Executive Branch

Impeachment or Bust? Democrats Have Few Options on Kavanaugh Inquiries
Lawsuits, possible House probes expected, but party largely staying mum for now

Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee ponder their next move during a session on the nomination of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Sept. 28. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Brett M. Kavanaugh looked bewildered. Sen. Kamala Harris looked perturbed but determined. It was hour ten of the then-Supreme Court nominee’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee early last month, and the California Democrat seemed to have him backed into a corner.

Harris, a former prosecutor, was very much back in a courtroom. She was trying to get her witness, Kavanaugh, to reveal the name — or names — of anyone at the Washington law firm of Trump’s personal attorney with whom she alleged he had discussed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his ongoing Russia election meddling investigation the president almost daily refers to as a “witch hunt.”

Three States Get Ready to Vote on Abortion
Oregon, Alabama and West Virginia have measures on the ballot

Students protest abortion outside the Supreme Court in June. When voters in three states go to the polls this November, they’ll see abortion initiatives on the ballot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Oregon, Alabama and West Virginia voters will face separate ballot initiatives next month aimed at restricting abortion access in those states.

These initiatives fit into a larger fight over abortion that continues to heat up. Anti-abortion advocates hope that changes at the state level can be used as test cases and later implemented more broadly, while abortion rights advocates hope to defeat them. A particularly contentious ballot initiative can be used as a messaging move to drive voters to the polls in tight elections such as this fall’s West Virginia Senate race.

You’d Think Samuel Beckett Was In Charge of Our Health Care
Finding a path forward for the Affordable Care Act has been like waiting for Godot

Estragon and Vladimir — above as portrayed in a 1978 French production of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” — were stuck in limbo. After waiting on Congress to act on health care, we all know how they feel, Hoagland writes. (Fernand Michaud/Gallica Digital Library)

OPINION — Finding bipartisan agreement in Congress on a path forward for the Affordable Care Act has been like waiting for Godot. Polls tracking Americans’ views have consistently shown an evenly divided public. No single public policy issue captures the country’s polarization better than the debate that has surrounded this law.

That doesn’t mean we have to settle for “nothing to be done.” Improving health insurance markets is a goal worth pursuing, and Republicans and Democrats at the state level are already showing us the way.

They Channel Out-of-Town Outrage
‘Herd on the Hill’ lives vicariously, delivering letters for people in far-away states

Herd on the Hill delivered over a thousand letters to Sen. Susan Collin, R-Maine, in October. (Courtesy Herd on the Hill)

The president of Herd on the Hill went into a planning meeting and announced the name of her group.

Others gasped and grumbled. No press were allowed in the room.

Why Trump Spent His Friday Night in Deep-Red Southwest Ohio
Rep. Steve Chabot won re-election by 18 points in 2016. Now he faces a closer race

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pa., on Wednesday night. Two days later, he took his campaign road show to Ohio. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump took his campaign road show to Ohio on Friday, a state that is a microcosm of the fight his Republican Party faces in next month’s midterm elections.

On the one hand, a recent Suffolk University-Cincinnati Enquirer poll showed a boost in Republican support and enthusiasm for Trump — and, he hopes, GOP candidates by extension. But on the other, those same surveys suggest the overall electorate in the Buckeye State is more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Republican ones.

Pastor Freed From Turkish Prison Will Meet With Trump in Oval Office
Andrew Brunson’s return after a stop in Germany will be another victory for the president

President Donald Trump did not speak to reporters as he departed for Ohio on Friday. When he landed, he hailed the release of an American pastor who had been imprisoned in Turkey. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Andrew Brunson, the American pastor who was released by Turkey on Friday, is in “good shape” and will return to U.S. soil on Saturday, President Donald Trump said as he scored another victory.

Trump did not speak to reporters as he departed the White House for a campaign stop in Ohio, while Brunson’s plane was still inside Turkish airspace. But a spokesman told reporters as Air Force One landed in Cincinnati that Brunson had cleared Turkish territory.

In His Own Words: Trump Becomes Spokesman-in-Chief as Midterms Near
President weighs in and Democratic lawmakers fume

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn before boarding Marine One at the White House on Tuesday. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | President Donald Trump on Thursday said Kanye West can “speak for me anytime he wants.” But the controversial rapper is one of the few folks doing so lately.

Worried Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination was in trouble, Trump decided to go on the offensive last week. He sent a message to his conservative base — and other Republican voters — when he declared men are in danger of being “ruined” by a single “false” allegation by a woman. At a campaign rally, he mocked one of Kavanaugh’s accusers as an arena full of his supporters laughed and chanted that she should be thrown in jail.

Republicans Laud Trump after Turkey Releases Pastor Andrew Brunson
Democrats welcome pastor home with open arms, but say there’s unfinished business with Turkey

American pastor Andrew Brunson, partially obscured at left, arrives at his home after being released from court in Izmir, Turkey, on Friday. Brunson had been under house arrest in Izmir since October 2016 while awaiting trial on charges of abetting terrorist groups and supporting Fethullah Gulen, the cleric blamed for the failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016. (Burak Kara/Getty Images)

Republican lawmakers lauded President Donald Trump and his administration and Democrats offered words of support after Turkish officials released U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson from custody on Friday.

“Thank you President [Trump], [Vice President Mike] Pence and [Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] for your work to get Pastor Brunson released,” GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Brunson’s home state, tweeted Friday after news broke that a Turkish judge had decreed that Brunson be freed and sentenced to time served since he had already been in government detention for roughly two years.

No to ‘Ambassador Ivanka’ — President Signals Daughter Won't Be UN Envoy
‘I can already hear the chants of Nepotism!’ Donald Trump tweets

President Donald J. Trump greets former President Barack Obama as his daughter, Ivanka Trump, looks on, after Trump was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Friday appeared to signal he will not nominate his daughter, Ivanka Trump, to be the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

He used a tweet to say it is “nice” that “everyone” wants his daughter to be the U.S. envoy to the global body. But then he added this: “She would be incredible, but I can already hear the chants of Nepotism!”

Beto O’Rourke Smashes Senate Race Fundraising Record with Nearly $40 Million Haul
Previous single-quarter record set by New York Republican Rick Lazio in 2000

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke raised a record $38.1 million in the third quarter of 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Texas Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Beto O’Rourke raised a record $38.1 million in the third quarter, the campaign announced Friday, nearly tripling his overall fundraising haul for the cycle.

The blockbuster quarter surpasses the record for the largest fundraising quarter ever in a U.S. Senate race — set by Rick Lazio in his race against Hillary Clinton in New York in 2000.