Rema Rahman

Are GOP Retirements Draining the Swamp?
Congressional retirements and resignations clearing some space

On the campaign trail, President Donald Trump pledged over and over to “drain the swamp,” promising to gut what he said was a gridlocked Washington political establishment.

His supporters chanted the catchy slogan at rallies and kept doing so at Trump events even after the reality television figure moved into the White House.

Trump Flip-Flops on Senate Health Care Deal
President opposes bipartisan deal he supported the day before

President Donald Trump reversed gears on a bipartisan Senate health care deal Wednesday, saying he would not sign the pact reached by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray less than 24 hours after he signaled support for it in a public appearance in the Rose Garden.

Trump “supports the process” of trying to find a short-term fix to the 2010 health care law, but he “doesn’t support the result,” a White House official said of the efforts by the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Trump Pounces on Democrats over Iran Deal, Tax Overhaul
President says he hopes Hillary Clinton runs again in 2020

President Donald Trump spent early Monday morning slamming congressional Democrats for not supporting a proposed tax overhaul and then sent a personal message to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over the Iran deal.

“Dem Senator Schumer hated the Iran deal made by President Obama, but now that I am involved, he is OK with it,” Trump tweeted to his more than 40 million followers. “Tell that to Israel, Chuck!”

Linda Sánchez: It’s Time for New House Dem Leaders
Caucus vice chairwoman wants leaders to make room at the top

House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairwoman Linda T. Sánchez is ready to move up in the ranks, and she’s not afraid to say so on television. 

On Thursday, the California Democrat called on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer and Assistant Minority Leader James E. Clyburn to leave their posts after the 2018 election and make way for up-and-coming lawmakers, like herself, to have a chance at the top.

On Tax Overhaul, Public Support Hard to Find
Economist/YouGov survey shows opinions all over the place

Despite the enthusiasm for overhauling the tax code among Republican congressional leaders and President Donald Trump, the public is hardly sold on the idea that the effort is a priority or on its possible benefits. 

Nearly one-third of respondents to a new Economist/YouGov survey strongly opposed the GOP tax framework released last week, and nearly the same number believed their own taxes would stay the same under the plan.

Rick Renzi Legal Battle Sputters to an End
Supreme Court decision is latest, likely last, blow to long-running legal case

The Supreme Court declined on Monday to hear former Rep. Rick Renzi’s appeal of his fraud, racketeering and public corruption conviction in a long-running legal battle that sought to question the process of how he was prosecuted.

The Arizona Republican was convicted in 2013 of 17 out of 32 counts in a federal corruption trial. The felonies included extortion, conspiracy, insurance fraud and money laundering during his time representing the state’s 1st congressional district. He served a three year sentence and was released from prison in January.

Poll: Americans Split on NFL Player Protests
President has cast protesting athletes as unpatriotic

A new poll shows Americans are almost evenly split on whether it is appropriate for NFL players to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial discrimination.

Thirty-two percent of respondents to the Economist/YouGov poll, conducted Sept. 24-26, said they strongly supported players’ right to protest on the field, while 33 percent were strongly opposed. 

Poll: Nearly Half Support U.S. Military Action Against North Korea
Respondents believe Trump, Kim want to go to battle

Nearly half of Americans surveyed in a new poll believe the tough rhetoric between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un of North Korea is more than just a war of words.

Close to 50 percent of the 1,500 people polled in the latest Economist/YouGov survey believed Trump “actually means to attack North Korea” while 45 percent believe Kim intends to do the same to the United States.

Trump Insists Senate Has Health Care Votes, But Not by Deadline
Tweets come one day after GOP leaders pull the plug on latest version of health care overhaul

President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that the Senate has enough votes to pass a bill aimed at repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law — but not in time for the Sept. 30 deadline.

But the president’s vote count also came with confusion — and no details of just what version of a bill he believes could pass the Senate one day after GOP leadership pulled a measure sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy that would have overhauled the U.S. health care system.

After Moore Victory, Trump Deletes Pro-Strange Tweets
President switches tune to support winner of Alabama GOP Senate runoff

President Donald Trump appeared to have deleted tweets supporting Alabama Sen. Luther Strange after he lost the Republican runoff to Roy Moore on Tuesday.

