Paul D Ryan

Cory Booker explains why he is a reluctant filibuster warrior
The Democratic presidential hopeful might prefer to use budget reconciliation

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Presidential candidate and Sen. Cory Booker may have inched toward supporting elimination of the legislative filibuster, but the New Jersey Democrat shouldn’t expect the questions to stop.

In an interview for Wednesday’s episode of the “Pod Save America” podcast, Booker expanded on his long-held reservations about changing the Senate rules allowing contentious legislation to advance without needing 60 votes to get past procedural hurdles.

Utah bill would give primary voters less say on who appears on special election ballots
Measure is latest development in yearslong struggle over party nomination process

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, right, with his wife, Sue, and Speaker Paul D. Ryan at his mock swearing-in ceremony in November 2017. Curtis won his special election after successfully petitioning to get on the GOP primary ballot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah voters would have fewer opportunities to weigh in on candidates to fill certain congressional seats under legislation that quietly passed the state Legislature this week. 

The bill, which has yet to be signed by the governor and has so far received little attention from local media, would change the process by which candidates appear on primary ballots in special elections to replace House members who resign in the middle of their terms. For those elections, only candidates nominated by delegates from either party would be able to run. Candidates would not be able to make the ballot by petitioning voters. 

Trump’s latest self-inflicted wound: Medicare cuts
Attacking Medicare is about as popular as a national program to confiscate kittens

The president is devoted to his MAGA-hatted true believers, but his phantom budget may have cost him more than a few supporters in Rust Belt states, Shapiro writes. Above, people wave their caps at a Trump rally in Michigan in 2018. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — Donald Trump’s political problems are almost all rooted in his personality.

The nonstop lying and boasting that have led to a credibility canyon seemingly flow from the president’s fragile ego. His vicious temperament when crossed produces the torrent of below-the-belt Twitter attacks. His apparent inability to trust anyone beyond his immediate family has produced outrages like Jared Kushner’s dubious security clearance. And Trump’s own tough-guy fantasies are probably connected to his hero worship of Vladimir Putin and his avuncular affection for the murderous Kim Jong Un.

‘To be clear’: Paul Ryan cleans up after remarks about Trump and 2020
Former GOP speaker said Monday that a Democrat could win if race is about Trump’s ‘personality’

Former Speaker Paul Ryan clarified comments he made about how President Donald Trump's “personality” shouldn’t be the focus of the 2020 race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Speaker Paul D. Ryan tried on Wednesday to clarify comments he made at a speech earlier this week in which he suggested that some Democratic presidential candidates could defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election if the race was dominated by Trump’s “personality.”

The Wisconsin Republican, who retired in January, sent out a follow-up tweet Wednesday saying that the U.S. is “clearly better off” with Trump in the Oval Office and that his “record of accomplishment” will carry him to victory in 2020.

Paul Ryan breaks silence with advice for Democrats on how to beat Trump
If 2020 ‘is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn’t going to win,’ former speaker says

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., delivered a speech in Florida on Monday in which he focused mainly on policies but also touched on the 2020 presidential election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Speaker Paul D. Ryan thinks there are some Democrats in the 2020 field who can defeat President Donald Trump in a general election.

At a Monday speech in Vero Beach, Florida, Ryan briefly outlined the playbook for Democrats to topple Trump and make him the first one-term president since the early 1990s — namely, make the race about Trump’s personality.

Democrats get their very own tea party after all
Tea parties are messy, loud, awkward and definitely not ‘meh,’ as it turns out

Veteran strategists underestimated Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna S. Pressley, Murphy writes. Now Democrats are getting their very own tea party after all. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — In the weeks leading up to the midterm elections, you could already see a tea party redux setting itself up for the Democrats in the same the way the original tea party movement had swept the Republicans into power in 2011.

There was the grassroots anger fueling the insurrection. The out-of-nowhere political superstars already gaining traction. And the out-of-power party establishment in Washington looking at the energy coming into their party as their ticket to rise to the majority. But once the tea partiers got to D.C., Republicans’ visions of power didn’t go as planned.

With both parties awash with cash, maybe campaign reform isn’t so quixotic
Republicans may need to rethink their knee-jerk opposition to HR 1

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt at a news conference Wednesday to oppose the House Democrats’ government overhaul package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — After months of polls, focus groups and strategy sessions, Michael Bloomberg came to the obvious conclusion — unlimited money cannot buy a presidential nomination in 2020.

Yes, the news stories talked about competition from Joe Biden and the difficulty that a moderate would have in surviving the Democratic primaries. But Bloomberg implicitly conceded that even a billionaire’s bankroll would not be enough to dominate simultaneous March 3, 2020, primaries in California and Texas.

Will FDA keep cracking down on teen vaping, other initiatives, after Gottlieb leaves?
Scott Gottlieb, fought teen vaping and approved record numbers of generic drugs will resign next month

The outside of the Food and Drug Administration headquarters is seen in White Oak, Md.(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who launched a campaign against teen vaping and approved a record number of generic drugs, is resigning next month.

The departure raises questions about whether the agency would continue to vigorously seek to curb the exploding use of e-cigarettes among young people, among other Gottlieb initiatives. But the commissioner, in a resignation letter listing accomplishments on this and other issues, said he was “confident that the FDA will continue to advance all these efforts.”

Senate to follow House, keep earmarks out of spending bills
Earmarks have also been banned in the Senate since 2011

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., is seen after the Senate Policy luncheons on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate appropriators don’t plan to revive earmarks this year, following the House’s lead set late last week by the Democratic majority across the Capitol.

“I would listen to meritorious things, but I don’t see that happening right now. The House has just spoken,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., said Monday.

At least senators showed up to vote in 2018: CQ Vote Studies
Senate had highest highest election-year participation rate since 2006

Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., cast just 47 percent of eligible votes in the House in 2018 as she made a run for governor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Leaders of Congress are adept at scheduling votes when members will be available to cast them — avoiding weekends, keeping to short work days and making sure members get days off.

That helps avoid voting participation low points, such as 1970 — when lawmakers cast votes only 79 percent of the time and fewer than a quarter had a 90 percent showing or higher.