Rand Paul

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.

Word on the Hill: Two Weeks Until Inauguration
Holiday season ends as Capitol Christmas Tree comes down

Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Donald Trump’s incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus walked through the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump is set to become the next president of the United States exactly two weeks from today.

If you’re joining in the festivities: Are you planning on attending the ceremony? And which galas surrounding the day are you trying to get into?

Freedom Caucus Weighs Pitch to Block Obamacare-Killing Budget Resolution
Members met with Sen. Rand Paul over deficit concerns

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows says the group has not decided if it will support the budget resolution currently being debated. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and LINDSEY McPHERSON

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky pressed House conservatives Thursday to block the budget resolution that starts the process to repeal the 2010 health care law because it would add trillions of dollars to the deficit.

Paul, Freedom Caucus to Meet on Fiscal 2017 Budget Resolution
Senator says vehicle for repealing Obamacare would raise the debt

Paul was the only GOP senator to oppose moving forward with the budget resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By LINDSEY McPHERSON and BRIDGET BOWMANCQ Roll Call

The House Freedom Caucus will meet with Sen. Rand Paul Thursday morning at the Kentucky Republican’s request to discuss his concerns about the fiscal 2017 budget resolution Republicans are using to set up an expedited process for repealing the 2010 health care law.

Senate Advances Budget Resolution With Obamacare Repeal
GOP wants document adopted in both chambers by Inauguration Day

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., makes his way to the Republican Senate luncheon in the Capitol on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate on Wednesday voted 51-48 to move ahead in debating a fiscal 2017 budget resolution that would include reconciliation instructions repealing the 2010 health care law. The motion to proceed to the resolution required only a simple majority vote. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky voted no.

The Senate is expected to begin debate on the budget resolution later Wednesday and through Thursday, and work on amendments next week. Lawmakers hope to see the budget resolution adopted by both chambers by Jan. 20, when Donald Trump will be sworn in as president, though the president does not need to sign the resolution.

White House Slams GOP Over Miners’ Benefits, Flint Aid in CR
Obama spokesman says partial shutdown ‘would be a shame’

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III and other coal-state lawmakers are trying to use the CR to devise a long-term solution for miner benefits. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Obama administration on Thursday harshly criticized Republican congressional leaders for not adequately addressing expiring health and pension benefits for coal miners, as well as aid for Flint, Michigan, and its beleaguered water system, and would not rule out a partial government shutdown over the issues.

With funding for federal programs and agencies due to expire Friday at midnight, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest wouldn’t say if President Barack Obama would sign a five-month continuing resolution that easily passed the House Thursday afternoon. “It would be a shame to shut the whole thing down just a couple weeks before Christmas,” Earnest said.

Can Congressional Republicans and Trump Stay Friends?
Trump and the Hill GOP make nice, but who knows how long it will last

President-elect Donald Trump, escorted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., takes a few questions from the press at the U.S. Capitol in early November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans about to unanimously nominate Speaker Paul D. Ryan for another term as their standard-bearer recently got a not-so-subtle signal of who’d really united their party:

Red “Make America Great Again” hats were waiting on every seat.