Filibuster

A Plea for the Old School Senate: Senators Really, Really Want to Move Spending Bills This Time
Meeting on nomination rules changes gives way to talk of spending bills, comity

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., brought a chart of the Senate floor to the Rules Committee. (Rules and Administration Committee screenshot)

What could have been a contentious meeting about shortening Senate debate time for nominations turned into more of a bipartisan conversation among some of the most senior senators at taking another shot at moving regular spending bills.

“Let’s pick an appropriation bill, put some training wheels on it and head it to the floor. Let’s see how this works,” Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin said. “We’ve got to educate ourselves.”

Senate GOP Set to Revive Time Limits on Debating Nominees
Rules panel expected to advance changes along party lines

Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo., speaks to reporters Tuesday about the proposed rules changes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican senators will take a small step Wednesday toward speeding up the pace of confirming President Donald Trump’s nominees even as controversy swirls around his pick to head the Veterans Affairs Department. 

The proposal by Sen. James Lankford is not exactly new. In fact, it isn’t new at all.

Conservative Court Nominee Highlights Smoother Path to Bench
Previous political work no longer impedes confirmation chances

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has presided over a steady stream of judicial confirmations under President Donald Trump, a marked shift from when Barack Obama was president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:29 p.m. | Appeals court nominee Kyle Duncan has advocated on behalf of conservatives in legal fights over contentious cultural issues such as abortion and LGBT rights, leaving behind the kind of paper trail that might have dissuaded presidents from putting him through the Senate’s confirmation process.

Donald Trump is not such a president.

Roy Blunt: Playing the Inside Game and Scoring
Missouri’s GOP senator is proof the popular outsider play isn’t the only winning route

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., regained the chairmanship of the Rules and Administration Committee last week.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a political world where running against Washington has become one of the easiest paths to getting there, and where the ultimate outsider neophyte is president, Roy Blunt stands out as proof that the opposite approach sometimes still works.

Few in today’s Congress have succeeded as well, and for as long, at the inside game — where influence is cultivated and sustained by combining broad political and policy expertise along with deep interpersonal skill.

Three Big Hurdles for D.C. as Advocates Lobby for Statehood
Any form of Congress’ voting power would still have a few problems to overcome

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., speaks during a press conference to commemorate the renaming of the historic U.S. Post Office located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE in honor of Dr. Dorothy I. Height. Norton has been a longtime advocate of D.C. statehood. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call file photo)

Washington advocates used the leadup to Monday’s D.C. Emancipation Day celebrations to push once again for the District of Columbia to become a state.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., has been a leader in the D.C. statehood effort for decades — she’s known for asking to be referred around the Capitol as representative, despite her non-voting status. Norton spoke about D.C. statehood in Congress again Thursday night ahead of Emancipation Day.

Judiciary Chairman Calls Firing Mueller ‘Suicide’ for Trump
Grassley warns president against firing Mueller or Sessions, notes potential Supreme Court vacancy

Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley has a word of caution for President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley is warning President Donald Trump against removing Attorney General Jeff Sessions or Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

The Iowa Republican’s defense of Sessions, who faced criticism for recusing himself from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, seemed in part because Grassley thinks his committee may be facing the prospect of a Supreme Court nomination later in 2018.

Indiana Republicans Hope to Imitate Trump’s Success in Senate Primary
Early voting for May 8 primary starts Tuesday

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer, who is running for Senate, talks with Jean and Jim Northenor at the Kosciusko County Republican Fish Fry in Warsaw, Ind., on April 4. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

WARSAW, Ind. — Nine-dollar all-you-can-eat fried Alaska pollock brings out hungry Hoosiers — and plenty of politicians.

At last week’s Kosciusko County fish fry, a biennial fundraiser for the local GOP, all three Republican Senate candidates in Indiana worked the room of long communal tables laden with campaign literature.

Analysis: Can a President Preaching Change Lead a Party of Incumbents?
Trump ran as a disrupter, but that may not be enough to save House GOP this fall

President Donald Trump’s GOP currently represents the party of continuity, which does not bode well for its chances in November, Rothenberg writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

I have long argued that on the most fundamental level, all elections are choices between continuity and change.

The “in” party needs voters to believe that things are going well — or at least improving — while the “out” party needs to sell its message of change.

Aides: House Will Take Up Balanced-Budget Amendment Next Week
Democrats pan move as a face-saving gimmick

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., says a balanced-budget amendment has been one of his “highest priorities” during his time in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House will vote next week on a balanced-budget amendment authored by Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, GOP aides said Thursday.

The measure would bar Congress from spending more than the government takes in each year, unless three-fifths of each chamber voted to allow excess outlays. It would also require a three-fifths majority to raise the debt limit, a high bar for one of the most unpopular votes lawmakers take every few years.

Fact-Checking Trump’s Immigration Tweets
President sharpened attacks on Democrats over the weekend

President Donald Trump said over the weekend that DACA was “dead” because Democrats “didn’t care or act,” but there have been several efforts by members of both parties to solve the current crisis. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a series of tweets over the weekend and Monday morning, President Donald Trump made claims about immigration policy; border security; the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program; and the debate in Congress. Roll Call fact-checked some of Trump’s assertions, many of which are not true.

Trump first announced his intention to end DACA last September, and ordered the Homeland Security Department to begin winding the program down in early March. But two federal judges have blocked his efforts, leaving the program largely intact and keeping about 700,000 young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” in limbo.