Amy Klobuchar

Will the White House or Trump’s lawyers block Don McGahn from testifying?
President’s team is examining case law for possible claim of executive privilege or immunity

The House Judiciary Committee has issued a subpoena for former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify before the panel. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

White House officials have yet to determine whether they will exert executive privilege to block all or some of Don McGahn’s possible testimony to Congress, after Robert S. Mueller III’s report portrayed him as defying the president’s orders to hinder the special counsel’s investigation.

The report, released in redacted form last week, details several early instances when the White House counsel refused to follow through with President Donald Trump’s orders to remove Mueller. Trump has since criticized McGahn without naming him, and a decision on allowing him to appear before congressional panels — and how much he might be permitted to say — is still pending, White House aides say.

Fake Bernie Sanders does a mean ‘Old Town Road’
Jimmy Fallon brought some Lil Nas X to the 2020 primary on Monday night

Bernie Sanders is back for another presidential run, and so is Jimmy Fallon’s septuagenarian impersonation. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jimmy Fallon revives his impression of everyone’s favorite septuagenarian socialist but this time throws in Lil Nas X’s viral country rap tune “Old Town Road” … and you know what, it kinda works.

The song is currently in its third straight week atop the Billboard Hot 100. And Bernie Sanders is currently atop the 2020 Democratic presidential field.

K Street gets behind Mayor Pete Buttigieg
In contrast to some 2020 rivals, Indiana mayor takes a tamer tone on anti-lobbyist rhetoric

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has struck a tamer tone on anti-lobbyist rhetoric compared to some of his rivals for the 2020 Democratic nomination. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

A collection of prominent K Street insiders has jumped behind the Pete Buttigieg campaign, helping the South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s bid in the Democratic 2020 presidential contest with fundraising and strategy.

It’s striking that longtime federal lobbyists, policy strategists and message makers are gravitating to the D.C. outsider’s campaign given the long list of sitting lawmakers who are also running. K Street denizens, though they often bring with them the baggage of working on behalf of corporate interests, offer campaigns a network of donors and fundraising expertise as well as policy chops and sway on Capitol Hill.

What candidates running to replace Trump are saying about Barr and Mueller report
Attorney general reiterates decision that president’s actions did not qualify as obstruction

Protesters gather in Lafayette Square across from the White House on Feb. 18 to oppose President Donald Trump’s border wall emergency declaration (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Presidential hopefuls on Thursday quickly denounced Attorney General William Barr and renewed calls for the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s full report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who entered the presidential race last week, called on Barr to resign, saying he should never have been confirmed and should have recused himself from oversight of the Mueller investigation. 

Photos of the Week: Hot dishes, tulips and high fives
The week of April 12 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Tulips bloom on the West Front of the Capitol on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is heading out of town for its two-week April recess, but members had an eventful week before they hit the road. 

Spring entered full bloom as Minnesota members enjoyed delicious hotdishes during their annual cooking competition, and Democrats pow-wowed in Leesburg, Virginia, for their retreat — with some celebrity guests.

‘Medicare for All’ keeps defining 2020 political landscape
Progressive health care plan could become point of contention as campaign heats up

From left, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., at an event Wednesday to introduce the “Medicare for All Act of 2019.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The “Medicare for All” bill that presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders released Wednesday is more likely to be litigated on the campaign trail than in the halls of Congress. And it highlights a rare political divide among Democrats on one of their marquee issues even as the party seeks to appear unified.

Supporters of the Vermont independent are vying with Democrats who prefer to expand and protect the 2010 health care law. Those differences have recently been overshadowed by larger fights between the two parties after the Trump administration broadened its position in a high-profile lawsuit by calling to strike down the entire 2010 law.

Democratic presidential hopefuls appeal for union votes
Infrastructure, apprenticeships and attacks on GOP tax law highlight conference

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during the North America’s Building Trades Unions conference at the Washington Hilton on Wednesday. Many Democratic presidential hopefuls attended the conference in hopes of drawing the labor vote. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

“Unions are here to stay!” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren exclaimed Wednesday to an enthusiastic crowd as leaders and members of construction unions packed a Washington Hilton ballroom to hear from nine Democrats running for president or thinking about it.

The audience at the North America’s Building Trades Unions conference heard promises to boost spending on infrastructure, expand apprenticeships, and redirect money that went for tax cuts in 2017 toward the middle class.

Congress has crowned a tater tot champion
Amy Klobuchar strikes out at annual hotdish competition, but comfort food wins

From left, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., and Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., react as they uncover hotdish entries on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The tater tots were steaming, the cheddar cheese was bubbling, and Rep. Betty McCollum wasn’t there to breathe it in.

In the end, it didn’t matter. The St. Paul Democrat won the Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition from afar on Tuesday, even as she chaired a meeting of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee a few blocks away.

Marijuana bill could help Cory Gardner’s re-election chances. Will Senate GOP leaders get behind it?
Bipartisan measure would end federal interference in states that have legalized cannabis

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, center, says the STATES Act would pass if it got to the House and Senate floors, though the latter may be harder to accomplish. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday to clear away some of the weedier legal issues between federal marijuana law and states that have legalized cannabis.

The bill, co-sponsored in the Senate by Colorado Republican Cory Gardner and Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and in the House by Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer and Ohio Repbublican David Joyce, would amend the federal drug law so its marijuana provisions no longer apply to individuals acting in compliance with state or tribal laws.

Coons and Klobuchar pitch retirement savings mandate plan
Businesses would get federal tax incentives for participating in new plans

Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Chris Coons have a new retirement savings proposal. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One of the 2020 Democrats is helping lead a new effort to require companies to help their employees save for retirement.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has joined Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, in the effort. The new bill from the two senators also would set up a portable retirement account for employees of small businesses modeled on the federal workforce’s Thrift Savings Plan.