Politics

After Coons Demonstrates Comity, Pompeo Avoids Dubious Distinction
Old Senate traditions on display as Delaware Democrat pairs with Georgia Republican

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., left, and ranking member Bob Menendez, D-N.J., confer Monday before a tense committee markup on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be secretary of State. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

CIA Director Mike Pompeo narrowly avoided historical ignominy on Monday when the Foreign Relations Committee approved his nomination to be secretary of State.

It took more steps to advance President Donald Trump’s nominee than anyone might have anticipated going into the meeting, including what in the modern Senate was a magnanimous gesture from Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware.

GOP Rep. Lamborn Does Not Qualify for Primary Ballot, State Court Rules
Lamborn was being challenged in the GOP primary

Rep.Doug Lamborn, R-CO., may not be able to run for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 7:27 p.m. | The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn has not qualified for the GOP primary ballot.

The court ruled Lamborn violated state rules when collecting the 1,000 GOP signatures needed to qualify for the primary ballot. State law says the signature collectors must be Colorado residents, and the state Supreme Court determined one of the collectors was not, reversing a lower court decision.

Rand Paul Flips, Will Support Mike Pompeo Nomination

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., attends a Senate Foreign Relations committee markup in Dirksen Building on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state on April 23, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Rand Paul, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in a series of tweets sent just before the panel was scheduled to gavel into session, that he would support the nomination of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.

“Having received assurances from President Trump and Director Pompeo that he agrees with the President on these important issues, I have decided to support his nomination to be our next Secretary of State,” Paul said

Indivisible Combatting Sexual Harassment at Candidate Level
Resistance group also asking candidates to commit to diversity

Indivisible is in the process of selecting its second round of endorsements. (Bill Clark/ CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group founded by former Capitol Hill staffers wants to increase pressure on congressional offices to build harassment-free environments even before members are members.

When the progressive group Indivisible Project questions candidates to see how well they align with their resistance agenda, they also ask, “If elected, will you make every effort to create work spaces for your staff that are safe and free from all forms of sexual harassment?”

Texas Attorney General Allows Special Election for Farenthold’s Seat
Governor said it was related to Hurricane Harvey

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton gave permission to Gov. Greg Abbott to hold a special election to fill former Rep. Blake Farenthold’s seat.

Paxton issued a non-binding opinion that said a court would agree to set aside election laws to allow for the governor to suspend certain laws if they interfere with disaster recovery, according to the Texas Tribune.

Democrats’ Poll Puts Grimm Up by Double Digits Over Donovan
Dems ‘desperate’ for Grimm because he has ‘zero shot of winning in November,’ incumbent says

Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y., faces a primary challenge from his predecessor Michael Grimm. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new Democratic poll of voters in the Republican primary for Rep. Dan Donovan’s seat shows challenger Michael Grimm up by 10 points, but the incumbent says that’s what they’d like you to believe.

Grimm led Donovan, 49 percent to 39 percent, among GOP voters in New York’s 11th District in the poll released by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the House Democrats’ political arm, which hopes to flip the seat blue in November.

Former Ryan Staffer Bryan Steil To Run for Former Boss’ Seat
Soothes GOP anxiety about fielding a competitive candidate for retiring House speaker’s seat

Bryan Steil poses for a photo with a supporter after making his announcement on Sunday. (Bryan Steil for Wisconsin via Facebook)

A former staffer to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced he would run for his former boss’ seat in Wisconsin’s 1st District.

Bryan Steil, who serves as a regent for the University of Wisconsin, said he would run as a “problem solver,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Khanna Writing Internet Bill of Rights
Comes after news that Facebook allowed political consulting firm to harvest users’ data

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., has been tapped to write an “Internet Bill of Rights” by Democratic leadership. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Rep. Ro Khanna has been tapped by Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to write legislation defining Internet users’ rights to their data.

In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Khanna said he was frustrated after Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s hearings on Capitol Hill showed many members did not understand basic concepts about the internet.

