Virginia

Trump Heads to Hill After Sowing Confusion on Immigration
President, Democrats in war of words over family separation policy

President Donald Trump will huddle with House Republicans on Tuesday afternoon to discuss two immigration overhaul bills. After signaling his opposition last week, he says he supports both. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Senior White House officials say Democrats enraged by the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families should negotiate with Donald Trump. Yet when the president heads to Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon, he will see only Republican faces.

White House aides want to use the meeting to allow the president, in his own words, to clear up confusion he sowed in the House GOP conference late last week over its dueling immigration bills. He is expected to endorse both measures, with senior administration officials contending both would address the migrant separation issue.

House Budget Resolution May Have Short Lifespan
Republicans are already downplaying its chances on the House floor

House Budget Chairman Steve Womack is expected to being markup of the fiscal 2019 budget resolution this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid virtually no interest from the Senate, Democrats in either chamber, and even other House Republicans, Budget Chairman Steve Womack is apparently pushing forward with a fiscal 2019 budget resolution this week.

The Arkansas Republican plans to begin the markup Wednesday and continue on Thursday, according to sources. The not-yet-introduced budget plan is even likely to get out of committee, based on discussions with panel members — but as to where it goes from there, prospects don’t look bright.

How Donald Trump Shivved a Compromise GOP Immigration Bill
Aides were caught unaware by president's announcement

President Donald Trump greets mostly Republican members after addressing a joint session of Congress last year. On Friday, he appeared to end hopes a compromise immigration bill the conference hammered out would make it to the floor. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:03 p.m. Senior White House officials worked with House Republicans for weeks on a compromise immigration measure, but were careful to avoid saying anything publicly that would sink the measure. That changed Friday morning when President Donald Trump walked out to the White House’s North Lawn.

House Republicans reached agreement on a sweeping immigration overhaul measure after conservatives, moderates and leaders negotiated behind closed doors for weeks — with White House legislative affairs director Marc Short also involved. Members said Thursday they had reached a deal to vote on two measures: a measure favored by conservatives and a compromise version in which all sides gave some ground.

House Immigration Votes in Question After Trump Weighs In
Whip count delayed after president tells Fox News he would not sign the emerging deal

Chief Deputy Whip Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., says GOP leaders are seeking clarity on the president’s position on immigration legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican leaders are delaying until next week their plans to whip a compromise immigration bill as they seek clarity on President Donald Trump’s position on the measure, according to Chief Deputy Whip Patrick T. McHenry.

“House Republicans are not going to take on immigration without the support and endorsement of President Trump,” the North Carolina Republican said.

Analysis: The GOP Civil War Continues Without Even a Pause
Battle for Trey Gowdy’s open seat in South Carolina a bitter affair

The battle for the open seat of retiring Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., has laid bare the ongoing GOP civil war. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While many dissected Corey Stewart’s recent Virginia Republican Senate primary victory and South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford’s defeat in his bid for renomination, an even more interesting runoff race is underway in the Palmetto State.

The June 12 Republican primary in Trey Gowdy’s open 4th District seat produced a runoff pitting first-place finisher Lee Bright, a former state senator, against William Timmons, a first-term state senator.

Pete Olson on Respect in Congress: ‘We’ve Lost That’
Texas Republican shares what he learned as a staffer

Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, was Sen. John Cornyn’s first chief of staff. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Pete Olson tries to make sure his staffers get home at a reasonable hour because he remembers long nights on the Senate floor, endless debates and the chaos of 9/11.

Before he ran for Congress in 2008, the Texas Republican worked for Sen. Phil Gramm and his successor John Cornyn, now the majority whip.

GOP Seeks Changes to Immigration Deal They Crafted
Compromise would help Dreamers, fund border wall, curb family-based visa programs

People protest outside the Capitol on Jan. 21 to call for the passage of the so-called DREAM Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A compromise immigration deal brokered by House Republicans this week would offer so-called Dreamers a path to citizenship, provide nearly $25 billion for President Donald Trump’s border wall and end family-based visa programs for certain relatives of U.S. citizens, according to a discussion draft of legislation circulated among lawmakers Thursday.

The discussion draft, provided to Roll Call by a staffer with knowledge of the negotiations, would create a new merit-based visa that Dreamers and other young immigrants could obtain starting six years after the bill is enacted. The visa would be available to Dreamers enrolled in the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, as well as those who are eligible but never signed up.

At the Races: He’s Off the Trail
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. —Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Senate Democrats Oppose Federal Retirement Cutbacks
Mark Warner leads a total of 26 senators in rebuke

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia is leading a new letter opposing proposed federal retirement changes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than half of the Senate Democratic caucus wants the Trump administration to abandon proposals that could curb retirement benefits for federal employees.

“As you continue to develop legislative proposals related to the compensation of federal employees, we urge you to move past draconian cuts that harm the financial security of federal employees in every state across the country, and instead commit to comprehensive reforms that modernize our government’s compensation system in a way that encourages the best and brightest talent to join the ranks of our dedicated civil servants,” the senators, led by Virginia Democrat Mark Warner, wrote in a letter dated Wednesday.

New Democrats’ PAC Adds 11 to Watch List
PAC is now supporting 40 candidates

NewDemPAC is adding Virginia state Sen. Jennifer Wexton to its watch list. Wexton won the Democratic nomination for the 10th District on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is adding 11 more candidates to its watch list Thursday. 

The PAC is now supporting 40 candidates.