Politics

Bipartisan Immigration Bill Greeted by Big GOP Meh
Gang of Six measure shunned by White House, GOP leaders

Demonstrators with United We Dream and others rally in the atrium of Hart Building on January 16, 2018, to call on congress to pass the Dream Act, that protects young immigrants from deportation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite its bipartisan pedigree, an immigration bill from the Senate’s “Gang of Six” appears unlikely to advance amid backlash from congressional Republicans and the White House.

GOP lawmakers are now placing all their hopes on a coalition of four House and Senate leaders to come up with a solution to address the pending end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that covers immigrants who come to the country illegally as children.

House Judiciary Advances Foreign Lobby Overhaul
Panel Democrats say GOP is moving too quickly on the bill

Ex-lobbyist Paul Manafort, a former Trump campaign chairman, has been charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

House Republicans took a significant step Wednesday in an effort to overhaul the nation’s foreign lobbying disclosure regulations amid scandals in the influence sector.

The House Judiciary Committee advanced as amended, 15-6 along party lines, the measure that would give the Justice Department new subpoena-like investigative powers. That new authority sparked controversy among the panel’s Democrats.

How John Kennedy Sees Things
‘This is why the aliens won’t talk to us.’

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 17: Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., speaks with reporters in the Senate subway in the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Since arriving in the Senate last year, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy has become a gift to Capitol Hill reporters for his colorful use of language.

Most recently, he has said that the dispute about whether President Donald Trump called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries” is “why the aliens won’t talk to us.”

The ‘Emotional Space’ Inside High-Stakes Diplomacy
Looking back at Obama, looking square at Trump

Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama take time for reflecting in the new documentary “The Final Year.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Welcome back to Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here

The civil war in Syria. Boko Haram. Russia. Climate change. American foreign policy operates in a high-stakes environment in a very public glare. And in 2016, in the midst of a contentious election year, President Barack Obama oversaw a team of players trying to solidify a legacy in his last year in office. Documentary filmmaker Greg Barker went along for the ride, from the cramped quarters of the West Wing to an emotional speech at Hiroshima, Japan for his new film, “The Final Year.”

Paul Ryan Caught Between Freedom Caucus, Democrats
Lacking votes on resolving shutdown, speaker will need to negotiate with one or the other

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., left, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have just a couple of days left to round up support to avoid a government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Likely short of the votes he needs to pass a stopgap government funding bill through his chamber by Friday, Speaker Paul D. Ryan spent Wednesday morning railing against Democrats — whose votes he may need to court.

A four-week continuing resolution that GOP leaders unveiled Tuesday night faces opposition from members of the House Freedom Caucus who want immediate action to increase defense spending and from Democrats who want a resolution this week on the status of some 690,000 young immigrants, known as Dreamers, who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Omaha Man Pleads Guilty to Plotting to Kill Joni Ernst
Suspect believed Iowa Republican was connected to ISIS

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, was the target of a potential plot on her life last July. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An Omaha man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to threatening the life of Sen. Joni Ernst, who he believed was in cahoots with Islamic State terrorists.

Robert W. Simet, 64, told employees at a motorcycle shop near the Nebraska-Iowa border last July that he might kill the Iowa Republican at a speech she was scheduled to deliver there, according to court documents obtained by The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Arizona’s Double-Barrel Rejection of President Trump’s ‘Fake News’
Flake, McCain offer defenses of the free press ahead of Trump’s awards

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake gave a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday in defense of the free press. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arizona’s two Republican senators asserted themselves Wednesday as defenders of the free press.

Jeff Flake took to the Senate floor for a well-publicized defense of the truth, as President Donald Trump was potentially preparing for an Orwellian “fake news” award ceremony.

Graham’s DACA, Military Plan at Odds With Leadership
‘We should take care of the DREAM Act kids now, not wait till March 5’

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, right, and former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown, now the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, talk after running into each other by chance in the Russell Building on Jan. 11. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday he believes Congress should address the program that covers immigrants brought illegally to the country as children before it expires later this year.

