Vermont

Rating Change: Montana Special Creeps Closer to Tossup
Voters to decide Thursday who will replace Interior Secretary Zinke

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who won last year’s Democratic presidential primary in Montana, campaigned over the weekend with Democratic House candidate Rob Quist. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The special election for Montana’s at-large House seat hasn’t received as much as attention as the race in Georgia, but it’s a similar storyline: Democrats are doing better than expected and an upset is within the realm of possibility.

Less than a week before the Thursday, May 25, election, wealthy former software executive Greg Gianforte has a narrow advantage over his Democratic opponent, musician Rob Quist. But Quist recently crossed the $5 million fundraising threshold, giving him ample resources to deliver his message in the final days in a relatively cheap state for advertising. 

Opinion: Trump Policies on Voting and Criminal Justice Quietly Move Country Backward
Plans proceed despite chaos in the White House

President Donald Trump’s policies threaten voting rights and criminal justice reforms, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While the Trump administration is in a state of perpetual turmoil, some of its promised policies are proceeding as planned. Support from a Republican Congress is softening with each cringe-worthy headline about slips, leaks and feuds; still, its members, mindful of the president’s loyal base, are proceeding with caution.

And when you step back from the chaos, don’t expect to see any progress on other issues — such as voting rights and criminal justice reform — that once promised a bit of bipartisan cooperation. 

Capitol Hill Remembers 'Original Godfather for Congressional Staffers'
Durbin hosts memorial service for late chief of staff Ed Greelegs

Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., speaks at Ed Greelegs' memorial service on Wednesday. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)

At the standing room only memorial service for former Senate chief of staff Ed Greelegs, a colleague asked if other chiefs could raise their hands. More than 20 were present.

Vermont Democrat Patrick J. Leahy’s former chief of staff Luke Albee then repeated a lesson Greelegs had taught him: “You’re a much better human being, and you go through life more fulfilled if no one’s invisible.”

Lawmakers Take More Aggressive Stance After Latest Trump Allegations
Leahy: ‘When I was a prosecutor it would be called obstruction of justice’

The White House is trying to shoot down a New York Times report that President Donald Trump tried to get an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn dropped. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By JOHN T. BENNETT and NIELS LESNIEWSKI

Congressional Democrats warned President Trump may have obstructed justice by allegedly asking then-FBI Director James Comey to drop a probe of a former White House official, charges the the White House denies.

Vodka and Gelato Tycoon Challenging Minnesota’s Erik Paulsen
Did Democrats just recruit their own Stewart Mills?

Congressional candidate Dean Phillips says Democratic efforts to tie the incumbent to President Donald Trump didn't work last cycle. (Courtesy Dean Phillips for Congress)

long-haired, wealthy businessman whose last name evokes one of Minnesota’s largest family fortunes announced a run for Congress on Tuesday.

No, this isn’t the return of Stewart Mills — yet. (There’s talk the two-time Republican candidate would run again in the 8th District if Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan does not seek re-election.)

Policymakers Face Pressure to Act on Drug Pricing
Some proposals appear likely to gain traction

Indiana Sen. Todd Young leaves a Senate Republican policy lunch in the Capitol in February. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A proposal that would open the door for the import of low-cost prescription drugs from Canada was defeated at a Senate markup Thursday, but the proposal is unlikely to be gone for good. Lawmakers from both parties seem to want to demonstrate concern about drug prices to voters.

The administration also appears interested in addressing the issue, with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price holding listening sessions with patient groups and think tanks in recent weeks.

With Comey Ouster, Trump Joins Select Group of Presidents
Most presidents who took such action fought mightily with Congress

Richard Nixon is part of a special fraternity of presidents with particularly contentious relationships with Congress. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey is far from the first time a chief executive has removed a potential threat. But the move puts the 45th president in a class that includes several presidents who ran into choppy waters with lawmakers.

Presidential historians say it is too soon to predict whether Comey’s dismissal will contribute to lawmakers reprimanding Trump. In fact, several said it is possible the termination will have no negative effect on the president’s ability to enact an agenda that includes a health care overhaul, tax cut package, massive infrastructure rebuild, and a bolstering of the military, among other items.

Dave Brat Town Hall Gets Heated
Support for GOP health care bill among boo lines

Rep. Dave Brat faced a hostile crowd Tuesday night at a town hall where constituents were upset with his political positions on health insurance coverage and President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. — Rep. Dave Brat faced a rancorous crowd at a town hall here Tuesday night that took issue with his positions on health care, Russia investigations and, frankly, most other topics.

Brat, meanwhile, took issue with many of the attendees’ frequent shouting over him, saying it was counterproductive to civil discourse.

Health Care Will Determine Progress of Rest of Agenda
Spending debate, tax code rewrite all interrelated

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, whose panel has jurisdiction over much of any health care package, says the chamber will take a more deliberative approach aiming at 51 votes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Last week’s legislative victories — finishing an omnibus spending bill and getting the rollback of the 2010 health care law through the House — are the foundation for the months of battles to come on Capitol Hill. 

Appropriators can begin to turn their attention toward the first full fiscal year of Donald Trump’s presidency, but their Senate colleagues will also have to deal with the procedural morass that comes with trying to reinvent the health care system through budget reconciliation.

New Calls for Public Access to Secret Congressional Reports
Privacy policy at Congressional Research Service full of holes, critics say

New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance introduced a bill with Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley that would require reports from the Congressional Research Service to be made public. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The secrecy surrounding Congress’ in-house think tank came under fire again Wednesday, with transparency advocates on and off the Hill renewing calls for free public access to its in-depth policy briefs. 

Rep. Leonard Lance, a New Jersey Republican, and Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat, reintroduced a bill the same day that would require all the reports produced by the Congressional Research Service to be published on a government website.