South Dakota

Senate GOP Throws Health Care Curveball Into Tax Debate
Bid to repeal individual mandate to pay for tax cuts roils Capitol

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch is presiding over a tension-filled committee markup of the GOP’s tax bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A complicated tax overhaul debate got more complicated Tuesday when Senate Republicans injected health care politics into the equation. 

With a growing number of Senate Republicans seeking bigger tax cuts for individuals and families, but short of ways to finance it, GOP leaders gave the go-ahead to repeal the 2010 health care law’s mandate to purchase insurance to pay for their wish list

Senate GOP Looks to Kill Individual Mandate to Pay for More Tax Cuts

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, wants more individual tax cuts, but might object to killing the health insurance mandate to pay for them. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A growing chorus of Senate Republicans wants the bigger tax cuts for individuals and families in their tax overhaul, but the problem remains how to pay for it. And their leader says the biggest pot of money is in repealing the individual mandate to purchase health insurance. 

“We’re optimistic that inserting the individual mandate repeal would be helpful and that’s obviously the view of the Senate Finance Committee Republicans as well,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Tuesday. 

Kevin Brady: A Low-Profile Tax Writer for the Highest-Stress Time
Texan may be the most obscure Ways and Means chairman in such a pivotal role

Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, places books of the current tax code on the dais, during a House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republicans’ tax reform plan titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in Longworth Building on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Millions of taxpayers, not to mention seemingly all of K Street’s lobbyists, are focused this week on the work of a man precious few outside the Beltway have ever heard of — but who’s among the most powerful people at the Capitol at the moment.

Perhaps expecting Kevin Brady to be a household name is asking too much of the typical American household, where two out of three people can’t name their own member of Congress.

Members Face Tough Odds in Races for Governor
Competitive primary, general elections await nine representatives running

Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa would be a heavy favorite to win her state’s governor’s race if she gets past the Democratic primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s been plenty of media attention on the twelve members who have decided to call it quits and retire from the House, and another eight members are seeking a promotion to the Senate. But nine additional members are forgoing likely re-elections for uncertain and challenging races to become their state’s governor.

Many of them have to navigate crowded and competitive primaries (including knocking off an incumbent in one state), and the precedent for members getting elected governor isn’t great.

NRCC Announces First ‘On the Radar’ Young Guns for 2018
The candidates had to prove they could run competitive races

Dino Rossi, who is running in Washington’s 8th District, was named to the program. (By Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee named its first round of “On the Radar” candidates for the 2018 cycle, highlighting GOP challengers who could wage competitive races.

Each of the 31 candidates had to reach certain benchmarks in fundraising, messaging and communications to prove their viability, according to the NRCC. The notice is the first of three levels of the committee’s “Young Guns” recruitment program.

Senate Republicans Consider Keeping Estate Tax
‘I don’t think there’s the stomach to do a full repeal’

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Republicans might not repeal the estate tax in the pending overhaul of the U.S. tax code and instead could double the exemption for money individuals or families leave to heirs, lawmakers say.

Doing so would be a major backtrack on a promise Republicans have repeated for years. It could also help drain some ammunition from Democrats, who have sought to paint the tax bill as a giveaway for the rich.

Ivanka Trump Takes Child Tax Credit Push to Capitol
As with much of the tax overhaul, devil remains in the details

Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., left, speaks with Ivanka Trump as they walk through the Capitol en route to a press conference on child tax credits. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It was hard to walk through the Capitol on Wednesday without stumbling upon Ivanka Trump.

The White House senior adviser and daughter of President Donald Trump had a packed schedule on both sides of the Rotunda, largely promoting an expanded child tax credit that at least for now seems a sure bet to be included in the House and Senate tax code overhaul drafts.

Opinion: The Conscience of Two Conservatives
Jeff Flake and Bob Corker call President Donald Trump out

Republican Sens. Bob Corker, center, and Jeff Flake, right, denounced their party’s Faustian bargain in embracing the presidency of Donald Trump, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There are many muscular arguments against term limits, from arbitrarily depriving voters of their choice to the sterling Senate careers of long-serving legislators like Joe Biden and John McCain.

The case for term limits can be expressed in five words: Bob Corker and Jeff Flake.

GOP Insists All Is Well, Despite Chaotic Day on Hill
Corker feud, Flake retirement send shock waves through Senate

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso speaks with President Donald Trump as they arrive for the Senate Republicans’ policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On a day when President Donald Trump went after one GOP senator and another announced his retirement while accusing his party of failing to stand up to the president, most Senate Republicans said the circus-like atmosphere was not distracting them from their legislative agenda.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell smiled as he dismissed the notion that Trump’s feud with a respected member of his caucus is keeping members from doing their work. So, too, did Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican involved in an escalating war of words with Trump

Sex Trafficking Bill Would Narrow Protections for Internet Companies
Senators say the bill is aimed at Backpage.com, not Facebook or Google

Sen. Rob Portman, shown here in 2015, introduced the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act earlier this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)