cabinet

GOP Warns Comey About Cloud Over Trumpland
White House continues to push allegation of wiretapping

FBI Director James B. Comey, center, and National Security Agency Director Michael S. Rogers arrive to testify at the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s top spokesman wants the world to “take no for an answer” on whether there was collusion between Russian officials and the former reality television star’s presidential campaign, even while the House Intelligence Committee chairman says “a big gray cloud” is hanging over Trump’s associates in the form of an FBI investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“There is a big gray cloud that you have put over people who have very important work to do to lead this country. The faster you can get to the bottom of this, it’s going to be better for all Americans,” California Republican Devin Nunes said to FBI Director James B. Comey at the conclusion of a nearly six-hour hearing on the intelligence community’s conclusion that Moscow directed a campaign to disrupt the election and help Trump win the White House.

Opinion: TrumpCare Needs a New Doctor
HHS Secretary Tom Price isn’t helping

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is not the right messenger to sell the GOP’s health care proposal, Patricia Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Before Tom Price was Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary, he was a conservative member of Congress. Before that, he was a mustachioed orthopedic surgeon in Atlanta, Georgia. For the sake of all that’s healthy, let’s hope that in his doctor days, Tom Price focused on the surgery and let his partners tell the patient the bad news. 

Based on Price’s chilly bedside manner explaining to America they’re getting a new version of health care reform and they’ll be grateful once they do, I imagine his conversations with patients used to go something like this:

Is Trump Review Just Al Gore Reinventing Government 2.0?
Clinton-era staffers see flaws aplenty in new effort

Clinton, right, tasked Gore to head his Reinventing Government initiative. On Monday, Trump promised a similar review of government efficiency, but there are key differences in who has the authority to carry it out. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Donald Trump, ever the marketer and salesman, says past presidents’ attempts to shrink the federal government “never” accomplished that goal “to the extent” he will. Yet, many parts of his soup-to-nuts review resemble a Clinton administration effort to “reinvent” the federal apparatus.

The new president signed an executive order Monday that launched the latest try at shrinking government, eliminating redundancies and cutting costs. The missive orders all government agencies to propose ways to reorganize operations and pare unnecessary programs, which the White House claims will produce a significant restructuring of the federal government.

Agriculture Nominee Moves Closer to Confirmation Hearing
OGE releases Sonny Perdue’s ethics agreement and financial disclosures

Sonny Perdue served two terms as governor of Georgia. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue agreed to extricate himself from a web of interests and restructure two family trusts to remove himself and his wife from active involvement if he wins confirmation as Agriculture secretary, according his disclosure documents at the Office of Government Ethics.

The release of Perdue’s financial disclosure and ethics agreement sets the stage for the Senate Agriculture Committee to schedule a confirmation hearing. The committee said last Friday it had received Perdue’s long awaited official nomination papers, nearly two months after President Donald Trump announced he planned to nominate him. It’s unclear if Perdue has completed a committee questionnaire that is typically part of the confirmation process. 

On Paper, Trump’s First 50 Days Resemble Previous Presidents’
But turbulence, including Obama claims, defined opening seven weeks

President Donald Trump arrives at the White House on Feb. 6 after spending the weekend in Florida. In many ways, his first 50 days match those of other recent presidents. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

On one hand, the first 50 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, in some ways, closely resemble those of his recent predecessors. But on the other, those similarities largely have been overshadowed by missteps and inflammatory tweets. 

A botched executive order temporarily banning many Muslims from entering the United States, allegations that former President Barack Obama tapped his phones, and an otherwise chaotic seven weeks have defined Trump’s first 50 days. But data reviewed by CQ Roll Call stretching back to the opening days of the Reagan administration shows Trump is off to a start much like several other recent commanders in chief.50Days-top-summary

Poll: Majority Says Sessions Should Resign for Lying Under Oath
And majority think illegal immigrants should stay

Majority of voters feel that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, center, lied in his hearing before the Sente Judiciary Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A slight majority in a new poll say that Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied at his confirmation hearings and should resign.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that 52 percent of the voters think Sessions lied under oath, and 51 percent feel he should resign, while 40 percent and 42 percent of respondents, respectively, felt the opposite.

Cabinet-Level Nominees Play the Waiting Game
Politics, paperwork and holdings slowing things down

Four Cabinet-level nominees remain to be confirmed. Clockwise from top left, Dan Coats for director of national intelligence, Alexander Acosta for secretary of Labor, Robert Lighthizer for U.S. trade representative and Sonny Perdue for secretary of Agriculture. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call, Alan Diaz/AP, Chambersandpartners.com, Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Farm groups thought they’d have a new Agriculture secretary by now after a long wait to find out who would be the nominee. But they’re growing anxious again over the delayed confirmation of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. 

President Donald Trump has accused Democrats of keeping him from filling his Cabinet, but Perdue’s nomination appears to be on hold because the Senate Agriculture Committee has yet to receive his paperwork.

Sessions Clarifies Russia Testimony to Senate Committee
AG says he answered questions at confirmation hearing honestly

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified at his confirmation hearing in January that he “did not have communications with the Russians.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a succinct answer to the Senate on Monday to the questions swirling about his testimony that he did not communicate with Russians during the campaign: “My answer was correct.”

The former Alabama senator, an adviser to the Trump campaign, testified under oath in January at his confirmation hearing that he “did not have communications with the Russians” when asked a question about Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, and he reiterated that answer in a response to a written question.

House Moves on Obamacare, Spending Bills While Senate Waits
The Senate will be focused on undoing Obama-era regulations

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore. may oversee a markup of the GOP plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By REMA RAHMAN and BRIDGET BOWMAN, CQ ROLL CALL

The public will get its first look at House Republicans’ bill to repeal and partially replace the 2010 health care law likely early this week, but timing on committee markups of the legislation is unclear. 

Under Pressure, Sessions Recuses Himself From Campaign Inquiries
AG says he reached decision after meeting with DOJ ethics officials

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was commended by Republicans for his decision but Democrats reiterated their calls for him to resign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday recused himself from any investigation related to the 2016 U.S. election, including into alleged ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian officials. 

Sessions’ announcement comes less than 24 hours after The Washington Post reported that the former Alabama senator spoke twice during the presidential campaign with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. Sessions, who served as a senior Trump adviser during the campaign, did not disclose those meetings at his confirmation hearing, despite being asked whether he had any contacts with Russian officials.