Richard J Durbin

Senate Considers Staying in Session After Dec. 18
Discussions ongoing as chamber plate remains full

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks back to his office from the Senate floor in the Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate is making preliminary plans to cancel a scheduled state work period the week of Dec. 18 in order to remain in session and wrap up a litany of outstanding items, according to three GOP senators.

The discussions on the schedule, which the lawmakers say are not yet final, is a testament to how much the chamber still has to accomplish before the year’s end and the looming political battle over several of the items.

Murphy Calls Out ‘Fealty to Gun-Makers’ After Texas Massacre
‘None of this is inevitable,’ Connecticut senator says after gunman kills more than 20 during church service

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., talks with reporters in the Capitol after the Senate policy luncheons in October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy slammed his colleagues for their “fealty to gun-makers” after the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday that left 26 people dead.

“None of this is inevitable. I know this because no other country endures this pace of mass carnage like America,” the Connecticut Democrat said in a statement.

For the Love of Literature: Durbin Has Formed Relationships Over Books
The Senate’s go-to bookworm has countless reading buddies

Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., has a book in there somewhere. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A Georgetown student and bookworm named Dick Durbin worked at Discount Books and Records in Dupont Circle in the mid-1960s. 

The store is gone now, but that same bookworm is still handing out books — now to senators, presidents and Supreme Court justices.

Immigration Measure Won’t Ride Omnibus, Negotiations Continue
Graham: ‘We’ll see where it goes in the House’

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Immigration reform will not be part of this year’s omnibus spending bill, Senate Republicans said Thursday after a meeting at the White House.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers involved in immigration negotiations are trying to find a way to pair citizenship for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, with enhanced border security measures.

Trump’s Stamp on Judiciary Starting: It Could Be Much Faster
With no filibuster and a GOP Senate, he’s got a big opening to reshape appeals courts

The four appellate nominees moving through the Senate this week include, from left, Amy Coney Barrett, Joan Larsen, Allison H. Eid and Stephanos Bibas. Barrett and Larsen have already been confirmed. (Courtesy Screenshot/C-SPAN, Joan Larsen/Facebook, University of Pennsylvania Law School)

While White House officials are subsumed by the fresh intensity of the special counsel investigation, and House Republicans are preoccupied with propping up the tax overhaul, their GOP colleagues in the Senate are focusing on something not nearly as provocative as either of those things — but perhaps almost as consequential over the long haul.

This week, they’re pushing to double, from four to eight, the number of reliable conservatives that President Donald Trump has installed on the federal appeals courts during the opening year of his administration.

Flake Poised to Give Other GOP Senators a Voice on Immigration
DACA could shape key congressional races in the 2018 midterms

Immigration rights demonstrators prepare to march from the White House to the Trump Hotel and the Justice Department to oppose President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program for “dreamers” on Sept. 5. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Few issues embody the political divide between Sen. Jeff Flake and President Donald Trump like immigration.

While Trump and his nativist supporters take a hard line on illegal immigration, the Arizona senator has long sought a comprehensive solution that would lead to a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

McConnell Sets Table for Full Week of Judicial Wars
Majority leader cues up a series of Trump appeals court nominees

Allison H. Eid, the nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, is among the judges up for consideration by the Senate next week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., came to the floor Thursday afternoon to line up a full week’s worth of appeals court confirmation votes next week, fully engaging a hot-button topic the GOP base has been highly critical about. 

Once Trevor McFadden is confirmed to the district court in Washington, D.C., Monday evening, the judicial wars appear sure to resume with a cloture vote to limit debate on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Amy Barrett to be a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Food on the Line This World Series in Both Chambers
Bets among Gomez, Jackson Lee and Harris, Cruz

Clockwise from top left, Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Jimmy Gomez of California, and Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Ted Cruz of Texas are involved in some friendly World Series wagers. (Photos by Bill Clark and Tom Williams, composition by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

California and Texas lawmakers aren’t just talking smack about their home-state Dodgers and Astros. They’re putting food on the line for the World Series.

California Rep. Jimmy Gomez, whose district includes Dodger Stadium, made a bet with fellow Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, whose Houston district includes Minute Maid Park, home of the Astros. If the Astros win, Gomez owes Jackson Lee “French Dipped” sandwiches from Philippe’s, a downtown Los Angeles restaurant. If the Dodgers win, Jackson Lee owes Gomez some Texas barbecue.

Durbin, Graham Dreaming DACA Before Christmas
Active negotiations underway without White House

Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., talks with a reporter before the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol on September 12, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Richard J. Durbin said he and Sen. Lindsey Graham have been in active negotiations with Republican senators to seek out a version of the DREAM Act that can pass the Senate.

The deal is being negotiated without input from the Trump administration, the Senate minority whip said.