Politics

Democrats Plan to Push ‘Better Deal’ Over August Recess
Party seeks feedback from voters about its economic plan

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, center, joined top Democrats at a rally in Berryville, Va., on Monday to unveil their party’s “Better Deal” economic agenda. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats are confident they will be able to hammer home their newly unveiled economic agenda, even as health care and Washington drama dominate the news. And they’re planning to use the upcoming August recess to do just that.

“I’m branding our entire August district work period as ‘A better deal for the heartland,’” Rep. Cheri Bustos said. 

The Beds are Ready for Senate's Long Night on Health Care
The votes are expected to go into the early hours of Friday

A Capitol employee pushes a bed past the Senate chamber toward Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's suite of offices in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The cots are out in the Capitol.

Ahead of the Senate's expected vote-a-rama on health care legislation late into the night, a Capitol employee was seen Thursday wheeling a bed toward the majority leader's offices.

How Climate Change Impacts Congressional Districts Over Next 80 Years
A Roll Call analysis also reveals how concerned people are, by district

(Photo courtesy iStock)

Two recent studies explored the climate debate at the local level. The authors of a report by Climate Impact Lab, published in Science magazine, ran 29,000 simulations to project the economic damage that could result from climate change between 2080 and 2099 in the U.S.

Researchers at Yale and George Mason universities created a model that estimates opinions on climate change in specific communities. Roll Call combined the two in this analysis, by congressional district.

Graham: ‘Holy Hell to Pay’ if Trump Fires Sessions
And going after Mueller could be ‘beginning of the end of the Trump presidency’

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham reiterated his support for Attorney General Jeff Sessions in light of President Donald Trump’s attacks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Lindsay Graham said he is “100 percent behind” embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and said there would be “holy hell to pay” if President Donald Trump fires him.

In an interview with CNN, the South Carolina Republican also said that if the president went after special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who’s directing the investigation into possible contacts between Trump’s circle and Russia, that could be the “beginning of the end of the Trump presidency, unless Mueller did something wrong.”

Hurd and Border State Members to Introduce ‘Smart’ Wall Bill
Moderates join in calls for partnership with Silicon Valley

Rep. Will Hurd's SMART Act would require DHS to have a comprehensive border wall plan before construction. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In an attempt to bridge the divide between President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to build a border wall and Republican moderates’ hesitation surrounding the plan, Rep. Will Hurd is looking to Silicon Valley for help.

The Texas Republican is leading a group of border state lawmakers, as well as moderates, to offer their own plan of building a “smart” wall, CNN reported.

Scaramucci Vs. Priebus: Trump’s West Wing War Goes Public
‘We have a very, very good idea of who the leakers are,’ warns ‘The Mooch’

White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci took his battle with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus public via a tweet and a cable news interview. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s incoming communications director and “friend” Anthony Scaramucci took his war with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus public Thursday, revealing a West Wing in chaos over leaks to the media.

Scaramucci, the Wall Street investment banker hired by Trump less than a week ago to enhance his communications shop, fired a warning shot at Priebus in a tweet posted late Wednesday night.

House Panel Turns Search for Trump Documents Into Clinton Probe
Jayapal’s resolution sought more information on Comey firing

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., cried foul after Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee hijacked her bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee turned a Democratic request for documents related to President Donald Trump’s firing of then-FBI Director James B. Comey on its head, making it a different kind of treasure hunt.

On a 16-13 vote, the panel on Wednesday approved a substitute amendment offered by GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida that would ask the Justice Department for documents related to Comey’s handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and other aspects of Comey’s tenure.

Murkowski Pushes Back on Trump
Comes after Murkowski and Sullivan faced threats

An Alaska news outlet reported that Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, above, and Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, received a threatening phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke due to Murkowski's vote against the Republican health care bill.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski pushed back against President Donald Trump amid reports that his administration supposedly threatened retribution for her opposition to the health care bill.

Murkowski's words come as her vote against repealing the 2010 health care law led to her and fellow Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan both received a call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke saying that the vote could harm the state’s future, Alaska Dispatch News reported.

Trump Considering Vetoing Bipartisan Sanctions Bill, Scaramucci Says
Spokesman says president might negotiate ‘a tougher deal’ against Moscow

Incoming White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said Thursday that President Donald Trump might veto a Russia-Iran-North Korea sanctions bill that got 419 votes in the House. (Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump might veto a House-passed measure that would slap new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea so he can “negotiate” tougher penalties against Moscow, says incoming White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.

In an unscheduled and combative phone call to CNN’s “New Day” morning show, which Scaramucci said came after a 15-minute talk with Trump, the former Wall Street financier made clear the president has not ruled out rejecting a bill that got 419 Republican and Democratic votes, with only 19 members in the 435-seat body voting against it.

Rep. Brady’s Lawyer Denies Wrongdoing
Says fund transfer to primary opponent paid for poll and came after he dropped out

The campaign of Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., reportedly transferred $90,000 in total to a primary opponent in 2012. (CQ Roll Call file photo).

The Investigations Trump Can’t Stop
Presidential pardons offer no protection from state prosecutions

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has spearheaded several investigations into the financial interests of Donald Trump and people close to him. (Courtesy Schneiderman’s office)

President Donald Trump might be able to pardon everyone he wants — possibly even himself. But that would not end his legal troubles.

Trump already fired FBI Director James B. Comey amid an investigation into allegations of collusion between his campaign and Russia. He has attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions, raising questions about whether he intends to try to remove Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel appointed by the Justice Department to head the Russia probe.

Some GOP Skepticism of Sending Obamacare Repeal to Conference
Questions about what the ‘skinny’ bill would produce

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski has some concerns about what may happen when the House and Senate go to conference on health care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Several senators are expressing skepticism about the emerging Republican plan to pass a bill rolling back “skinny” pieces of the 2010 health care law and then hope for a broader agreement in a conference committee with the House.

Kansas Republican Jerry Moran, who was one of the senators who came out against the broader Senate health care bill, told Roll Call he is concerned about entering a conference without a real Senate position.

At the Races: Wabash College, Swamp Critters and More
Decisions made and delayed in Nevada

Rep. Luke Messer, seen here in a family photo on the East Front of the Capitol, is running for the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the August recess nears, candidates and maybe-candidates are making decisions that set the stage for both upcoming special elections and the 2018 midterms.

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer announced on Wednesday he’s running for Senate.

Congress to Send Russia, Iran, North Korea Sanctions Bill to Trump
Measure expected to win overwhelming support in the Senate, again

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker said discussions with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy were “were productive.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bill to provide for new sanctions against three adversaries of the United States will be making its way to President Donald Trump’s desk before the August recess, after all.

House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement late Wednesday to get the sanctions legislation against Iran, Russia and North Korea through the Senate without further amendment, avoiding a potential clash with the House.

Rare Warning to Trump From Hill GOP Leader
Firing Sessions could poison president’s agenda in Senate, Cornyn says

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, right, says firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions could jeopardize President Donald Trump’s ability to “get anything else done.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate majority’s No. 2 leader has given President Donald Trump one of the strongest pushbacks from any Republican in Congress this year: Firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions could bring to a halt GOP cooperation with the administration’s legislative agenda.

“Well, it’s the president’s prerogative, but he is then going to jeopardize, potentially, his ability to get anything else done here,” Majority Whip John Cornyn told reporters Wednesday. “And I don’t think that should be his desire or preference.”