rules-and-procedure

Senate Starting Campaign Recess Two Weeks Early, Gone Through Midterm Election
Upper chamber reaches agreement on nominations

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., center, will allow the Senate to depart early for the remainder of the midterm campaign cycle after reaching an agreement with Democrats to speed up consideration on several judicial and executive nominations. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate leaders on Thursday reached an agreement to accelerate consideration of several judicial nominations — a deal that will allow the chamber to depart two weeks early for its midterm campaign recess. 

The Senate will recess through the Nov. 6 election and is scheduled to return the following Tuesday.

Few Clues on Key Votes on Kavanaugh’s Fate
McConnell and Republicans said they were trying to work out a mid-morning vote

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia arrives to view the FBI supplemental background report on Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Friday morning, before a procedural vote on the Senate floor later in the morning. Manchin’s vote is considered a key one on whether Kavanaugh will be seated on the court. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A new FBI investigation and a full day for senators to read it did nothing to clarify what might happen Friday in the partisan ruckus over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republicans said they were trying to work out a mid-morning cloture vote on the nomination, but one was not officially announced when the Senate adjourned Thursday. The vote is expected to happen as early as 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Group Plays Trump’s ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape Outside Capitol to Protest Kavanaugh
UltraViolet Action calls out president as senators read report on allegations against his Supreme Court nominee

President Donald Trump’s “Access Hollywood” video, in which he bragged about being able to assault women because he was a celebrity, is playing on a continuous loop in front of the Capitol on Thursday. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

While senators are reading the results of the FBI’s investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, there’s a video playing outside the Capitol of President Donald Trump joking about sexual assault.

The infamous “Access Hollywood” footage of Trump speaking with Billy Bush about assaulting women because of his celebrity status is playing on a truck-mounted big screen for 12 hours until 9 p.m. on Thursday.

Kellyanne Conway Threatens Democrats Over Kavanaugh
White House adviser warns vulnerable Trump state Democratic senators not to vote no on nominee

Kellyanne Conway speaks to the media outside of the White House on the North Lawn in June. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House on Wednesday turned up the heat on vulnerable red-state Democrats, with a senior adviser to President Donald Trump warning them against being “complicit” in a scheme to “destroy” Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to Trump, sharply criticized Senate Judiciary ranking member Dianne Feinstein for an “unpardonable sin” to have kept a letter from Christine Blasey Ford with accusations against the nominee to herself.

Sen. Hirono Says Donald Trump Jr. Has ‘Fear and Mistrust’ of Women
President’s son said he was more concerned for his sons than daughters in #MeToo age

Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono said too many men believe that stories of sexual assault are made up. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Mazie Hirono criticized Donald Trump Jr. for suggesting he is more concerned for his sons when it comes to sexual assault claims than he is for his daughters because his sons could one day face false allegations of sexual misconduct toward women.

Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat who has gained a reputation during Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process as a no-nonsense champion of sexual assault survivors, told CNN that the president’s son’s comments stem from a “fear and mistrust of women.”

Witnesses Increasingly Wary of House GOP Probe into DOJ, FBI Bias
Pattern of broken confidentiality agreements leaves interviewees vulnerable to selective leaks, critics say

Former FBI Director James Comey turned down a request for a private meeting with the House task force looking into potential anti-Trump bias in federal law enforcement agencies, but would “welcome the opportunity to testify at a public hearing,” his attorney wrote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Witnesses for the House GOP’s investigation into potential bias at the top levels of U.S. law enforcement have grown increasingly dubious of the probe — to the point that some actually prefer public hearings to private ones.

Case in point: Former FBI Director James Comey on Monday declined to submit to a private interview with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform panels, who comprise a joint “task force” examining whether “decisions made and not made” by the Justice Department and FBI during the 2016 Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigations were tinged with anti-Republican bias.

Prosecutor’s Memo Is Senators’ New Rorschach Test in Kavanaugh Process
Democrats and Republicans not swayed from original positions by five-page memo

Rachel Mitchell, counsel for Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, questions Dr. Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday as, from left, Republican Sens. Mike Crapo, Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and John Cornyn listen. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/POOL)

The Arizona prosecutor hired by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and a woman who has accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school issued a memo Sunday concluding that a “reasonable prosecutor” would not bring the woman’s case against Kavanaugh in court.

But Rachel Mitchell, a sex crimes prosecutor for the Maricopa County attorney’s office that includes Phoenix, also pointed out that a Senate confirmation hearing “is not a trial, especially not a prosecution.”

Trump Yields to Senate on Proposal to Delay Kavanaugh Vote
President doesn’t seem to be aware that decision to order FBI investigation is his

President Donald Trump waves to the media while welcoming Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, to the White House on Friday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump said Friday he will let the Senate work through Republican Sen. Jeff Flake’s proposal of a one week delay to allow the FBI to look into the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“I’m going to let the Senate handle that and they do a good job,” the president said, admitting he had only heard only bits and pieces because he had been in a meeting at the White House with his Chilean counterpart.

More Problem Solvers Members Pledge to Tie Speaker Vote to Rule Changes
Bipartisan caucus now has 19 members ready to oppose a candidate for speaker if they don’t back process changes

Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and the other members of the Problem Solvers Caucus say they are gaining support for the effort to revamp House rules. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Trying to show their push to amend House rules to create more bipartisan legislative processes is serious, the Problem Solvers Caucus announced Thursday that 19 of its members are willing to oppose any speaker candidate who won’t bring about change.

The bipartisan caucus unveiled a package of proposed House rules changes in July called “Break the Gridlock” and has been coalescing support for it on both sides of the aisle. Some of the caucus members have decided to add some oomph to their sales pitch by pledging not to support a candidate for speaker unless that person commits to enacting the rules package.

After Latest Kavanaugh Allegations, Trump Calls Avenatti ‘A Total Low-Life’
New accuser says high court nominee sexually assaulted her and lined girls up for gang rapes

President Donald Trump leaves after chairing a United Nations Security Council meeting on Wednesday in New York.  (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump took a swipe at Michael Avenatti on Wednesday, saying the attorney for a third accuser of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is “good at making false accusations” and “a total low-life!”

The new accuser, in a sworn affidavit, claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her and lined up for gang rapes during high school parties. Kavanaugh denies the allegations, saying in a statement that “this is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don’t know who this is and this never happened.”