Politics

Democrats Mix Politics With Policy Rollout in Virginia
'Better Deal' agenda seeks to unite party factions

Congressional Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, center, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, left, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Lujan, right, rolled out their new agenda on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By NIELS LESNIEWSKI and BRIDGET BOWMAN

BERRYVILLE, Va. — The visit by House and Senate Democrats to a rural Virginia county that voted for President Donald Trump wasn’t technically all about politics, but they were unavoidable.

Ready or Not, McConnell Says Senate Voting on Health Care Tuesday

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the chamber would vote on a procedural motion on the health care measure on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed on Monday that the chamber would hold a procedural vote on Tuesday on a House-passed measure to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system.

“Seven years ago, Democrats forced Obamacare on the American people. It was supposed to lower health costs, but, of course, they skyrocketed. It was supposed to provide more health options, but they plummeted,” the Kentucky Republican said during his opening remarks. “I will vote yes on the motion to proceed. And I would urge all of our colleagues to do the same.”

Trump Turns Bully Pulpit on Senate Republicans
President says it is time to vote on health care measure

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., along with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, are looking for the votes to advance their health care measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump turned up the heat on his own party Monday when he sent a blunt message to Senate Republicans: end years of merely talking about overhauling Barack Obama’s health law and send him a bill to get it done.

“There has been enough talk and no action. Now is the time for action,” Trump said in a Monday afternoon statement ahead of a planned Tuesday Senate vote on whether to officially take up a health bill.

Farenthold: It’s ‘Repugnant’ Female Senators Holding Up Health Care Bill
Says if it was a guy from Texas, they would be settling it ’Aaron Burr-style’

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold said it was “absolutely repugnant” that “some female senators from the Northeast” have been a roadblock to the GOP passing a health care bill.

“If it was a guy from south Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style,” Fahrenthold told Texas radio station KEYS, The Associated Press reported.

Jared Kushner, After Intel Meeting, Denies Russia Impropriety
Trump son-in-law says no collusion with Kremlin during 2016 race

Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to President Donald Trump, leaves the Hart Senate Office Building on Monday after his interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee staff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

UPDATED 5:15 p.m. | Following nearly three hours of testimony before Senate Intelligence Committee staffers on Monday, senior presidential adviser Jared Kushner stood outside the White House and denied colluding with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, saying all of his actions were both legal and proper.

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law defended himself during rare public remarks just outside the executive mansion’s West Wing, saying: “I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so.”

Brooks Touts Steady Stance on Guns Despite Being Shot at
Congressman highlights his experience at Republican baseball practice to show he’s unchanged on Scond Amendment

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., has a new ad highlighting his unchanged stance on guns despite being at the shooting at the Republican baseball practice. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks is not backing down from an ad describing his experience being shot at.

Brooks is running for the Republican nomination for Senate in Alabama against incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed after Jeff Sessions became attorney general.

Roy Moore Declares Himself Front-runner in Alabama Senate Race
Says Brooks and Strange are ‘fighting for second place’ in Alabama

Credit: Campaign video screenshot. Internal polls show Roy Moore leading a tight three-way race.

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore taunted his opponents running for the Senate in Alabama last week, saying they were “fighting for second place.”

No public polls of the Senate primary have been released, but AL.com reports internal polls put Moore ahead of Rep. Mo Brooks and Sen. Luther Strange in a tight three-way race ahead of six other candidates running for the seat. 

The True and Bonkers Story About When Kid Rock Met Mitt Romney
Former deputy campaign manager disputes accounts of policy discussion

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets musician Kid Rock during a campaign rally in Michigan in 2012. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

As Detroit singer and rapper Kid Rock continues to tease a run for the Senate, a former Mitt Romney campaign aide told the story about how the man known as the American Bad Ass met with the man who could have been the first Mormon President.

Katie Packer Beeson served as Romney's deputy campaign manager in 2012 and is a native of Michigan, where Romney grew up and Kid Rock calls home.

