rules-and-procedure

Graham Pitches Minimum Wage Hike as Part of Tax Overhaul Effort
Suggests raising the wage to $10.10 with business tax cuts

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.,wants to cut taxes and raise the minimum wage. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One Republican senator has an unusual idea for ensuring that the effort to overhaul the tax code benefits among the poorest working Americans.

Sen. Lindsey Graham plans to propose tying an increase in the federal minimum wage to the tax overhaul package.

Senate Adopts Budget With House-Backed Changes
Late amendment expected to help speed up consideration of a tax overhaul

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives for lunch with Senate Republicans in the Capitol on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate adopted a fiscal 2018 budget resolution Thursday night that was amended at the 11th hour with the aim of making it acceptable enough to House Republicans to avoid a conference committee and speed the consideration of a tax overhaul.

The budget was adopted 51-49.

Judgment Days for Judicial Nominees
Several factors will affect schedule for Senate confirmation of judges

The Republican president and Senate have a chance to reshape the judicial branch, but several factors will determine how things stack up . (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators face a lengthy list of President Donald Trump’s judicial picks, but consideration of the nominees could be affected by three significant factors: an extensive backlog of vacancies, Republican leaders’ willingness to continue altering chamber traditions, and the Democrats’ lack of motivation to aid GOP efforts to remake the judiciary.

There are 121 vacancies at the U.S. District Court level and an additional 21 vacancies on federal appeals courts, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Brady and Ryan Mulling Big Gamble on Key Tax Deduction
State and local tax deduction has its fans among rank and file, though

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady want to repeal the state and local tax deduction, but face resistance from several GOP colleagues in high-tax states. (Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders face many decisions regarding details of a tax overhaul but perhaps none more immediately consequential than whether to roll the dice and try to eliminate the state and local tax, or SALT, deduction.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas and Speaker Paul D. Ryan have made it abundantly clear they’d prefer to get rid of the deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct what they pay in state and local property taxes and either state income taxes or sales taxes.

McConnell: Democratic ‘Blue Slips’ Won’t Block Trump Judges
Says objections home-state Democrats will only indicate dissent

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made his most pointed comments yet about judicial nominations. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear that Senate Republicans intend to get President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees confirmed no matter what obstacles the Democrats throw their way.

The Kentucky Republican has now confirmed he plans to move forward on judicial nominees even if home-state Democratic senators don’t return their so-called “blue slips” to the Judiciary Committee.

Diane Black, Prepping Gubernatorial Bid, Takes Victory Lap
Tennessee Republican finally shepherded budget resolution through House last week

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black has had an undeniable impact on this year’s budget process, thanks to her efforts to forge a compromise package. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

The first woman to chair the House Budget Committee finally shepherded the fiscal 2018 resolution through her chamber Oct. 5, a traditionally thankless task that she took on after President Donald Trump tapped the former chairman, Tom Price, to be secretary of Health and Human Services.

Rep. Diane Black is now preparing to hand in her gavel after 10 months on the job, so she can focus on her campaign to become Tennessee’s next Republican governor, she announced in early August.

Senate Considers Broadening Budget Resolution
Move would allow GOP to legislate on more topics without filibuster fear

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leaves after speaking to reporters in the Capitol following the Senate Republicans’ policy lunch Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate is considering beefing up the fiscal 2018 budget resolution to address a broader swath of issues beyond a tax overhaul, including the rollback of regulations on the financial industry, lawmakers said.

The additions might not be included in the Senate’s version before a floor vote, lawmakers said, but could be added during an expected conference with the House. The Senate Budget Committee begins its markup of the budget resolution Wednesday.  

Cassidy Eyes Changes to Health Care Bill While Trying to Win Support
Senate GOP opted not to take a vote on measure last week

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy has not given up on his health care overhaul plans. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy said there will be changes to a proposal he wrote to overhaul the 2010 health law as he and fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina try to win more support for the measure while other lawmakers focus on tax legislation.

“There are some things that inevitably have to change, but we do think that the format of what we’re doing and the principles of what we’re doing are good and that the American people will like it because it’s ultimately about fairness,” Cassidy said Monday on the Big Story Podcast with CQ Roll Call.

Why It Looks Like the Senate’s Debating the Defense Bill Again
Democrats anticipate GOP effort to reverse CFPB rule

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren expects the real floor business to be about overturning a consumer protection rule. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Reading the Senate schedule Tuesday might give off a serious sense of deja vu. But there is a reason for that. 

Officially, senators are getting set to debate proceeding to the Senate version of the annual defense authorization bill. But wait, one might ask: Wasn’t Armed Services Chairman John McCain just on the floor for days overseeing that bill? Yes.

Full GOP Tax Proposal Will Wait Until Later
Outline to be released this week, but full treatment awaits budget resolution

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady says more details on the GOP tax plan are coming, but not the full package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If the tax overhaul framework congressional leaders and White House officials are releasing Wednesday fails to appease rank-and-file member calls for more details, House Republican leaders may find themselves still short of the votes needed to pass a budget. That’s especially problematic given that tax writers are not planning to unveil a full tax plan until after the House and Senate pass a reconciled budget.

“After the unified Republican plan is announced on Wednesday, the House and Senate will turn toward passing a budget that includes reconciliation instructions that will ensure that we can deliver tax reform to the president’s desk by the end of the year,” House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady told reporters Monday during a break from a retreat the GOP committee members held to discuss the tax plan.