Patrick J Toomey

It’s Not Just Romney: Hatch Retirement Could Lead to Decisions for Grassley, Crapo
Judiciary chairman appears to have time left as leader of Finance panel

Sens Charles E. Grassley and Orrin G. Hatch have served alongside each other at the Finance and Judiciary committees. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When GOP Sen. Orrin G. Hatch announced Tuesday that he will retire from the Senate after serving Utah for more than four decades, talk quickly turned to whether Mitt Romney will seek to succeed him.

But on Capitol Hill, the pending departure of the Finance Committee chairman — who could have wielded the tax writing gavel for two more years under conference rules — also raises questions about which senator will lead the GOP on taxes, trade, health care and entitlements.

A Senate Christmas Present: Several Trump Nominees Confirmed
Senators finish delayed routine business, hard choices put off

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 7: The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree stands on the West Lawn of the Capitol on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At the very end of an acrimonious first year working with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, the Senate reverted to form, looking very much like the Senate.

McConnell Puts Infrastructure Ahead of Entitlements in 2018
Says candidate recruitment continues, hopes Rick Scott runs in Florida

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is looking ahead to 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With the tax code overhaul on its way to President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is looking ahead to 2018, in both politics and policy.

“I think that Democrats are not going to be interested in entitlement reform, so I would not expect to see that on the agenda,” McConnell said Thursday at an event hosted by Axios.

Victorious McConnell Praises GOP Team Effort on Taxes
The leader says he does not expect a tough conference

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leaves the Mansfield room after the Senate Republicans' lunch with President Donald Trump on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 2:28 a.m. | This time, just about everything went according to plan for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Kentucky Republican, who months ago came up just short of passing a bill through his chamber to roll back the 2010 health care law, got 51 Republicans behind the sweeping tax overhaul that passed in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

GOP Still Seeking Tax Overhaul Magic Numbers
Final bill may feature more ‘stimulus’ in the early years

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker appears to be among the keys to a tax overhaul deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After sending senators home earlier than expected Thursday, Republican negotiators were going to work through the night trying to thread the needle to get 50 or more votes for their tax code rewrite.

Senate Finance ranking member Ron Wyden was giving a lengthy speech criticizing the Republican tax plan after Thurday night’s final Senate vote, but the Oregon Democrat was really serving as the soundtrack over an animated gathering of Republican senators and senior aides.

‘Tax Week’ Starts With a Wacky Day at White House
‘Pocahontas’ remark, CFPB move threaten to overshadow tax message

Republicans want to talk about taxes this week, but other topics are competing for attention. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“Tax Week” kicked off with another wacky day at the Trump White House.

A relatively quiet morning at the executive mansion turned into a chaotic afternoon Monday, with the White House again going on the defensive just as President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers attempt to pass major legislation.

Senate GOP Looks to Kill Individual Mandate to Pay for More Tax Cuts

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, wants more individual tax cuts, but might object to killing the health insurance mandate to pay for them. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A growing chorus of Senate Republicans wants the bigger tax cuts for individuals and families in their tax overhaul, but the problem remains how to pay for it. And their leader says the biggest pot of money is in repealing the individual mandate to purchase health insurance. 

“We’re optimistic that inserting the individual mandate repeal would be helpful and that’s obviously the view of the Senate Finance Committee Republicans as well,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Tuesday. 

Senate Tax Markup Will Be Spirited, but Don’t Expect Fireworks
Finance panel has more than 350 amendments to weigh over the next several days

Senate Finance ranking member Ron Wyden, left, and Chairman Orrin G. Hatch prepare to make opening statements during committee markup of the Republican tax bill Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday begins in earnest its markup of the Republican bill to overhaul the U.S. tax code.

Following opening statements Monday, the panel has more than 350 amendments to consider over the course of the next several days.

GOP Knocks Casey for Supporting Assault Weapons Ban
Casey is running for re-election in a state Trump narrowly won

Sen. Bob Casey, Jr., D-Pa., is co-sponsoring a bill banning assault weapons. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Bob Casey was the only Democrat in a competitive 2018 race to sign onto a bill banning assault weapons, and Republicans wasted no time criticizing the move. 

The Pennsylvania Democrat has evolved on gun control issues since he was first elected in 2006. And Republicans are accusing him of misleading Pennsylvania voters.

Senate Majority PAC Announces New Senior Staff
Group is focused on backing Senate Democrats

J.B. Poersch, president of the Senate Majority PAC, is welcoming several new senior staffers to his group. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The super PAC dedicated to helping Democrats win back the Senate is announcing several new senior staffers for the 2018 cycle, according to an announcement shared first with Roll Call.

J.B. Poersch, president and co-founder of the Senate Majority PAC, said in a statement that the group had assembled a “first-rate team” in the face of a “challenging Senate map.” Senate Democrats are defending 25 seats next year compared to the Republicans’ eight.