Politics

Tennessee Republicans Prepare for Another Senate Primary
Field will grow if Bob Corker retires; Blackburn and Fincher could run

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is facing at least one primary challenger, with a few more looking at getting in the race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker asked President Donald Trump to campaign for Alabama Sen. Luther Strange ahead of next week’s Senate Republican runoff, he might have had a little self-preservation in mind. 

A win by Roy Moore, the controversial former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, would throw a wrench into the deliberative body in which the moderate Tennessee Republican serves. But a Moore victory could also embolden primary challengers to other sitting senators, like Corker.

Republican Senators Mostly Silent After Trump’s North Korea Threat
President would hit regime, military targets - not civilians, White House says

Republican Sens. Bob Corker (center), Marco Rubio (seated right) and Jim Risch (standing right) all declined to comment on GOP President Donald Trump's threat to "totally destroy" North Korea if it attacks the United States. Also pictured are GOP Sens. Cory Gardner (standing left) and Ron Johnson (seated left). (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker hurried into an elevator. Sen. Marco Rubio quickly ducked into the Capitol Visitor Center television studio. And Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain shut down reporters’ repetitive questions.

No Republican senator could be found Tuesday who was willing to question President Donald Trump’s threat before the United Nations General Assembly to “totally destroy” North Korea unless it gives up its nuclear arms and long-range missile programs, which he views as a direct threat to the sovereignty and security of the United States and its allies.

An Immigrant’s Path to Congress: Ruben Kihuen’s First Year in Photos
Roll Call looks at the Nevada Democrat’s journey from the campaign trail to D.C.

OCT. 19, 2016: Ruben Kihuen, then a Democratic candidate for Nevada’s 4th District, shakes hands with demonstrators in front of the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas during the Culinary Union’s Wall of Taco Trucks protest — the day of the final presidential debate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Every two years, a new crop of freshmen descends on Washington and every two years, Roll Call follows one such member through their first year. 

For the 2016 election, Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen was one of only several Democrats to unseat a House Republican. His story is similar to those of millions of Americans — he came to the United States as an undocumented immigrant from Mexico — but on Nov. 8, 2016, he became the first formerly undocumented person to be elected to Congress (along with New York Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat, who was elected the same day). Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Kihuen’s dreams of playing professional soccer were dashed by an untimely injury. It was then that he turned his attention to politics. 

Bipartisan Health Care Talks Shut Down Amid Rush to Repeal
Talks by Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray sidelined

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has halted a bipartisan effort to stabilize the health insurance market as Senate Republicans aggressively seek to repeal the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A bipartisan effort to stabilize the health insurance markets suffered a potentially fatal blow Tuesday as Senate Republicans kicked into high gear their attempt to repeal the 2010 health care law.

Facing a Sept. 30 deadline to utilize the 2017 budget reconciliation process that would allow passage of the health care legislation without having to worry about the filibuster, GOP leaders and Vice President Mike Pence lobbied their rank and file to pass legislation spearheaded by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. It would repeal the 2010 law’s mandates for coverage, curtail the Medicaid program and block-grant money to the states to construct their own health care programs. 

Single Payer Democrats: Save Obamacare Now, Single Payer Later
Comes as Cassidy-Graham revives Republican hopes of repeal

Democratic senators who threw their support behind single-payer health care last week are prioritizing the 2010 health care law as Republicans take one more crack at repealing it.

At an event with Democratic senators and liberal activists, independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who sponsored the single-payer bill, criticized Republicans for trying to ram through a health care proposal from Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Dean Heller of Nevada and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

Alexander Juggles Bipartisan Health Care Deal With GOP Repeal Effort
His decision could undermine a reputation the Tennessee Republican has spent years cultivating

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has been trying to assemble support for a measure to stabilize the health insurance industry, but could run into interference because of GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act . (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For Sen. Lamar Alexander, two roads are diverging in a yellow wood.

The Tennessee Republican, who chairs the Senate, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, is facing a difficult quandary on health care that Democrats say could undermine a bipartisan reputation he has spent years cultivating and simultaneously determine the fate of the nation’s insurance system.

Former Rep. Goodling, 26-Year House Veteran, Dead at 89
Pennsylvania legislator remembered for his education advocacy

Former Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Goodling, who served in the House for 13 consecutive terms, died Sunday at 89. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Bill Goodling, who represented Pennsylvania’s 19th District for more than a quarter century, died Sunday. He was 89.

