Mark Walker

Ignoring GOP Pleas, Trump Sets Tariffs In Motion
Canada, Mexico initially exempt when import fees start March 23

President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb 23. His steel and aluminum tariffs will take effect March 23. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 4:22 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Thursday set in motion tariffs that will slap fees on many imports of steel and aluminum, moving ahead with a major part of his “America first” philosophy above the loud objections of Republican lawmakers.

“People are starting to realize how important it is,” Trump said just before signing in the Roosevelt Room. He said a “strong steel and aluminum industry” is “absolutely vital” for national security, predicting his action will trigger the reopening of American production facilities.

Omnibus Action Next Week Possible, but Obstacles Still Exist
‘For the moment we have a lot of work to do to iron these out,’ Pelosi said

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said much work remains to iron out issues on an omnibus spending bill that House GOP leaders hope to bring to the floor next week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The nearly six-month delayed fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill could be brought to the House floor next week, but appropriators are still encountering major obstacles in drafting a bipartisan bill — even with unrelated landmines cleared. 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said he would like to bring the omnibus to the floor next week, but during a week-end colloquy with House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, he did not announce it as a definite part of the upcoming floor schedule. Rather, he noted action on the spending package was “possible.”

107 House Republicans Urge Trump To Narrow Tariff Proposal
Letter suggests steps that can be taken to 'minimize negative consequences'

Ways and Means Kevin Brady, R-Texas, led a letter of House Republicans urging the president to take steps to minimize negative consequences if he moves forward with his plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nearly half of the House Republican Conference sent a letter to President Donald Trump Wednesday expressing “deep concern” about his plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and outlined steps he should take to minimize negative consequences.

Led by Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert, the letter reflects warnings that congressional Republicans have been communicating to Trump since he announced plans last week to impose a broadly applied 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports.

North Carolina Delegation on Swapping Out a White Supremacist for Billy Graham
Statue of Charles Aycock would come down to put Graham up following his death on Wednesday

Tourists pass by the statue of Charles Brantley Aycock in the Crypt of the U.S. Capitol. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When the Rev. Billy Graham died last week at the age of 99, it set in motion a plan to memorialize him in the U.S. Capitol — and to kick out a white supremacist.

Graham will briefly lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. But his likeness could endure in the building for much longer than that.

House Budget Being Drafted Despite Nearly Insurmountable Obstacles
Topline spending levels, no path to reconciliation among reasons lawmakers to oppose

House Budget Chairman Steve Womack is writing a fiscal 2019 budget resolution despite major obstacles to passing it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Obstacles to House Republicans passing a fiscal 2019 budget resolution appear insurmountable and have some members questioning why the Budget Committee is even planning to write one. 

Exactly half of the 22 Republicans on the Budget panel — more than enough to block a partisan budget resolution — voted against last week’s budget deal that set fiscal 2019 topline spending levels of $647 billion for defense and $597 billion for nondefense. Under the agreement, House and Senate leaders committed to those topline numbers if their chambers decide to advance fiscal 2019 budget resolutions.

House Republicans’ Immigration Bill Not Ready for Floor Action
Whip team says they will continue to refine the legislation

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and his team did a whip count on a GOP immigration bill, and it showed the measure wasn’t quite ready for a floor vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans’ preferred immigration bill is not ready for a floor vote, a Wednesday whip check showed, but leadership is expected to continue working it.

The bill by House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte and Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul is the most conservative of the proposals House and Senate lawmakers and the White House have floated for addressing the coming expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The House Staring Contest: Pelosi and Ryan
Speaker hemmed in by Democrats on one side, conservative Republicans on the other

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi leaves the House chamber Wednesday after ending her eight-hour speech on the floor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is in a staring contest with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi over immigration that could result in a government shutdown.

But if the Wisconsin Republican blinks, he will likely push conservatives, many of them already at a boiling point with his leadership, over the edge.

House Leaders Face Threats of Intraparty Rebellion on Budget Deal
Conservatives are already balking and DACA proponents could be right behind

Speaker Paul D. Ryan arrives in the Capitol on Jan. 29. Ryan is already facing conservative opposition from his GOP conference to the reported budget deal in the works. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Republicans’ day of reckoning is almost here.

As early as Wednesday, the four corners of congressional leadership are expected to announce a sweeping budget deal that could increase the sequestration spending caps by nearly $300 billion over two years, extend the debt ceiling without any spending changes designed to reduce the deficit, and appropriate more than $80 billion for disaster relief without pay-fors.

House Passes Stopgap Bill as Hill Leaders Work on Spending Caps
Work on a longer-term deal is ongoing

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Tuesday he was “very optimistic” about striking a spending caps deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House passed legislation Tuesday to extend agency operating budgets at current levels for another six weeks, as congressional leaders worked behind closed doors to shape a longer-term deal that could dramatically boost discretionary spending across the government.

The House vote was 245-182 on the temporary spending bill, which would also provide a full year’s worth of Pentagon appropriations as well as a package of health care funding extensions. There were 17 Democrats backing the measure, while eight Republicans opposed it.

House GOP Plan Likely to Set Up Funding Bill Volley with Senate
House Democrats retreat may fall victim to latest funding strategy

Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker said the plan to fully fund the Defense Department through the end of fiscal 2018 while keeping the remaining agencies running on a stopgap schedule was “the right move.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican leaders on Monday finally agreed to execute a government funding strategy conservatives and defense hawks have been pushing for months: fully fund the Department of Defense through the end of fiscal 2018 while keep the remaining agencies running through a fifth a stopgap measure.

The play call in advance of the Feb. 8 government funding deadline all but assures a volley with the Senate, which is expected to reject the House GOP measure.