Former GOP Senator Warns ‘No Do-Overs’ on Health Care
David Durenberger says ‘no’ is only ‘defensible vote’

Former Minnesota Sen. David Durenberger in a Monday op-ed warned Republican lawmakers against repealing the 2010 health care law. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Minnesota Republican Sen. David Durenberger took aim Monday at current GOP senators for attempting to ram through a motion to proceed on their controversial bill to dismantle the 2010 health care law.

In a USA Today op-ed, Durenberger laid out the normal procedures for deliberating on a bill with ramifications for millions of Americans of this magnitude: “You ask questions. You hold hearings. You understand what it would mean to your constituents. You listen to those who know the system. And when it doesn’t add up, you vote against it.”

Democrats Cast Wide Net in Shaping ‘Better Deal’ Platform
DCCC spent seven months working on agenda and talking to stakeholders

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján chairs the DCCC, whose staff have worked to find consensus on an economic message for the Democratic Party. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are set to unveil their “Better Deal” agenda Monday afternoon. Over the past seven months, the House Democrats’ campaign arm has sought to foster unity around an economically focused agenda through meetings with stakeholders and conversations with voters.

The goal for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was to create a unifying message on the economy and jobs that could also be tailored to an individual congressional district. The party is looking to flip at least 24 seats next year to win back the House.

Kislyak Leaves His Post With Russiagate in His Wake
Russian ambassador’s communications with Trump advisers at center of investigations

Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak leaves after a farewell reception in Washington on July 11 hosted by the U.S.-Russia Business Council. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington who was in contact with multiple U.S. officials in Donald Trump’s administration during the 2016 presidential campaign and the lead-up to Trump’s inauguration, left his post over the weekend, the Russian embassy announced in a Saturday morning tweet.

Kislyak was replaced in the interim by Minister-Counseler and Deputy Chief of Mission Denis V. Gonchar until his successor arrives from Moscow.

Democrats Want to Seize Populism From Trump
Prepare their agenda with a new focus on antitrust policy

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be in Berryville, Va., for Monday afternoon’s rollout. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When congressional Democrats unveil their “better deal” agenda Monday afternoon, they will be trying to reclaim the populist mantle from President Donald Trump.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer says the shift in messaging is about a commitment to reorienting the function of government.

GOP Pre-empts Democratic Messaging With New Digital Ad
Ad is running in Pelosi’s district and 12 Democratic districts Trump carried

Republicans target House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 12 other Democrats in districts that Donald Trump won in last year’s presidential election. (Screenshot from Congressional Leadership Fund ad)

A Republican super PAC aligned with House leadership is pre-empting the new Democratic messaging point with its own digital ad.

Democrats are expected to unveil their new slogan “A Better Deal” on Monday. And the Congressional Leadership Fund is launching a digital ad in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s district and in 12 others that President Donald Trump won in November. 

Kushner to Tell Senators ‘I Did Not Collude’ With Russians
Statement downplays contacts, but shows Trump team’s desire for a thaw with Putin

President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is expected to tell the Senate Intelligence Committee that his meetings with Russians were normal and innocent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated at 9:06 a.m. | Jared Kushner is set to tell the Senate Intelligence Committee he was unaware that Donald Trump Jr. took a meeting with a Russian lawyer expecting to be given Kremlin-provided dirt on Hillary Clinton.

In prepared remarks the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser will deliver to the panel behind closed doors later Monday, Kushner will reject the notion that he or other Trump campaign staffers had nefarious ties with Moscow during the 2016 campaign.

McCain Spends Weekend Outdoors
Says he’s reviewing Russia sanctions bill

Sen. John McCain posted a photo on Sunday of himself on a hike with friend Joe Harper. (Sen. John McCain/Twitter)

Sen. John McCain is remaining active despite his cancer diagnosis, spending the weekend hiking in Arizona.

McCain tweeted a photo of himself on a hike in Oak Creek, Ariz., with his friend Joe Harper on Sunday.