Patrick J Toomey

Canada: No Deal Yet With U.S. on NAFTA Update
Dairy central to disagreements

Canada’s Chrystia Freeland speaks with reporters Aug. 31, 2018. (Ellyn Ferguson/CQ Roll Call)

Canada’s top trade negotiator said Friday that talks to update NAFTA have yet to produce an agreement with the United States. The comments come just hours before the administration plans to notify Congress that it intends to sign a trade agreement in principle with Mexico.

“We are not there yet,” said Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland Friday morning.  “We are only going to sign a deal that is good for Canada. My job is to find the deal that works for Canada.″ 

Congress Awaits Details as Canada Looms Over NAFTA Deadline
Democrats and Republicans want northern neighbor included

Kushner enters USTR headquarters Aug. 29, 2018. (Ellyn Ferguson/CQ Roll Call)

With just a day before the Trump administration is expected to notify Congress that it plans to sign an agreement in principle with Mexico to update the NAFTA trade pact, lawmakers continue to seek more details and push for a final outcome that includes the third NAFTA partner — Canada.

“We have no exact details. Other than what’s been written in newspapers, we have no idea what’s in it,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said of the agreement in principle announced Monday by Mexico and the United States to update the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Corker said Senate Republicans were told Tuesday that they could soon receive what he called talking points on the agreement.

Senate Wraps Up for August, Breaking Logjam on Judges on Way Out of Town
Many senators will be back in D.C. for services honoring John McCain on Friday

A plane takes off from Reagan National Airport at sunrise. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators were able to smell the jet fumes Tuesday, breaking a logjam on judicial nominees as they ended the workweek after most of them spent less than 24 hours in the Capitol.

The Senate finished up work for the week, and the month, on Tuesday afternoon after confirming seven of President Donald Trump’s picks to be federal district judges.

Sen. Pat Toomey’s Campaign Latest Political Email Hacking Target
Targeted email accounts have been dormant for over a year

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., was the latest senator to be targeted by a foreign phishing scam. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Patrick J. Toomey is the latest U.S. politician to announce his campaign was the target of an attempt to hack into its emails.

Google notified Toomey’s office that “hackers from a nation state may have attempted to infiltrate specific email accounts associated with his campaign apparatus” through a phishing scam, Steve Kelly, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Republican, said in a statement.

McConnell Casts Doubt on Legislation to Restrict Trump’s Trade Authority
Kentucky Republican talked taxes and trade Friday in Louisville

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was talking taxes and trade in his hometown on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stopped at a water tank manufacturing company Friday in Louisville, Kentucky, to tout the benefits of the Republican tax overhaul, but the conversation not surprisingly turned to trade.

The Kentucky Republican said it was unlikely Congress could enact restrictions on President Donald Trump’s trade authority, despite some GOP senators’ efforts to reign in the president’s actions.

In Pennsylvania, Trump Rips Casey as ‘Sleeping Bob’
GOP Senate nominee Barletta tells crowd Democrat will ‘take away your tax cuts’

Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, right, talks with the state’s junior senator, Republican Patrick J. Toomey, in the Senate subway in July 2016. President Donald Trump visited the state Thursday night to campaign against Casey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Looking to boost Republican Rep. Lou Barletta in his Pennsylvania Senate bid, President Donald Trump dismissed the Democratic incumbent Bob Casey at a rally Thursday as “Sleeping Bob,” calling him “overrated” and too controlled by his party’s leaders.

Trump called Barletta onstage near the start of the rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, calling him a “very special man” who has “been with me.”

Senate Passes Spending Package, Rejects Trump’s Proposed Cuts
Chamber has now passed seven of the 12 annual spending bills

Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., has shepherded a largely bipartisan appropriations process, pushing forward a four-package spending measure on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate approved a $154.2 billion, four-bill fiscal 2019 spending package Wednesday as a continuing bipartisan effort in the chamber pushed it ahead of the House in the appropriations process.

The vote was 92-6. Republicans cast the opposing votes: Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania.

When Pig Selfies Fly: Pig Book Provides Ritual Railing Against Pork
Pigs give professed pig castrator Sen. Joni Ernst plenty of space

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with a pig Wednesday at the 2018 Congressional Pig Book launch event hosted by Citizens Against Government Waste . (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Jeff Flake was at it again Wednesday, taking selfies with a potbellied pig.

Each year, the Arizona Republican attempts to snap photos with costumed pig characters, as well as Faye, the potbellied pig that serves as the mascot for the annual “Pig Book” release by watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste.

Citing No Regrets About Retiring, Paul Ryan Bets Kevin McCarthy Will Replace Him
Outgoing speaker will not rule out a future presidential bid

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Thursday he has no regrets about retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s Thursday interview with David M. Rubenstein, president of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., started with an admission that he has no regrets — “none whatsoever” — about retiring. It then diverted into a wide array of topics including his replacement, future plans and policy goals for his last few months in office.

The Wisconsin Republican reiterated his preference that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy succeed him as speaker when asked about his replacement.

Senate Delivers Mild Rebuke to Trump on Trade
Sen. Corker secured the vote as a non-binding motion

Sen. Bob Corker offered the motion regarding trade policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Bob Corker has finally got his colleagues on the record in support of Congress playing a role in national security-related trade decisions like those made recently under President Donald Trump.

The Tennessee Republican and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee secured the vote on a motion to instruct conferees on the pending package of three spending bills, which does not have a binding effect on the members of the Appropriations Committee who will be serving on the conference committee to resolve differences with the House.