Bill Cassidy

EPA Proposal Would End Summer Ban on Ethanol Motor Fuel — With the Midterms Just a Month Away
Some corn state Republicans facing tough re-election bids

The Environmental Protection Agency will propose an end to the summer ban on motor fuel made with ethanol according to a senior White House official. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The EPA will propose to end the summer ban on the sale of motor fuel made with 15 percent ethanol, according to a senior White House official.

The move is sure to please corn state lawmakers such as Iowa Republican Sens. Charles E. Grassley and Joni Ernst, who have spent the better part of the last year and a half pushing the Trump administration to do more to enforce requirements under the so-called Renewable Fuel Standard — a federal mandate to boost renewable fuels like ethanol in the nation’s gasoline mix.

Louisianans in Congress Celebrate Drew Brees’ Record-Breaking Night
New Orleans Saints quarterback breaks NFL career passing yards record

Framed New Orleans Saints and Louisiana State University jerseys hang on the wall of Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, a big Drew Brees fan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees set a National Football League record on Monday night for career passing yards, and Louisianans in Congress were celebrating with him.

Brees broke retired Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s record of 71,940 yards in the second quarter on a 62-yard touchdown pass.

Here Are the Senators Attending John McCain’s Funeral
List includes 14 Republicans and 10 Democrats

At least 24 senators will attend the funeral service Thursday of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in Phoenix. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At least 24 current U.S. senators will attend Sen. John McCain’s memorial service Thursday in Phoenix, his office said.

The service, which will begin at approximately 10 a.m. local time, follows a procession from the Arizona state Capitol, where visitors on Wednesday could observe McCain’s casket draped in the American flag.

As Dems Campaign on Pre-Existing Conditions, 10 Republicans Move In
Tillis touts ‘common-sense’ solution, Murray calls it a ‘gimmick’

As the 2010 health care law weathers its latest legal challenge, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., has introduced a bill aimed at pre-existing conditions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ten Senate Republicans on Friday released a bill meant to guarantee the protections for patients with pre-existing conditions included in the 2010 health care law.

The measure is a response to the latest legal challenge to the health law, which seeks to invalidate the law after Congress effectively ended the so-called “individual mandate” that requires most Americans to maintain health insurance coverage or pay a fine.

Republicans Won’t Probe Influence of Trump Friends at Veterans Department
Dems have questions about trio named in lawsuit

Veterans Affairs Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., speaks during a hearing of Veterans Affairs secretary nominee Robert Wilkie in front of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building Wednesday June 27, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:31 p.m. | Top Republican lawmakers have no plans to examine the alleged influence that a trio of President Donald Trump’s friends have at the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as Democrats call for an investigation.

The controversy peaked in recent weeks after reports that Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter, Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskowitz and D.C. lawyer Marc Sherman hold undue sway with VA leadership, including senior adviser Peter O’Rourke, who formerly served as acting secretary. Liberal veterans group VoteVets filed a lawsuit against the administration last week, claiming the VA is violating federal protocol related to private influence in matters of federal policy.

Lawmakers Scramble to Extend Flood Insurance Before Hurricane Season Peaks
Unless they act by July 31, parts of the program will lapse

Rep. Ed Royce, shown here in May, introduced a bill Tuesday with Earl Blumenauer that would extend flood insurance coverage for four additional months. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House, facing a July 31 deadline to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, is considering legislation to extend it through Nov. 30 as the House and Senate try to resolve big differences in their proposals for the program.

Reps. Ed Royce, a California Republican, and Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, introduced a bill Tuesday that would extend flood insurance coverage for the program’s 5 million policyholders for four additional months.

Trump’s Trade Policies Get a Senate Slapdown
Lawmakers support congressional authority over tariff decisions

President Donald Trump trade policies aren’t feeling the love from Congress. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators delivered a bipartisan, if nonbinding, rebuke to President Donald Trump’s trade policies on the floor Wednesday, voting 88-11 to express support for congressional authority over presidential decisions to impose tariffs for national security reasons.

The motion, offered by GOP Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, would instruct conferees on an unrelated $147 billion spending bill covering the Departments of Energy, Veterans Affairs, Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies to “include language providing a role for Congress in making a determination” under a law enabling presidents to impose trade restrictions on security grounds.

Fall Elections Key Moment in Medicaid Expansion Debate
Recent developments in Virginia are giving advocates hope

From left, former Reps. Adam H. Putnam and Gwen Graham and Rep. Ron DeSantis are running for Florida governor. Graham, a Democrat, supports expanding Medicaid in the state, while Punam and DeSantis, both Republicans, oppose broadening the program. (Ryan Kelly/Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photos)

The midterm elections are poised to play a pivotal role in whether more states expand Medicaid eligibility, as the number of red-state holdouts dwindles.

Governors’ races in states such as Florida and Kansas, along with ballot initiatives in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah, are being watched closely by Medicaid experts this year.

Photos of the Week: A Moose, Some Ducks and a Stanley Cup
The week of June 4 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Caps fans celebrate on G Street NW on Thursday shortly before the Washington Capitals defeated the Vegas Knights 4-3 to capture the team’s first Stanley Cup. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re All Caps at Roll Call this Friday. We captured some of the celebrations Thursday night of the Washington Capitals’ defeat of the Las Vegas Knights to win the Stanley Cup.

Also this week, there were several foodie activities on the Hill, a large moose in the Senate’s Hart Building for the Experience New Hampshire event put on by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and a look at the ducks on the National Mall (if you don’t know the history of the ducks in the nation’s capital, read this and watch this).

Photos of the Day: It’s Seersucker Season
Summer Thursdays in the Senate have an optional dress code

Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., walk to a barbecue lunch in celebration of Seersucker Thursday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

It’s the first Seersucker Thursday in the Senate for 2018.

The tradition of wearing these lighter-fabric suits re-emerged in the late 1990s at the urging of former Majority Leader Trent Lott. The Mississippi Republican wanted to show that “the Senate isn’t just a bunch of dour folks wearing dark suits and — in the case of men — red or blue ties,” according to the Senate historian.