Mark Warner

With House Passage of FISA Measure, Action Moves to Senate
GOP leaders in chamber move to restrict amendments to reauthorization

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is part of a bipartisan group that has problems with the FISA reauthorization measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday approved 256-164 a bill to reauthorize provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for another six years, putting the measure in the Senate’s hands.

The bill, backed by the Trump administration and all the U.S. intelligence agencies, would preserve the FBI and the intelligence agencies’ ability to search a surveillance database for information on Americans with minimal warrant requirements.

Rating Change: Virginia Senate Race Moves to Solid Democratic
GOP prospects dim in race against Tim Kaine

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is looking like a solid bet for re-election, Nathan L. Gonzales writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just a dozen years ago, Virginia sent two Republicans to the United States Senate. Now the GOP is at risk of losing its fifth consecutive Senate election.

In 2006, Democrat Jim Webb knocked off GOP Sen. George Allen 49.6 percent to 49.2 percent in the Democratic wave. Two years later, Democrat Mark Warner drubbed former GOP Gov. Jim Gilmore 65 percent to 34 percent to take over retiring Republican Sen. John W. Warner’s seat. In 2012, Democrat Tim Kaine defeated Allen 53 percent to 47 percent when Webb decided not to seek re-election. And in 2014, Warner appeared to be caught off guard during a Republican wave but still defeated Ed Gillespie 49 percent to 48 percent.

Immigration Deal Tangled Up in Spending Talks
Negotiations over DACA threaten a long-term spending deal

Alabama Sen. Richard C. Shelby anticipates another continuing resolution may be necessary before a spending deal can be reached. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The program that oversees certain immigrants brought illegally to the country as children continues to complicate discussions on government spending.

Democratic senators are insisting a vote on legislation to address the pending expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program occur either before or as part of a fiscal 2018 spending bill.

Lawmakers Object to DOJ Move on Marijuana Enforcement
Sen. Cory Gardner says Sessions’ decision opens states’ rights issues

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner said the change in the DOJ‘s marijuana policy was a “trampling of Colorado’s right, its voters.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions drew strong criticism from lawmakers Thursday for changing a Justice Department policy on marijuana enforcement that had allowed states to move forward on legalizing the drug’s recreational and medical use.

Sessions’ move upsets the uneasy status quo between state laws that legalize marijuana and the federal laws against possession and distribution, which was set up by Obama administration guidelines from the Justice Department. Sessions rescinded the Obama guidelines Thursday, which cast uncertainty on what had been a growing pot industry just days after California implemented a recreational pot law.

17 of 2017’s Most Popular Stories
A look back at a contentious year on the Hill

President Donald Trump arrives with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for the Republican Senate Policy luncheon in the Capitol to discuss the GOP tax reform bill in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, Republicans had high hopes of pushing an ambitious agenda forward and making good on last year’s campaign promises.

But their long-held promise of repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law stalled in the Senate in one of the most dramatic moments of the year. Infighting derailed other agenda items that followed.

Trump Doesn’t Rule Out Pardon for Michael Flynn
‘There is absolutely no collusion,’ president contends

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, at podium, and then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attend a campaign event in 2016. On Friday, the president did not rule out a pardon for his former national security adviser. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Friday did not rule out pardoning former national security advisor Michael Flynn, and again contended “there was no collusion” between his campaign and Russia.

“There is absolutely no collusion,” the president said as he left the White House for an address at a graduation ceremony at the FBI Academy. “That has been proven.”

Photos of the Week: Three Resignations, a CR Extension and the Holidays Kick Off
The week of Dec. 4 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Ranking member Rep. Jerrold Nadler arrives Thursday for the House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the FBI. Nadler became the top Democrat on the panel following Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr.’s resignation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 10:08 a.m.The week on the Hill was not short on news. Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct while Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, a fellow Democrat, announced he intended to do the same soon. Late Thursday, Republican Trent Franks from Arizona said he would resign effective Jan. 31 over sexual harassment allegations in his office.

At the same time, the funding deadline to keep the government open loomed. But a government shutdown was averted Thursday — at least for another two weeks — when both chambers passed a continuing resolution through Dec. 22. 

Senate Banking Advances Powell Nomination for Fed Chairman
Sen. Elizabeth Warren only senator to vote against recommendation

Jerome Powell earned the support of all but one member of the Senate Banking Committee to advance his nomination for Fed chairman. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Banking Committee voted 22-1 Tuesday to recommend confirmation of Jerome Powell as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren voted against the recommendation.

Powell received the support of Chairman Michael D. Crapo, who had voted against him during his renomination to the Fed board in 2014.

Photos of the Week: A House Tax Marathon as Senate Starts Action
The week of Nov. 6 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

From left, Rep. Sam Johnson, Chairman Kevin Brady and ranking member Richard Neal open a House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republicans’ tax overhaul plan in Longworth Building on Monday. Rep. David Schweikert also appears. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House Ways and Means Committee finished its marathon markup of the GOP tax overhaul plan Thursday, as attention shifted to the Senate, which will be marking up its own version of the bill next week. 

Here’s the entire week in photos:

McConnell Skeptical of Mandatory Disclosures for Facebook, Twitter Ads
Top Republican casts it as free speech issue

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is skeptical of a legislative solution to the security issues surrounding political advertising on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is casting doubt about the idea of enacting laws requiring disclosures for political ads on Facebook and Twitter.

“I’m a little skeptical of these disclosure-type proposals that are floating around, which strikes me would mostly penalize American citizens trying to use the internet and to advertise,” the Kentucky Republican said in an interview that aired Saturday.