North Dakota

Plan to Boost Coal and Nuclear Could Cost Consumers
Should consumers pay more so coal and nuclear plants can survive?

Energy Secretary Rick Perry testifies during the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Oct. 12. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For years, federal regulation of the electric grid has focused on keeping prices low and competition stiff. But that could change with a recent proposal from the Trump administration to put more emphasis on what it calls resiliency.

According to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the electric grid is more resilient — able to bounce back from disasters of the natural and man-made variety — when it has plenty of so-called baseload power that can run 24/7, with or without sunshine or wind and regardless of supply snags.

McConnell: Moore Must Step Aside If Allegations True
Ala. candidate initiated sexual encounter with girl, reports say

Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore is questioned by the media in the Capitol on Oct. 31. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:17 p.m. | Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is accused of initiating a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32, according to The Washington Post.

“If these allegations are true, he must step aside,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday.

Senate GOP to Delay Corporate Tax Cut, Repeal ‘SALT’ Deduction
Finance Committee releases plan highlights

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven at a news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:25 p.m. | Senate Republicans proposed Thursday to delay a corporate tax cut for one year and fully repeal the deduction for state and local taxes, taking a different approach than the House on overhauling the tax code.

The plan highlights released by the Senate Finance Committee show shared goals with the House bill advanced by the Ways and Committee on Thursday. Both would provide tax cuts at all income levels, slash the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, and expand benefits for families with children. For multinational companies, the proposals would shift to a new territorial tax regime.

A Tax Bill in Plain English? Senate Finance Committee Is Already There
Panel has an unusual history of forgoing legislative language for simple terminology

Former Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, right, and Max Baucus of Montana were among the Finance Committee members who once debated whether to conduct committee business in plain English or legalese. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Anyone looking for legislative text of the Senate’s tax code overhaul this week will be sorely disappointed.

But it should be no surprise, because unlike the rest of Congress — including their counterparts on the House Ways and Means Committee — members of the Senate Finance panel conduct their business in plain English. The conversion to legislative text takes place on the way to the floor.

All the GOP’s Eggs Are Now in the Tax Basket
The pressure’s on as House Republicans try to move their tax bill

Sen. John Kennedy holds up his wallet during a Tuesday news conference in the Capitol as he says that families and small businesses would benefit from the GOP’s tax plan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s hard enough to digest the policy details of the GOP tax overhaul plan — but add in a dose of distraction from the sprawling probe of Russian interference into last year’s elections and it’s easy to lose any budding “taxmentum.”

Selling a comprehensive tax code rewrite — even if it’s packaged as a tax cut for individuals and businesses — is so challenging that Congress hasn’t done it since 1986.

One Year Out: The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators in 2018
Taking heat from both sides, Nevada’s Dean Heller leads the list

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller is among the ten most vulnerable senators in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats are defending 10 seats President Donald Trump won last cycle. But a year out from Election Day, the most vulnerable senator is the lone Republican facing re-election in a state won by Hillary Clinton.The overall Senate landscape has improved for Democrats since the beginning of the year, with Republican retirements opening up two seats in 2018. But this ranking only features incumbents.

More GOP primaries could develop, but besides Nevada’s Dean Heller, the other nine most vulnerable senators are all Democrats.

What to Watch as 2018 Primaries Inch Closer
It’s never too early: first contests take place in March

Spread out over the first nine months of the year, primaries will set the stage for the 2018 midterm elections in November. These contests will be the first test of each party’s ability to field strong candidates in key pickup opportunities and fend off intraparty challenges. 

The first elections will take place in March. Here’s what to watch for as the primaries pick up. And click here for Roll Call's comprehensive guide to every 2018 election from start to finish.

Word on the Hill: Darkest Hour
Free lunch, Bison day, Hirono’s health update, new D.C. book and Christopher Nolan at LOC

(Screen shot of “Darkest Hour” trailer)

The new movie “Darkest Hour” will be screened in D.C. this evening, followed by a panel that includes House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y.

NBC’s Chuck Todd will moderate the panel at the United States Navy Memorial (701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) at 7:15 p.m. The movie’s star, actor Gary Oldman, is also scheduled to attend.

Cramer Says Trump Wants Him to Enter North Dakota Senate Race
North Dakota congressman is considering a Senate run

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., is considering running for Senate. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Kevin Cramer said Wednesday that President Donald Trump phoned him Tuesday evening and encouraged him to run for Senate against Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

“He called largely to encourage me to strongly consider entering the U.S. Senate race in North Dakota,” Cramer said during an interview on KFYR’s “What’s On Your Mind With Scott Hennen.” American Bridge, a Democratic opposition research firm, captured the audio.

Democrats Face Messaging Hurdles on GOP Tax Plan
Condensed timeline, dissension complicate strategy

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, followed by Hawaii Sen. Mazie K. Hirono and Delaware Sen. Chris Coons walks to the microphones in the Capitol after the Senate Democrats’ policy lunch on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats and their supporters had a unified message when it came to standing against Republican efforts to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. But when it comes to resisting President Donald Trump and the GOP on tax legislation, it might get more complicated.

Democratic leadership is sending signals it is not willing to negotiate on the GOP tax bill until the current partisan effort fails, but some members of the conference appear ready to buck that message, if need be.