Tim Scott

Word on the Hill: Drawing a Line on Good Taste
Opioid discussion, one week until the Press Club’s spelling bee

From left, Steve Hendrickson as Frank Butley, Jacqueline Correa as Tania Del Valle, Dan Domingues as Pablo Del Valle, and Sally Wingert as Virginia Butley in “Native Gardens,” running through Oct. 22 at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. (Courtesy Dan Norman/Guthrie Theater)

Native Gardens” opened at the Mead Center for American Theater on Friday. The play runs until Oct. 22 at the center’s Arena Stage.

The comedy features actors Jacqueline Correa and Dan Domingues as Tania and Pablo Del Valle, a couple who move to Washington, D.C., next door to Frank and Virginia Butley, played by Steve Hendrickson and Sally Wingert. Pablo is a young lawyer and Tania is a pregnant Ph.D. candidate while the Butleys are a deeply rooted D.C. couple.

Booker Tacks Toward Democratic Party’s Base
Liberals eye New Jersey senator warily over ties to Wall Street and drug companies

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker speaks Wednesday during Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ event to introduce the so-called Medicare for All Act of 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker worked on burnishing his liberal credentials on economic and health care policy this week, which could appeal to his Democratic Party’s skeptical base. 

The first-term senator is considered among the many potential Democrats in the chamber who could run for president in 2020. But liberals are wary of him because of what they see as his ties to financial industries.

White House Aide Walks Back Trump’s Tax Hike for Rich Remarks
Democrats’ reactions, however, to president’s words were positive

President Donald Trump (right) meets with Democratic and Republican members of Congress, including Rep. Josh Gottheimer (left), D-N.J., in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Wednesday. A couple hours later, a senior aide sought to clarify his remarks. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Hours after President Donald Trump suggested he would be fine with a tax bill that raised rates on the richest Americans, a senior White House aide tried to walk back the idea. 

At the start of a mid-afternoon meeting with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, Trump told reporters that the wealthiest Americans “will not be gaining at all with this plan.”

Republicans to Weigh Surplus of Tax Policy Options
Standalone bills provide a glimpse into senators’ priorities

South Dakota Sen. John Thune has introduced several standalone bills that could be wrapped into a broader overhaul of the U.S. tax code. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Legislation introduced by Republican senators over the past several months could help guide the upcoming debate on an overhaul of the U.S. tax code.

While the effort is still in the adolescent stage, the bills provide an early look into the priorities members will push for during the forthcoming tax negotiations.

Senate Republicans Face Key Tax Overhaul Decisions
Effort remains in nascent stages in the face of looming deadlines

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says the GOP debate over rewriting the tax code pits the establishment, who oppose proposals that would add to the deficit, against conservatives who would “rather see a tax cut.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans have not yet come to a consensus on several crucial decisions that must be made before any serious work begins on legislation to overhaul the U.S. tax code.

Complicating that effort are a number of pressing deadlines the chamber faces, including funding the government past the end of September, the upcoming debt ceiling, and a pending reauthorization of a popular children’s health insurance program. 

Opinion: Forget the Moderates, Only the Die-Hards Can Get Health Care Back on Track
Kennedy and Hatch a great example of working across the aisle

Sens. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, left, and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts at a 1997 press conference introducing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If the failure of health care reform taught us anything last week, it’s that somebody somewhere in Washington is going to have to start compromising if anything is ever going to get done.

But if you’re thinking a successful compromise is going to come from moderates like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, or Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., think again. Although those senators’ roles will be important, all of the moderates from both parties together still don’t have enough votes to pass legislation.

White House Talks Tax Outreach, but Senators Guarded
Legislative director outlines ambitious timetable

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short, left, here with Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso last week, has hopes for a bipartisan tax overhaul effort. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll)

The White House sees Democrats up for re-election in states President Donald Trump won as possible partners in their effort to overhaul the tax code, but Senate Republicans appear less optimistic about the chances of a bipartisan bill.

White House legislative director Marc Short said Monday the White House is not wed to using the often partisan reconciliation process to advance a tax overhaul, though senators were hesitant to rule out that procedural tool.

GOP Tax Unity Statement Creates Messaging, Negotiating Room
Big Six negotiators leave plenty of space on the table for differing ideas

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady plans to spend the August recess pitching a tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP congressional and administration leaders’ joint tax overhaul statement took one big item off the negotiating table Thursday but left almost everything else on it. And that’s likely by design. 

The official death of the border adjustment tax removes the most controversial idea from the tax overhaul conversation and provides GOP lawmakers and stakeholder groups with room to message on aspects of the tax rewrite effort that have garnered less attention. 

GOP Hopes for Obamacare Repeal Rest on ‘Skinny’ Bill
Several other Republican proposals expected to fail

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., can now bring up several GOP health care proposals for a vote after corralling the support necessary on Tuesday to bypass a key procedural hurdle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republican hopes to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system appear to hinge on the passage of a “skinny” bill that would only repeal a select few provisions in the 2010 health care law.

GOP senators and aides anticipate that several of the other Republican health care proposals expected to be considered by the chamber in the coming days will fail, clearing the way for a package that would likely just repeal the employer and individual mandates and an excise tax on medical device manufacturers.

Word on the Hill: Staffer Corrects 200-Year Mistake
Religion, soccer, cats and dogs as sharks

Staffer Ryan Martin and his family check out the Utah flag before it goes up in the Kennedy Center's Hall of States. (Kennedy Center)

House staffer Ryan Martin noticed at The Kennedy Center that the Utah flag in the Hall of States display wasn’t quite right. A manufacturing error on the flag showed 1647 as the year Mormon pioneers settled in the state, 200 years off from the actual year.

Martin informed the center and a new flag was ordered. The new flag, with the correct year, was raised Monday at a ceremony in the Hall of States.