Alaska

Trump Not Present, Still Center Stage at Alabama Senate Race
Strange and Moore showcase their closing arguments to voters

Judge Roy Moore has been leading in public polling. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The two GOP candidates in the Alabama Senate race came face-to-face Thursday night in an unusual debate, but President Donald Trump and his agenda took center stage.

The debate highlighted a central struggle in the race between Sen. Luther Strange, the candidate Trump has endorsed, and Judge Roy Moore, who has the backing of some of Trump’s allies and supporters who decry the D.C. establishment.

House Democratic Candidates Capitalize on Graham-Cassidy
House hopefuls appealing to Republican senators to vote against repealing 2010 health care law

Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona tweeted a photo of herself calling her state's Republican senators. (Ann Kirkpatrick via Twitter)

Democratic House candidates are trying to appeal to Republican senators in their states as the GOP prepares for another vote to repeal the 2010 health care law.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it is his intention to vote next week on the health care legislation spearheaded by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

Republicans Head Into Alabama Senate Race Homestretch
Campaigns zero in on turning out supporters

Alabama Sen. Luther Strange is counting on visits by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to carry him to victory on Sept. 26. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The biggest names in the Republican Party — from President Donald Trump to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin —  will be heading south as the GOP primary runoff in the Alabama Senate race enters the homestretch. 

Sen. Luther Strange and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore have been fighting for the GOP nod to fill the remaining term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions, now Trump’s attorney general. As the top two contenders in the August primary, they advanced to the runoff, which in some ways has turned into a proxy battle within the Republican Party.

McConnell Opens Door to Health Care Vote Next Week

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is pushing hard on his legislation to rework the U.S. health insurance system. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate leaders are preparing to hold a vote on an alternative to the 2010 health care law next week, although 50 Republicans have not confirmed they would vote for the proposal.

“It is the Leader’s intention to consider Graham-Cassidy on the floor next week,” Don Stewart, a spokesman for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said Wednesday in an email.

Republican Senators Mostly Silent After Trump’s North Korea Threat
President would hit regime, military targets - not civilians, White House says

Republican Sens. Bob Corker (center), Marco Rubio (seated right) and Jim Risch (standing right) all declined to comment on GOP President Donald Trump's threat to "totally destroy" North Korea if it attacks the United States. Also pictured are GOP Sens. Cory Gardner (standing left) and Ron Johnson (seated left). (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker hurried into an elevator. Sen. Marco Rubio quickly ducked into the Capitol Visitor Center television studio. And Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain shut down reporters’ repetitive questions.

No Republican senator could be found Tuesday who was willing to question President Donald Trump’s threat before the United Nations General Assembly to “totally destroy” North Korea unless it gives up its nuclear arms and long-range missile programs, which he views as a direct threat to the sovereignty and security of the United States and its allies.

Bipartisan Health Care Talks Shut Down Amid Rush to Repeal
Talks by Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray sidelined

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has halted a bipartisan effort to stabilize the health insurance market as Senate Republicans aggressively seek to repeal the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A bipartisan effort to stabilize the health insurance markets suffered a potentially fatal blow Tuesday as Senate Republicans kicked into high gear their attempt to repeal the 2010 health care law.

Facing a Sept. 30 deadline to utilize the 2017 budget reconciliation process that would allow passage of the health care legislation without having to worry about the filibuster, GOP leaders and Vice President Mike Pence lobbied their rank and file to pass legislation spearheaded by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. It would repeal the 2010 law’s mandates for coverage, curtail the Medicaid program and block-grant money to the states to construct their own health care programs. 

Ryan Says House Would Vote on Graham-Cassidy If Senate Passes It
'It is our best last chance to get repeal and replace done,' speaker says

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., says the House will vote on a health care measure to provide block grant funding to the states if the Senate passes it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Monday that the House would bring up a health care measure sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy for a vote if it were to pass the Senate.

“It would be our intention to bring the matter through,” Ryan said at a news conference from a Harley Davidson facility in Wisconsin, where he was promoting GOP plans to overhaul the tax code.

Opinion: How Donald Trump Made Congress Great Again
It may help the country — if not the president

President Donald Trump’s rocky relationship with lawmakers has made Congress free enough to act in the country’s best interests, Murphy writes. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

If you were a member of Congress, especially a Republican member of Congress, you could be forgiven for having at least some contempt for President Donald Trump.

He’s used the GOP-led Congress as a punching bag and a scapegoat. He demands absolute loyalty from Republican members, but abandoned them last week the moment he saw an opening to strike a deal to raise the debt ceiling with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Former Colleagues Reflect on Life of Pete Domenici
Speaker Ryan learned from Domenici as a staffer

Chief Justice Warren Burger with Sen. Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., talking over a book at the Capitol Hill Reception for the New Washington Guide Book in 1975. (Photo by CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan was a Senate staffer back when Sen. Pete V. Domenici wielded the gavel of the Senate Budget Committee.

Ryan was one of the relatively small number of lawmakers quick to offer condolences on the passing of the Republican from New Mexico, who was one of the most influential senators of his era.

Senators Could Lose ‘Blue Slip’ Input on Circuit Judges
President would have less reason to consult with lawmakers

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley has signaled he might end a tradition that gives senators a de facto veto power over nominees to federal appeals courts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A looming showdown over a Senate tradition could strip senators of a de facto veto power over nominees to federal appeals courts — and give President Donald Trump less reason to consult with senators about which judges should be appointed.

The Judiciary Committee’s “blue slip” process has required senators to return a blue slip of paper before the committee schedules hearings and markups of nominees for federal judgeships from their home states. No slip, no hearing. That has made it essential for the White House to get a senator’s buy-in on a nomination.