Bill Cassidy

Dark spirits were at play in Congress this week: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of July 15, 2019

A thunderstorm passes over the U.S. Capitol building on Thursday, July 11, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“This has been a difficult and contentious week, in which darker spirits seem to have been at play,” said House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy during a long and stressful week on the Hill, which saw controversial tweets, members fearing Facebook and a House member straight up ditching his post on the House floor.

Senate panel approves health cost bill but plans changes
Sanders, Warren vote ‘no’ by proxy as they head to Democratic presidential debates

Chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander takes his seat for a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing this month. The panel on Wednesday approved a bill meant to lower health care costs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday approved, 20-3, legislation meant to lower health care costs, although senators suggested that more changes are likely before the floor debate next month.

Chairman Lamar Alexander of Tennessee hopes to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote in mid-to-late July, which will likely set up a flurry of lobbying and debate among lawmakers over changes to it.

Photos of the Week
The week of June 14 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Former White House counsel John Dean prepares to testify at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes," on Monday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Senate, House start to chip away at ‘kiddie tax’ hike
Increase for low-income children was an unintended consequence of 2017 tax overhaul

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., is leading the Senate effort to repeal the “kiddie tax” increase for military survivors in Gold Star families. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Both chambers are moving to reverse tax law changes that unintentionally subjected investment earnings of low-income children to the same tax rates paid by wealthier households.

The House, which under the Constitution must originate revenue bills, plans to act later this week on a broader retirement savings bill that would eliminate the full set of changes to the so-called kiddie tax made by Republicans in the 2017 tax overhaul.

Trump drags feet on climate treaty, and Republicans aren’t happy
As Kigali Amendment languishes, Sens. Kennedy, Carper point fingers at the administration

Hydrofluorocarbons — found in air conditioners — are worse for the climate than carbon dioxide. A plan to limit them has bipartisan support, but the Trump administration is standing in the way, Republican senators say. (iStock/Composite by Jason Mann)

It has the support of industry heavy-hitters, environmental advocates and a bipartisan cushion of votes in the Senate.

But the Kigali Amendment, a global treaty to limit hydrofluorocarbons — highly potent greenhouse gases found in air conditioners, refrigerators, insulation and foam — is stuck.

House clears measure to end US role in Yemen
Lawmakers haven’t gone this far in trying to end a foreign military campaign since the Vietnam era

Demonstrators from Code Pink protest Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen as Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., walks by in the basement of Hart Building on Nov. 28, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House on Thursday cleared a historic measure ordering the president to end military operations in Yemen, the first time lawmakers have gone this far in trying to end a foreign military campaign since the Vietnam era.

President Donald Trump has promised to veto the bipartisan joint resolution, which the Senate passed in March. Based on previous Yemen-related votes, there likely will not be the two-thirds support necessary in both the House and Senate to overturn the veto.

Does Trump understand how the federal budget process works?
President declares he has ‘overruled’ staff on Special Olympics, but it’s Congress who will decide

President Donald Trump talks with journalists before departing the White House on March 20. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In a curious statement that defies the realities of the federal spending process, President Donald Trump declared Thursday that “the Special Olympics will be funded” because he has “overruled” his own staff who wanted to cut off the federal spigot to the charity.

The Education Department’s fiscal 2020 spending request proposes eliminating $17.6 million for the Special Olympics, and Secretary Betsy DeVos and other Trump surrogates say the charity simply does not need the federal funds.

These GOP senators voted to potentially let Trump pull funds from military projects back home
Votes could carry some risk for Republicans up for re-election in 2020

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., voted “no” on a resolution to revoke President Donald Trump’s authority to shift military construction funds, putting funds for several military bases in his state at risk. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some Republican senators who voted Thursday against terminating the President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration may face backlash for risking military projects in their home states.

Twelve GOP senators joined all Democrats in voting for the joint resolution to block the president’s bid to redirect up to $6.7 billion from other Cabinet departments for his southern border wall. But 41 Republicans, some facing competitive re-elections in 2020, voted against the measure. 

Republicans, seeing opportunities in the suburbs, advance paid leave plans
Current GOP proposals on tap in Congress could be the first of many in 2020 cycle

Missouri Rep Ann Wagner, who is seeking to improve the GOP’s standing in the suburbs, also plans to launch a new paid family leave bill in the House in the coming weeks. Picture behind Wagner, Florida Rep. Neal Dunn. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats have dominated discussions surrounding parental leave for decades. But Republicans are now poised to introduce a raft of new proposals in the coming weeks, reflecting the party’s effort to win back the suburban women it lost in the midterms.

Lawmakers working on new legislation include Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri, Roll Call has confirmed.

Eli Lilly chief executive escapes drug prices hearing
Diabetes advocates want to hear from CEO of U.S.-based company behind insulin price hikes

A woman hands an insulin pen to Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., during a 2017 town hall meeting on his health care legislation. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images file photo)

The chief executives of seven pharmaceutical companies will have to answer for the steep cost of medicines before a panel of senators on Tuesday.

The tableau of corporate heads raising their right hands to deliver sworn testimony about a growing public health crisis could recall scrutiny of the tobacco industry in Congress in the 1990s.