Louisiana

Diaz-Balart Isn’t Saying What Trump Said
South Florida Republican rep says he wants to keep his seat at the table in discussing Dreamers

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., would not comment about whether President Donald Trump used the word “shithole” in describing the countries from which some immigrants are coming to the U.S. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart said he would not delve into whether President Donald Trump called Haiti and African countries “shithole countries.”

Diaz-Balart was in the immigration meeting with other lawmakers in which Trump is reported to have made the remarks, but told Florida TV station WPLG he would not comment on whether Trump made them.

Trump Denies Using Slur to Describe Majority Black Countries
President slams Durbin-Graham immigration proposal in epic Twitter rant

President Donald Trump speaks during news conference with Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway in the East Room at the White House on Wednesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday denied using the term “shithole countries” to describe Haiti and African nations during a Thursday Oval Office meeting on immigration.

And, in classic Trumpian form, he attempted to alter the day’s new coverage to focus on a bipartisan immigration overhaul proposal offered by Sens. Richard J. Durbin and Lindsey Graham — a plan he rejected during an Oval Office meeting that also featured immigration hawks from his White House and Congress.

GOP Judiciary Members Complain They’re in the Dark on Russia Probe
Kennedy says his access has been ‘zero, zilch, nada’

Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy requested a status update on the Judiciary Committee’s Russia investigation Thursday, saying he and other panel members are being kept out of the loop. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voiced frustration Thursday that they weren’t being kept in the loop on the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana summed up his access to information from the panel investigation this way: “I’ve seen nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.”

Scalise ‘Resting Comfortably’ and in Fair Condition After Surgery
Timetable for House majority whip’s return to Hill uncertain

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., underwent a planned surgery on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The timetable for his return to the Capitol is unclear. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was “resting comfortably” and in fair condition on Wednesday after a planned surgery in Washington, D.C., hospital officials reported.

The Louisiana Republican will likely remain in the hospital for several days before continuing his recovery at home, according to a press release from MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where doctors performed the operation.

U.S. Needs More ‘Idiot Control,’ Not Gun Control, Kennedy Says
Louisiana senator pans bipartisan bill to strengthen background check system

Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy could be the lone opponent to a bill aimed at strengthening enforcement of national background check system policies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. John Kennedy on Tuesday took a stand against bureaucratic incompetence in the name of the Second Amendment.

“I don’t think we need more gun control; I think we need more idiot control,” the Louisiana Republican told NOLA.com, blasting a new bipartisan gun control bill that appears to be aimed at preventing more of those so-called idiots from purchasing firearms.

Booker, Harris Add Historic Diversity to Senate Judiciary
2020 hopefuls are second and third black senators to serve on panel

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is the first black man to sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The addition of Democrats Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday gave the two potential 2020 presidential hopefuls a big platform, but also a spot in the panel’s history.

Booker becomes the first black man to sit on the committee, which oversees civil rights, voting rights, housing discrimination and other Justice Department enforcement efforts that are seen as crucial to African-Americans. Harris, who is biracial, becomes the second black woman to serve on the panel, after Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois, who left the Senate in 1999.

Scalise to Undergo Planned Surgery Related to Baseball Shooting
Recovery timetable unclear

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., center, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrive for a news conference after the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on November 29, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise will undergo a planned surgery Wednesday as part of his recovery from injuries sustained last June from a shooting at a GOP congressional baseball team practice.

The operation will take place at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C.

Lawmakers Make New Year’s Resolutions
Resolutions focus on legislating rather than personal goals

The House is back, and members are ready to work on their resolutions for the new year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate is back and the House will return next week after regrouping over the winter recess and preparing to tackle another tough year ahead.

Between midterms and a long legislative agenda, lawmakers have a lot to figure outSo it’s no wonder that their New Year’s resolutions revolve around policy issues and the election, instead of typical goals such as getting healthy or spending time with family.

Graham Urges Full Health Care Repeal in 2018, Despite Tricky Math
Moving on from health care debate an ‘unpardonable sin,’ senator says

While GOP Senate leaders like Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, left, have shifted away from health care repeal as a priority, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., right, said it should remain at the top of the agenda. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Senate Republican leadership signaled this week it will table efforts to dismantle the 2010 health care law in 2018 and instead focus on market stabilization, at least one GOP senator insists repealing and replacing it is still a top priority.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said it would be an “unpardonable sin” for Republicans to shift their focus from overhauling the health care system created by the so-called Obamacare legislation.

A Senate Christmas Present: Several Trump Nominees Confirmed
Senators finish delayed routine business, hard choices put off

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 7: The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree stands on the West Lawn of the Capitol on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At the very end of an acrimonious first year working with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, the Senate reverted to form, looking very much like the Senate.