2017

Senate Rules Chairman Is Cool to Campaign Ad Bill
‘A lot of that is being investigated,’ Sen. Richard C. Shelby says

Alabama Sen. Richard C. Shelby is not yet ready to back the bipartisan legislation on online campaign ads. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Richard C. Shelby gave a cool reception Thursday to a bipartisan draft bill disclosed the same day that would require large online platforms to collect and disclose data about the buyers of political advertising.

“We will look at everything; right now, a lot of that is being investigated,” the Alabama Republican said about a proposal from Democratic Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and co-sponsored by Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Asked whether he would be open to backing the bill in the future or other legislation to deal with the issue, Shelby said, “Not yet.”

Congress Should Revise Base Closure Rules, Report Recommends
Heritage Foundation says lawmakers should authorize a new round

Congress should revise its rules on base closures, a new report from the Heritage Foundation recommends. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Congress should revise the rules guiding base realignment and closure and authorize a new round, a new paper from a conservative think tank recommended.

Done properly, a round of base realignment and closure, or BRAC, is a good example of federal efficiency, wrote Frederico Bartels, an analyst with the Heritage Foundation.

Republicans Use Past Democratic Tax Proposals as Ammo
Supportive Democrats eyed for current tax effort

Republicans are pointing out that Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, among other Democrats, previously supported aspects of a still-developing GOP tax plan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans have a new strategy to attack Democrats on a still developing tax measure: using past legislation against them.

The campaign could be successful. Some Democrats say the GOP argument makes sense, and several say they are open to the possibility of supporting a final tax bill.

Opinion: Six Presidential Lessons Trump Missed
Mistakes — and moments of glory — could instruct

President Donald Trump could learn a thing or two from major events in his lifetime, Walter Shapiro writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Judging from his comments and tweets, Donald Trump is a leader who divides the sweep of human history into two simple categories: BT (Before Trump) and AT (After Trump).

Before Trump, there was mostly a void populated by a few military heroes like Andrew Jackson and George Patton.

Photos of the Week: Senate Grills Sessions and Adopts Budget
The week of Oct. 16 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., takes a selfie on Tuesday outside of Dirksen Building along Constitution Avenue NE. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate was the only congressional chamber in session this week as the House recessed for members to spend time in their districts. On the list of what the Senate tackled this week — a hearing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the adoption of a budget resolution that's another step in the path toward a tax overhaul.

Tax Bill Will Include 4th Tax Bracket on High-Income Earners, Ryan Says
Republicans’ tax framework had left the possibility open, but speaker suggests decision is to add one

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the tax overhaul bill  will include a fourth income tax bracket for high-income earners. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Friday that an upcoming tax overhaul bill will include a fourth income tax bracket for high-income earners, but he declined to reveal what the tax rate for that bracket will be. 

“The fourth bracket that the president and others are talking about that we’re going to do, we’re working on those numbers,” the Wisconsin Republican said on “CBS This Morning.” He added later in the interview that numbers “are going to be finalized in a matter of days.”

Contentious N.C. Judicial Nominee Advances to Senate Floor
Eastern District of North Carolina seat has been open for 12 years

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nomination of Thomas Farr to be a judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina. (Screenshot C-SPAN)

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced a controversial nominee to fill the longest vacancy in the federal court system as well as a top Justice Department official.

The committee voted 11-9 along party lines to advance Thomas Farr to be a judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina. The spot has been open for 12 years and has long been caught up in the politics of the state and U.S. Senate. Since judicial nominees can’t be filibustered, Democrats don’t have the votes to stop Farr’s lifetime appointment without help from Republicans.

Senate Adopts Budget With House-Backed Changes
Late amendment expected to help speed up consideration of a tax overhaul

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives for lunch with Senate Republicans in the Capitol on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate adopted a fiscal 2018 budget resolution Thursday night that was amended at the 11th hour with the aim of making it acceptable enough to House Republicans to avoid a conference committee and speed the consideration of a tax overhaul.

The budget was adopted 51-49.

Senate Moves to Adopt House-Backed Budget Changes
Amendment negates need to go to conference to iron out differences

Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi’s amendment modified the House-passed budget resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate on Thursday night agreed, 52-48, to an amendment by Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi that modified the House-passed budget resolution, jettisoning reconciliation instructions aimed at getting $203 billion in mandatory spending cuts. 

Instead, the Wyoming Republican’s amendment replaces the House directive for a deficit-neutral tax cut with one that could add up to $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years, similar to the Senate’s.

Pat Tiberi Resigning to Lead Ohio Business Roundtable
Nine-term lawmaker will leave behind solid Republican seat

Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi has been offered a position to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi announced Thursday he will not seek re-election and will be leaving Congress before the 2018 midterms. 

“While I have not yet determined a final resignation date, I will be leaving Congress by January 31, 2018,” the Republican said in a statement.