congressional-operations

Rob Portman's Plan to End Government Shutdown Showdowns
Revives bill to provide automatic continuing resolutions

Sen. Rob Portman wants to end the threat of federal funding lapsing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the risk of a government shutdown at week's end, Sen. Rob Portman is making another attempt at ending such threats once and for all.

The Ohio Republican, who led the Office of Management and Budget in the last GOP White House, will be reintroducing legislation that he has spearheaded since arriving in the Senate in 2011 that would provide for automatic continuing resolutions when Congress fails to advance appropriations bills before fiscal year funding deadlines.

Government Shutdown Prevention on Republicans, Democrats Say
Leaders urge members to oppose stopgap measure if no bipartisan agreement is reached

Appropriations Committee ranking member Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., told House Democrats its unlikely a bipartisan agreement on funding the government will be ready by the April 28 deadline. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are putting the onus on Republicans to prevent a government shutdown.

It’s unlikely a bipartisan deal could be reached in time to meet the April 28 funding deadline, and unless an agreement is in place Democrats should vote-against a short-term stopgap measure, Democratic leaders said Thursday.

Poll: Border Wall Fight Should Not Prompt Government Shutdown
Majority say it’s more important to keep the government running

A view of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Tijuana, Mexico, in January. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images file photo)

A new Economist Group/YouGov poll found that a majority of Americans think it’s most important for Congress to avoid a government shutdown, even if it means leaving behind a proposal to start construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The opt-in, online poll found that 19 percent of those surveyed want Congress to come up with the $3 billion requested by President Donald Trump for a border wall, even if it prompts a government shutdown. But 60 percent think it’s more important to keep the government running past an April 28 deadline when a continuing resolution runs out. Another 22 percent are unsure.

Rising Stars 2017: Hill Staffers
Two experienced hands make the list

Two Capitol Hill staffers are among CQ Roll Call’s Rising Stars of 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Over the course of this week, CQ Roll Call is taking a look at 17 Rising Stars of 2017 — people who will now wield power and influence in a Washington that has been turned upside down by the presidency of Donald Trump.

Some of the names are familiar, others have recently burst on the scene. They include members of Congress, congressional and administration staffers, and advocates.

Trump’s Chance to Fill Lower Court Vacancies Rest on Bipartisanship
Grassley is eager to begin processing judicial nominations

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley is waiting for President Donald Trump to nominate more judges for lower court posts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Justice Neil Gorsuch safely ensconced on the Supreme Court, the Trump administration now needs to focus on more than a hundred open federal court seats. 

Of those, 48 vacancies are considered judicial emergencies. But according to statistics maintained by the administrative office of the federal courts, only one nominee has been put forward by the White House so far.

Report: Marino To Become Trump’s Drug Czar
Pennsylvania Republican finalizing transition to president’s team

Rep. Tom Marino is preparing to leave his House seat to become director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a position effectively known as the country’s drug czar.

K Street Offers Five Tips for Tax Overhaul
Tip #2: Get the Freedom Caucus involved

Some K Street insiders say President Donald Trump’s salesman skills may be key to the success of a tax code overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional Republicans and the White House can’t gloss over the collapse of their first signature measure — the 2010 health care law repeal and replace effort — but veteran lobbyists see cautionary tales in that mess for the next major overhaul.

A comprehensive revamp of the nation’s tax laws may avoid the health care bill’s fate, if lawmakers and administration officials take note of five lessons learned by K Street.

Senate GOP Deploys ‘Nuclear Option’ for Supreme Court
Move allows Judge Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed by simple majority

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gives a thumbs up after the Senate invoked the "nuclear option" which will allow for a simple majority vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate took another step Thursday toward doing away with centuries-old traditions that have distinguished it from virtually every other legislative body in the world. 

Senate Republicans moved forward with invoking the “nuclear option” Thursday to make it so a simple majority of senators can confirm any future Supreme Court justice.

Q&A: Davita Vance-Cooks, Director of the Government Publishing Office
First female and first African-American head discusses GPO’s history and mission

Davita Vance-Cooks is the first woman and first African-American to lead the Government Publishing Office. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

Davita Vance-Cooks is the 27th public printer of the United States, the first woman and the first African-American to hold the post. She spoke with Roll Call recently about the Government Publishing Office’s purpose and place in documenting the government’s wide range of activity and how it fits into a rapidly expanding digital-first world. 

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Pence, Isakson Key to Measure Allowing States to Restrict Family Planning Funds
Votes on resolution overturning Obama-era rule need VP’s help

Vice President Mike Pence cast two tiebreaking Senate votes Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Republican majority is razor-thin enough on social policy that Vice President Mike Pence needed to break two ties Thursday to let states block family planning money from health care providers, most prominently Planned Parenthood.

Sen. Johnny Isakson didn’t expect to return to the Capitol after back surgery to be casting such consequential votes.