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Anti-Pork Senators Warn of Potential Return of Earmarks
Flake, McCaskill and company again call for action on legislation to formally ban practice

Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., held an event in January to demonstrate that Congress can “eat pork without spending it.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of senators critical of pork-barrel spending is again warning about the possible return of congressional earmarks.

The contingent of persistent critics of the earmarking process warned about talk of the return of the practice in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York, Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby of Alabama and Vice Chairman Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont.

Trump Backpedals on Timing of Vague Tax Cut Proposal
Lawmakers, staff still not clear on what exactly president was talking about

President Donald Trump is walking back his comments about timing on a vague tax cut proposal he mentioned over the weekend. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump said any vote on a new tax overhaul bill he floated this weekend would come “after the election,” saying a “resolution” would be introduced in the next two weeks.

Trump’s remarks amounted to a presidential clarification of his own vague comments on Saturday, when he told reporters Republicans are “looking at putting in a very major tax cut for middle-income people.”

Trump Still ‘Not Satisfied’ With Saudi Story on Khashoggi
‘We’ll see what happens,’ the president says as he prepares to stump for onetime archrival Cruz

President Donald Trump has remained evasive on the killing of a Saudi journalist. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump says he is still “not satisfied” with the Saudi Arabian government’s explanation of what led to the death of Washington journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed inside a Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers are calling on Trump to punish the Saudi royal family for coaxing the self-exiled Saudi citizen to the Istanbul facility and allegedly killing him before dismembering his corpse.

Democrats Seize on Trump Administration’s Latest Obamacare Move
New administration proposal will lead to more ‘junk’ health plans, minority party says

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer says Republicans “are once again undermining protections for people with pre-existing conditions.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats have seized on a Trump administration proposal to loosen restrictions on some health insurance offerings as the latest way to attack Republicans over protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

“The American people should look at what Republicans are doing, rather than what they’re saying, when it comes to health care. Just weeks before the election, Republicans are once again undermining protections for people with pre-existing conditions and sabotaging our health care system,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said in a statement.

GOP Congressman Floats Passing Border Wall Funding Through Budget Reconciliation
Process would allow for simple-majority vote in the Senate, but both chambers would need to pass a budget first

Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., says his legislation aims to prevent Democrats from continuing to “block our efforts to build a wall along our southern border.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alabama Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne announced Monday that he has introduced legislation to use the budget reconciliation process to provide for up to $25 billion for President Donald Trump to construct his border wall before the end of his first term.

The bill, co-sponsored by 15 House Republicans, would allow the GOP to pass wall funding with a simple-majority vote in the Senate by using the reconciliation process — if the measure can withstand a “Byrd bath,” the scrubbing of the bill for violations of the Senate’s reconciliation rules. 

Scenes From Early Voting in Nevada
Nevada Democrats make a big push for the crucial early vote

Supporters of Rep. Jacky Rosen, the Democratic Senate nominee in Nevada, wave signs Friday outside KLAS-TV in Las Vegas before the debate between Rosen and GOP Sen. Dean Heller. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nevada, where early voting began Saturday, is the scene of one of the most contested Senate races this cycle — the only one where a Republican incumbent is defending a seat in a state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

Democrats in the Silver State are working hard to on the Latino vote — bolstered by an energetic get-out-the-early-vote effort from the powerful Culinary Worker Union Local 226.

Pelosi Suggests 2020 Outcome Will Help Her Decide Whether to Stay in Congress
Democratic leader was prepared to retire if Clinton won in 2016, stayed on because of Trump

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., suggested Monday that the outcome of the 2020 presidential election will factor into her decision on how long to stay in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who hopes to be speaker next year if Democrats win a chamber majority, suggested Monday that the outcome of the 2020 presidential election would factor into her decision on how long to stay in Congress. 

The 78-year-old California Democrat has long signaled that she sees her congressional career coming to an end in the not-so-distant future.

Majority of Republicans Want Legal Marijuana, Poll Shows
Gallup poll finds nearly two-thirds of Americans support legalization of pot, a record high

A marijuana user blows smoke in April in San Francisco, California. More than half of Republicans support legalization, according to the latest Gallup poll. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

Almost two-thirds of Americans think marijuana should be legal, according to a Gallup poll released Monday

That represents the highest number in the nearly 50 years since the polling organization began asking about the issue, according to a press release. 

National Republicans Boosting Karen Handel in Georgia’s 6th District
NRCC going up with $1.4M in TV ads on Atlanta broadcast

Rep. Karen Handel, R-Ga., is running for her first full term in Georgia’s 6th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The campaign arm of House Republicans is investing more than a million dollars in Georgia’s 6th District, which was home to the most expensive House election in history last year. 

The National Republican Campaign Committee has made a $1.4 million TV buy on Atlanta broadcast, set to begin this week. It’s the first outside spending from one of the party committees in a race that has thus far looked safer for Republicans than it did in 2017 during its high-profile special election. 

A Democratic Majority Could Milk Trump’s Trade Pact
‘The bar for supporting a new NAFTA will be high,’ says top Democrat on Ways and Means

Rep. Richard Neal, a Ways and Means Committee member since 1993 and now the panel’s top Democrat, voted against NAFTA and says he will scrutinize the proposed replacement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration included provisions in the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico to win Democratic support, but if the midterm elections hand Democrats the majority in either the House or Senate, the path forward for the revised agreement may be more complicated.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the agreement in principle on Nov. 30 and send implementing legislation to Congress sometime later. Trump also notified Congress on Tuesday that his administration plans to launch trade negotiations with the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom in 2019.