Kevin Brady

Ways and Means chairman asks for Trump’s tax returns
Richard Neal sets a deadline of April 10 for the IRS

Richard Neal, chairman of the House Ways and Means panel, is turning up the heat on Trump’s tax returns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal formally asked the IRS Wednesday for six years of President Trump’s tax returns and set a deadline of April 10 to get the documents.

Signaling a fight ahead, Trump told reporters later he was “not inclined” to comply with Neal’s demand.

Obamacare fight continues on House floor — again
The largely symbolic resolution condemns the administration for calling on courts to overturn the ACA

President Donald Trump stands alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, left, and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., before the Senate Republican policy lunches in the Capitol on March 26. The event took place a day after his administration issued a court filing arguing the entire 2010 health care law should be overturned. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Wednesday plans to vote on a largely symbolic resolution condemning the Trump administration for calling on the courts to overturn the 2010 health care law, escalating a messaging war that seems poised to continue through the 2020 elections.

The vote is the Democrats’ latest rebuke of the Trump administration’s stance on the lawsuit brought by Texas and other conservative state attorneys general to overturn the health care law. The House became a party to the law’s defense earlier this year.

Ways and Means considers major changes to retirement savings incentives
Much of the bill, approved by the committee Tuesday, recycles provisions from previous Congresses

Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and ranking member Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, talk before a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on U.S.-China trade relations in Longworth Building on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The third time may be the charm for a 122-page collection of retirement benefit tweaks that died in the last two Congresses but has become a top priority for House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal.

Much of the bill that the Ways and Means Committee approved Tuesday recycles provisions from previous Congresses. One major change would make it easier for small businesses to band together to offer retirement benefits, while offering tax credits to defray the start-up costs.

Trump, House Republicans meet to line up support for new NAFTA
The USMCA would replace NAFTA, if simple majorities in the House and Senate approve it.

President Donald Trump, flanked from left by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S. Dak., Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stops to speak to the cameras following his lunch with Senate Republicans in the Capitol on Wed. Jan. 9, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with a number of House Republicans later Tuesday as the White House steps up efforts to increase support for the proposed trade agreement to replace NAFTA.

The afternoon meeting comes after Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer courted House Democrats earlier this month with closed-door meetings on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. It would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement if simple majorities in the House and Senate approve it.

House progressives work on ‘Medicare-for-all’ as debate heats up
The House bill from Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., will have at least 100 initial co-sponsors

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., arrives for a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus in the Capitol on Nov. 15, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House progressives are set to introduce a revised single-payer “Medicare-for-all” bill during the last week of this month, as Republicans sharpen their criticism of the policy and Democratic presidential hopefuls face questions about whether they support it.

The House bill from Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., will have at least 100 initial co-sponsors. It comes as Democrats are offering a range of bills to expand health insurance coverage, such as a proposal to allow adults between 50 and 64 to buy into Medicare that was unveiled Wednesday, and presidential candidates refine their positions on what “Medicare-for-all” should mean and the role private insurers would play.

Cracks in GOP support for Trump emerge, but White House claims ‘we’re all good’
‘What was boiling under the surface … has now come to the surface,’ Republican insider says

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as Republican senators look on following a lunch meeting in the Capitol on Jan. 9. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican lawmakers are increasingly breaking with Donald Trump — through critical words and high-profile votes — but White House officials contend the president still has a grip on his party mates on Capitol Hill.

The Senate floor in recent weeks has become ground zero for GOP members jumping out of line. With a series of national security and government spending speeches and vote results, the president’s party has issued a string of stinging blows after nearly two years of mostly sticking with and defending him.

Democrats and Republicans clash over health care goals in Ways and Means
In between partisan comments, lawmakers mentioned health policies the panel could consider this year

Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and ranking member Kevin Brady, R-Texas, talk during the House Ways and Means Committee organizational meeting for the 116th Congress on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Ways and Means Committee members hinted at health policy areas that could earn their attention this year during a Tuesday hearing on pre-existing conditions protections, but past disagreements will be difficult to move beyond if the meeting was any indication.

Essentially every committee Republican expressed support for guaranteeing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and called on Congress to lower health care costs.

Photos of the Week: Federal workers protest, visit food drives and miss their second paycheck
The week of Jan. 21 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Chef José Andrés, right, and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., take a tour on Tuesday of Andrés' World Central Kitchen, which is serving free meals and goods to federal workers who have been affected by the partial government shutdown in downtown Washington. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

From celebrity chefs preparing meals alongside the speaker, to protests, to canceled member retreats and a second missed paycheck for federal workers deemed essential — signs of the partial government shutdown are almost everywhere on Capitol Hill.

Here's the entire week in photos:

Coal industry fought black lung tax as disease rates rose
Coal companies and industry groups lobbied against extending a tax program that provides a lifeline for sufferers and their families

An overview of a coal prep plant outside the city of Welch in rural West Virginia on May 19, 2017, in Welch, West Virginia. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

While cases of black lung disease among miners were on the rise last year, coal companies and industry groups lobbied lawmakers against extending a tax program that provides a lifeline for sufferers and their families.

Mandatory disclosures show the coal lobby spent some of its influence money on discussions with lawmakers regarding the Black Lung Excise Tax and the trust fund that helps pay for the health and living benefits of sick coal workers whose employers have gone bankrupt, and their beneficiaries.

Congress and Tax Cuts, A Love Story
Even amid the Christmas shutdown showdown, more talk of tax cuts

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., is retiring, but he’ll keep talking about tax cuts until then. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite the looming Christmas holiday, and despite an intractable fight over government funding and a border wall, and despite the unpopularity (and blow to the deficit) of the last big tax cut last year, it’s still raining tax cuts, or at least the politicians who love them. 

Witness the House taking time Thursday to push through a package of tax cuts that the Senate has shown no interest in taking up as the legislative calendar ticks down to zero.