Senate Sends 2,232-Page Omnibus Spending Bill to Trump
Passage follows House action Thursday, the day after text was unveiled

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul delayed votes on the omnibus to take time to review the legislation, but the Senate finally cleared the spending bill early Wednesday morning. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate cleared the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package early Friday, less than 24 hours ahead of what would have been a government shutdown.

Following the 65-32 vote, north of the 60 votes needed for passage, the bill now heads to President Donald Trump for his expected signature.

Trump Replaces McMaster With Hawkish Bolton
Three-star general will retire from Army this summer

National security adviser H.R. McMaster speaks about the situation in Syria during a discussion at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on March 15. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster is leaving the White House as President Donald Trump brings in his third national security adviser in 14 months amid signals the president is poised to execute a West Wing purge.

A White House official said Trump and McMaster mutually agreed on the resignation. 

Omnibus Bill in Sight After ‘Big Four’ Meet to Iron Out Kinks
Finishing touches on $1.3 trillion package being applied

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speak to reporters following a meeting of House and Senate leaders in Speaker Paul D. Ryan's office on the $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional leaders and the White House have reached a preliminary deal on a roughly $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill. GOP and Democratic aides were putting the finishing touches on the mammoth package and were expected to file it later Wednesday morning for House floor consideration.

Some issues remain unresolved as of Wednesday morning, requiring leadership attention.

House Intel Republicans Say 'No Collusion' Between Trump and Russia
Release short summary of findings before sharing report with panel Democrats

Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, became the lead Republican on the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee disagree with the position of every U.S. intelligence agency that Russia wanted Donald Trump to be elected president.

The House Intelligence Committee Republicans said in a short public summary document for a more than 150 page report that they would be, concurring, “with the Intelligence Community Assessment’s judgments, except with respect to [Russian President Vladimir Putin’s] supposed preference for candidate Trump.”

Trump Announces Thursday Afternoon Meeting on Tariffs
Meeting was not on the White House daily schedule released late Wednesday night

President Donald Trump listens during a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday announced a White House meeting on his promised steel and aluminum tariffs and again signaled close U.S. allies will receive exemptions.

“Looking forward to 3:30 P.M. meeting today at the White House,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “We have to protect & build our Steel and Aluminum Industries while at the same time showing great flexibility and cooperation toward those that are real friends and treat us fairly on both trade and the military.”

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank Larkin to Retire
Chamber figure plans to remain in the office until a successor is named

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin plans to retire. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms  Frank J. Larkin plans to retire from his post once a successor is named.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who nominated Larkin for the post when the Kentucky Republican became majority leader, made the announcement Monday.

After Shooting, Trump Focuses on Mental Health, Not Guns
President says safety at schools will be priority, not limiting access to firearms

Members of the West Ohio Minutemen practice their right to carry firearms near the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, July 19, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An American citizen’s use of a military-style semi-automatic weapon to carry out a mass murder on U.S. soil thrust President Donald Trump into a somber spotlight on Thursday, and he sent a clear signal he views the incident as about mental health, not guns.

The president offered his condolences to the loved ones of the 17 people law enforcement officials say 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz shot dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He also spoke in the same measured tone he and his predecessor, Barack Obama, have used following shooters’ murderous rampages.

Gowdy Launches Oversight Investigation Into Rob Porter Scandal
‘How in the hell was he still employed?’ House Oversight Committee chairman asks

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, launched an investigation into the Rob Porter scandal Tuesday evening. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has launched an investigation into the White House’s handling of senior aide Rob Porter, who was not issued a permanent security clearance due to allegations of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives.

“Who knew what, when, and to what extent? Those are the questions that I think ought to be asked,” the committee’s chairman, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, said Wednesday on CNN.

FBI, White House Offer Different Timelines on Porter Clearance
FBI director testifies background check report was first completed in July

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on “World Wide Threats.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

FBI Director Christopher Wray has offered a different account from the White House of the timeline for the security clearance investigation of former Staff Secretary Rob Porter.

“I can’t get into the content of what was briefed,” Wray testified Tuesday at the Senate Intelligence Committee. “What I can tell you is that the FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March, and then a completed background investigation in late July. Soon thereafter we received request for follow-up inquiry, and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November.

Dems Wrote Memo To Set Up White House, Trump Says
President: Intel Dems wanted to ‘blame the White House for lack of transparency’

President Donald Trump speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building last month. Trump is blasting House Intelligence Democrats over a rebuttal memo of which he is blocking the release. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is accusing House Intelligence Committee Democrats with purposely crafting their rebuttal memo about FBI and Justice Department officials’ actions early in the Russia election meddling probe in a way that would back his White House into a corner.

The president used a Saturday tweet to explain his Friday night decision to block the release of the Democratic document that counters one released last week by the panel’s Republicans. Trump claims the Democrats crafted “a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted.”