Politics

Wilson on White House Criticism: ‘This Has Become Totally Personal’
Florida Democrat says she has received threatening calls from white nationalists

Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., stood by her criticism of President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson continued her war of words with President Donald Trump after his chief of staff’s criticism of her on Thursday.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's rebuked Wilson during the White House news briefing for sharing the contents of the president’s call with the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, who was one of four soldiers killed in Niger.

Trump Predicts Paul Will Vote for Tax Cut Bill
President makes bold statement about his sometimes-golf partner who voted against GOP budget

President Trump says Sen. Rand Paul will vote for the coming tax overhaul bill despite being the only Republican who voted against a GOP budget resolution on Thursday night . (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While celebrating Senate passage of a fiscal 2018 budget resolution, President Donald Trump on Friday predicted the GOP holdout on that bill will vote for a follow-on tax measure.

The Senate on Thursday night adopted a budget measure altered as the final vote approached to allow House Republicans to adopt it and avoid a conference committee. The move is an attempt to get a final package of tax cuts and code changes to Trump’s desk faster.

Don’t Hike Deficits With Tax Package, Ads Warn GOP Senators
Collins, Corker among lawmakers targeted

A new group launched ads this week urging Republicans in 20 states, including Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, not to raise deficits as they seek to revise the tax code. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Texas billionaires John and Laura Arnold are bankrolling a new lobbying effort aimed at leading lawmakers away from the temptation of a tax overhaul that would increase deficits. 

Citizens for Responsible Tax Reform launched print advertisements targeting Republicans in 20 states Thursday, including Kentucky, the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul. The group plans additional television and online ad buys as Congress and the White House debate an overhaul of the nation’s tax code, spokesman Blake Gober said.

Contentious N.C. Judicial Nominee Advances to Senate Floor
Eastern District of North Carolina seat has been open for 12 years

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nomination of Thomas Farr to be a judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina. (Screenshot C-SPAN)

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced a controversial nominee to fill the longest vacancy in the federal court system as well as a top Justice Department official.

The committee voted 11-9 along party lines to advance Thomas Farr to be a judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina. The spot has been open for 12 years and has long been caught up in the politics of the state and U.S. Senate. Since judicial nominees can’t be filibustered, Democrats don’t have the votes to stop Farr’s lifetime appointment without help from Republicans.

Senate Moves to Adopt House-Backed Budget Changes
Amendment negates need to go to conference to iron out differences

Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi’s amendment modified the House-passed budget resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate on Thursday night agreed, 52-48, to an amendment by Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi that modified the House-passed budget resolution, jettisoning reconciliation instructions aimed at getting $203 billion in mandatory spending cuts. 

Instead, the Wyoming Republican’s amendment replaces the House directive for a deficit-neutral tax cut with one that could add up to $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years, similar to the Senate’s.

Trump’s Generals Had a Very Emotive Day
White House isn't denying account of president's words to military widow

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly speaks during a briefing Thursday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The generals with whom President Donald Trump has surrounded himself have seen combat and are known for public personas one part stoic and two parts tough. But on Thursday, Trump’s generals had a very emotive day.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, the retired Marine Corps four-star general who once commanded troops in Iraq, appeared in the White House briefing room and delivered a passionate rebuke of Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, D-Fla., who this week slammed Trump for his alleged remarks to the widow of a fallen U.S. soldier.

Analysis: McMaster’s ‘Hurt’ Feelings Make His Job Even Harder
Trump's national security adviser must manage feud between his boss, SASC chair

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, left, on the day in February when he was announced as the new national security adviser by President Donald Trump (center) in Palm Beach, Fla. (Jenna Johnson/Washington Post/Print Pool)

ANALYSIS | Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain has touched a nerve with one of President Donald Trump’s top aides. And it puts the president’s national security adviser in a very tough spot, hurt feelings and all.

The Arizona Republican often complained to reporters on the national security beat just how tough he found it to get information about strategies and U.S. operations abroad from the Obama administration. He frequently groused that the Obama White House was micromanaging the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence community.

Regular Order? Maybe Not For Alexander-Murray Bill
A markup could open door to partisan battle over the 2010 health law

Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., ranking member, are seen during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing in Dirksen Building titled "Examining How Healthy Choices Can Improve Health Outcomes and Reduce Costs," on October 19. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A committee markup of a bipartisan health bill from Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray could add another potentially fatal complication for the measure that is already under significant pressure.

