Politics

Democrats Tell Trump to Withdraw Clovis Nomination for USDA
Schumer, Schatz cite nominee’s “extremist views” on race, homosexuality

Sam Clovis Jr. is President Donald Trump’s nominee for undersecretary for research, education and economics at the Agriculture Department. (Courtesy Alex Hanson/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)

Senate Democrats said Wednesday they would “vehemently oppose” the appointment of Sam Clovis Jr., President Donald Trump’s nominee for a top scientific post at the Department of Agriculture, potentially dovetailing with unrelated reservations already expressed by a key Senate Republican.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York and Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii cited Clovis’ rejection of climate science and his “extremist views” on race and homosexuality in a press release. They called for the immediate withdrawal of his nomination as USDA undersecretary for research, education and economics.

McConnell Quells Report of Strains With Trump
Kentucky Republican says the two and their teams are working together

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is downplaying a New York Times report of tensions between him and President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday disavowed the notion of increasing tensions between him and President Donald Trump in response to a report that their relationship had “disintegrated.”

The New York Times reported Tuesday that McConnell and Trump had grown so mutually irritated that neither had spoken to each other since an Aug. 9 phone call that turned into a “profane shouting match.”

Legislative Agenda Takes Back Seat to Trump’s ‘Beautiful Apartment’
Former Jeb Bush aide: ‘One step forward, one step back’

President Donald Trump opted against selling his legislative agenda in an address to supporters in Phoenix on Tuesday. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump roared, blamed, boasted, omitted and obfuscated Tuesday night at a campaign rally in Phoenix, but there was one thing he decided against doing: selling his stalled legislative agenda.

A night after delivering a measured and somewhat-detailed prime-time address that laid out his new counterterrorism-focused Afghanistan strategy, Trump’s criticism of the news media, his increasingly visible insecurities and his fixation on his political base took over just minutes into his remarks in the Valley of the Sun.

Ryan: Shutdown Unnecessary but Continuing Resolution Is Needed
Speaker anticipates Senate lag in processing of appropriations bills

Speaker Paul D.. Ryan, R-Wis., said a short-term continuing resolution will likely be needed to keep the government open. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday that a government shutdown is unnecessary but that a short-term continuing resolution will likely be needed to keep the government open beyond Sept. 30. 

“I think that will probably be necessary, yes, because I can’t imagine the Senate will be able to process the appropriations bills as quickly as the House is,” the Wisconsin Republican said during a press conference at Intel in Portland, Oregon. 

GOP Senator Predicts Tax Overhaul on Christmas Eve
Heller expects debate on tax code rewrite will run into December

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller predicts some December arm-twisting on tax legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee thinks an overhaul of the tax code will pass this year — on Christmas Eve.

“So, here’s my prediction: This is best case scenario, all right? I believe we’re going to pass tax reform on Dec. 24th,” Nevada Sen. Dean Heller said Wednesday. “I believe leadership is going to tell us you’re not going home for the holidays until you pass tax reform.”

Rating Change: Democratic Prospects Improve in Kansas House Race
Republican incumbent Lynn Jenkins not seeking re-election

In former state House Minority Leader Paul Davis, Democrats have a credible contender in Kansas’ 2nd District, Gonzales writes. (Courtesy Paul Davis Facebook page)

President Donald Trump won Kansas’ 2nd District by nearly 20 points last fall, but Democrats have Republicans on the defensive in the open seat race.

GOP Rep. Lynn Jenkins is not seeking re-election to a sixth term in the eastern Kansas district, retiring from public office altogether. Republicans normally wouldn’t have to worry about the seat falling into Democratic hands. Trump topped Hillary Clinton last year, 56 percent to 37 percent, according to calculations by Daily Kos Elections, while Jenkins won 61 percent to 33 percent.

Fact Check: What Trump Stretched, Omitted and Ignored in Phoenix
President used his own version of events to fire up a friendly crowd

On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump uttered a string of false and questionable statements during a campaign rally in Phoenix. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s volatile Tuesday campaign rally in Phoenix was full of misleading statements, from his handling of the Charlottesville, Virginia, racial unrest and media coverage of his presidency to Revolutionary War- and Confederate-era statues and the Senate’s rules.

