Kansas

3 yards and a cloud of shutdown
What’s next in the partial government shutdown border wall standoff? Who knows?

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., speaks with a reporter as he boards the Senate subway in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Three yards and a cloud of dust was how Ohio State University coach Woody Hayes described his style of football, a steady, if unglamorous and gritty, progress toward the goal line.

The negotiations over the partial government shutdown — although the term negotiation is used loosely here — could be described as minus-three yards and a cloud of dust. Instead of progress, the president and the Senate Judiciary chairman say a national emergency should be invoked, despite the legal tenuousness of such a move.

Roberts’ retirement likely to spark crowded GOP primary
Roberts announced Friday he would not run for re-election

Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts is not running for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts announced Friday that he would not run for re-election in 2020, launching what is expected to be a competitive Republican primary for his seat. 

“I have had the honor and privilege of representing Kansas for 16 years in the House, 22 years so far in the Senate,” Roberts said at an event in Manhattan, Kansas, on Friday. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would become the longest serving member of Congress in Kansas history.”

Congress, Trump Basically Give Up on Ending Partial Shutdown Until 2019
Negotiations stalled as Senate, House only schedule pro forma sessions until New Year

The hallways in the Capitol have largely been devoid of lawmakers, who have for the most part punted on a solution for the partial government shutdown until 2019. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Congress and President Donald Trump are basically giving up on reaching a deal to end the government’s partial shutdown for 2018, throwing in the towel until the New Year and a new Congress. 

The White House and Senate Republican leaders on Thursday signaled it will then be up to Trump and the likely incoming Democratic speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to find a solution.

Even at Farm Bill Signing, For Trump It’s All About the Wall
President signs five-year reauthorization at White House, but talks about border standoff

Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee, helped shepherd the farm bill to passage. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump signed the 2018 farm bill after entering the ceremony to the theme from the “Green Acres” sitcom of the 1960s about a city slicker and his society wife who move to the country to become hobby farmers. But before praising farmers, Trump renewed his demand for $5 billion in border wall funding, making much of the ceremony about the ongoing fight over the border wall and an ensuing government shutdown. 

Trump called securing the U.S.-Mexico border an “absolute duty,” saying “any measure that funds the government has to include border security — has to.”

Postal Service Prayer: Deliver Us From Fiscal Doom
White House stops short of calls for outright privatization, but big changes could lie ahead

United States Postal Service employee Gloria Hinton participates in a rally in Washington in 2011. Over the last decade, mail volume has tanked but package delivery has become more important than ever. The White House is calling for a legislative overhaul, but conflict with Congress could get in the way. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

The United States Postal Service faces a major policy shakeup at a time when package delivery has become more central to Americans’ lives than ever.

A growing reliance on e-commerce has driven demand for direct-to-door shipping for everything from textbooks to toothbrushes. And to the casual observer, USPS is playing what looks like a seamless part in the process, with more and more packages delivered the “last mile” to customers’ doors by government workers.

Here Are the House Members Who Have Skipped Votes This Lame-Duck Session
Most of the absentees are members who lost re-election, ran for another office or are retiring

The lame-duck session of Congress has seen its fair share of absenteeism in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

More than 40 percent of House members have missed at least one vote this lame-duck session, leading to attendance problems that have prohibited the outgoing Republican majority from advancing legislation that Democrats don’t want to help them pass — and a smaller subset have missed at least half of all lame-duck votes.

There have been only 20 House roll call votes since the lame-duck session started on Nov. 13, but 17 members have missed at least half of them. Of those 17 repeat offenders, 11 are Republicans and six are Democrats.

Trump Set to Sign Farm Bill, Minus the Food Stamp Changes He Wanted
Planned signing comes a day before current stopgap government funding expires

Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Pat Roberts expect to attend the farm bill signing later this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers expect President Donald Trump to sign the farm bill legislation Thursday even though it excludes Republican priorities Trump supported such as changes to food stamps.

Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas and ranking member Debbie Stabenow of Michigan plan to be at the White House, though the former said Tuesday that he doesn’t have a time or any details.

Senators Preparing to Punt Spending Fight to February
Trump signals that he’s backing away from his demand of $5 billion for border wall in spending package

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier Tuesday that he would consider punting the appropriations fight into next year, with the caveat he had to see what the White House was willing to accept. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional leaders are moving closer to a stopgap funding bill that would save Christmas, but push off final decisions on fiscal 2019 spending until early February.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby said the Senate was preparing to advance a continuing resolution for all seven unfinished spending bills that would last until early February.

22 Images That Defined 2018 in Congress: Photos of the Year
Roll Call’s photographers captured moments from the halls of Congress to the campaign trail

1. FEBRUARY 7: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks with reporters as she leaves the House chamber in the Capitol after holding her filibuster focusing on DACA for eight-plus hours. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

2018 is wrapping up on the Hill, while uncertainty remains on federal funding for much of the government in fiscal 2019. In short, it’s another year in Congress

Roll Call reviewed its archives from Capitol Hill to Laguna Beach, California (and all the campaigns in between), and picked 22 of our favorite images from the year.

Senators Think Former U.S. Olympics CEO Lied to Congress
Moran and Blumenthal make referral for possible prosecution

Sens. Jerry Moran and Richard Blumenthal have referred a former USOC chief for possible prosecution. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The leaders of a Senate subcommittee investigating the Olympic sexual abuse scandal has now referred a former head of the U.S. Olympic Committee for possible prosecution.

Kansas GOP Sen. Jerry Moran and Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal think USOC CEO Scott Blackmun may have lied to Congress as part of his testimony before their Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security.