Texas

Trump Fatigue? GOP Senators to Hear Directly From President, Again
Former aide: 'No such thing as too much coordination' between Hill, president

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. — flanked from left by Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Barrasso, R-Wyo.,  John Thune, R-S. D., Bill Cassidy, R-La., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. —  and the rest of the GOP conference will hear directly from President Donald Trump on Tuesday at the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Republicans hear from President Donald Trump frequently — on the phone, on the golf course and on Twitter. They will hear from him in person Tuesday when he joins them for lunch at the Capitol.

Perhaps more than recent past presidents, the 45th chief executive lets members know just how he feels about both policy and politics. And frequently, Trump’s public displays of honesty can throw confusion into members’ attempts to reach consensus on legislation that requires his signature.

In GOP Retirements, Some See an Omen
As the Ways and Means exodus continues, observers wonder what it means for tax overhaul

Rep. Dave Reichert, shown here in 2015, is one of seven Republicans on the powerful Ways and Means Committee who have announced they will leave Congress or retire. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The departure of key Ways and Means Republicans could be a sign of diminished optimism for major legislative achievements, but some GOP observers say it may actually signal confidence about getting a landmark tax bill signed into law.

Six Republicans on the powerful committee with broad sway over taxes, health care and trade are running for higher office or planning to retire at the end of this term while the GOP is at the height of its power in Washington.

Disaster Program Issues Loom Over Future Aid
As lawmakers dole out millions for Texas and Puerto Rico, oversight problems remain

A U.S. Army soldier tosses bottled water provided by FEMA to be passed on to residents in a neighborhood without grid electricity or running water on Oct. 17 in San Isidro, Puerto Rico. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

As lawmakers shuttle multiple supplemental spending packages through Congress to address the devastation from one of the worst hurricane seasons on record, federal audit reports show major ongoing problems with federal agencies’ ability to ensure money is spent correctly.

Tens of billions of dollars are expected to flow from two major sources: the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund and the Community Development Block Grant program, administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. But multiple federal watchdog reports demonstrate that lawmakers are in some cases funding repairs with little ability to ensure the work complies with federal law.

Ryan Takes Jabs at Trump at New York Fundraiser
House speaker does not spare Schumer, Weiner or Bannon in his standup delivery

President Donald Trump greets Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., after addressing a joint session of Congress in the Capitol's House Chamber in February. On Thursday, Ryan had a little fun at the president’s expense. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan jumped at the opportunity Thursday to poke a little fun at President Donald Trump’s expense.

The Wisconsin Republican delivered a series of jokes, many aimed at the president’s tweeting habits, ego, and former chief political strategist Steve Bannon at a formal charity dinner in New York.

Johnson Backs Away From Sexual Harassment Remarks
Texas congresswoman said she remembered when ‘it was as much the woman’s responsibility as the man’s’

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, walked back her comments about sexual assault. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson walked back comments she made about women sharing responsibility in sexual harassment and assault.

The Texas Democrat’s remarks were initially in response to allegations about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulting numerous women.

Don’t Hike Deficits With Tax Package, Ads Warn GOP Senators
Collins, Corker among lawmakers targeted

A new group launched ads this week urging Republicans in 20 states, including Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, not to raise deficits as they seek to revise the tax code. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Texas billionaires John and Laura Arnold are bankrolling a new lobbying effort aimed at leading lawmakers away from the temptation of a tax overhaul that would increase deficits. 

Citizens for Responsible Tax Reform launched print advertisements targeting Republicans in 20 states Thursday, including Kentucky, the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul. The group plans additional television and online ad buys as Congress and the White House debate an overhaul of the nation’s tax code, spokesman Blake Gober said.

Word on the Hill: King of the Hill
Senate Democrats celebrating birthdays

Team photograph of The RBIs of Texas after winning the King of the Hill softball championship game. (Courtesy Bill Christian)

The Senate is the King of the Hill. Well, at least in staffer softball.

The annual King of the Hill softball championship game was Thursday and the RBIs of Texas, the Senate team, beat the Texas Republic, the House team, 16-12.

Meet Pat Tiberi, the Latest Soon-to-Be-Ex-Congressman
Ohio policy wonk liked his bocce

Pat Tiberi succeeded his former boss in the House, John Kasich. (Ian Wagreich/Roll Call)

Rep. Pat Tiberi, the Ohio Republican who announced it was quitting time on Thursday, is a serious policy wonk with deep political roots in the Buckeye State and a big fan of bocce, befitting his celebration of his Italian heritage.

An unapologetic Midwestern Rotary Club-type Republican in the mode of his political patrons, former Speaker John A. Boehner and Gov. John R. Kasich, Tiberi will leave Congress by Jan. 31 — before his ninth term in the House ends — and become head of the Ohio Business Roundtable.

George W. Bush Delivers Scathing Rebuke of Trump Presidency
'The health of the democratic spirit is at issue,' 43rd president warns

Former President George W. Bush makes remarks during a ceremony honoring former Vice President Dick Cheney in the Capitol Visitor Center in 2015. On Thursday, he delivered a warning about Donald Trump’s presidency. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Former President George W. Bush on Thursday delivered a scathing warning about Donald Trump, saying his “America first” philosophy portends a dangerous inward turn that is eroding democracy at home and threatening stability around the world.

“The health of the democratic spirit is at issue,” the 43rd president said during a speech in New York. “And the renewal of that spirit is the urgent task at hand.”

Kid Rock’s Stage and Screen Path to Political Spotlight Well-Worn
Reagan was the prototype, but many have tried to follow his lead

President Ronald Reagan set the bar for entertainers who aspire to political office. He is shown here at his inauguration in 1981. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Ronald Reagan was perhaps the highest-profile entertainer who decided to give politics a try.