Pompeo Confirmation Debate Highlights Another Week of Senate Nomination Feuds
Rules and Administration panel also debating changes to nomination floor procedures

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, left, President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State, arrives for his confirmation hearing April 12 accompanied by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

CIA Director Mike Pompeo seems all but assured to be confirmed as secretary of State this week. The question is how much pain will senators go through along the way.

The way forward should become clear after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee convenes late Monday afternoon to formally vote on advancing Pompeo’s nomination — probably without a favorable review.

Election Year History Belies Ambitious Talk on Appropriations
Lawmakers’ spending goals could run right into midterm hex

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby says he’s aligned with the president in not wanting another massive omnibus spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

November might seem far away, but the midterm elections’ impact on spending bills is already on display, amplified by internal Republican jockeying for leadership positions in the House.

Election years tend to chill swift movement on appropriations bills — especially when there’s potential turnover in leadership of one or both chambers. That’s in part because lawmakers want to focus on campaigning and are back home more than usual, and party leaders tend to want to shield vulnerable members from tough votes.

Who Can Fill Paul Ryan’s Shoes in the House GOP?
He may be retiring from Congress, but that doesn’t mean he’s going away

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who kept a fractured party together and raised gobs of campaign cash, could be a tough act to follow. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The brain drain from departing House Republicans with policy expertise had sparked worry among party insiders even before Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced his plans to retire.

Now, the extraordinary attrition, along with a potentially brutal upcoming midterm campaign, is enough to send the GOP into panic mode.

Fearing New Government Rules, Tech Titans Promise Security Vigilance
Lawmakers also may be likely to push for new legislation

Cutouts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stand on the East Lawn of the Capitol ahead of his testimony on the Hill on April 10. The tech industry increasingly is questioning its security practices. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

SAN FRANCISCO — New European privacy rules, the spotlight on Facebook’s role in the 2016 elections, and the potential that cyberattacks targeting devices could harm consumers in their homes are propelling the tech industry to question its security practices and prompting top executives to promise to make amends.

During five days at the annual RSA Conference last week in San Francisco, top executives from the world’s largest technology companies, including Google, Microsoft, IBM, CISCO, McAfee and Symantec, said they took the scrutiny seriously and would not only step up to make their own devices and software safer but also work with thousands of vendors worldwide urging them to do the same.

Mitt Romney Faces GOP Primary in Utah
GOP delegates at their convention backed a state lawmaker

Romney did will face a primary in the Utah Senate race. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mitt Romney will head to a primary in the Utah Senate race after falling short of the threshold needed to win the nomination at the GOP convention Saturday.

Romney had hoped to garner 60 percent of the delegate votes to win the nomination, but 51 percent backed state Rep. Mike Kennedy instead, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Romney garnered 49 percent of the vote.

CIA Releases Report Finding Haspel Not at Fault in Destruction of Torture Tapes
But some key Senate Democrats now want more answers

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., talks with reporters after the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol on March 20, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Central Intelligence Agency released an unclassified but partially redacted version of an internal memo Friday finding “no fault” on the part of current director nominee Gina Haspel regarding the destruction of infamous tapes.

The tapes showed the use of harsh interrogation tactics on detainees who had been subject to rendition at so-called “black sites.” Clarity about Haspel’s involvement is one key to the deputy director’s chances for Senate confirmation to be the director.

Trump, French President Macron to Disagree Privately, Official Says
French president visits next week for first state visit of Trump presidency

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes President Donald Trump prior to a meeting at the Elysee Presidential Palace on July 13, 2017 in Paris, France. (Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

There will be ample smiles and handshakes for the camera, but don’t expect the U.S. and French heads of state to agree on much behind closed doors when they meet next week in Washington.

A number of contentious issues — from the Iran nuclear deal to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs to Syria — will be on the agenda next week when President Donald Trump hosts French President Emmanuel Macron for a visit that largely will be symbolic.