Roy Blunt

Word on the Hill: Highest Congressional Honor for Dole
Historical society lectures, cancer advocates, and former member updates

Legislation to give former Sen. Bob Dole the Congressional Gold Medal is headed for the president’s desk. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid all the action in Congress this week, you might have missed a vote honoring former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan.

The House approved on Tuesday a bill, introduced by Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., to present Dole with the Congressional Gold Medal. It had already passed in the Senate, where it was introduced by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan. The measure now moves to President Donald Trump’s desk.

Word on the Hill: Pink-Haired Sánchez
GOP digital challenge, staff kickball tournament for Harvey & LOC departure

Rep. Linda T. Sanchez, D-Calif., speaks as Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisc., look on as House Democrats hold a news conference on DREAMers and to speak out against President Donald Trump’’s decision to end DACA. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pink hair, don’t care.

Rep. Linda T. Sánchez, D-Calif., returned to work after the August recess with the bottom of her hair dyed pink.

Democrats See Eye to Eye With Trump on Debt Limit and Harvey Aid
Ryan called Schumer and Pelosi proposal ‘unworkable’ before Trump took their side

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a joint statement that they believed their proposal “…offers a bipartisan path forward to ensure prompt delivery of Harvey aid as well as avoiding a default.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House and Senate Democratic leaders seem to have gotten their way after President Donald Trump agreed to tacking on a three-month extension of borrowing authorities to a Hurricane Harvey aid bill.

Trump told reporters on Air Force One Wednesday that he and congressional leaders agreed to a three-month extension of the debt ceiling and a three-month government spending bill. Those will be tacked on to a Hurricane Harvey relief bill, which he said will likely be inflated by an unspecified amount to address the approaching Hurricane Irma.

Harvey Aid, Seen Topping Katrina and Sandy, May Be in Batches
Early projections estimate $150 billion

The city of Houston is still experiencing severe flooding in some areas due to the accumulation of historic levels of rainfall, though the storm has moved to the north and east. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The rebuilding of parts of Texas and potentially Louisiana after Hurricane Harvey may be the most expensive disaster relief effort ever, with early projections of federal aid soaring to $150 billion and raising the prospect of several congressional actions to pay for it.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, said Wednesday he thinks federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Harvey should top what was provided after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast in 2012. 

Trump’s Tax Speech Shows Entire Agenda Rests on Overhaul Push
President: ‘Foundation of our job-creation agenda’ is tax rate, code changes

President Donald Trump arrives to give remarks during an appearance at the Loren Cook Company Wednesday in Springfield, Missouri. President Trump spoke about  his plans for tax reform. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

 

 

Missouri’s Josh Hawley Forms Exploratory Committee for Senate Bid
GOP donors have been urging the state attorney general to challenge McCaskill

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., greets newly elected Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (right) prior to speaking to supporters in Springfield, Missouri in November. (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has formed an exploratory committee with the Federal Election Commission for a challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

“Josh’s state campaign committee has ceased expenditures and the soliciting or accepting of donations while he considers becoming a federal candidate,” Hawley spokesman Scott Paradise said in an email, according to the Kansas City Star

Senate GOP: Knowing Health Care Plan Is ‘Luxury We Don’t Have’
Uncertainty surrounds floor strategy for Republicans’ health care effort

Many members in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s conference do not know what they would be considering days before a key vote . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS and LAUREN CLASON

Republican senators left Washington no closer to a deal on their health care effort, with no idea what measure might be brought up for a vote early next week or whether the chamber could even clear a key procedural hurdle needed to begin consideration of any legislation.

Pence Wants Missouri AG to Challenge Sen. McCaskill
Josh Hawley won his first political office in 2016

Vice President Mike Pence is encouraging Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley to run for Senate against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.  (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Vice President Mike Pence is getting involved early in the Missouri Senate race, encouraging a run by a relative newcomer against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Pence called Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley over the weekend to encourage him to run for the Senate, a spokesman for Hawley confirmed Tuesday. Hawley was elected to the attorney general post in 2016, winning the primary and general election by double-digits. Previously he worked as a lawyer and associate professor at the University of Missouri Law School.

Attention Shifts to Josh Hawley in Missouri Senate Race
State attorney general seen as top contender against McCaskill

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, right, is a potential challenger to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. He’s seen here last November with the state’s junior senator, Roy Blunt. (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images file photo)

With Republican Rep. Ann Wagner opting against a Senate run in Missouri, attention has shifted to the state’s Attorney General Josh Hawley as a potential contender to take on incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill.

Wagner’s decision, first reported by the Washington Examiner on Monday, was a surprise to operatives watching the race, since the third-term congresswoman had been signaling that she would challenge McCaskill.

Photos of the Week: July 4 Recess Begins After Senate Health Care Vote Delayed
The week of June 26 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., runs past Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., on the House steps as members of Congress leave for the 4th of July recess following the final votes of the week in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BY BILL CLARK and TOM WILLIAMS

Members dashed back to their home states after a raucous week in Washington. Tuesday was marked with the news that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had delayed the chamber's vote on its version of a health care bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. The House saw the addition of two new members with the swearings in of Reps. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., and Karen Handel, R-Ga., to replace members who departed for President Donald Trump's Cabinet.