white-house

Congress is Trump’s best hope for drug pricing action
But divisions remain between Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate

The administration will need congressional help to take action this year on drug prices. (File photo)

An upcoming Senate bill is the Trump administration’s best hope for a significant achievement before next year’s election to lower prescription drug prices, but a lot still needs to go right for anything to become law.

Despite the overwhelming desire for action, there are still policy gulfs between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, and another gap between the Senate and the House. And the politics of the moment might derail potential policy agreements. Some Democrats might balk at settling for a drug pricing compromise that President Donald Trump endorsed.

Senate appropriations markups likely off until September
Congressional leaders and Trump administration have to agree on spending caps in next few weeks

Senate Appropriations Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is holding off on assembling the fiscal 2020 spending bills (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Appropriations Committee likely won’t mark up any of its fiscal 2020 spending bills before leaving town for the August recess — the first time in more than three decades the panel hasn’t debated any of the annual spending bills before the customary summer break.

The decision to hold back Senate appropriations bills in the absence of a spending caps agreement has set a markedly different pace for the committee than last year, when it sent all 12 of its bills to the floor before the break began.

Oil refiners racing Congress to protect butane loophole
Joint Committee on Taxation now estimates 1-year extension of the alternative fuel credits would cost $7.1 billion

House Ways and Means ranking member Kevin Brady, R-Texas, says Congress should leave it to the courts to decide whether refiners should get an alternative fuel tax credit for butane. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For more than a decade, oil refiners didn’t realize what a moneymaker they had in butane — at least for tax purposes.

They do now.

Trump suggests Rep. Omar, other Dems cheered 9/11 attacks and ‘should leave’
‘If you're not happy here, you can leave,’ president says amid backlash over comments criticized as racist

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media prior to his departure from the White House on July 5. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Monday, for the first time in front of television cameras, suggested four freshman House Democratic congresswoman who have harshly criticized him should leave the United States.

Trump, very much in reelection mode during almost every public appearance, suggested the House freshmen congresswoman prefer the al Qaeda terrorist group over the United States and alleged they “hate our country.”

Democrats renew impeachment inquiry calls after Trump’s racist tweets
Reps. Al Green, Madeleine Dean among House Democrats who resumed impeachment chatter on Monday

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, resumed his call to impeach President Donald Trump on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Al Green has promised to force a vote "this month" on impeaching President Donald Trump after the president fired off a series of tweets on Sunday, widely condemned as racist, in which he told four minority Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to the countries of their ancestry before trying to fix America’s problems.

Other House Democrats renewed their pleas to party leadership Monday to open a Judiciary Committee impeachment inquiry into Trump.

EPA approves use of bee-killing pesticide
Agency also suspends study of bee populations

Award winning bees at the Iowa 2018 State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa.  The EPA said Friday it was permitting the broader use of the pesticide sulfoxaflor. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

Just days after another federal agency suspended its periodical study of honey bee populations, the EPA greenlighted the wider use of a pesticide that environmental activists warn could further decimate the pollinators.

A major conservation group says it will take the agency to court over the decision.

Democrats condemn Trump’s racist tweets, congressional Republicans mostly silent
House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern calls his GOP colleagues ‘cowards’

Democratic Reps. Ayanna S. Pressley, from right, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Veronica Escobar  testify about their trip ICE detention facilities at the southern border last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:59 p.m. | While Democrats were united in their condemnation of President Donald Trump’s call Sunday for four members of Congress to “go back” to “the crime infested countries from which they came,” Republicans on Monday were slow to publicly comment on the president’s tirade. 

On the Republican side of the aisle, condemnations of Trump for calling four of their colleagues unworthy to serve in Congress because of their non-European heritage were slow to materialize. Even as conservative pundits decried the president’s targeting of four progressive lawmakers — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — as an ugly attack rooted in racism, not a political critique. 

Trump says House ‘Squad’ congresswomen should ‘apologize’ to him after ‘go back’ tweet
President makes false statement about three female members as his staff focuses on Rep. Omar

Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, left, and Ilhan Omar  attend a rally on the East Front of the Capitol in February. President Trump has called on them to "go back" to other countries rather than criticize the U.S. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is not backing down after calling on minority Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to the countries of their ancestry, tweeting on Monday that they should apologize — not him.

The president on Sunday drew immediate outrage from Democratic members and other critics when he lashed out at a handful of freshman House Democrats who have been in a war of words with Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California while also sharply criticizing Trump since before they took office in January. They also support impeachment proceedings against him, something that has angered him for months.

Mueller hearing might be delayed and lengthened so more members can question him
Republicans and junior Democrats on Judiciary panel had grumbled at original 2-hour format

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler had originally said Mueller’s testimony would be limited to two hours. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s testimony before Congress might be delayed until July 24, a week later than originally scheduled, to accommodate questioning from more members, multiple media outlets reported Friday.

Mueller and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler have been negotiating the framework of the hearing for weeks and announced yesterday that the special counsel’s testimony, initially scheduled for next Wednesday, July 17, would last no more than two hours.

Acosta out as Labor secretary as Epstein child sex scandal engulfs White House
Acosta will stay on through next week, Assistant Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella will fill the post in an acting capacity after that

President Donald Trump and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta talk to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday after Acosta had announced his resignation. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Embattled Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned Friday amid a churning scandal over a plea deal related to billionaire financier Jeffery Epstein and sex acts with minors.

President Donald Trump told reporters that Acosta had made the decision to resign as he departed for Wisconsin and Ohio, where the president will hold fundraisers and speak about a trade deal.