Politics

Health Care Leaks Get the Clamp Down from McConnell
Obamacare repeal working group now open to all GOP senators

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell highlighted assistance to miners in the upcoming omnibus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

BY JOE WILLIAMS AND ERIN MERSHON

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a warning to staffers last week amidst growing frustration at the amount of information leaking from private Republican discussions on repealing the 2010 health law.

Giffords Shooting Memorial Has Become ‘Politicized,’ Barber says
After Arizona House approved funding, attempt stalled in Senate

Former Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., was among those wounded in the shooting at a constituent event for then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in 2011. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Attempts to build a memorial at the site of the shooting of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords stalled because they became “politicized,” former Arizona Rep. Ron Barber said.

Survivors of the January 2011 shooting that killed six and severely injured Giffords and 12 others have raised more than $5 million to create a memorial in downtown Tucson.

Poll: Ossoff Leads Handel by 7 Points in Georgia House Runoff
Majority of voters surveyed disapprove of President Donald Trump

Jon Ossoff, Democratic candidate for the Georgia 6th Congressional District, leads Republican opponent Karen Handel in a new poll released a month before their runoff. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new poll shows Democrat Jon Ossoff with a 7-point lead against Republican Karen Handel ahead of the runoff election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

Of the 700 voters interviewed in the SurveyUSA poll conducted for Atlanta TV station WXIA, Ossoff leads with 51 percent compared to Handel’s 44 percent, which is outside of the poll's 4.3 percent margin of error. Six percent of respondents were undecided.

East Jerusalem Should Be Palestinian Capital, Abbas Insists
Israelis reject that notion showing Trump how tough a peace pact will be

Demonstrators hold posters during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump next to the American consulate on Monday night in Jerusalem. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Updated at 7:44 a.m. President Donald Trump continued to press for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal during a stop in Bethlehem, but comments by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas showed just how difficult such a pact will be.

As Trump said Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have assured him they want to “work towards that goal in good faith,” the Palestinian leader laid down a key marker for potential talks that his Israeli counterparts have rejected in the past.

GOP Group Launches Health Care Ad Ahead of CBO Score
American Action Network spending additional $2 million to promote bill

California Rep. Jeff Denham is one of the 21 lawmakers whose districts are the targets of a new ad campaign by the American Action Network. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A conservative issue advocacy organization is spending an additional $2 million on a nationwide television ad campaign to promote the Republicans’ health care plan ahead of the release of the Congressional Budget Office score, which is expected Wednesday. 

The American Action Network, which has close ties to House GOP leadership, is debuting the campaign on Tuesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” The ad will also air in 21 congressional districts.

Trump Budget’s Chilly Reception Will Be Nothing New
Congress routinely rebuffed Obama budgets too

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, center, and GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks, right, reviewed production of the fiscal 208 budget proposal at the Government Publishing Office’s plant on North Capitol Street last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s budget request finally gets its full release Tuesday morning, but the stories of its inevitable rejection on Capitol Hill could have been written weeks ago.

There has been ample bipartisan skepticism of the proposed cuts to domestic programs coming out of Trump’s budget office for fiscal 2018, but overall, the reaction and follow through on it will not likely be much different than it ever was under President Barack Obama.

2018 Senate Recruitment: Too Early to Talk About It?
Challengers in tight races typically take their time to announce

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the 2018 midterm elections about 18 months away, attention is shifting to the battle for the Senate — and who could emerge as potential challengers.

But history shows that prospective contenders have a few more months before they typically announce their candidacies.

Tax Overhaul Challenges Unified Republican Government
Contentious House provisions spark interest in bipartisan Senate plan

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had planned to pass a tax overhaul by August, a timeline that has slipped amid intraparty divisions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

BY LINDSEY MCPHERSON AND JOE WILLIAMS

Republican leaders are applying a lesson learned from health care to the tax overhaul debate: build consensus before releasing a bill.

Lawmakers React to Latest Trump-Russia Bombshell: ‘What Now?!’
Report: President asked two top intel officials to deny collusion with Moscow

President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statment with Israel's President Reuven Rivlin at the President's House on May 22, 2017 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

BY JOHN T. BENNETT, LINDSEY McPHERSON AND REMA RAHMAN

Lawmakers on Monday evening seemed resigned to yet another bombshell report suggesting President Donald Trump attempted to interfere with a federal investigation aimed at, in part, determining whether there was collusion between his campaign and the Russia government.

Democrats Expanding Battlefield Into Trump Country
DCCC adds 20 more GOP seats to its target list

The DCCC is targeting California Rep. Devin Nunes in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday added 20 seats to its target list for 2018. The House Democrats’ campaign arm is now going after 79 Republican-held seats in the midterms.

President Donald Trump won these newly targeted seats by anywhere from 6 to 49 points. The first round of 59 targets, announced in January, included the 23 GOP-held seats that Hillary Clinton carried last fall. But it also included plenty of red districts, including at least eight districts that Trump carried by 15 points or more.

Flynn May Have Lied During Security Clearance Renewal, Says Cummings
Oversight ranking member asks chairman to subpoena records from White House

Rep. Elijah Cummings, left, has asked House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, right, to subpoena records from the White House about Michael Flynn. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is asking the panel’s top lawmaker to use his subpoena power to ask the White House for documents related to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Rep. Elijah Cummings wrote to Chairman Jason Chaffetz that the committee had in its possession documents that appeared to show Flynn lied to investigators in 2016 when he was getting his security clearance renewed.

Supreme Court Affirms Ban on ‘Soft Money’ in Campaigns
Opponents of ban say they will take concerns to Congress

Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., applauded the high court's decision to let a lower court's ruling on the case stand. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the so-called soft money ban on state and local parties, prompting opponents of the restriction to turn their pleas for repeal to Congress.

Although proponents of political money limits cheered the decision, they said that new Justice Neil Gorsuch’s position on the case confirmed their fears about his campaign finance views.

Trump Seeks Further Delay in Health Care Subsidy Lawsuit
Insurance plans, Democrats say uncertainty will continue

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said the administration's actions will lead to more uncertainty in the health insurance markets. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump administration again delayed a decision in a major case that could upend the health insurance markets created by the 2010 health care law, in a motion filed in federal court Monday.

Justice Department lawyers asked in the motion for another 90-day delay in a case that centers on about $7 billion of annual subsidies that are aimed at making health care services more affordable for low-income people who gained coverage under the 2010 law.

Rokita and Messer Trade Accusations
Indiana Republican congressmen are both considering running for Senate against Donnelly

Rep. Todd Rokita  said fellow Indiana Republican Rep Luke Messer planted a story about him using campaign funds for a private plane. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Todd Rokita is accusing fellow Republican Rep. Luke Messer of planting a negative story about him in the media ahead of the two possibly facing in Indiana’s Senate race next year.

A recent post in Politico Pro revealed that Rokita had used $100,000 in campaign funds on use of a private plane. The story pointed out that he had broken no ethics rules or laws.

Rep. Al Green Releases Death Threats After Impeachment Stance
Included caller saying Texas Democrat should be lynched

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, released threatening messages he received after calling for President Donald Trump's impeachment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Al Green released numerous messages that included threats of death and lynching after he called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

In the beginning of a video on Green’s Facebook page, He plays audio of racially derogatory remarks that called for him to be hanged, the Texas Tribune reported.