Steve Daines

Word on the Hill: Eclipse Day
A new general in the House, lawmakers cover some ground over recess

Solar eclipse viewing glasses are going fast in advance of Monday’s solar eclipse across the United States. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The main event of the week comes early.

The peak time to view today’s solar eclipse in Washington, D.C., is 2:42 p.m. But the fun starts around 1 p.m. From our vantage point, the moon will block part of the sun from about 1:17 p.m. to around 4:01 p.m.

Word on the Hill: Peters’ Motorcycle Ride
Recess activities for Cárdenas, Ferguson and Hudson

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters toured the Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital in Ontonagon, Mich., on his bike ride. (Courtesy Peters via Twitter)

Motorcycle enthusiast Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., took his annual recess motorcycle tour of the Wolverine State this week.

The senator visited a rural airport to talk about President Donald Trump’s budget cuts to Essential Air Service, a government program enacted to guarantee that small communities maintain commercial airline service. 

Analysis: Health Care Failure to Haunt Republicans Over Recess
Lawmakers call relationship with White House a ‘work in progress’

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leaves the Capitol on Thursday after the last votes in the Senate before the August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans departed on Thursday for a 32-day recess with key victories overshadowed by a momentous defeat on their effort to overhaul the 2010 health care law.

Lawmakers left Capitol Hill for the extended break after several months of tumult, much of which stemmed from a nascent Trump administration fraught with self-inflicted scandals and lacking in traditional political experience.

Podcast: Short Recess, Long on Goals
The Big Story, Episode 62

The Senate will stick around Washington a little longer in August, shortening its recess to focus on an ambitious agenda. The list of things to do could include confirming the new FBI director. CQ Roll Call Senior Senate Reporter Niels Lesniewski and Leadership Editor Jason Dick break down what is doable.

Recess Postponed in Senate
Mitch McConnell announces two extra weeks in session

Sens. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, Luther Strange, R-Ala., Steve Daines, R-Mont., John Kennedy, R-La., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., David Perdue, R-Ga., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, conduct a news conference on Tuesday in the Capitol to encourage the Senate to work into the August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators will need to delay their departures for August recess.

Shortly after eight rank-and-file Republican senators urged postponing the recess to focus on the GOP agenda, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the break would start two weeks later than originally scheduled. 

GOP Waiting on Rosendale in Montana Senate Race
With top contenders passing on contest, crowded primary emerging

Montana State Auditor Matt Rosendale, seen here in 2013, is expected to run for Senate. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican field for Montana’s Senate race keeps growing, but the GOP is hopeful that an imminent announcement from state Auditor Matt Rosendale will give them a top-tier challenger against Sen. Jon Tester, one of 2018’s most vulnerable Democrats. 

“He is 95 percent there,” a Republican close to Rosendale said last week. The first-term auditor is expected to make a decision within the month. 

How Senators Spend Their Fourth of July
Sens. Schumer, Daines, Murkowski, and Scott on their favorite traditions

A Capitol Visitor Center tour guide points up in front of John Trumbull's “Declaration of Independence” painting in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

HOH reached out to several senators to see how they celebrate Independence Day.

After the anticipated vote on the Senate Republicans’ health care bill was postponed, senators may be eager to have a celebratory weekend.

Rural Areas Brace for Health Care Bill Impact
Senate GOP bill could undermine health insurance coverage

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is concerned her state's residents could lose out on health insurance safeguards. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate historically has paid special attention to the needs of rural areas, but as the chamber readies its health care bill, there are concerns that the bill would undermine coverage in those places more than anywhere else.

While the exact text of the Senate bill is not yet posted publicly, all signs point to somewhat similar language to the House bill (HR 1628), which would reduce funding for Medicaid compared to current law and impose caps on Medicaid funding. Under the House bill, older people also would face higher premiums — and rural areas tend to be home to a large number of older Americans.

Ivanka Trump, Senators Hope to Push Family Tax Credits
Rubio: ‘Paid family leave is a part of it’

Ivanka Trump walks with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to a meeting at the Capitol with Republican senators on paid family leave on Tuesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A group of Senate Republicans met with Ivanka Trump on Tuesday to begin constructing a tax credit package that could include family leave and other child care proposals. 

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who touted paid family leave during his 2016 presidential run, said lawmakers and President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter discussed a variety of tax proposals meant to benefit families, particularly those who are low-income.

Race Rating: 2018 Montana At-Large Race Starts as Leans Republican
Gianforte not in immediate danger of losing re-election

Montana Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte is a favorite for re-election next year. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

It’s not good to start your tenure in Congress with a misdemeanor assault charge, but that’s where Republican Greg Gianforte finds himself. It also doesn’t mean he is immediately and automatically vulnerable in 2018.

On May 25, Gianforte won a special election to replace Republican Ryan Zinke (who vacated his seat to become secretary of the Interior) in a race that received some national attention but went viral after an altercation between the candidate and a reporter resulted in assault body-slamming allegations and formal charges. Gianforte pleaded guilty on June 12 and narrowly avoided a few days in jail with 40 hours of community service and 20 hours of anger management counseling.