Rand Paul

Cory Booker’s Mysterious Mission to Texas
New Jersey senator spent recent weekend visiting a private prison

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has been one of the leading voices of the congressional effort to overhaul the criminal justice system. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As most of his colleagues headed home last weekend, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker spent Friday night on a journey to the center of the country.

After flying from Washington to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Feb. 10, one of the rising stars in the Democratic Party sat unnoticed at a charging station, at the far end of Terminal B, where small regional jets arrive and depart.

Conservatives Rally Around Their Own Health Care Plan
Obamacare replacement plan might make GOP consensus more difficult

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows speaks as South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford listens during the caucus’ news conference on Wednesday on health care law replacement legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Conservative Republicans on Wednesday staked out their position on a proposed replacement to the 2010 health care law. But their views are likely to muddle the path toward GOP consensus.

The House Freedom Caucus endorsed legislation authored by one of its members, Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

NRCC Staffs Up for 2018
Press and political shops mix fresh faces with NRCC veterans

John Rogers, executive director for the NRCC, is announcing hires for the committee’s press and political shop Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

John Rogers, the executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, will announce hires for the committee’s political and communications shops on Friday.

The hires, shared first with Roll Call, are a mix of NRCC veterans and former Hill staffers with a range of experiences working on House, Senate and presidential campaigns.

Democratic Attacks on Sessions Influenced Rand Paul’s Vote
But the Kentucky Republican is concerned about DOJ under Trump

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul wants to talk to President Donald Trump about civil asset forfeiture. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Rand Paul voted to confirm Jeff Sessions as President Donald Trump’s attorney general, but that doesn’t mean the Kentucky Republican with libertarian leanings doesn’t have real concerns about how Sessions will run the Justice Department.

And he thinks it will be more difficult to make progress on a criminal justice overhaul with a Trump-Sessions DOJ.

Nomination Fights Challenge Alexander-Murray Relationship
HELP Committee leaders have forged a productive way of doing things

From left, Washington Sen. Patty Murray Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander and Wyoming Sen. Michael B. Enzi arrive to hear secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos testify during her confirmation hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee met last week, the proceedings got a little, well, tense.

“I am not going to change the rules of the game,” HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said 30 minutes into the confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos to be the next Education secretary.

Walker Wants GOP to Lead on Criminal Justice, Immigration
Head of Republican Study Committee says new approach warranted

Walker thinks Republicans need to move beyond talking points on simply securing the border when discussing immigration policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker wants Republicans to take the lead on issues where they’ve been timid in the past, like overhauling the criminal justice and immigration systems.

“There are communities that are hurting, that are suffering,” the North Carolina Republican told a group of reporters Monday. “And that should be important to both parties, to all the parties.”

Democratic Lawmakers Feel Boost from Women’s March
Minority party hopes movement will help Congress rein in Trump

Protesters march down Independence Avenue in Washington, holding signs during the women’s march on Saturday, the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Capitol Dome was more than just a symbolic backdrop for Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington. It was the intended target of hundreds of thousands of voices of frustration with President Donald Trump. 

For all of the anti-Trump placards — both crude and shrewd — many marchers descended on the nation’s capital to send a message to the branch of government that, they hope, will be a check on the new president.

No Sophomore Slump for Marco Rubio
Senator appears to be carving out his own role in Trump’s Washington

With his vote, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio could decide the fate of President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For a guy who didn’t want to be in the Senate anymore last year, Florida’s Marco Rubio is certainly making a tall glass of lemonade out of the lemons he got running for president in 2016. With a single hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week, Rubio went from being the Republican Most Likely to Miss a Vote, a distinction he earned on his way to losing the GOP nomination, to being the Republican Most Likely to Hold Donald Trump’s Feet to the Fire. It’s a role that holds both risks and immense power. That, for Rubio, could be more important than anything.

The hearing, of course, was to consider the nomination of Rex Tillerson to be Trump’s secretary of State. Although Sen. Jeff Sessions’ hearing to be attorney general was expected to have the most fireworks of the week, the Tillerson hearing went off-track as soon as Rubio began grilling the former Exxon Mobil CEO about the reams of accusations against Russian President Vladimir Putin of widespread corruption and human rights abuses. 

Senate Adopts Budget Opening Door for Obamacare Repeal
Democrats take unusual step of standing and announcing why they voted no

Senators voted 51-48 early Thursday to adopt the budget resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

BY JENNIFER SHUTT AND RYAN McCRIMMON/CQ ROLL CALL

The Senate early Thursday took a first step toward repeal of the health care law by adopting a fiscal 2017 budget resolution following a seven-hour voting session.

Freshmen Backed by Freedom Caucus Aren’t Committing to Joining
Caucus leaders expect some non-freshmen to help replenish their ranks

The political arm of the House Freedom Caucus backed Indiana Republican Jim Banks, but he has not yet decided to join the caucus if invited. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Freedom Caucus is currently down seven members from the 114th Congress — and possibly two more.

South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney is awaiting confirmation as President-elect Donald Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget.