Patrick J Toomey

Democrats Irked by Latest Judicial Confirmation Hearing
Senate committee moves forward without a blue slip from Pennsylvania Democrat Bob Casey

Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey was not on board with a federal appeals court pick from his state, but the Judiciary Committee moved forward anyway. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing Wednesday for a fourth federal appeals court pick who didn’t get approval from one of his home-state senators, causing more consternation from Democrats that the White House was cutting them out of the nomination process.

This time, Sen. Bob Casey did not give his approval for the confirmation hearing. The Pennsylvania Democrat opposes the nomination of David Porter for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit based in Philadelphia.

Trump Uses Flags, Military Troops to Make a Political Point
Sens. Booker, Kaine among critics worried about president's recent actions

President Donald Trump speaks at a "Celebration of America" event at the White House that replaced an event with the NFL Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles and returned to one of his favorite topics: the national anthem. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday brought his feud with the NFL and some of its players over national anthem protests to his backdoor — literally. And that’s when something rare happened that shows just how polarizing his presidency and the racially tinged anthem debate has been.

A sitting president of the United States, flanked by Army and Marine Corps personnel, was heckled while standing just steps from the Oval Office.

Allies, Lawmakers Brace for Fallout of Steel, Aluminum Tariffs
“‘Make America Great Again’ shouldn’t mean ‘Make America 1929 Again,’” Sasse says

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, here at the Capitol in 2016, said it was “simply ridiculous” to see trade with his country as a threat to U.S. national security. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mexico, Canada and the European Union threatened to retaliate with tariffs on American-made goods after the Trump administration announced that it would reimpose steel and aluminum tariffs, as it tries to pressure them to crack down on imports of the metals from China, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday.

The tariffs will take effect Friday. U.S. companies that import steel from Canada, Mexico and the 28-nation EU will pay an additional 25 percent duty on steel and a 10 percent duty on aluminum.

The Political Turnpike Runs Through Pennsylvania
Resignations, retirements and redistricting scramble the midterm calculus

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If you’re confused about what comes next in Pennsylvania, even after this week’s primary elections set the midterm slate, don’t worry. That just means you’re paying attention. 

Republicans Grouse Over Tariffs but Lack Plan to Cool Trade Tiff
As China retaliates, lawmakers air unease without threatening to counter Trump

Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., urged the Trump administration to think of farmers in her state but stopped short of threatening legislative action on tariffs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When lawmakers return from recess next week, they are likely to be besieged by various industries seeking protection from the economic fallout of the trade fight between the Trump administration and China that threatens to impose $50 billion in retaliatory duties on U.S. exports.

But the Republican-controlled Congress may not be able to do more than collectively wring its hands, in contrast to the leverage lawmakers have under Trade Promotion Authority to accept or reject a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement.

Burr Says States Should Determine Age Limits on Guns
But says there are points of agreements on gun laws in Congress

Sen.  Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, said he is open to some gun measures but thinks age restrictions should be left to states. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Richard Burr said there are points of “common agreement” in Congress on gun laws, but that states should determine age restrictions on buying weapons.

Speaking to CBS 17 in Wilson, the North Carolina Republican responded to questions about tighter gun legislation in the wake of the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in February.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke Raises $6.7 Million in First Three Months of 2018
Texas Democrat looking to close the gap on incumbent GOP Sen. Ted Cruz

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, raised $6.7 million in the first three months of 2018, his campaign announced Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke, who is challenging Republican incumbent Ted Cruz, raised a stunning $6.7 million in the first three months of the year, the Democratic congressman’s campaign announced Tuesday.

O’Rourke, who represents Texas’ 16th District in the state’s western tip around El Paso, had already raised roughly $1.5 million more than the incumbent last year.

Omnibus Unlikely to Defund 'Sanctuary' Cities
Senate appropriator says it would make it too difficult to pass

Sen. John Boozman said it was unlikely the Senate would move to defund sanctuary cities, as House conservatives are pushing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A top Senate appropriator said Tuesday the final omnibus spending bill would likely not include a provision to defund “sanctuary” cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., suggested in two posts on Twitter that Congress should withhold federal grants for sanctuary cities in the omnibus. His remarks follow the Trump administration’s decision to sue California over three state immigration laws, escalating a battle over sanctuary jurisdictions that began shortly after President Donald Trump took office.

Trump Intensifies War on California’s Immigrant ‘Sanctuaries’
So far, little to show for effort to crack down on illegal immigration

Protesters arrive at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles during a march on Feb. 28. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

The legal struggle over immigrant “sanctuaries” is escalating, and deep-blue California is ground zero.

“This is basically going to war,” Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown said after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week that the Trump administration is suing the state over three recently enacted laws limiting local and state law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration agents.

Gun Debate Unfolds Outside of Senate Judiciary Panel’s Confines
Grassley uses White House meeting to brief Trump

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley used a meeting last week to explain to President Donald Trump the committee’s role in moving gun-related legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley used a White House meeting last week to explain to President Donald Trump the panel’s role in getting a consensus and moving legislation dealing with gun violence and school shootings.

But before the Iowa Republican could finish, Trump pivoted right back to negotiating provisions about age restrictions for gun purchases, a proposal championed by two senators who aren’t on the committee, Pennsylvania Republican Patrick J. Toomey and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin III.