Wyoming

Senate PSA: Be Nice or Get Rule 19’d
Sherrod Brown was read the decorum rule, and questioned why

Sen. Sherrod Brown, center, was reminded of decorum rules on Sunday, but questioned why. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate prides itself on being the world’s greatest deliberative body, but that doesn’t mean one can say just anything. In fact, if you say something out of bounds, a colleague can invoke a rule that forces you to sit down and be quiet. 

This dynamic came into focus over the weekend. As shutdown tensions ran high, Rule 19 was pulled out for a fresh reading as a reminder about the chamber’s standards for decorum.

Holds on Energy and Environment Nominees Pile Up — Again
Procedural roadblocks reflect concerns about Trump administration policies

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski says the process for environment-related nominees has become “a little more complicated this year.”

A series of energy- and environment-related nominees are stuck in limbo as procedural roadblocks, or “holds,” pile up over concerns by Republican and Democratic lawmakers about policy implementations by the Trump administration.

The holdups — five announced last week — have almost become a rite of passage for Trump nominees looking to take positions within the Energy Department, Interior Department and the EPA.

A Senate Christmas Present: Several Trump Nominees Confirmed
Senators finish delayed routine business, hard choices put off

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 7: The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree stands on the West Lawn of the Capitol on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At the very end of an acrimonious first year working with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, the Senate reverted to form, looking very much like the Senate.

Podcast: A Big Finish for Trump's First Year; Can He Sell Conservative Accomplishments?
The Big Story, Episode 84

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 tax reform bill on November 28, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The biggest tax overhaul in three decades, a record roster of judicial confirmations, strikes at Obamacare and a regulatory rollback: Roll Call White House correspondent John T. Bennett reviews how the president ended up winning much of what he campaigned for, but remains at record low approval ratings. Can he sell his agenda to midterm voters?

 

Advice for Donald Trump After Alabama
‘Stay out of the primaries,’ one GOP lawmaker says

President Donald Trump arrives with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., before a Republican caucus luncheon in the Capitol on Nov. 28. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After the Republican Party suffered a stunning loss in deep red Alabama, an ever-defiant President Donald Trump is selling himself as the party’s soothsayer — but some lawmakers and strategists have some advice for Trump.

Republicans are both relieved that Roy Moore will not bring his sexual misconduct allegations to the Senate and evaluating whether his inability to protect a seat that had been safely in GOP hands since 1992 signals a Democratic wave ahead. The president, who last week did something rare by calling himself “the leader of the party,” signaled Monday he believes he knows best which candidates can and cannot win general elections.

GOP Tax Bill Signed, Nearly Sealed and Delivered

Senate Finance Chairman Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, left, and House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, conduct the Senate-House Conference Committee meeting on the GOP tax bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican tax writers signed off Friday on a compromise plan to overhaul the tax code, bringing House and Senate negotiations to a close and setting up final votes on the legislation early next week.

The tax conference agreement was set to be released Friday at 5:30 p.m. Some key details are already known, like a proposed corporate tax rate of 21 percent; a top individual rate of 37 percent; and a 20 percent deduction for “pass-through” business income.

Roy Who? Trump, GOP Quickly Pivot From Alabama to Taxes
Democrats characterize Alabama result as repudiation of president

Republican Roy Moore rides his horse across a field on his way to vote at the Gallant Volunteer Fire Department in Gallant, Ala., on Tuesday. Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones in Tuesday’s Senate special election in Alabama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers tried Wednesday to pin blame for Roy Moore’s special Alabama Senate race loss on the controversial former judge, but Democrats contend the president owns the bruising defeat after his full-throated endorsement. 

At the White House, the message was all about a GOP tax overhaul bill following Democrat Doug Jones’ stunning upset win in a state that had not put a member of that party in the Senate since 1992. On Capitol Hill, Republican members admitted relief that Moore would not be bringing his sexual misconduct allegations to Washington — and they asserted neither Trump nor the GOP were damaged by the Alabama race, despite the embrace of Moore by Trump and the Republican National Committee.

Ratings Change: Franken Steps Down Amid Allegations, Seat Starts Likely Democratic
Minnesota Senator resigns after colleagues call for his exit

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and his wife Franni, leave the Capitol on Thursday, after Franken announced on the Senate floor that he will resign his seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Al Franken’s resignation puts another Democratic seat into the 2018 mix, but it’s still unclear whether his departure provides Republicans with a legitimate takeover opportunity.

To handicap a race, it’s helpful to know where the contest will take place and who is running. In this case, we know the place is Minnesota, where, despite Donald Trump’s surge in the Midwest, Hillary Clinton narrowly prevailed in 2016, 46-45 percent, and where Republicans haven’t won a Senate race since Norm Coleman’s 2-point victory in 2002.

GOP Gets Ready to Own a One-Sided Shutdown Argument
Past showdowns happened in divided governments, and still Republicans got blamed. So what’s different now?

President Donald Trump, flanked by Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell faces the prospect of the first government shutdown when one party controlled all levers of government. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Among the story lines that have made the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency genuinely unique, few can top this one for its potential consequences for responsible governance as well as good politics: A government controlled exclusively by one party may shut itself down.

Four times in the past three decades, budgetary impasses have required non-essential personnel to stay home and the activities at their agencies to be suspended. In each case, at least one chamber of Congress was controlled by a political party different from the president’s, the stalemates reflecting intractable partisan disagreements over policies and spending priorities.

Photos of the Week: Tax Bill and Sexual Harassment Allegations Dominate on the Hill
The week of Nov. 27 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

The Capitol dome is seen in a reflection on a television news camera outside the Capitol on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)