Trump continued his push for Strange — even after Moore had won the runoff

Pence Didn't Push on Health Care Vote
Veep did not seek to force Senate hand on latest bill

Vice President Mike Pence opted not to make a last-ditch pitch to Republican senators Tuesday to vote for the GOP’s latest health care bill.

Instead, Republican senators leaving their weekly lunch at the Capitol said Pence focused on how Congress could provide disaster aid to U.S. territories devastated by a string of recent hurricanes, pivoting from one of the president’s central campaign promises. Shortly after the lunch, GOP leaders said they were shelving a vote.

Trump: Facebook Turning Over Ads Part of ‘Russia Hoax’
President blames ‘biased and dishonest’ coverage of Clinton

President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted he believed Facebook’s intent to turn Kremlin-linked ads over to congressional committees investigating influence over the 2016 presidential election to be part of what he considered the “Russia hoax.”

The social media site’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday it would turn over 3,000 Russia-linked ads after two weeks on the defensive amid growing pressure from Congress for it to expose Russian propaganda in which fictional people posed as American activists, The New York Times reported.

Survey Shows Support for Some Kind of Health Care Overhaul
Economist/YouGov survey finds Americans want changes to the system

As the Senate intends next week to consider yet another iteration of a bill to replace the 2010 health care law, the latest Economist/YouGov poll shows about one-third of those surveyed believe legislation should expand and fundamentally change the law.

Forty percent of respondents said they would support a single-payer system in which insurance comes from one government source financed by taxes, while 29 percent were opposed to that idea.

Poll: North Korea Is Biggest Threat to U.S.
Economist/YouGov survey finds Americans consider regime to be top enemy

Nearly three-fourths of Americans surveyed in the latest Economist/YouGov poll believe North Korea is the country’s biggest enemy as President Donald Trump continues to issue threats to Kim Jung Un’s government on a near-daily basis.

Before the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump said the United States was prepared to “totally destroy” North Korea if the regime does not give up its nuclear arms and missile program.

Analysis: Trump, Lawmakers, Mince Words on White House DACA Meeting
Democratic leaders again press Trump for deal — this time on immigration

Analysis | President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders almost never shy away from engaging in a war of words. But the president, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer wove such a tight knot of confusion Tuesday night and Wednesday morning that not even they seemed to know how to untangle it.

Sowing the seeds of vague political promises is classic Trump. On the campaign trail, the Republican presidential candidate often touted his negotiating skills as a billionaire New York real estate mogul.

Second Meeting of Trump Election Commission Brings Fresh Criticism
New Hampshire officials do not roll out welcome mat

A host of fresh criticism rained down on President Donald Trump’s commission on voter fraud Tuesday as it held its second meeting since the panel’s creation in May.

Most of the harshness was directed at Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican who led the meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in his capacity as vice chairman. Vice President Mike Pence, the panel’s chairman, was not present.

Harvey Aid Bill Creates Dilemma for Texas Republicans
Most oppose move to tack debt and CR to disaster relief

A measure that would provide Hurricane Harvey disaster relief to Texas has politically perplexed members of the Lone Star State’s congressional delegation, some of whom plan to vote against it.

That’s because it includes a debt ceiling extension and only three months’ worth of government funding — a deal struck by President Donald Trump with House and Senate Democratic leaders.

Ethics Committee Taking up Inquiry of Chris Collins
House panel says it will announce further plans on Oct. 12

The House Ethics Committee announced on Monday it had taken up an inquiry of Rep. Chris Collins at the recommendation of the Office of Congressional Ethics.

The committee will announce its future course of action on the matter on Oct. 12 as well as make public a report from the OCE and other details of the matter.

McConnell Quells Report of Strains With Trump
Kentucky Republican says the two and their teams are working together

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday disavowed the notion of increasing tensions between him and President Donald Trump in response to a report that their relationship had “disintegrated.”

The New York Times reported Tuesday that McConnell and Trump had grown so mutually irritated that neither had spoken to each other since an Aug. 9 phone call that turned into a “profane shouting match.”

GOP Leadership Silent on Bannon’s Departure
Many House and Senate Republicans ignore White House chaos

Almost two hours after news broke Friday that President Donald Trump decided to part ways with White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy  — at least at that moment — had another topic on his mind.

He retweeted a message that the chief executive sent out Friday morning, before Bannon’s ouster was reported, about elevating the country’s Cyber Command. McCarthy called it “the right move.”