Texas

Senators Leave for the Night With No Plan to Actually Avert Shutdown
Will take some bipartisanship to even schedule a vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing Democrats to reverse course on the House’s continuing resolution (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It will take unanimous consent of 100 senators to keep the government from at least a brief shutdown.

The Senate adjourned after 10 p.m. Thursday, leaving less than a day in session to try to avert a funding lapse that was appearing inevitable, without votes scheduled on anything resembling a deal that could win bipartisan support.

Supreme Court Halts North Carolina Redistricting
2018 midterms will likely proceed under existing map

The Supreme Court said North Carolina does not immediately have to redraw its congressional map. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Thursday evening said that North Carolina does not have to redraw its congressional map by the end of January, as a lower court had instructed it to do earlier this month.

The high court’s order granting a stay of the lower court’s decision, pending the disposition of the state’s appeal, likely means the existing congressional map will be in place for the 2018 midterms. 

Old Photos That Current Candidates Might Not Want You to See
A Throwback Thursday to four familiar faces

Nevada Republican Danny Tarkanian campaigns door to door with his daughters in Las Vegas in May 2010 in his ultimately unsuccessful race against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Since the internet has deemed Thursday the appropriate time to turn back the clock, I dug through Roll Call’s extensive photo archives for some old photos of current candidates who previously ran for another office. Not only is there a little more gray hair this time around, but it’s a good lesson in perseverance.

Back in 2006, Texas Republican Van Taylor received national attention as an Iraq War veteran running for Congress as the war was becoming increasingly unpopular. He lost in the blue wave to Democratic Rep. Chet Edwards. But Taylor was subsequently elected to the state Legislature and is now the prohibitive favorite for Texas’ 3rd District seat, which is open because Republican incumbent Sam Johnson is not seeking re-election.

Senate Democrats, a Few Republicans, Have Votes to Block Spending Bill
Murray: It’s time for GOP to “get real”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, leaves a meeting on the continuing resolution in House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats have the votes necessary to block the chamber from advancing a short-term spending bill should the House approve it Thursday evening, according to Democratic senators and aides.

“I do,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen replied when asked if Democrats have enough support to block the four-week continuing resolution.

The Blame Game Over the Shutdown Showdown
Congressional leaders start pointing fingers

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is hunting for votes to keep the government open. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With less than 36 hours to avoid a shutdown of nonessential government services and no solution in sight, congressional leaders spent Thursday  offering their spin on who will be to blame if a deal cannot be struck.

Notably missing amid the rhetoric — as Republicans pointed to Democrats, while the minority said the majority is at fault — were predictions leaders had made in recent weeks that there would be no government shutdown.

Bill Aimed at Combating Sexual Harassment Unveiled
Legislation would make process more transparent

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock said in December that a bill aimed at combating sexual harassment on the Hill would put victims on “a level playing field.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:21 p.m. | A sweeping bill aimed at combating sexual harassment on Capitol Hill was introduced Thursday by House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper. The Mississippi Republican said he hopes the measure will be expedited through the chamber.

Lawmakers say the the bill will make the reporting, resolution and settlement process more transparent, while also protecting victims’ identities and providing options for House employees who come forward.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Around the Capitol?
Lewis gets do-over in Mississippi, GOP lawmakers prepare for March for Life

From left, Reps. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Scott Tipton, R-Colo., and Roger Williams, R-Texas, are seen during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the "Disclosing Foreign Influence Act" in Rayburn Building on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

McConnell Appears Short of Votes Needed to Pass CR
Talks among GOP turn heated as deadline for government shutdown approaches

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is one of two Senate Republicans who have announced they will not vote for the next continuing resolution in its current form. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appears increasingly unlikely to have the votes necessary to pass a short-term patch to fund the government past Friday should the House advance the measure Thursday evening.

At least three GOP senators will vote against a continuing resolution to keep the government funded past Jan. 19, as Republican congressional leaders struggle to find the votes in either chamber to advance it. They will join a large chunk of Democrats who also say they will oppose the CR.

House Lawmakers Ready to Carve Some Pork
Optimistic chatter around earmarks draws cheers, cringes

Alaska Rep. Don Young still defends the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere.” The bridge “should have been built,” he said at a Rules subcommittee hearing Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The U.S. House of Representatives appears ready to welcome back earmarks with open, bipartisan arms.

During a Rules subcommittee hearing Wednesday, lawmakers sounded optimistic that Congress will wrestle back a portion of its spending authority from the executive branch — though there was some discord over when and how earmarks should return.

Senators Threaten Legislation Over Social Media Firms' Content

Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune said he was more focused on oversight than legislation for social media companies and their content. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Big social media companies made a case against new legislative mandates by emphasizing their voluntary efforts to root out terrorism-related material and other objectionable content on their sites during a Senate hearing Wednesday.

But senators from both parties warned representatives of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter of legislative action even as Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., said he was focused on oversight rather than legislation, which could further open the companies to lawsuits. The committee approved a bill that would allow online businesses to be sued and prosecuted for sex trafficking content, but Thune indicated he wasn’t ready to do the same over terrorism content.