White House Slams GOP Over Miners’ Benefits, Flint Aid in CR
Obama spokesman says partial shutdown ‘would be a shame’

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III and other coal-state lawmakers are trying to use the CR to devise a long-term solution for miner benefits. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Obama administration on Thursday harshly criticized Republican congressional leaders for not adequately addressing expiring health and pension benefits for coal miners, as well as aid for Flint, Michigan, and its beleaguered water system, and would not rule out a partial government shutdown over the issues.

With funding for federal programs and agencies due to expire Friday at midnight, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest wouldn’t say if President Barack Obama would sign a five-month continuing resolution that easily passed the House Thursday afternoon. “It would be a shame to shut the whole thing down just a couple weeks before Christmas,” Earnest said.

Tim Ryan Encouraged to Run for Ohio Governor
Pelosi challenger navigates his political future

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan speaks with the media at the Capitol after losing the Democratic leadership race to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Tim Ryan’s phone is ringing — and on the other end are people urging the Ohio Democrat who defied House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her team to come home and run for governor.

Biden: Democrats Must Show More ‘Respect’ to Working-Class Whites
VP rejects notion that racism helped elect Donald Trump

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton arrive for a campaign rally in Scranton, Pa., on Aug. 15. On Thursday, he said his party has not shown enough “respect” for or listened to white working-class voters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said the Democratic Party is not “showing enough respect” to white working-class men while rejecting the notion that racism prompted that bloc of voters to help elect Donald Trump.

Rohrabacher Accuses Journalist of Bias Against Russia
Says he’s had discussions with people ‘high up in the transition team’ about being Trump’s secretary of State

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., has previously made remarks sympathetic to Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., accused a journalist who is a refugee from the former Soviet Union of bias in an interview Wednesday.

Boehner: ‘Thank God I’m Not in the Middle of This’
Former speaker compares president-elect to Teddy Roosevelt

Asked if he missed being involved more closely in this year’s election cycle, former House Speaker John A. Boehner replied, “Oh my God, no.” (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former House Speaker John A. Boehner weighed in on the incoming Trump administration Wednesday, calling the president-elect a “good guy” who wants to do “big things,” and advocating for bipartisanship in the new Congress.

Boehner told Cincinnati ABC affiliate WCPO that he and Trump have known each other for a long time. 

Udall Won’t Run for New Mexico Governor
State's senior senator puts 2018 rumors to bed

Sen. Tom Udall said he thinks he can do more for his state in Washington than he can as governor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Tom Udall announced Wednesday he will not seek New Mexico’s governorship, citing the importance of keeping veteran Democratic legislators in Congress. 

After much consideration, Udall released a statement explaining why he believes he can do more good in Washington than in Sante Fe. 

Will Big Lies Insinuate Themselves Into Trump Policies?
Troubling times, as the line between fact and fiction blurs

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for United Nations ambassador, should remind those in his inner circle that fake news has serious consequences, writes Mary C. Curtis. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There is the big lie, the ‘Elvis is alive and kidnapped my baby and they were all sucked up into a spaceship’ kind of lie so beloved by supermarket tabloids and fringe websites. “Pizzagate” falls into that category. When you hear a conspiracy theory about underground tunnels and a child-abuse ring involving government officials and a pizza parlor in Washington, D.C., all you can do is shake your head — that is, unless you’re a guy with a rifle who decides to “self-investigate,” and ends up terrorizing a neighborhood.

Then there’s another kind of statement that sounds a little more reasonable than Elvis and aliens, but has a similar relation to the truth — the tales of millions of illegal and fraudulent voters who usurped my popular vote win or cost me that governorship, or of inner cities as unrelieved cauldrons of criminals, minorities and hopelessness. These stories are whispered by those who should know better, then repeated by more and more people in power. Uttered with a straight face, furrowed brow and a wheelbarrow full of fake concern, they insinuate themselves into policy that can change the character of our country.

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CQ Roll Call Survey: Democratic Staffers Prefer Tim Ryan Over Pelosi
Election results left a ’lot of shock and anger’

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan speaks with the media on Capitol Hill after losing the race for Democratic leader to Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If Democratic staffers, instead of their bosses, had voted in last month’s House caucus leadership elections, Tim Ryan of Ohio would be the new minority leader.

That, at least, was the result in CQ Roll Call’s latest Capitol Insiders Survey of congressional staff. Democratic respondents preferred Ryan to the actual winner, Nancy Pelosi of California, by a margin of 40 percent to 35 percent. Sixteen percent said they didn’t know, while 9 percent suggested other names, including Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the longtime Democratic whip, or Joseph Crowley of New York, the incoming caucus chairman.

Emanuel Cautions Trump on Immigration
The Chicago mayor and president-elect discussed immigration, education and White House ops

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks to the media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower on Wednesday. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with Donald Trump in New York City Wednesday morning, speaking briefly about White House operations and beseeching the president-elect to reconsider his hard-line stance on immigration.

The meeting was the result of a post-election phone call in which Trump extended Emanuel an invitation to meet next time both men were on the East Coast, an Emanuel spokesman said. 

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Trump Denies Air Force One Threat Is Retaliation for Boeing CEO’s Comments
Budget expert says president-elect's $4-billion estimate right on the money

President-elect Donald Trump is in a feud with Boeing over its replacement program for Air Force One. (Photo via Flickr)

President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to keep the existing Air Force One fleet flying into next decade unless Boeing reduces costs on replacement jets, and denied his broadside came after reading critical comments from the company’s CEO.

Trump set off a firestorm Tuesday morning when he — seemingly out of nowhere — tweeted that the cost of the replacement program would hit $4 billion. The social media post ended with two ominous words for Boeing: “Cancel order!”

Pence Signals Busy First 100 Days, Including More Military Spending
Vice President-elect to fellow Republicans: ‘Buckle up, the vacation’s over’

Vice President-elect Mike Pence walks to a recent meeting on Capitol Hill. On Tuesday evening, he laid out the incoming Trump administration’s plans for its first 100 and 200 days. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Trump administration officials envision a busy first 100 days, when they hope to repeal the 2010 health care law, overhaul Medicaid, and send Congress a bill that would boost military spending, said Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

He laid out the ambitious agenda on Wednesday evening, but in keeping with a main theme of President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign, he did not provide key details about the size and shape of the incoming administration’s policy proposals. The early Trump agenda Pence described is as bold and conservative as it is vague.

Obama Sends Messages to Trump on Terrorism, Drone Strategies
POTUS to PEOTUS: Citizens can ‘criticize our president without retribution’

An MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle takes off from Creech Air Force Base. On Tuesday, President Obama defended his counterterrorism strategy, which has relied on the drones. (Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

President Barack Obama on Tuesday defended his approach to fighting the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in a speech that appeared to feature several tips for his successor, Donald Trump.

Obama used what was likely his final national security address to press for continuing his policy of avoiding resource-draining U.S. ground operations in the Middle East. He argued the use of armed drones, elite warriors and local troops has decimated al-Qaeda and has begun to substantially weaken the Islamic State. Trump has suggested some major changes to Obama’s strategy, including working with Russia, tightening Muslims’ access to the U.S., and teaming with any country that promises to fight “radical Islam.”