Chris Coons

Senate’s Radical Reasonable Caucus Finds Their Moment
Will a group of 20 senators be able to gain influence?

A bipartisan group of Senators hold a new conference in the Capitol on Monday after they voted to end debate on a continuing resolution to reopen the government. From left, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, Tim Kaine, Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly, Joe Manchin III, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lisa Murkowski, Amy Klobuchar and Maggie Hassan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a Senate environment where party discipline has been the norm, a group of senators that lobbied leadership to accept a resolution to end the government shutdown Monday now has leverage, if they decide to use it.

“One of the good outcomes is that we had a group of 20 … that built a lot of trust with each other. So it could create an environment, at least over the next month or so, where some really positive things happen,” Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, a GOP partipant said Monday. “On the Democratic side, it was necessary to have a large group of Republicans [who] were committed to try and resolve these issues.”

Shutdown Ended, but Democrats Still Have Leverage Over Budget Caps
Sequester-mandated cuts still have to be resolved

From left, Colorado Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez and Delaware Sen. Chris Coons talk in Russell Building on Monday after the Senate voted to end debate on a continuing resolution to reopen the government. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 9:20 p.m. | Even though Congress has voted to reopen the government after a brief shutdown, House Democratic leaders, who didn’t sign off on the deal their Senate counterparts helped negotiate, plan to continue their push on immigration and spending issues with a key leverage point: the budget caps.

The House on Monday evening quickly passed a stopgap funding bill that will reopen the government through Feb. 8 by a 266-150 vote, sending the bill to President Donald Trump, who signed the continuing resolution that night. 

Senate Passes Three-Week CR to Reopen Federal Government

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leaves the Senate floor in the Capitol after the chamber passed a continuing resolution to reopen the government on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate voted 81-18 to pass a continuing resolution running through Feb. 8 on Monday afternoon, sending it back to the House as Day Three of the partial government shutdown dragged on.

The House is expected to clear the stopgap for President Donald Trump’s signature, ending the shutdown in time for federal workers to return to their offices Tuesday morning. A number of House Democrats appear likely to back the measure after opposing a previous version last week, and top Democrats predicted the CR would be passed this time.

Schumer: Trump On 'Sidelines' As Shutdown-Ending Deal Forged
President has been 'managing' shutdown and calling members, spox says

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer confer after recent Senate policy lunches in the Capitol. Both have been critical of White House adviser Stephen Miller and other top Trump aides in recent days. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate’s top Democrat and White House aides on Monday offered contrasting assessments of President Donald Trump’s involvement in talks to end a government shutdown.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, while announcing his Democratic caucus would vote on a three-week stopgap agreed to by Senate GOP leaders along with a vow to hold a floor debate on the DACA program and other immigration measures in coming weeks, described Trump as uninvolved over the weekend.

House GOP Has Message for Senate on Shutdown: Nuke the Filibuster
McCarthy, other lawmakers joins Trump in reiterating call for changes

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy renewed his call for the Senate to change its rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated Sunday, 1:18 p.m. | House Republicans say Senate Democrats are holding government funding “hostage” to their demands on immigration. And they’ve got an idea for ending the crisis: Throw away the filibuster.

The legislative tool of the minority is one of the few remaining things that distinguish the Senate from the House. The Senate GOP is coming under pressure from House Republicans and President Donald Trump to pursue the so-called nuclear option — change chamber rules and end the legislative filibuster, at least on spending bills.

Amid Shutdown, White House Says Senate Democrats ‘Out of Control’
Administration officials, lawmakers signal quick resolution is unlikely

The previous government shutdown took place in October 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

White House officials on Saturday described Senate Democrats as “out of control” with their demands to end a government shutdown and signaled negotiations have stalled, raising questions whether the federal apparatus will be open when the workweek begins.

President Donald Trump is spending the anniversary of his swearing-in calling congressional GOP leaders and other lawmakers in pursuit of an agreement to reopen the government, aides say. But with both sides trading barbs and insults, a resolution on the shutdown’s first day appears unlikely.

In Supreme Court Privacy Case, Lawmakers Side With Microsoft

Lawmakers are asking the Supreme Court to clarify a data privacy law. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Five lawmakers told the Supreme Court on Thursday that Congress didn’t intend for an electronic privacy law to authorize the government’s seizure of data overseas and say interpreting it differently could have “dangerous repercussions” for future legislating.

The group’s brief backs tech giant Microsoft in a dispute with the United States about whether email service providers must comply with warrants even if data is stored outside of the country — in this case in Dublin, Ireland.

Congress’ Gun Massacre Caucus
Dealing with mass shootings is becoming all too familiar for many members

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, center left, with Rep. Mark Sanford to his right and then-Gov. Nikki Haley, second from right, attend a memorial service commemorating the anniversary of the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

On Dec. 14, 2012, Elizabeth Esty was attending a social media workshop for new members of Congress at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She had been elected to represent Connecticut’s 5th District a month earlier.

“I raised my hand and I said, ‘Here’s an example right now — I’m getting texts and alerts that there’s been a shooting and we don’t know what happened,’” she said.

Word on the Hill
Scalise scoots, Lieu trolls Trump, and a new elected Ellison

No comment: Microphones stand in front of a the bust of former Speaker of the House Nicholas Longworth before the Democrats’ press conference on tax reform outside of the House Ways and Means hearing room Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. And some of the best ones are those that we come across while reporting the big ones.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Coons: Why Was Prosecutor Close to Russia Investigations Muscled Out?
Former acting attorney general was asked to resign from DOJ days before Manafort indictments

Dana Boente, who was U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, was heavily involved in the transition at the Justice Department as the Trump administration was transitioning in . ( Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Sen. Chris Coons has questions for the Justice Department after the pending forced resignation of a top U.S. attorney who played a pivotal role early in the Trump administration and initial probes into the ties between the president's campaign and Russia.

Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the important Eastern District of Virginia, was asked to quit in late October by attorney general Jeff Sessions.