The omissions, exaggerations and stretching of the truth ranged from the trivial to outright misrepresentations. Some aspects of the speech might even complicate the pursuit of his own legislative agenda.

Report: Alabama Senate Candidate Moore Questioned Obama’s Birthplace Last Year
Came three months after Donald Trump laid to rest his questions about Obama’s birth certificate

Senate candidate Roy Moore has questioned the birthplace of former President Barack Obama as recently as December. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice and Senate candidate Roy Moore has espoused that former President Barack Obama is not an American citizen as late as December 2016.

Video obtained by CNN’s KFile shows Moore telling a meeting of the Constitution Party that he did not believe that Obama qualified as a natural-born citizen.

GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick Can’t Escape Trump Back Home
What happens when a Republican in swing district faces his constituents

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., talks with guests during a town hall meeting in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BENSALEM TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was not surprised by the first question at his town hall meeting here Tuesday night.

“I’m shocked to get a Donald Trump question tonight,” the Pennsylvania Republican joked, eliciting laughter from the crowd gathered in the Bensalem Township’s Council meeting room prior to the president’s speech in Phoenix

Democrats Warn Trump Against Shutdown, Remain Opposed to Border Wall
Threat 'is the polar opposite of leadership,' House Appropriations Committee ranking member says

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are warning President Donald Trump not to shut down the government. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Threatening to shut down the government is the “polar opposite of leadership” and it “won’t accomplish anything” other than “chaos,” congressional Democrats warned President Donald Trump on Wednesday. 

During a rally in Arizona Tuesday night, Trump said he is willing to risk a shutdown to secure funding for a border wall. 

Analysis: Why Won't Trump Discuss Troop Numbers?

President Donald Trump has delegated much of the troop deployment details on Afghanistan to Defense Secretary James Mattis and the Pentagon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a speech to the nation on Aug. 21, President Donald Trump issued a clarion call on Afghanistan, effectively asking Americans to indefinitely extend their longest war at untold additional cost in lives and money. But he declined to say how many of America’s sons and daughters he plans to deploy there.

Trump did not quantify the military deployment even though it has been widely reported that he has already authorized the Pentagon to augment its nearly 8,500 strong force in Afghanistan with almost 4,000 additional service members. The first of the extra troops could arrive within days or weeks, and those numbers could grow depending on conditions in Afghanistan, officials have said.

Democrats Launch ‘Rohrabacher Conspiracy’ Site
Hopes to connect the dots between ‘Putin’s congressman’ and several figures in Russia investigation

“The Rohrabacher Conspiracy” ties California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to various figures in the Russia investigation. (therohrabacherconspiracy.com)

Democrats are targeting Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher with a new website intended to point out connections between the California congressman and figures in the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched its “The Rohrabacher Conspiracy” on Wednesday. It shows a bulletin board that links Rohrabacher to various individuals, including Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with President Donald Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., and Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who is under investigation for his ties to Russia.

7 Ways Trump’s Arizona Speech Complicates Congress’ Fall Agenda
President threatens a shutdown, criticizes senators and their chamber’s rules

President Donald and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, pictured shaking hands after Trump's address to Congress in February, are at odds over willingness to shutdown the government and change the Senate's filibuster rules. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Short on legislative accomplishments so far in his tenure, President Donald Trump went out of his way to complicate Congress’ fall legislative agenda during a campaign-style rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday.

Here are seven ways in just that one speech that Trump said things that don’t bode well for his ability to work with Congress:

Brooks Gets a Second GOP Primary Challenger
State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw says the district is looking for an alternative to incumbent

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., received a primary challenger in state Sen. Bill Holtzclaw. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks received a Republican primary challenger after his bruising Senate primary loss.

State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw announced Monday  he will challenge Brooks for the Republican nomination in Alabama’s 5th District, according to media reports.

Democrats Hope for ‘Perfect Storm’ in Alabama Senate Race
Doug Jones touted as party’s strongest candidate in years

Doug Jones chats with attendees before a Democratic Senate candidate forum in Decatur, Ala., on Aug. 3. (Jeronimo Nisa/The Decatur Daily via AP, File Photo)

As Republicans gear up for a grueling primary runoff in the Alabama special election Senate race, Democratic candidate Doug Jones has the race to himself. And Democrats see Jones as their best hope for victory in a ruby-red state.

But that’s a tall order for Jones.