Oklahoma

Word on the Hill: National Wine Day
Dusty Baker on the Hill and Dana Rohrabacher in a sling

Celebrate National Wine Day before the weekend. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

You may be pleasantly surprised to hear about a very special, perhaps unknown, holiday. Today is National Wine Day.

It’s nearly Friday, which means it’s almost recess, so pick up a bottle of wine on your way home from work to celebrate.

Opinion: Congress Needs to Raise Budget Caps
Economic and national security investments vital to our long-term success

Not raising the budget caps risks shortchanging the next generation by leaving behind an ill-prepared workforce, a crumbling infrastructure, and a stagnant economy, Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We begin the 2018 budget process facing arbitrary and irresponsible spending caps that threaten our security, our economy, and our nation’s standing as a global leader of research and innovation. Yet, the budget proposal put forth by President Donald Trump does not respond to this simple truth. In fact, it will take our country in the opposite direction.

The president would provide additional funds for one important aspect of government — defense — but would do so at the expense of all other investments. That’s not a responsible proposal — and it should not be treated as one. Even some of my Republican colleagues have criticized these misguided priorities of President Trump. House Budget Committee member Tom Cole, R-Okla., called the president’s proposed cuts “short-sighted,” saying, “These are investments the country ought to be making.”

Graham: Congress Will Have to Stay out of Mueller’s Lane in Russia Probe
Conversations between Trump and Comey could be subject of special counsel

Sen. Lindsey Graham says the appointment of a special counsel may limit the ability of Congress to get information. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The senator leading one of the probes into Russian activities related to the 2016 election says the appointment of a special counsel is likely to restrict public access to information.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary subcommittee looking into the Russian election interference efforts, has been among the senators seeking testimony from former FBI Director James B. Comey in the aftermath of his firing by President Donald Trump. But now Graham is not expecting to hear much.

Cloud of Scandals Follow Trump Overseas
Lawmakers warn of stalled domestic agenda

President Donald Trump exits Air Force One on Feb. 6 at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. On Friday, he leaves on a five-country swing amid several domestic scandals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ned T. Johnston via Wikimedia Commons)

A cloud of scandal and uncertainty will follow Donald Trump to five countries on his first overseas trip as president beginning this weekend. And it could only grow more ominous by the time he returns.

When Trump boards Air Force One on Friday, he will leave behind a growing pile of smoldering scandals, mostly of his own creation.

Mitch McConnell, Still Playing the Long Game
Trump revelations, FBI director search, don't rattle majority leader

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not allow the latest news about President Donald Trump to knock him off message. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BY JASON DICK AND JOE WILLIAMS, CQ ROLL CALL

It’s difficult to get Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to play anything but “The Long Game,” the Kentucky Republican’s political strategy, encapsulated by his 2016 memoir of the same name.

Congressional Review Act Gets a Workout
Window for expedited nixing of regulations closes, maybe

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is among lawmakers who would be interested in expanding the scope of the Congressional Review Act beyond its generally understood reach. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On May 11, Republicans in Congress had a little celebration for the end of more than a dozen Obama-era regulations, with member after member coming to the Senate floor heaping praise on a once-obscure law known as the Congressional Review Act.

Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma could barely contain himself: “I’m almost speechless when I think about the success. You know, we went 20 years taking up one CRA and then we end up passing 14 of them — all but one. It’s a huge success record.”

Mike Lee Floats Merrick Garland for FBI Director
Republican senator suggests Obama’s Supreme Court pick to replace Comey

Republicans blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Mike Lee on Thursday suggested that President Donald Trump should nominate Judge Merrick Garland to be the next FBI director.

Garland, the chief judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, is best known as former President Barack Obama’s nomination for the Supreme Court seat now filled by Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., put the Garland nomination on ice.

Maverick McCain Re-Emerges on Methane Vote
Surprise vote sinks resolution

Arizona Sen. John McCain, center, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, left, talk with reporters in the Capitol on May 10, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JEREMY DILLON, ANDY VAN WYE, and ELVINA NAWAGUNA, CQ Roll Call

Sen. John McCain was thought to be a yes. But he says he was always a no. In the end, the Arizona Republican helped sink a resolution to upend an Obama administration climate change policy.

McConnell Gambit on Federal Judges Begins to Pay Off
Two appellate nominees were on campaign list that produced Gorsuch

Thanks to the way Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., processed judicial nominees in the last two years of President Barack Obama’s presidency, President Donald Trump has a large slate of nominees to name to the federal bench. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump on Monday began the final stages of a Republican strategy to give federal courts a facelift that the party has been methodically carrying out for some time.

Trump nominated 10 judges to federal benches, the first group of nominees for the 119 federal district court and circuit court vacancies he must fill, a number more than twice those that President Barack Obama inherited. The large number of empty benches was by design, with Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., deliberately slow-walking Obama administration nominees for many of those posts in the last two years of Barack Obama’s presidency.

GOP Members Pull Back Curtain, Describe ‘Hands-On’ President
Trump gave McCarthy, a former whip, call sheet as health care vote neared

President Donald Trump congratulates House Republicans after they passed legislation aimed at repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law, during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House on Thursday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In the end, the political novice-turned-president out-whipped a longtime vote wrangler.

House Republicans, on their second try this year, found just enough votes to pass a measure to partially repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law. As they looked for votes, senior members say President Donald Trump got his hand dirty — even giving a little tactical advice hours before the dramatic vote to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the chamber’s GOP whip from 2011 to 2014.