congressional-affairs

White House Signals Own Path on Health Care
Reference to president’s own plan signals dual tracks for GOP

That President Donald Trump could roll out his own health care overhaul plan was something his top spokesman would not rule out on Wednesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The White House declined Wednesday to rule out that President Donald Trump will push his own plan to replace the 2010 health care law rather than pursue one course with congressional Republicans.

When asked if there will be a single White House-congressional GOP plan, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer left the door open for the president to roll out his own plan — no matter what lawmakers do. Minutes later, Spicer referred to “the president’s plan” when discussing how the administration intends to achieve one of its top campaign goals.

Intelligence Committee Could Subpoena Trump Tax Returns
Susan Collins says panel will go where Russia inquiry leads it

Maine Sen. Susan Collins is confident the Intelligence Committee will be able to conduct a thorough investigation into alleged Russian hacking. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Susan Collins said she thinks the Intelligence Committee could subpoena President Donald Trump’s tax records as part of its investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election if that’s where the evidence leads.

“I don’t know whether we will need to do that,” the Maine Republican said Wednesday. “If it’s necessary to get to the answers, then I suspect that we would.”

Ep. 42: Democrats, Finally, Select a Chairman
The Big Story

For four long months, Democrats have debated what to do to get out of the political wilderness. This weekend, the Democratic National Committee votes on who will be its next chairman, putting that person in a position to weigh in on the party's next move.

Show Notes:

Black History Month: Librarian of Congress on her Trailblazing Role
Roll Call’s series with lawmakers and Capitol Hill figures continues

Carla Hayden speaks during her swearing-in ceremony in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress last September. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The first African-American and first woman to hold the position of librarian of Congress says she is partly in her role thanks to the inspiration of Frederick Douglass. Carla Hayden, who was sworn in last year, discusses with Roll Call the significance of Black History Month, her own place in it and how African-American culture and history is integral to American culture and history. 

Watch more interviews and the video, “Black History and America’s Capitol,” which combines all these talks, at rollcall.com/black-history-month

With No Vote in Congress, D.C. Residents Find Power in Cash
District voters are supporting Jason Chaffetz’s challenger in Utah

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz is fast becoming a target of Washington, D.C., residents, upset about his efforts to overturn local laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It was only the second political contribution Sarah Carr had made in her life. A $100 gift to an obscure politician from a distant state whose values hardly align with her own.

But Carr, a 41-year-old marine scientist who lives on Capitol Hill, had a clear goal: she wanted to support anyone who might oust Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Tennessee, Texas Stand Out for Strengthened Hill Sway
In Roll Call’s Clout Index for this Congress, California delegation’s longtime hold on top spot is threatened

Party affiliation and longevity have helped propel members of the Tennessee delegation such as Sen. Bob Corker into positions that convey authority and power, Hawkings writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

No state in this decade has seen a more meaningful boost than Tennessee in institutionalized congressional influence.

Only eight states, all with much bigger delegations because they’re much more populous, have more overt sway at the Capitol this year. That is one of several notable findings from the new Roll Call Clout Index, which the newspaper uses to take a quantifiable measurement of every state’s potential for power at the start of each new Congress.  

McMaster Needs Senate Confirmation to Keep All Three Stars
New job would entail demotion unless Senate signs off

McMaster, left, was announced as the new national security adviser by President Donald Trump on Monday at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (Jenna Johnson/Washington Post/Print Pool)

National security advisers don’t need the consent of the Senate, but the decision by President Donald Trump to tap Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster for the assignment brings up an unusual question of military rank. Why? Without the Senate confirmation, McMaster would effectively be demoted as result of the new responsibilities, since three star generals generally have their rank tied to a particular function.

A National Security Council spokesman confirmed to Roll Call that McMaster is expected to face a Senate confirmation vote to maintain his three stars as a result of his new job, with the process already getting under way.

Ruiz Gives $2,600 From Controversial Donations to Planned Parenthood
NRCC asked congressman to return contributions from two men facing criminal complaint

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., returned donations from former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet and developer Richard Meaney to Planned Parenthood. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Raul Ruiz gave money from two men facing charges to Planned Parenthood, despite the National Republican Congressional Committee’s call last week for him to return the donations.

The money was from former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet and developer Richard Meaney made to Ruiz’s campaign for past elections — $300 from Pougnet in 2012, and $2,300 from Meaney in 2014.

Former D.C. Del. Fauntroy Facing Foreclosure
Group of ministers is trying to raise $700,000 to pay off mortgage, penalties and interest

Former D.C. Del. Walter Fauntroy was arrested last year after returning to the U.S. from five years in Africa and the Middle East. (CQ Roll Call file photo).

Walter Fauntroy, who served as the first congressional delegate for the District of Columbia, is facing foreclosure of his Washington home.

Fauntroy and his wife Dorothy are receiving assistance from a group of ministers to raise $700,000 to help pay for the costs of mortgage liens, penalties and interests, WRC-TV in Washington reported.

Senators Silent After Meeting With FBI Director Comey
Friday afternoon meeting came after votes finished for recess

Senators were not in a talkative mood after meeting with FBI Director James B. Comey on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not much can get between senators and a recess. Except, perhaps, FBI Director James B. Comey. 

Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, along with ex-officio member and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, huddled for a total of more than two hours on Friday with Comey.