Politics

White House Team Might Still Head to North Korea Summit Site
Trump, Kim Jong Un talk about reviving nuclear talks

South Koreans watch a television broadcast reporting the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at Seoul Railway Station on March 28 in Seoul, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

A White House “advance team” slated to head to Singapore in preparation for the president’s canceled summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might still make the trip.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday left open the possibility and reiterated that President Donald Trump still wants to meet with Kim about a nuclear disarmament pact. That came one day after Trump canceled the June 12 meeting, concluding the North’s change in behavior from receptive to chilly to hostile meant Kim had gotten cold feet.

Shovels Down: White House Drives Dagger Into Infrastructure Bill
Administration ‘optimistic’ about a farm bill this year, Short says

Workers take a break near the presidential inauguration construction site on the West Front of the Capitol on Dec. 8, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House formally drove a dagger into the passage this year of the kind of massive infrastructure package called for by President Donald Trump.

What is on the White House’s legislative agenda for the rest of the year includes another tax package, a farm bill, more federal judiciary nominations — and possibly immigration legislation.

Farenthold to Keep Lobbying Job After Board Deadlocks
After hiring disgraced former congressman in closed meeting, board holds public meeting to reconsider

The hiring of former Rep. Blake Farenthold as a lobbyist has divided the board of the Calhoun Port Authority in Texas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold will get to keep his job as a lobbyist for the Calhoun Port Authority after a board vote on whether to fire him ended in deadlock.

A vote by the authority’s board Thursday on whether it should fire the former Republican congressman was tied, with three members voting for the motion and three voting against it, the Victoria Advocate reported.

Trump Says MS-13, North Korea Show Democrats Have ‘Lost Touch’
President lashes out after Dems blame him for summit cancellation

President Donald Trump addresses the press before departing for Dallas, Texas, where he made an appearance at at the National Rifle Association convention earlier this month. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday said congressional Democrats “have lost touch,” accusing the opposition party of rooting against his attempts to disarm North Korea and coddling members of the violent MS-13 gang.

The president on Thursday thanked a bipartisan group of lawmakers who helped pass a bill that eases financial regulations before he signed it at the White House. But the next morning, he tweeted that “Democrats are so obviously rooting against us in our negotiations with North Korea.”

Rohrabacher Says It’s OK to Not Sell Homes to Gay People
Assertion costs California congressman support of Realtors group, earns scorn from others

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., said people should be allowed to discriminate against LGBT people. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher lost the support of a national Realtors group after he said they should be allowed to refuse to sell houses to lesbian and gay people.

Rohrabacher made the comments to an Orange County Association of Realtors delegation in Washington, the Orange County Register reported.

McConnell to Senate: Don’t Book Nonrefundable Travel for August Recess
Kentucky Republican has a lengthy summer legislative agenda

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is hinting at an extended summer of Senate work. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators and staffers should enjoy the Memorial Day recess, because it might be a long summer on Capitol Hill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is far from waving off the idea that he might truncate the August recess, and doing the math on the amount of floor time needed for his current legislative agenda seems to point to one thing: extra work weeks.

Senators Ponder: How Forthcoming Should Judicial Candidates Be?
Republicans push back on Democratic concerns over responses to school desegregation question

Democrats say U.S. District Court nominee Wendy Vitter did not clearly endorse the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, but Republicans pushed back on that characterization. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced two judicial nominees Thursday amid an ongoing debate over how forthcoming candidates should be about their views on established Supreme Court decisions, particularly the landmark school desegregation ruling from 64 years ago.

All Democrats on the committee voted against Andrew Oldham to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit based in New Orleans, and Wendy Vitter to be a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Among their objections: They say the nominees did not clearly endorse the high court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education during their confirmation hearings.

Photos of the Week: Members Dash to Memorial Day Recess as California Primaries Heat Up
The week of May 21 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., leaves the Capitol on Thursday after the last votes in the House before the Memorial Day recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Activity on the Hill has ground to a halt ahead of the Memorial Day recess while campaign season is in full swing in the Golden State. In addition to our usual coverage of Capitol Hill and its players, Roll Call is on the road in California ahead of the state’s June 5 primary.

