Politics

Senators Look to Supreme Court Nuclear Winter
With rule change seemingly inevitable, senators look to what’s next

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed, one way or another. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate GOP’s deployment of the “nuclear option” to change the chamber’s rules and confirm President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is so inevitable that senators are already moving on to the next debate.

“We’re on this spiral downward, and obviously the next thing to go likely the next time there’s a big issue that comes up legislatively will be the legislative filibuster,” Sen. Bob Corker said Tuesday.

White House Looks Forward to Fired Acting AG Testimony
Aide denies trying to block Sally Yates from talking to Congress

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer at a recent briefing in the White House. On Tuesday, he denied reports that the administration tried to prevent a former acting attorney general from testifying about Russia. (John T. Bennett/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump White House on Tuesday denied it tried to prevent the former acting attorney general whom President Donald Trump fired from testifying before a House committee about Russia.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said a Washington Post article, which reported just that, was inaccurate. He said the the president would prefer that Yates, the Obama administration’s last deputy attorney general and who was acting attorney general during the Trump administration’s first days, testify.

Senate Democrats Vow to Block Border Wall Funds
Schumer ‘prepared to fight this all the way’

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer wants to block President Donald Trump’s budget proposals on immigration and the border wall project. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Tuesday said Democrats will block President Donald Trump’s budget proposals on expanding federal immigration forces and starting the border wall project.

“Senate Democrats are prepared to fight this all the way,” the New York Democrat said at an event organized by the National Council of La Raza, the country’s largest Hispanic civil rights advocacy group. “Instead of spending taxpayer dollars on a pointless wall, we should be investing in creating jobs and fixing our infrastructure.”

Paul Ryan Defends Devin Nunes on Russia Probe
Intelligence Chairman Under Fire from House Democrats and Senate Republicans

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is expressing confidence in the House Intelligence chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Despite calls from Democrats for House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes to step aside from an investigation of Russian meddling in U.S. politics, and even ridicule from GOP quarters, the California Republican doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said “no and no” when asked at a news conference whether Nunes should recuse himself and whether the Wisconsin Republican knew the source of intelligence Nunes apparently received on White House grounds about potential incidental collection of communications of Trump campaign associates.

Democrat in Race for Pompeo’s Seat Beefing With Party
Campaign manager slams party for not doing more despite big deficit in poll

The campaign manager for Democrat James Thompson said the state party should be doing more to help their candidate. (James Thompson for Kansas Facebook)

The special election for Kansas’ 4th Congressional District has caused an open feud between the Democratic candidate and his state party.

James Thompson has a beef with the state party after it refused to give his campaign $20,000, the Wichita Eagle reported. Thompson’s campaign said it wanted to use the money for mailers, but the party’s executive committee voted against the request, saying it didn’t have the money.

Actors Drive People to Vote For Ossoff
NRCC hits Christopher Gohram and Alyssa Milano for not being from Georgia

Actors Christopher Gorham, left, and Alyssa Milano drove voters to the polls for Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff. (Alyssa Milano/Twitter)

Actors Christopher Gorham and Alyssa Milano took the words “voter drive” literally as they drove people to vote early for Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia.

But Republicans said the celebrities’ volunteering in an out of state race was an example of how out of touch the Democrat is with the district.

Super PAC Ad Calls for Special Prosecutor Into Trump-Russia Ties
American Bridge targets Manafort’s ties to Putin ally

Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century highlights ties between former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin in a new ad. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new ad from a Democratic super PAC pushing for a special prosecutor to investigate possible ties between President Donald Trump and Russia is directed toward millennial women.

American Bridge 21st Century is releasing a series of videos chronicling various Trump aides’ ties to Russia.

Abortion Opponents Look for a Home in Democratic Party
Some Democrats think a bigger tent gives party best chance in 2018

Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur has voted against recent GOP restrictions on abortion but thinks her party should have a big tent on the issue. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For supporters of abortion rights, the Democratic Party has become the only real option.

But as the party struggles to make inroads in red states, where its economic message may resonate more than its social values, some Democrats think there needs to be more flexibility on that issue.

Opinion: Can Trump Learn From His Own Bay of Pigs?
JFK wrote the script in how to deal with early setback

President John F. Kennedy’s response to the 1961 Bay of Pigs debacle offers lessons for President Donald Trump after the collapse of Trumpcare, Shapiro writes. (Getty Images File Photo)

The fledgling president, ridiculed for his inexperience during the recent campaign, had just suffered a stunning setback less than 100 days after taking office. He ruefully admitted afterward, “No one knows how tough this job is until he has been in it a few months.”

Talking with a friend, the embarrassed president raged over his gullibility in accepting the advice of his top advisers. As he put it, “I sat around that day and all these fellas all saying, ‘This is going to work.’ … Now, in retrospect, I know they didn’t have any intention of giving me the straight word on this thing.”

The Search for Intelligent Bipartisanship on Health Care
Rank-and-file lawmakers to keep pushing the issue

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bill Cassidy, R-La., say their bill could be a path forward on health care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ Roll Call 

With Republican leaders pausing their quest to overturn the 2010 health care law, rank-and-file lawmakers see an opportunity for outreach behind the scenes on the divisive issue.

The Senate’s Big Week That Wasn’t
Senators fill the week before Gorsuch comes to the floor

Without a health care bill to consider, senators are waiting for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to hit the floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators were gearing up for a marathon week of debate on a House-passed health care measure, including the peculiar ritual of voting on an unlimited number of amendments known as the vote-a-rama, but political reality has laid that plan to waste. 

The House’s failure to pass a rollback of the 2010 health care law has left senators burning time until the Judiciary Committee sends to the floor the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice on the Supreme Court.

House Floor Schedule Leaves Time for GOP Soul-Searching
Group meetings will be more crucial than usual after health care debacle

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his conference will spend much of the week soul searching and charting their path forward after last week’s health care defeat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House has a limited floor schedule this week, leaving Republicans plenty of time to huddle behind closed doors and chart the conference’s path forward after their failure to advance their top legislative priority of repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law. 

The intraparty soul searching will begin Tuesday morning during the weekly GOP conference meeting and continue throughout the week during smaller meetings of the Republican factions such as the Tuesday Group, Republican Study Committee and House Freedom Caucus.

Wounded White House is Uncharacteristically Quiet
Turf war could be brewing on tax overhaul

President Donald Trump, center, pushed hard but came up short on health care. He's now moved on, say senior aides, but the same pitfalls remain for future endeavors. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The White House on Monday continued licking the wounds of its first legislative defeat, even as President Donald Trump and his lieutenants gear up for a Supreme Court battle, a government funding fight and a tax overhaul push that will likely be bruising.

Apart from now-familiar contentious moments during the daily press briefing, Monday was eerily quiet at the executive mansion — a departure from the previous two frenetic weeks.

Joe Manchin Opposes Filibuster of Neil Gorsuch
West Virginia Democrat would vote to limit debate

Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W. Va., right, will back limiting debate on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III on Monday became the first Democratic senator to commit to at least voting for limiting debate on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Manchin’s office confirmed the senator announced he would vote to limit debate on President Donald Trump’s nomination of the federal appeals court judge for the seat vacated by the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, even if Manchin ultimately decides against voting for final confirmation.

Minnesota’s Tim Walz Running for Governor
Six-term congressman will leave behind competitive seat

Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz is running for governor in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a widely expected decision, Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz has announced he’s running for governor in 2018.

The six-term Democratic-Farmer-Labor congressman revealed his decision to the Post Bulletin Monday morning and is planning to file for the office later in the day.