Louisiana

Senate Panel Sends Message By Advancing Mueller Bill
A warning to Trump even if special counsel protections don’t become law

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to provide job protection for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, but it faces major obstacles. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday to give protections to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III, which senators said sent a message to President Donald Trump even if it has major hurdles to ever becoming law.

Although the 14-7 vote on the measure split Republicans, the message from the committee to Trump was clear.

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.

Podcast: GOP Farm Bill Targets Food Stamps, Heads for House Vote
CQ Budget, Episode 57

House Agriculture Chairman K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, at podium, aims to have a House vote on the GOP-written farm bill in early May . Flanking him, from left, Reps. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., James R. Comer, R-Ky., Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Ralph Abraham, R-La., Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, and Rick W. Allen, R-Ga.  (Ellyn Ferguson/CQ Roll Call)

Who Can Fill Paul Ryan’s Shoes in the House GOP?
He may be retiring from Congress, but that doesn’t mean he’s going away

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who kept a fractured party together and raised gobs of campaign cash, could be a tough act to follow. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The brain drain from departing House Republicans with policy expertise had sparked worry among party insiders even before Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced his plans to retire.

Now, the extraordinary attrition, along with a potentially brutal upcoming midterm campaign, is enough to send the GOP into panic mode.

Floor Charts for the Floor Show
Our favorite visual aids from congressional floor-watching

(Courtesy @FloorCharts screenshot of C-SPAN)

From tributes to senators to hours of testimony from a tech giant, spring has been a visual mixed bag in Congress.

Lawmakers like these oversized and sometimes garish visual aids because they help them get their point across. The Twitter handle @FloorCharts posts some of the daily highlights, and we’re doing a monthly roundup of the best of the best.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
The new Beethoven, e-Waste Disposal Day and military children on the Hill

From left, Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., and Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, stop to chat with Miss South Carolina Tori Sizemore and Miss Louisiana Lauren Vizza as they arrive at the Capitol for the final votes of the week on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Why the Speaker Race Won’t Fade Away Until November
Potential candidates lack a path to 218 votes and need time to build coalitions

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is the front-runner to succeed retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., but there is a long way to go until the November elections. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans don’t know if they will be holding a speaker’s race or a contest for minority leader come November, but that isn’t stopping them from preparing for the former. 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the leading candidate to replace retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan, needs more time to build sufficient support to win a still-hypothetical speaker’s race. The same goes for other members eyeing the position.

Meet the Dogs of the Senate, Round III
Canine friends in the offices of Blunt, Merkley, Kennedy and Ernst

Juneau’s smile adds one to the face of everyone in Sen. Jeff Merkley's office. (Courtesy Sen. Jeff Merkley’s office)

There are a lot of dogs available for belly rubs or paw-shaking roaming the halls of Congress.

We gave you another round of dogs of the House on Monday. And back by popular demand, here is another round of dogs of the Senate.

Dragging an Energy Bill From the Ashes
For their bipartisan bill, Murkowski and Cantwell are willing to try, try again

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski and ranking member Maria Cantwell, here in 2016, are still hoping their bipartisan bill will get somewhere this session. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid a forest of judicial appointments and other Trump administration confirmation votes, lawmakers pushing a bipartisan energy and natural resources bill in the Senate are still taking whacks in hope of moving legislation — or parts of it — before the end of this Congress.

The bill would represent the first major energy policy update in a decade, with provisions to bolster cybersecurity, speed up permits for energy infrastructure and promote energy efficiency. It could represent a rare opportunity for energy-state lawmakers to bring home some policy victories ahead of the midterm election.

New Twists Emerge in Leadership Race to Replace Paul Ryan
Conservative Freedom Caucus founder Jim Jordan says he’d consider a run

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, holds his jacket over his head as he walks down the House steps in a light rain following a vote on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two twists emerged Friday in the leadership race to replace retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan. House Freedom Caucus founding member Jim Jordan said he’d consider a run while Ryan endorsed Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“There is no speaker’s race right now,” Jordan told reporters. “Paul Ryan is the speaker. If and when there is, I’ve been urged by colleagues to consider that and I am definitely open to that. Right now though the focus has got to be on the next six months, us keeping the majority.”