Speaking at an event in Washington hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, the South Carolina Republican said his party was naive to think it could persuade Democrats to support increased defense spending without finding a solution to prevent the expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

Threats Force Raskin to Cancel Panel on How Trump Inspires Violence
Maryland Democrat has questioned president’s mental fitness for office

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., canceled a panel on President Donald Trump’s mental fitness for office due to threats of violence against the event. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Jamie Raskin was forced to cancel an event with mental health experts on Donald Trump’s mental fitness to be president after the congressman’s office received a string of threats.

The event was scheduled for Thursday at a senior center in Maryland and intended to cover issues such as Trump’s perceived tendency to inspire violence.

Poll: 44 Percent of Americans Think Trump is a Racist
Four in five Americans said they believe Trump talks without taking much time to consider his words

President Donald Trump speaks as he stops by a Conversations with the Women of America panel at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Tuesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s rough rhetorical style was thrust under the microscope (again) last week after he called Haiti and parts of Africa “shithole countries” when complaining about their immigrants to the United States, multiple lawmakers who were at the meeting with the president confirmed.

Four in five Americans said they believe Trump talks without taking much time to consider his words, a new poll found.

Former Takai Staffer Still Getting Paid From Campaign Cash
Paid himself a monthly salary of $5,759 a month from late congressman’s campaign account

A former staffer for the late Rep. Mark Takai, D-Hawaii, is still being paid a salary after Takai's death. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former staffer for the late Hawaii Rep. Mark Takai  is still getting paid thousands of dollars from Takai’s campaign coffers after the congressman’s death more than a year ago.

Dylan Beesley was Takai’s campaign manager and said that after Takai died of pancreatic cancer he became campaign treasurer at the request of the family, according to Hawaii News Now.

Love Doesn’t Ask for Apology in Trump Meeting
Haitian-American congresswoman said she asked president to find a solution to DACA standoff

Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday but did not ask him to apologize for trashing Haiti, her parents’ home country, and calling some African nations “shithole countries.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah Rep. Mia Love met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday, but she said she didn’t ask him to apologize for his comments last week denigrating Haiti and calling some African nations “shithole countries.”

Love, a Republican who is the only Haitian-American elected to Congress, previously said Trump’s alleged comments were “unkind, divisive, elitist, and [flew] in the face of our nation’s values.”

Analysis: It’s a Blue House Wave, but Not Yet a Senate One
Rural, Trump-friendly states make for a formidable map for Democrats

Sens. Jon Tester of Montana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota are among the Democrats’ many vulnerable incumbents this cycle, which complicates the party’s efforts to retake the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo.)

“The odds are greater than half we will take back the Senate.” — Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Monday night 

Democrats ought to temper their optimism about the fight for the Senate this year.

Democrats See New Opportunity in McSally’s Old House Seat
Democrats see Arizona’s 2nd District as a top pickup opportunity

Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick is running in Arizona’s 2nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Rep. Martha McSally’s decision to enter the Arizona Senate race has opened up her hotly contested House seat, giving Democrats even more hope that they can win back the seat in 2018.

Republicans say they still have a chance at holding the 2nd District seat in southern Arizona, especially with the right candidate. But Democrats see energy on their side, fueled in part by a backlash to President Donald Trump. And they are hopeful the race will be an example of a Democrat flipping a seat that Hillary Clinton carried in November.

Anti-Abortion Groups Look for Wins in 2018
Senate vote on a 20-week abortion ban is a top priority

Attendees gather near the Washington Monument on Jan. 27, 2017, during the speaking portion of the annual March for Life. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Anti-abortion groups, pursuing a list of priorities, hope to further capitalize on the Republican control of both chambers and the presidency in 2018.

Groups that oppose abortion scored a series of wins last year, including the appointment of several conservatives to top Department of Health and Human Services positions, the House passage of a late-term abortion ban bill and the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.