congressional-affairs

House Eyes Overhaul of Defense Intelligence Agency
Handful of offices and missions targeted for elimination

Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, could see his agency change if the House Intelligence Committee gets its way. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency is in the cross hairs of the House Intelligence Committee, which is aiming for a radical overhaul of the military’s spy arm.

The committee sees it as bloated and ineffective. But how far such an effort would go remains to be seen as several other congressional oversight panels that would have a say are waiting for a fuller assessment to emerge before they sign off on major changes.

State Medicaid Directors Say Graham-Cassidy ‘Fails to Deliver’
Group that represents Medicaid directors in all 50 states says bill shouldn’t be rushed

From left, Sens. Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller, Ron Johnson and Lindsey Graham hold a news conference to discuss block grant funding for health care Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

State Medicaid directors voiced their opposition Thursday to the latest effort in the Senate to repeal the 2010 health care law.

The National Association of Medicaid Directors, a group that represents the directors of all 50 states, urged Senate Republicans to reconsider their support of the new repeal bill sponsored by GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Louisiana’s Bill Cassidy.

Trump: Facebook Turning Over Ads Part of ‘Russia Hoax’
President blames ‘biased and dishonest’ coverage of Clinton

President Donald Trump took shots at Facebook, Hillary Clinton, “fake news,” Kim Jong Un, and Rand Paul in a Friday morning tweetstorm. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted he believed Facebook’s intent to turn Kremlin-linked ads over to congressional committees investigating influence over the 2016 presidential election to be part of what he considered the “Russia hoax.”

The social media site’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday it would turn over 3,000 Russia-linked ads after two weeks on the defensive amid growing pressure from Congress for it to expose Russian propaganda in which fictional people posed as American activists, The New York Times reported.

Photos of the Week: Health Care Dominates Senate While House Is Out
The week of Sept. 18 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Sen. Bernie Sanders raises his fist as rally attendees chant "Bernie" following his speech on the Capitol grounds Tuesday. Senate Democrats held the rally to oppose the Graham-Cassidy health care proposal, which is expected to reach the Senate floor next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate was in town for just a few days this week, while the House was recessed for a district work week and in observance of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah on Thursday and Friday.

Here's the short week in photos: 

Analysis: Why Ryan Has Stepped Into the Senate Health Care Debate
Speaker has typically steered clear of offering advice or taking on other chamber

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has signaled the Graham-Cassidy health care measure in the Senate will get a House floor vote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan doesn’t like to meddle in Senate affairs — except when he does.

Throughout July when the Senate was working through various proposals to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, Ryan frequently declined to comment on what the other chamber was considering.

Eisenhower Memorial Clears Key Construction Hurdle
Commissioners hope to break ground in October

A monument to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 17 years in the making, is finally moving ahead. (Courtesy The Eisenhower Memorial Commission, 2017. Memorial Design by Gehry Partners, LLP; Tapestry by Tomas Osinski; Sculpture by Sergey Eylanbekov)

Seventeen years, eight Congresses and three presidents after Bill Clinton commissioned planning for a massive memorial honoring President Dwight D. Eisenhower, planners finally expect to break ground by the end of fall.

The Eisenhower family is on board. Republicans and Democrats on the House Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee are on board.

GOP Primaries Could Hamper Plans on Taxes
Vulnerable Republican incumbents pose a challenge for McConnell

Alabama Sen. Luther Strange faces former Judge Roy Moore in a crucial Senate primary runoff next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican hopes for moving an ambitious tax package in a closely divided Senate may hinge on a number of incumbents on the ballot, including Luther Strange of Alabama, who faces a tough primary runoff on Sept. 26.

The vulnerability of Republican incumbents like Strange underscores the challenges facing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as he tries to hold together at least 50 votes in his 52-member conference to pass a partisan tax plan under a filibuster-proof reconciliation bill.

Opinion: In Reaching for Deals, Will Parties Overlook Certain American Voices?
Lawmakers shouldn’t ignore divisive or unpleasant issues of justice and race

Protesters and police officers clashed in St. Louis on Sept. 17. In their recent dealings with President Donald Trump, Democratic lawmakers have shied away from social justice and race issues, Curtis writes. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“He likes us,” Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer said of his fellow New Yorker Donald Trump last week. This was after “Chuck” joined “Nancy” — House Democratic leader Pelosi from California — in a White House gathering that resulted in a deal on DACA reform, unless it didn’t.

Whatever the interpretation of what happened during that chummy get-together, and there was a different one for every person who attended or heard about it first, second or thirdhand, the president reportedly reveled in the relief of positive headlines that followed.

Republicans Cast Aside Previous Concerns in Latest Repeal Effort
Senators cite the flexibility included in the proposal as justification for the reversal

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is one of several GOP lawmakers who have expressed serious concerns about the impact of prior GOP proposals to repeal the 2010 health care law. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican senators face the prospect of retreating from their previous public stances in order to support fast-moving legislation that would significantly overhaul the U.S. health care system.

Concerns about the impact on people suffering from opioid addiction, drastic cuts to Medicaid and the lack of robust analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office appear to have vanished as the GOP hopes to advance a bill to repeal the 2010 health care law before the fast-track budget reconciliation mechanism they are using expires on Sept. 30.

Trump Endorses Graham-Cassidy, Knocks Rand Paul
In morning tweet, president calls legislation ‘GREAT!’

Sen. Lindsey Graham, right, speaks at a news conference Wednesday to discuss a bill he and Sen. Bill Cassidy, far left, are pushing to overhaul the health care system. Sen. Dean Heller, Sen. Ron Johnson and former Sen. Rick Santorum look on. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump formally threw his weight behind a health care overhaul sponsored by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, and criticized another high-profile Republican for opposing it.

Trump used a pair of Wednesday morning tweets to call the bill “GREAT!” and touted its plan to provide federal “Money direct to States!”