The Republican House veteran served 13 consecutive terms from 1975 through 2001. He first won office by more than 5,000 votes despite a Watergate storm that decimated the GOP in 1974. Goodling’s father, George Atlee Goodling, held the seat for four terms before him.

Trump Encouraged Corker to Seek Another Term, Despite Recent Friction
Tennessee senator to decide legislative future ‘very, very soon’

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was encouraged to run for re-election by President Donald Trump in a face-to-face meeting last Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump encouraged Sen. Bob Corker to seek a third term in a face-to-face meeting last week even though the two butted heads throughout August and September, the Tennessean reported Monday.

The Tennessee Republican has asked multiple members of the GOP brass, including the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for advice as he weighs whether to re-up for another term or return to the private sector, where he was a construction and real estate titan before entering public service.

Trump Threatens to ‘Destroy’ North Korea
President warns Pyongyang at UN address

A North Korean ballistic missile during “Victory Day” parade in 2013. (Stefan Krasowski/Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

The United States is prepared to “totally destroy” North Korea unless Kim Jong Un’s government gives up its nuclear arms and missile programs, President Donald Trump told the United Nations on Tuesday.

“We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” unless it changes its behavior, Trump said in his address to the U.N. General Assembly. The president described Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs as a threat to the United States and its allies. He did not give North Korea a deadline before he deploys U.S. military troops to carry out his threat.

Report: Nearly Half of Millennials Unsatisfied With Trump
Most think country is headed in wrong direction or are unsure

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 Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A new report shows nearly a majority of millennials disapprove of President Donald Trump and many are dissatisfied with the direction of the United States.

The 2017 Millennial Impact Report surveyed 3,000 Millennials between the ages of 18 and 37. It showed two-thirds of millennials voted in 2016, half of them for Hillary Clinton.

McConnell In Difficult Spot With Latest Health Care Push
Senate majority leader tasked with shepherding bill he had no role in writing

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is in an unfamiliar position of pushing a health care repeal bill that he had little role in crafting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is counting on an 11th-hour attempt to repeal the 2010 health care law and change directions on a disappointing year for Republicans.

Having put health care on the back burner after lacking the votes this summer, McConnell has thrown his weight behind a proposal from GOP Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Dean Heller of Nevada.

Hispanic Lawmakers Show Bipartisan Tone on Immigration
DACA debate has prompted strong positions from members of both parties

Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen, left — seen here with New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat — says prior bipartisan work on immigration was an example of “how great this country is.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When it comes to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, there is little daylight among most Hispanic members of Congress, regardless of party affiliation.

President Donald Trump has said he will phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, but gave Congress a six-month window to come up with a legislative fix. By and large, Hispanic lawmakers from both parties criticized the president’s decision and said Congress needs to protect immigrants covered by DACA, also known as Dreamers, so named after the proposed DREAM Act that would provide them with a path to legal status. 

Senate Finance Staff — Old and New — Ready for Tax Challenge
Staffers promoted to replace departed colleagues

From left, Senate Finance majority staffers Jay Khosla, Jeff Wrase, Jen Kuskowski, Julia Lawless, Chris Armstrong, Mark Prater, and Shane Warren in the committee’s Dirksen hearing room. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“A little bit like Bill Belichick.”

That’s how Jay Khosla, the new staff director for the Senate Finance Committee, described the personnel management style of Chairman Orrin G. Hatch.

'America First' Approach to Dominate Trump's UN Address
President's foreign policy philosophy irks many Republican lawmakers

President Trump delivers remarks Friday at Joint Base Andrews in front of a B-2 bomber as he marked the Air Force’s 70th birthday as a standalone military service. (White House photo via Twitter)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday will take his vision to the United Nations for an America that leads on the global stage only when its sovereignty is threatened, a message that in the past has drawn howls from his own political party.

American allies reportedly are still struggling to fully understand Trump’s “America first” governing philosophy — and what it means for how it will shape foreign policy. Some of his top aides often say “America first” does not mean America alone, and the president will have an opportunity to reassure Washington’s longtime friends when he addresses the United Nations General Assembly for the first time.

Ryan Says House Would Vote on Graham-Cassidy If Senate Passes It
'It is our best last chance to get repeal and replace done,' speaker says

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., says the House will vote on a health care measure to provide block grant funding to the states if the Senate passes it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Monday that the House would bring up a health care measure sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy for a vote if it were to pass the Senate.

“It would be our intention to bring the matter through,” Ryan said at a news conference from a Harley Davidson facility in Wisconsin, where he was promoting GOP plans to overhaul the tax code.