congressional-operations

CBO Score Makes GOP Health Care Slog Harder
Growing number of senators oppose bringing current bill to floor

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to vote on a health care measure by the end of the week has been complicated by a Congressional Budget Office score that estimated millions would lose their health insurance under the measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to pass a massive overhaul of the U.S. health insurance system that has virtually no support outside of Congress and the White House became even more difficult after the release of a damaging analysis of the legislation from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

And now, with several Republican members voicing opposition to the current proposal, even a vote on a procedural motion to start consideration of the legislation appears destined to fail.

House Republicans Bolster Member Security Funding
Funding will extend to lawmakers’ districts

Members will get a boost in security as part of a deal reached between appropriators and the House Administration Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Say What? Senators' Questions for Comey, a Roll Call Analysis
Trump's attempted influence on FBI investigations topped the list

BY SEAN MCMINN AND RYAN KELLY

Republicans did not shy away from surfacing the issue of the president’s potential obstruction of justice during former FBI Director James B. Comey's appearance on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

Gowdy or Russell? Steering Committee Set to Pick
House Republican Conference gets its say next week

House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, left, speaks with South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, who is seeking the gavel that Chaffetz will lay aside when he leaves Congress at the end of the month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Reps. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Steve Russell of Oklahoma will make their pitch to the Republican Steering Committee Thursday to be the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The Steering Committee will then vote and relay its recommendation to the full House Republican Conference, which is expected to ratify the choice on Tuesday.

The Levin Legacy: Next-Gen Congressional Oversight
Retired Michigan Democrat’s center trains staffers on effective oversight

Former Michigan Sen. Carl Levin built a legacy of tough oversight as chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More than 100 congressional staffers have now completed boot camps designed to boost the investigative skills of House and Senate staff, thanks in part to the retirement work of former Sen. Carl Levin.

The Michigan Democrat had a particular interest in oversight, wielding the gavel of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations through hearings on topics from the 2008 financial crisis, to oil and gas speculation, to “dirty bomb” vulnerabilities, and issues within the United Nations Development Program.

Lobbyists Don’t Get Business Boom With Trump
Clients have been hiring lobbyists at a reduced rate compared to 2009

BY SEAN MCMINN and KATE ACKLEY

With a unified Republican government in Washington, lobbyists hoped that 2017 would offer a long-awaited opportunity to push big proposals through Congress — but records do not indicate any large uptick in clients during the early months of the Trump administration.

At the White House and in Congress, a Slow Start on Nominations and Confirmations
A detailed look at how Trump compares to past presidents

President Donald Trump has submitted fewer nominations to the Senate than his predecessors had at this point in their presidencies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Leaders Spar on Republican Efforts to Repeal Obamacare
Weekly clashes could become the norm as health care remains top focus

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer used his post-policy lunch media appearance on Tuesday to blast Republican efforts on health care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s only the first full work week since the Senate received the House-passed measure to reorder the nation’s health insurance system, and leaders in both parties are wasting no time hurling criticism at each other over how to approach the legislation.

Using the time reserved for leadership press conferences after Tuesday’s policy lunches, Republicans criticized Democrats for refusing to come to the table and negotiate a fix to a health care system they described as in chaos. Democrats accused the GOP of crafting a bill in secret, by an all-male working group, that would drastically reduce benefits for vulnerable people.

Rand Paul Wants to Know if Intelligence Community Spied On Him
Makes public details of request to President Trump

Sen. Rand Paul wants to know if he was under surveillance. (George LeVines/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Rand Paul is renewing a request to know if he was subject to surveillance by the intelligence community during the Obama administration.

“This inquiry goes beyond just myself and my office,” the Kentucky Republican said in a statement Friday. “The American people need to know if their elected representatives in the Legislative branch have been swept up in Executive branch surveillance.”

New Calls for Public Access to Secret Congressional Reports
Privacy policy at Congressional Research Service full of holes, critics say

New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance introduced a bill with Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley that would require reports from the Congressional Research Service to be made public. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The secrecy surrounding Congress’ in-house think tank came under fire again Wednesday, with transparency advocates on and off the Hill renewing calls for free public access to its in-depth policy briefs. 

Rep. Leonard Lance, a New Jersey Republican, and Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat, reintroduced a bill the same day that would require all the reports produced by the Congressional Research Service to be published on a government website.