Minnesota

Price Faces Tough Questions on Stock Trading, Health Care Law

Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., takes his seat before the start of his confirmation hearing in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Tom Price sought in a contentious hearing Wednesday to defend his purchases of medical stocks against Democratic charges of conflicts of interest.

Price told Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that held the hearing, that he bought Australian biotech Innate Immunotherapeutics shares after talking with Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., about the company. Collins serves as a director of the company. That raises questions about whether that would be a potential violation of the STOCK Act which prohibits lawmakers from benefiting from insider information or ethics rules. However, Price said he did not receive information that was not public.

Gwen Moore to Attend Inauguration as 'The Resistance'
Moore's decision comes as the list of Democrats skipping the festivities grows

Rep. Gwen Moore says she is attending the Inauguration as the face of opposition to President-elect Dona'd Trump's "repugnant" policies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Many Democrats are planning to skip Friday’s inaugural activities over their objections to President-elect Donald Trump, but not Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore.

“As a proud Democrat, I want President-elect Trump to see me front and center as he’s sworn in,” Moore said in a statement Wednesday. “I want him to see exactly what his opposition looks like. When he sees me, I want him to see The Resistance.”

Democrats, Donors Turn Focus to State Legislative Races
Republicans say their foes have tried before but still came up short

Former Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which is backed by President Obama, will focus prominently on state legislative races. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate map is chock-full of deep red states, the House map skews Republican, and the presidential race doesn’t start for at least two more years. 

If Democrats and their donors want to find ways to win in 2018, they might need to refocus down the ballot — way down the ballot.

Progressives Outraged Over Booker, Democrats’ Vote on Prescription Drugs From Canada
12 Republicans voted for amendment to GOP budget resolution that begins dismantling of Obamacare

Sen. Cory Booker defended his vote on the amendment, saying it “didn’t adequately make sure foreign drugs meet American safety standards.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Progressives in the Democratic Party are outraged after 13 Democrats voted against an amendment that would have allowed Americans to buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, saying it’s a sign that Big Pharma has too much power in the party. 

The amendment was unlikely to pass, but critics say that’s why it should have been a safe way for Democrats to show their support for combating high drug prices.

NRCC Names First Female Head of Recruitment
New York Rep. Elise Stefanik will help find 2018 candidates

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik will be the NRCC’s vice chairwoman for recruitment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers has named New York Rep. Elise Stefanik the committee’s vice chairwoman for recruitment for the 2018 election cycle. 

Stefanik is the first woman to lead recruitment efforts for the party, a significant appointment given that the GOP trails Democrats in the number of women in Congress. Democrats have 62 female members in the House, while Republicans have just 21.

Nolan Mulling a Run for Minnesota Governor
Says he would ‘give it some thought’ after being asked to consider run

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., is considering a run for governor after pulling off a squeaker victory in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., says he’s been asked to run for governor in 2018, and he’s considering it. But for now, he’s leaning toward staying in Congress.

“It was not an idea of mine,” Nolan told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “It’s one of those things that genuinely came from other sources, and out of respect for them, I said I would give it some thought.” 

Senate Adopts Budget Opening Door for Obamacare Repeal
Democrats take unusual step of standing and announcing why they voted no

Senators voted 51-48 early Thursday to adopt the budget resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

BY JENNIFER SHUTT AND RYAN McCRIMMON/CQ ROLL CALL

The Senate early Thursday took a first step toward repeal of the health care law by adopting a fiscal 2017 budget resolution following a seven-hour voting session.

Word on the Hill: How Will You Judge Trump’s Inauguration Speech
‘I’m also very much of a germophobe, by the way. Believe me’

President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration is almost a week away. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We’re almost a week away to President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration and on Wednesday, he gave his first news conference since the election.

The Quote.com blog analyzed presidential inaugural addresses and ranked them by reading level. The analysis was part of a study of top American speeches, on eight different linguistic scales to figure out the complexity of their syntaxes. Of the inaugural addresses, the analysis found that President George H.W. Bushgave the easiest speech in 1989 while President John Adams gave the most difficult in 1797.

House Democrats Still Considering Vice Ranking Member Posts
Caucus discussed the matter Wednesday but deferred a vote

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos said she believes the Democratic caucus will approve the addition of vice ranking members on committees. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats on Wednesday continued a discussion about adding vice ranking members to committees to give more members an opportunity to serve in leadership roles but deferred a vote on the matter until a later meeting. 

The Democratic caucus will meet again, as early as Thursday, to decide whether to approve the vice ranking member posts as an amendment to the caucus rules, members said.

Freshmen Backed by Freedom Caucus Aren’t Committing to Joining
Caucus leaders expect some non-freshmen to help replenish their ranks

The political arm of the House Freedom Caucus backed Indiana Republican Jim Banks, but he has not yet decided to join the caucus if invited. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Freedom Caucus is currently down seven members from the 114th Congress — and possibly two more.

South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney is awaiting confirmation as President-elect Donald Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget.