Richard J Durbin

After Self-Created Drama, Trump Signs Omnibus
After grousing about deal, president asks for line-item veto

President Donald Trump on Friday first threatened to veto a massive government funding bill only to later sign it into law. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Updated at 2:24 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Friday backed down from a seemingly out-of-the-blue veto threat when he signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package that averts a government shutdown he nearly triggered after lawmakers left town.

The double presidential about-face came on yet another chaotic day at Trump’s White House. Aides, Secret Service agents and journalists scurried about for hours, with the dramatics culminating with Trump announcing a 1 p.m. press conference for which his staff was clearly not prepared.

Photos of the Week: Snow and the Threat of a Veto
The omnibus cleared both chambers and awaits Trump’s signature

Snow falls Wednesday. The Office of Personnel Management closed federal offices throughout Washington, but Congress remained open. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The week of March 19 neared its close as Washington waited. Veto or signature. Funding or shutdown.

Remember? It snowed this week. 

DCCC Adds Two Black Candidates to Red to Blue
Women now make up the majority of 33 candidates in program

Texas Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones made the DCCC’s Red to Blue list. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is releasing its fourth round of Red to Blue candidates Thursday. 

The nine latest additions include two African-Americans. The DCCC had been criticized for not including any black candidates on the list so far this cycle.

Illinois Primaries: Ratings Changes in Two Races
Land of Lincoln may help Democrats gain seats

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., narrowly survived a primary challenge Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Illinois primaries are in the books, setting the stage for an important batch of congressional elections in November. 

Assuming Democrat Conor Lamb is certified as the winner of the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, Democrats still need a net gain of 23 seats to win the House majority. That’s a wide enough gap that Democrats, instead of cherry-picking victories around the country, will look to score big in a handful of states. Illinois might be one of them.

Most Illinois General Election Match-Ups Set for November
Democrats are targeting four GOP-held seats in Prairie State

Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan will face off against Republican Rep. Rodney Davis in Illinois’ 13th District. (Courtesy Betsy Dirksen Londrigan for Congress/YouTube)

Updated 3/21/18

Tuesday’s Democratic primaries in Illinois are setting the stage for general election match-ups in four Republican-held districts that Democrats are targeting in November.

Illinois Democrats Seek to Chip Away at Republicans’ House Majority
Second-in-nation primaries set stage for targeting GOP seats

Democrats are targeting four GOP-held seats in Illinois, where voters head to the primaries Tuesday. (Composite by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats are targeting four seats in Illinois, where voters will pick their nominees Tuesday in the second congressional primaries of the year. 

It’s an early test for the party’s ability to nominate candidates it thinks are viable in the general election. Unlike in Texas, which held the cycle’s first primaries two weeks ago, there are no runoffs in Illinois. So a simple plurality would be enough to advance to the November general election. 

Rep. Patrick Meehan, Staple of the Game, Missing From Congressional Hockey Roster
The 10th annual game puck drops Thursday

Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Meehan, right, battles for the puck during the fourth annual Congressional Hockey Challenge in 2012. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers are gearing up for the 10th annual Congressional Hockey Challenge on Thursday with one major teammate missing from their roster.

Arguably Congress’ biggest hockey fanatic and a former professional hockey referee, Rep. Patrick Meehan is not slated to play. The Pennsylvania Republican is facing accusations of sexual harassment and using taxpayer funds to settle a misconduct case with a former staffer. He is not running for re-election.

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.

Democratic Leaders Request FBI Funding to Stop Russian Influence in Midterms
Also call for release of public report

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, right, and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer make their way to the Senate floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Key Democratic lawmakers urged Republican leadership Wednesday to include additional FBI funding in the fiscal 2018 spending bill to combat possible Russian interference in the upcoming midterm elections.

The request comes after the Justice Department charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies Friday over alleged attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

Rep. Rodney Davis Recalls Lessons From His Staffer Days
Illinois Republican was longtime projects director for Rep. John Shimkus

Rep. Rodney Davis talks about a picture of himself, fellow Illinois Rep. John Shimkus and former Vice President Dan Quayle, taken when Davis worked in Shimkus’ office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Rodney Davis was a staffer in fellow Republican Rep. John Shimkus’ Illinois office before running for Congress.

Davis, now 48, worked for Shimkus for 16 years.