Georgia

House Republicans Increase Messaging Votes Ahead of August Recess
GOP leaders prepare for break by seeking contrast with minority party

Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., sees value in some of the messaging votes the House will take up before the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House floor is seeing an uptick in messaging bills as Republicans prepare for a monthlong district work period in a midterm year when they are defending most of the seats in play.

Case in point was a resolution the House adopted Wednesday expressing support for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and rejecting calls to abolish the agency — a stance some progressive Democrats are pushing.

Trump Helsinki Remarks Expose GOP Divide on Foreign Policy
Security hawks and presidential loyalists split on significance of Finland summit

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., has defended President Donald Trump in the wake of the Helsinki summit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s much-maligned performance at Monday’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin has deepened the Republican Party’s divide between traditional security hawks who want to stand up to Russia and conservatives who want to stay loyal to the president.

Democrats and several high-ranking Republicans condemned Trump’s comments in Helsinki, saying he accepted Putin’s assertions there was no Russian government-ordered campaign to swing the 2016 election in his favor, despite assessments to the contrary by the U.S. intelligence community.

GOP Messaging Vote on Democrats’ ‘Abolish ICE’ Bill Set to Backfire
Democrats prepared to vote ‘no’ and make debate about family separations

From left, Reps. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., John Lewis, D-Ga., Judy Chu, D-Calif., Al Green, D-Texas, Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., and others march in Washington on June 13 to protest the Trump administration’s family separation policy at the southern border. Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., appears in the back at center. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican leaders are planning a vote this month on a progressive bill to terminate the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, but their plan to put Democrats on record on an issue that divides the minority party looks like it will backfire. 

Democrats say they’ll make the debate about families that have been separated at the border — an issue that needs a permanent legislative fix that Republicans do not yet have a solution for that can pass the House.

Foreign Relations Panel Shows Bipartisan Scorn for Administration Trade Agenda
Tough questions from both sides of aisle, liberal, conservative witnesses

Josh Bolten, right, CEO of the Business Roundtable, talks with Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., after a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Dirksen Building titled "Tariffs: Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy and the International Economy," on July 12, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker was candid with the State Department witness that appeared before his committee at a hearing on Trump administration trade policy Thursday morning.

“You are going to be cannon fodder this morning, and I don’t think you are really prepared to defend the policies in an appropriate manner,” the Tennessee Republican told Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Manisha Singh.

House Republicans Trust Jim Jordan Did Not Ignore Ohio State Sex Abuse
Colleagues come to Ohio Republican’s defense, calling him honest, honorable and trustworthy

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has denied allegations he ignored sexual abuse while coaching wrestling at Ohio State University. House Republicans are defending him as honest and trustworthy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Honest, honorable and trustworthy — these are all attributes House Republicans have ascribed to Rep. Jim Jordan as they’ve reacted skeptically to allegations that the Freedom Caucus founder ignored sexual abuse while an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University. 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who like Jordan are considered potential candidates to replace retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan, were among those who defended the Ohio lawmaker. 

McConnell Gets Personal Discussing Polio
Majority leader makes argument for disease eradication programs

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discussed his own history with battling polio, as well as the value of U.S. polio eradication efforts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s main fight for the next few months will be to get President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee out of the Senate. But the same morning that the effort to confirm Brett Kavanaugh truly kicked off, the Kentucky Republican took time to discuss a more personal battle: his childhood struggle with polio.

Speaking at a conference on polio eradication at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, McConnell affirmed United States financial support for the effort to vaccinate children and track the few remaining cases worldwide.

Trump to Montanans: ‘Tester Doesn’t Share Your Values’
Democratic senator ‘showed his true colors‘ on Jackson VA nomination, president says

President Donald Trump, here at a rally in Michigan in April, was in Montana on Thursday to help state Auditor Matt Rosendale in his bid to oust Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

Updated 8:56 p.m. | President Donald Trump wasted little time at a Montana rally Thursday painting Democratic Sen. Jon Tester as a “liberal” who tells Big Sky Country residents one thing and then votes the opposite way.

“I see Jon Tester saying nice things about me, but I say, ‘But he never votes for me,’” the president said of Tester’s votes against most of the Republicans’ top agenda items. “Tester doesn’t share your values. … Jon Tester says one thing when he’s in Montana. But I’m telling you … he does the exact opposite.”

This One’s Personal: Trump Heads to Montana With Grudge Against Tester
President once called Democratic senator ‘sick’ for handling of Jackson nomination

President Donald Trump, pictured at a recent campaign rally in South Carolina, heads to Montana on Thursday for a campaign rally for Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, who is in a tight race. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

When the president hits the stage Thursday in Great Falls, Montana, it likely won’t be your average Donald Trump political rally. This one’s personal.

That’s because Trump is heading to Big Sky Country to do more than just gin up Republican voters and try to take away a Democratic Senate seat in a traditionally red state. He has a personal score to settle with the state’s senior senator, Democrat Jon Tester, whom he has called “very dishonest.”

US Spending Less to Secure World’s Nuclear Bomb Materials
Slowdown in nonproliferation spending contrasts with nuclear weapons upgrade

President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2019 budget request for “core” nuclear nonproliferation programs at the Energy Department is fully 18 percent lower than the level of funding such programs had eight years ago. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Terrorists are avowedly trying to build nuclear bombs, but U.S. spending to safeguard the world’s atomic materials has dipped in recent years — and President Donald Trump plans to keep it that way, according to budget documents, independent experts and lawmakers.

An Energy-Water spending bill passed last week by the Senate in a package with two other spending measures proposes a slight increase for nuclear security programs. But it would still leave the budget for those efforts far below what it was just a few years ago.

Photos of the Week: Summer Arrives in Earnest on Capitol Hill
The week of June 25 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., takes a shot as the Democratic team captain Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., looks on from the golf cart during the First Tee’s Congressional Challenge annual golf tournament at the Columbia Country Club golf course Monday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Congress has left town for the 4th of July recess week. As the jet fumes fade, the heat is up in the swamp with temperatures expected in the high 90s. We hope your air conditioner is functioning properly.

Before lawmakers left, the Senate passed several appropriations bills, but the process could slow as the chamber’s focus will presumably shift toward a possible Supreme Court nominee. (President Donald Trump is reportedly considering names now.)