Debbie Stabenow

GOP Hoping Tax Plan Could Be Difference in 2018
Despite polling and opposition, benefits could bolster support

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is among the Republicans who think the tax bill will help the GOP in next year's midterm elections. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans hope a sweeping package to overhaul the U.S. tax code will be a boon for them in the 2018 midterm elections, betting that voters will appreciate higher take home pay despite the measure’s unpopularity with the public.

The rewrite of the tax code would be one of the party’s most significant achievements of President Donald Trump’s first year in office. It would also check off a number of other major priorities for the GOP, including zeroing out the penalty for not purchasing health insurance, a central plank of the 2010 health care law, and authorizing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. All of that could give Republicans momentum going into the midterms, which usually are brutal for the party in power.

With Levin Leaving, Dan Kildee Seeks Ways and Means Spot
Third-term Michigan Democrat spent the weekend lobbying leadership

Rep. Dan Kildee, second from left, is angling for a spot on the Ways and Means Committee now that fellow Michigan Rep. Sander M. Levin, second from right, isn’t seeking re-election in 2018. Also pictured, from left, Virginia Rep. Robert C. Scott and Michigan Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With longtime House Ways and Means member Sander M. Levin announcing Saturday he won’t run for re-election next year, his fellow Michigan Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee spent the weekend lobbying leadership for a spot on the influential panel.

Kildee sent letters to each member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which is responsible for making committee assignments after the midterms.

Podcast: Trip Wires Await the GOP Tax Proposals
The Week Ahead, Episode 79

From left, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, participate in the Senate Finance Committee markup of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call reporters Lindsey McPherson and Niels Lesniewski, who cover the House and Senate, walk us through the hurdles that Republicans have to overcome to pass the legislation.

Show Notes:

Michigan’s Fred Upton Not Running for Senate
16-term Republican will seek re-election to 6th District

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton will seek re-election instead of running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton announced Friday he will run for re-election instead of trying to challenge Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2018.

“I will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate. There was a path, but today we are choosing not to follow it,” the Republican lawmaker said in a statement. The former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee had been publicly weighing a Senate bid for much of this year. 

Photos of the Week: Taxes Dominate, Bible Museum Opens and Trump Visits
The week of Nov. 13 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Virginia Rep. Scott Taylor sits on the House steps to shoot a selfie video about his vote on the tax overhaul Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Taxes once again dominated action on the Hill, with the Senate Finance Committee marking up its plan while the House passed its version of a tax overhaul by a 227-205 vote Thursday. 

‘Pass-Through’ Changes Dog Senate GOP Tax Overhaul
Republican Ron Johson says plan not generous enough to pass-throughs

From left, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Senate Finance ranking member Ron Wyden, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch and Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley participate in the committee markup of the Senate GOP’s tax bill Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Trouble signs emerged Wednesday for the Republican tax overhaul effort, even as the Senate Finance Committee crept closer — slowly, and sometimes painfully — toward approving its bill later this week.

The top tax writers on each side forecast long hours still ahead. “Tomorrow, we are going to be here a while,” Sen. Ron Wyden, the Finance panel’s ranking member, said Wednesday.

Supreme Court to Mull Congressional Power in Lawsuits
Michigan case could reshape Congress’ power to affect court outcomes

The Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday about a law that required federal courts to dismiss lawsuits related to a Michigan land tract. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in a case that questions whether Congress crossed a line by telling federal courts what to do with challenges to a Michigan land tract and its use as a Native American casino.

It will be the second time in two years the justices will consider a case that could reshape Congress’ power to use legislation to affect the outcome of specific ongoing court cases.

Word on the Hill: Trump and the Awkward Buffet
Breast cancer info, a McCain anniversary, and the devilishly handsome Angus King

Samantha Yeider of the Senate Press Gallery, clears a path for Minnesota Sen. Al Franken in the basement of the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s been a hectic week between budget talks, President Donald Trump’s trip to Capitol Hill and Republican senators taking shots at their president.

Then imagine Trump having to fend for himself in a buffet line in front of a roomful of senators, one of whom the president had engaged in a war of words with that morning.

Kid Rock: ‘F - - - No, I’m Not Running for Senate’
Rap-rocker will not challenge Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets musician Kid Rock during a campaign rally at the Royal Oak Theatre in Michigan in 2012. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

Detroit rap-rocker Kid Rock said Tuesday on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show he will not run for Senate in his home state of Michigan.

“F--- no, I’m not running for Senate. Are you kidding me?” he said in response to a question, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Bipartisan Tax Bill More Durable, GOP Says After White House Meeting
Toomey sees overlap, but Democrats show little enthusiasm

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, seated left, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, seated center, and Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, standing center, were among the Finance Committee members who met with President Donald Trump on Wednesday about a tax overhaul bill. Also pictured, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, standing right. (Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call File Photo)

After huddling Wednesday with President Donald Trump and a handful of Democrats, Senate Republican tax writers said an overhaul bill that secures bipartisan support would be more “durable” than a GOP-only path. 

Senate Republicans are moving ahead with plans to ensure a tax bill could pass with as few as 50 GOP votes, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote. But after a White House meeting with Trump and five Senate Finance Committee Democrats, three GOP members on that panel said they agree with the president that a bipartisan bill is preferable.