their weekly lunch at the Capitol said Pence focused on how Congress could provide disaster aid to U.S. territories devastated by a string of recent hurricanes, pivoting from one of the president’s central campaign promises. Shortly after the lunch, GOP leaders said they were shelving a vote.