congressional-affairs

Trump Contradicts Kelly, Claims Wall Views Have Not ‘Evolved’
Chief of staff contends president was previously ‘uninformed’

President Donald Trump was up early on Thursday contradicting what his chief of staff had told lawmakers about the southern border wall on Wednesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Contradicting his chief of staff, Donald Trump on Thursday claimed his thinking about a southern border wall has not “evolved,” and returned to his vow that Mexico, one way or another, will pay for it.

Kelly first described Trump’s views on the U.S.-Mexico border barrier as changed during a Wednesday morning meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Capitol Hill. The retired Marine Corps four-star general kept up his rare public remarks about the controversial Trump campaign pledge during an evening cable news interview.

How the No. 2 Leaders Have Taken Over the DACA Debate
Talks between Hill’s second-in-command honchos represents best shot at accord

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has spearheaded the immigration negotiations among the Hill’s No. 2 leaders. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The No. 2s. The deputies. The gang of four.

There are a lot of names for the four congressional leaders engaged in bipartisan, bicameral talks on immigration, but one thing has become increasingly clear over the past week: The group is Congress’s best shot at reaching an elusive deal to protect young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation.

Congress Honors ‘Soldier, Legislator and Statesman’ Bob Dole
Trump, Pence and congressional leaders share tales of majority leader from Kansas

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole is greeted by Speaker Paul D. Ryan during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony at the Capitol on Wednesday to honor him as a “soldier, legislator, and statesman.” Also pictured, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When it was Vice President Mike Pence’s turn to honor former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, he praised the Kansan for a decision he made during his 1996 run for the White House.

“There was one moment in his life that seemed for me to embody the character of this great American,” Pence said, speaking at a ceremony to present Dole with a Congressional Gold Medal.

House Judiciary Advances Foreign Lobby Overhaul
Panel Democrats say GOP is moving too quickly on the bill

Ex-lobbyist Paul Manafort, a former Trump campaign chairman, has been charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

House Republicans took a significant step Wednesday in an effort to overhaul the nation’s foreign lobbying disclosure regulations amid scandals in the influence sector.

The House Judiciary Committee advanced as amended, 15-6 along party lines, the measure that would give the Justice Department new subpoena-like investigative powers. That new authority sparked controversy among the panel’s Democrats.

How John Kennedy Sees Things
‘This is why the aliens won’t talk to us.’

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 17: Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., speaks with reporters in the Senate subway in the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Since arriving in the Senate last year, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy has become a gift to Capitol Hill reporters for his colorful use of language.

Most recently, he has said that the dispute about whether President Donald Trump called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries” is “why the aliens won’t talk to us.”

Omaha Man Pleads Guilty to Plotting to Kill Joni Ernst
Suspect believed Iowa Republican was connected to ISIS

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, was the target of a potential plot on her life last July. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An Omaha man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to threatening the life of Sen. Joni Ernst, who he believed was in cahoots with Islamic State terrorists.

Robert W. Simet, 64, told employees at a motorcycle shop near the Nebraska-Iowa border last July that he might kill the Iowa Republican at a speech she was scheduled to deliver there, according to court documents obtained by The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Graham’s DACA, Military Plan at Odds With Leadership
‘We should take care of the DREAM Act kids now, not wait till March 5’

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, right, and former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown, now the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, talk after running into each other by chance in the Russell Building on Jan. 11. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday he believes Congress should address the program that covers immigrants brought illegally to the country as children before it expires later this year.

Speaking at an event in Washington hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, the South Carolina Republican said his party was naive to think it could persuade Democrats to support increased defense spending without finding a solution to prevent the expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

Love Doesn’t Ask for Apology in Trump Meeting
Haitian-American congresswoman said she asked president to find a solution to DACA standoff

Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday but did not ask him to apologize for trashing Haiti, her parents’ home country, and calling some African nations “shithole countries.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah Rep. Mia Love met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday, but she said she didn’t ask him to apologize for his comments last week denigrating Haiti and calling some African nations “shithole countries.”

Love, a Republican who is the only Haitian-American elected to Congress, previously said Trump’s alleged comments were “unkind, divisive, elitist, and [flew] in the face of our nation’s values.”

Opinion: Groundhog Day in America
Sensationalism, not substance, drives the daily conversation

Washington politics feels a lot like waking up to “Groundhog Day” every morning, Winston writes. (Courtesy Columbia Pictures)

When it comes to Washington politics, it feels a lot like we’re all living in the comedy “Groundhog Day,” where every day starts the same way, over and over and over again. In the movie, Bill Murray wakes up every morning at 6 a.m. as the clock radio blares Sonny and Cher singing “I Got You Babe.”

America wakes up every day to the diatribe du jour from morning show anchors Mika and Joe, Chris and Alisyn, and from the “Friends” in the opposition. Soon after, the president sends out his first tweet of the day. Cable explodes, shrieking, “This time, it’s really Armageddon.”

House Panel to Consider Stronger Foreign Lobbying Rules
Some lobbyists caution against unintended consequences of bipartisan bill

Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson says his bill ensures transparency and protects the democratic process.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Judiciary Committee plans to take up a bill on Wednesday that would overhaul the 1938 law governing foreign lobbying disclosures, but the measure’s fate in the Senate remains unclear.

The bipartisan bill could have broad implications not only for lobbyists and other U.S. representatives of foreign governments and political parties but also for those working on behalf of foreign corporations and nonprofit organizations.