Senators from both parties have for months decried the lack of regular order in the chamber as Republicans tried to jam through legislation to repeal the 2010 health law.

Meet Pat Tiberi, the Latest Soon-to-Be-Ex-Congressman
Ohio policy wonk liked his bocce

Pat Tiberi succeeded his former boss in the House, John Kasich. (Ian Wagreich/Roll Call)

Rep. Pat Tiberi, the Ohio Republican who announced it was quitting time on Thursday, is a serious policy wonk with deep political roots in the Buckeye State and a big fan of bocce, befitting his celebration of his Italian heritage.

An unapologetic Midwestern Rotary Club-type Republican in the mode of his political patrons, former Speaker John A. Boehner and Gov. John R. Kasich, Tiberi will leave Congress by Jan. 31 — before his ninth term in the House ends — and become head of the Ohio Business Roundtable.

George W. Bush Delivers Scathing Rebuke of Trump Presidency
'The health of the democratic spirit is at issue,' 43rd president warns

Former President George W. Bush makes remarks during a ceremony honoring former Vice President Dick Cheney in the Capitol Visitor Center in 2015. On Thursday, he delivered a warning about Donald Trump’s presidency. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Former President George W. Bush on Thursday delivered a scathing warning about Donald Trump, saying his “America first” philosophy portends a dangerous inward turn that is eroding democracy at home and threatening stability around the world.

“The health of the democratic spirit is at issue,” the 43rd president said during a speech in New York. “And the renewal of that spirit is the urgent task at hand.”

Pat Tiberi Resigning to Lead Ohio Business Roundtable
Nine-term lawmaker will leave behind solid Republican seat

Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi has been offered a position to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi announced Thursday he will not seek re-election and will be leaving Congress before the 2018 midterms. 

“While I have not yet determined a final resignation date, I will be leaving Congress by January 31, 2018,” the Republican said in a statement. 

Do Republicans Have Votes on Budget? ‘Who Knows?’ Trump Says
Measure is key to opening path for GOP-crafted tax overhaul bill

On Monday, President Donald Trump said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (right) would deliver him a tax bill. On Thursday morning, the president was unsure his party could pass a budget resolution that is key to the follow-on tax measure. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Do Senate Republican leaders and the White House have the 50 GOP votes to pass a fiscal 2018 budget resolution that is linked to possible tax cuts? “Who knows?” says President Donald Trump, the leader of the party.

The Senate is poised to begin a marathon series of votes Thursday that will culminate with a final vote on a GOP-crafted fiscal 2018 budget resolution. Republicans who helped derail recent major legislation, like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, this week have expressed confidence that ample votes will be there.

Mia Love Gets Democratic Challenger in Utah
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams already represents 85% of the district

Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, has a new Democratic challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams announced Wednesday he will challenge GOP Rep. Mia Love, potentially shaking up the race in Utah’s 4th District. 

McAdams, a Democrat, told the Salt Lake Tribune that he had decided to run because lawmakers were “enamored with the national spotlight and partisan games that both parties seem to play,” instead of solving the country’s problems.

Senate Democrats Doubt Validity of Puerto Rico Death Toll
Reports of full morgues may signal incomplete official count, senators say

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined 12 of her Democratic colleagues in signing a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke raising questions about the official death count in Puerto Rico. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

As Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló travels to Washington to meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday, a group of Senate Democrats is asking the administration about the accuracy of the island territory’s death toll.

Thirteen senators, led by Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have written a new letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke expressing concern that reports about morgues at Puerto Rican hospitals being full may signal that the official tally of 48 fatalities may be incomplete.

Democrats Drop Congeniality as They Fire Away at Sessions
‘Give me a break,’ attorney general implores at one point

From left, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons and Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal talk Wednesday as Sessions arrives for the Senate Judiciary oversight hearing on the Justice Department. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions took an unusual path to the witness table before Wednesday’s Justice Department oversight hearing. He looped behind the dais to smile and shake the hands of his former Senate Judiciary Committee colleagues and pat them on the shoulder.

But the next four hours made it clear that congeniality has faded for the former Alabama Republican senator. Democrats lectured him on immigration policy, questioned his truthfulness in previous testimony about Russia and criticized his implementation of the Trump administration’s conservative policies.