Here’s the entire week in photos:

House Democrats Rebuffed on Getting Census Documents
Quest to get answers on citizenship question blocked by party-line committee vote

Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., says his resolution of inquiry was “about making sure we hold the administration accountable.” (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats tried this week to make the Commerce Department disclose documents about the decision-making behind a citizenship question on the 2020 census. But they were blocked by Republicans. 

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday voted 20-16 along party lines to reject the resolution of inquiry by California Democratic Rep. Jimmy Gomez and unfavorably report the measure. The vote prevents the resolution from moving to the House floor.

GOP Senators Dislike Trump’s Threat of Tariffs on Car Imports
“Any time you start raising taxes and tariffs, I’m not very happy about it,” Hatch says

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., says “a lot of people are upset” over President Donald Trump’s threat of tariffs on imported automobiles. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican senators expressed unease Thursday about the president’s threat of tariffs on imported automobiles during a Senate lunch with Vice President Mike Pence, amid a widening debate over contentious trade talks with a number of countries, including allies.

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch said the Commerce Department’s national security review of imported automobiles was “deeply misguided.”

Senate Passes Bill to Address Harassment on Capitol Hill
But critics say measure “may have unintended negative consequences”

Senate Rules ranking member Amy Klobuchar is one of the authors of the new anti-sexual harassment bill along with Rules Chairman Roy Blunt. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate on Thursday passed a bill by voice vote that would crack down on sexual harassment on Capitol Hill and update the onerous process for employees to report harassment and discrimination.

The overhaul measure was quickly brought to the floor, after being released Wednesday with the backing of the Senate’s Republican and Democratic leaders.

After All That, Virginia’s Tom Garrett Seeking Re-Election
Freshman Republican addressed 2018 plans at end of rambling press conference

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett speaks to the press Thursday about his accomplishments as a lawmaker before announcing that he will be running for re-election. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett laid to rest rumors he wasn’t seeking re-election in a bizarre press conference Thursday afternoon. 

“There’s no way in heck I’m not going to be here in 2019,” the Republican lawmaker told a handful of print and TV reporters (and his Facebook followers on a livestream) from a Capitol Hill row house.

Immigration Discharge Petition Will Get Final Signatures, Deputy GOP Whip Says
Crafting immigration policy in an election year ‘is one of the biggest reaches of this Congress,’ McHenry says

House Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., predicts an immigration discharge petition that’s five signatures away from the 218 needed will get there after the recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Chief Deputy Whip Patrick T. McHenry on Thursday said an immigration discharge petition that GOP leaders oppose will get to 218 signatures after the recess, and the only way they can stop it is finding legislation Republicans can pass — something he acknowledges is a big reach. 

The discharge petition, which is just five signatures shy of the 218 needed, would force a vote on a queen of the hill rule that would set up votes on four immigration measures, with the one getting the most votes above the required simple majority threshold prevailing. The process is likely to produce a bill that a majority of Democrats and a minority of Republicans support.

Could Negative Campaigning in California Primaries Dampen Democratic Energy?
Hard feelings hit crowded Golden State contests two weeks out from the primary

Dave Min and Katie Porter, both Democrats running for California’s 45th District, participate in the DEMOC PAC’s candidate forum in Irvine on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

IRVINE, Calif. — When some volunteers and organizers arrived Tuesday night at the University Synagogue, they found some orange and red pieces of paper on the chairs in the auditorium.

“NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN ALERT” read the paper in bold black letters. “The Dave Min campaign is running attack ads against multiple other Democrats! IS THIS WHAT ORANGE COUNTY WANTS?”

Moulton Adds 3 More Veterans to Leadership PAC’s Endorsement List
Massachusetts congressman riding high after notching win in key Kentucky race

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., has endorsed 19 veterans who are running for Congress for the first time in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Seth Moulton is apparently riding high after a candidate he endorsed in a key Kentucky race won her Democratic primary Tuesday.

The Massachusetts Democrat added three more military veteran candidates to his Serve America leadership PAC endorsement list on Wednesday: a former Obama administration official in New Hampshire, a state senator in Nevada, and a retired Navy commander who was one of the first women in the Navy’s nuclear program.