Christopher S Murphy

Nominations Fill Legislative Void in Senate
Work stalled in the chamber amid partisan health care and tax effort

Callista Gingrich, nominated to be Vatican ambassador, is one of many nominees awaiting a vote from the Senate. She’ll get hers on Monday afternoon. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Republicans have repeatedly accused the Democratic minority of slow-rolling the process of confirming President Donald Trump’s nominees for hundreds of vacant federal and judicial positions. But after engaging in a partisan agenda for most of this year, the GOP may need those confirmation votes just to fill up floor time in the chamber.

The major tenets of the Republican agenda are largely stalled, with the legislative health care effort in tatters and an overhaul of the U.S. tax code still in development.

Next Health Secretary Could Set Course for Insurance System
Price’s successor will put own stamp on Obamacare

President Donald Trump will nominate a new HHS Secretary now that Tom Price is out of the job. The new secretary could have a big effect on the fate of the health insurance system. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the health care debate sidelined on Capitol Hill, the next Health and Human Services secretary will have the ability to determine the Trump administration’s approach on the current health care law.

Despite seven years of promises, Republicans have been unable to roll back the 2010 health care law as they’d planned before the end of September. The vacancy left by former Secretary Tom Price, who resigned last week amid scrutiny of his private jet use, added another challenge to a politically divisive battle.

Gun Control Movement Turns to Campaigns
Sen. Chris Murphy says focus should be outside the Capitol

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, at their news conference at the Capitol on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Gun control advocates quickly urged Congress to act after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. But the real fight may be on the campaign trail.

Many of them suggest that even after a gunman opened fire on thousands of concertgoers in Las Vegas on Sunday night — killing nearly 60 people and injuring more than 500 — it’s unlikely that the Republican-controlled House and Senate will act.

Las Vegas Shooting Reignites Gun Debate on Capitol Hill
Members offer prayers and condolences to victims and families, tributes to police and first responders

People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after a gunman opened fire, leaving at least 50 people dead and more than 2oo wounded. (David Becker/Getty Images)

Democratic lawmakers on Monday morning renewed their pleas for legislative action to restrict access to firearms after a gunman unleashed a storm of bullets on concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip late Sunday night.

At least 58 people were killed, officials said. Multiple media outlets have reported that more than 500 people were taken to local hospitals for treatment in what is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Opinion: Another Health Care Bill, Another Health Care Cliff
Major rewrites of policy deserve more than partisan signoff

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer conducts a news conference in the Capitol on Sept. 18 to oppose the Graham-Cassidy legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Maybe we have finally established a lasting legislative principle for both parties: Don’t ever again try to pass major health care legislation using parliamentary gimmicks to avoid a filibuster.

The Democrats, under Barack Obama, followed this route in 2010 after they lost their filibuster-proof Senate majority when Republican Scott Brown unexpectedly won the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. As a result, final tinkering and technical improvements could not be made in the Obamacare legislation using a House-Senate conference.

Senate Democrats Hold Rally Against Graham-Cassidy
 

Bernie Sanders, the Man With Single-Payer Clout
Vermont independent continues to direct the future of national Democratic Party

Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders bashed special interest groups when introducing the so-called Medicare for All Act of 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The seismic shift in support for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan to transform the U.S. health care system into a single-payer program indicates the reach the Vermont independent has within the Democratic Party.

At the same time that his onetime presidential foe Hillary Clinton is reminding people of the party’s devastating loss last fall, Sanders is trying to define its future. His bill to enroll every American in Medicare drew 16 co-sponsors, 16 more than when he first introduced similar legislation in 2013.

Cruz’s Twitter Account Liked a Porn Video
Staff says “offensive tweet” has been removed

Staff for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, seen here last week with Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, said the offending post has been reported to Twitter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Twitter followers of Sen. Ted Cruz got an eyeful when they checked what the Texas Republican was liking these days.

Cruz’s personal account late Monday showed he liked a two-minute pornographic video from the Twitter account @SexuallPosts, the New York Daily News reported.

GOP Eyes Fix for Immigration Program Targeted by Trump
Democrats say they’re ready to work with Republicans to find solution for Dreamers

Hundreds of immigration advocates and supporters attend a rally and march to Trump Tower in New York to support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, last week. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s reported decision to end an Obama-era immigration program that protects 800,000 undocumented young people from deportation adds to a lengthy to-do list already challenging Republican leaders. 

Politico and The Associated Press, citing unnamed sources, reported late Sunday that Trump plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, in six months. The sources were granted anonymity to speak freely ahead of Tuesday’s planned announcement. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to address the DACA program at an 11 a.m. briefing and will take no questions.