Niels Lesniewski

Republicans have concerns about Trump’s emergency declaration, too
Congressional Republicans raised concerns, but didn't denounce Trump's radical maneuver

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said in a statement Friday that the president's national emergency declaration defies the Founders. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Some in the president’s party are wringing their hands about how the emergency declaration for a border wall might set a reckless precedent.

While Congressional Republicans have raised concerns, most held off on denouncing the president’s radical maneuver to circumvent Article I of the Constitution and devote federal funds to a border wall without their approval.

Trump will sign spending bill, declare national emergency
Mitch McConnell made the announcement on the Senate floor

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive for lunch with Senate Republicans in the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The big bipartisan government funding deal is going to become law, but it will be far from the end of the border security battle between President Donald Trump and members of Congress.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Thursday that Trump intends to sign the spending conference report, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had indicated earlier.

Spending deal would kill Donald Trump’s federal pay freeze
Sen. Chris Van Hollen among lawmakers touting a cost-of-living adjustment

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., is highlighting language in the spending deal that gives a cost-of-living adjustment to federal workers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The bipartisan spending agreement finalized Wednesday night and set for votes Thursday includes language ending President Donald Trump’s pay freeze for federal workers.

Appropriators had long planned to give a cost-of-living adjustment to civilian federal employees for 2019, notwithstanding Trump, and the agreement has followed through on that.

In bid to avoid shutdown, spending deal drops Violence Against Women Act extension, other contentious provisions
House and Senate conferees were signing the document Wednesday night, votes expected Thursday

Senate Appropriations leaders Richard C. Shelby, right, and Patrick J. Leahy led conference negotiations on senators’ behalf. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As negotiators were finalizing a final fiscal 2019 funding package highlighted by border security spending Wednesday evening, it became clear that an extension of the Violence Against Women Act wouldn’t make the cut.

Several policy riders in the mix earlier Wednesday, including back pay for federal contractors for wages lost during the 35-day partial shutdown and the VAWA extension, didn’t make it in the final bargaining over the fiscal 2019 spending conference report, according to aides in both parties.

Senate panel spars over judges, advances GOP effort to cut nomination debate time
Party-line vote in committee could set up a contentious floor debate

Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo., led the advancement of the proposal to effectively change the rules for debating presidential nominees. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Rules and Administration Committee took a predictably partisan turn Wednesday when the panel voted along party lines to advance a resolution that would slash debate time for most presidential nominees.

Ranking member Amy Klobuchar led the opposition to the proposal, arguing that two hours for post-cloture debate was not enough, especially for lifetime appointments to the federal bench.

Violence Against Women Act extension could complicate spending bill
The existing act has received bipartisan support, but Democrats want an expansion of the law.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says the Violence Against Women Act has arisen as a potential issue with the spending package. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that a potential extension of the Violence Against Women Act has emerged as a bit of a complication to passing the spending package. 

“The Speaker is objecting to a modest extension of the Violence Against Women Act,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor.

Foreign Relations chairman says Trump has met reporting burden on Khashoggi murder; other senators disagree
‘The administration has been very forthcoming, the State Department has been very forthcoming,’ says Jim Risch

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch said the Trump administration has met its reporting requirements. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee insists that the Trump administration has been responsive to congressional requests for information about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, despite claims to the contrary from several colleagues. 

“We received a response to the inquiry that we made last fall,” Sen. Jim Risch said. “I’ve said we have been briefed on this matter numerous times, met with not all of the 17 intelligence agencies, but a good number of the intelligence agencies.”

Mitch McConnell will make Democratic senators vote on the ‘Green New Deal’
Move could be part of 2020 strategy for GOP and McConnell himself

Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., lead the Green New Deal resolution. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he intends to call up the “Green New Deal ” for a vote in the Senate.

The Kentucky Republican’s maneuver is likely an effort to both get the many Democratic senators running for president on the record on the resolution, as well as to demonstrate that there are senators on both sides of the aisle opposed to the outline.

Lawmakers hold service for John Dingell mid-air as weather tangles travel

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., was among the members of Congress en route to Dearborn for the funeral of John Dingell before weather dictated the plane turn back to Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A military plane carrying members of Congress to Michigan for former Rep. John Dingell’s funeral were turned around due to weather issues, prompting the group to hold a mid-air memorial for the longest serving member of Congress.

The Dingell family announced Sunday that Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. would join Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis and Michigan GOP Rep. Fred Upton in speaking at the service in Dearborn, Mich. Lewis and Upton were among those en route to the funeral in Dearborn, when weather in Detroit made landing unfeasible.

Tampons to be stocked in House supply store; allowed for purchase with office funds
The feminine hygiene products will be stocked in the Longworth House Office Building

Tampons and other menstrual products will soon be available in the House office supply store for purchase with office funds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House lawmakers will soon be able to purchase and provide tampons to staff and constituents on campus with office funds, following an inquiry from three Democratic members pushing for wider access.

In a letter released late Monday night, Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chairperson of the House Administration Committee, instructed that menstrual products be stocked in the House office supply store for purchase with Members’ Representational Allowance funds.