Wyoming

Budget Scuffle Stalls ‘Blue Water’ Benefits for Vietnam Vets
Science, costs concern for GOP holdouts; Dems yell hypocrisy

Senate Veterans Affairs Chairman Johnny Isakson remains bullish the Senate can pass the measure to make more Vietnam era veterans eligible for treatment for exposure to Agent Orange. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators and veterans groups are working to convince a few last holdouts to stop blocking a quick floor vote on a bill to extend benefits for Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

Advocates are lobbying President Donald Trump to sign the bill if the Senate clears it. But Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah has questions about whether science backs up the policy. And Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming is concerned about its nearly $2.2 billion cost over a decade.

Capitol Christmas Tree Glows After Delay in Honor of Bush
Speaker Paul Ryan lights up the ‘People’s Tree’ for his fourth and final time

The Capitol Christmas tree is seen alongside the Capitol Dome after the official lighting in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. (Jerel Flint/CQ Roll Call)

As Speaker Paul D. Ryan flipped the Christmas switch for the last time on Thursday, he paid tribute to a man he called a “beacon of joy.”

“This is my fourth and final time leading this event, and each time the tree is more stunning,” Ryan said before lighting the Capitol Christmas tree.

The Dingell-est Things John Dingell Said in His #AMA
Longest-serving member of Congress pulls no punches

Former Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., hosted a Reddit AMA session Thursday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. John Dingell, the longest-ever serving member of Congress, is known for his frankness and wit.

The former Michigan lawmaker lived up to that reputation in a refreshingly honest Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session Thursday, dishing on President Donald Trump, the inanity of term limits, and how the Senate and Electoral College are inherently undemocratic institutions.

Markets Tumble Again But White House Not Guaranteeing China Deal
‘We'll see,’ President Trump's top economic adviser says of tricky talks

The flags of China and the United States are displayed in front of the portrait of China’s late communist leader, Mao Zedong, outside the Forbidden City on Nov. 9, 2017 in Beijing, before President Trump’s state visit. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images file photo)

U.S. markets plunged again Thursday amid doubts the Trump administration and China can strike a legitimate trade deal that would avoid an escalation of tensions and economic turbulence as the White House urges patience — and few guarantees of success.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ and S&P 500 Index all were closed Wednesday as part of a national day of mourning for the late President George H.W. Bush following a Tuesday sell off. But the one-day break did little to calm spooked markets.

Trump Presence Felt During Poignant Moments of Bush 41’s Funeral
Hillary Clinton ignores president before George W. Bush’s emotional eulogy for father

Former presidents, vice presidents, first ladies and President Donald Trump attend the state funeral of former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral on Wednesday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President George H.W. Bush’s funeral, by design, was not about the sitting commander in chief, but there were moments when Donald Trump’s presence was paramount.

The 41st president’s son, George W. Bush, never mentioned the 45th president by name during his humorous and emotional eulogy for his father. But there were moments during his remarks that made clear the deep differences between the elder Bush and Trump.

These 10 Lines Had Dignitaries Laughing at Bush’s Funeral
Longtime friend Alan Simpson delivered a moving eulogy peppered with knee-slappers

Members of the public pay their respect at former President George H.W. Bush's casket in the Capitol Rotunda on Dec. 3. A day later, at Bush’s funeral at the National Cathedral, a longtime friend lightened the somber mood. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“He placed great value on a good joke,” George W. Bush said Wednesday at his father’s funeral. “That’s why he asked [Alan] Simpson to speak.”

The elder Bush’s longtime friend, a Wyoming Republican, is known for his blunt speech and humorous style, whether during his time as a senator or in a series of high-profile public roles.

Senator Named Mammal Lover of the Year
Mike Enzi touts award for his work with American bison

Bison decorated cupcakes await to be eaten at the 4th annual Congressional National Bison Day Reception in 2015. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Meet your “2018 U.S. National Mammal Champion”: Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi.

Yes, really.

Seven VP Candidates if Trump Dumps Pence for 2020 Re-Election Fight
Pence says they ‘had a good laugh’ over questions — but do they have a deal?

President Donald Trump (right) speaks with Vice President Mike Pence as first lady Melania Trump looks on during a Capitol ceremony for the late Rev. Billy Graham earlier this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Vice President Mike Pence stood in the East Room of the White House after his boss put him on the spot. He smiled. He nodded. But he never uttered one word: Yes.

The moment, prompted by a reporter’s question during a rowdy post-midterm press conference on Nov. 7, was an attempt by President Donald Trump to quiet speculation that he had begun to question Pence’s loyalty and was mulling other potential running mates for his 2020 re-election campaign.

Cracks on Display as Democrats Plan for Climate Action
Tension has caught the attention of House Republicans, who are already using it to paint the Democrats as a party of disunity

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., spent time during freshman orientation at Nancy Pelosi’s office. What was she doing? Protesting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats agree they want to act on climate change, but even before they take charge of the House, they are signs of cracks in their coalition over how to advance the cause.

On Tuesday, while in Washington for new member orientations, the most prominent of newly-elected Democrats, New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, joined climate demonstrators at the office of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to demand more aggressive action on greenhouse gases.

House Republicans to Consider Changing the Way They Select Committee Leaders
Proposal is part of a broader Thursday debate over internal conference rules

Reps. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., left, and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., want to change the way the House Republican Conference selects its committee leaders. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Update Thursday 5:01 p.m. | House Republicans on Thursday will consider changes to their internal conference rules, with several amendments targeting the process for selecting committee leaders. 

The biggest proposed change comes from Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher, who wants committee members to be able to choose their own chairmen or ranking members.