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Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Around the Capitol?
Lewis gets do-over in Mississippi, GOP lawmakers prepare for March for Life

From left, Reps. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Scott Tipton, R-Colo., and Roger Williams, R-Texas, are seen during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the "Disclosing Foreign Influence Act" in Rayburn Building on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Talking Syrup at Pete’s Diner with Peter Welch
 

Trump Throws Stopgap Spending Vote Into Chaos Over CHIP
Says children’s health insurance program should be solved ‘long term’ instead of extended for 30 days

President Donald Trump defied his staff by criticizing the inclusion of a provision to extend CHIP in the latest continuing budget resolution. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Thursday undermined efforts by House Republican leaders and his own staff to avoid a government shutdown, criticizing a decision to include an extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in a GOP-crafted stopgap spending bill.

The president, after first contradicting his own chief of staff via Twitter on Thursday morning, fired off another post expressing his view that a CHIP extension should not be part of a four-week stopgap measure on which the House is slated to vote later in the day.

GOP Senators Line Up In Opposition To Continuing Resolution
Talks among GOP turn heated as deadline for government shutdown approaches

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is one of two Senate Republicans who have announced they will not vote for the next continuing resolution in its current form. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At least two GOP senators will vote against a short-term patch to keep the government funded, as Republican congressional leaders struggle to find the votes in either chamber to pass another continuing resolution.

Sens. Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina both intend to vote against the CR in its current form. Rounds has expressed frustration over the continued reliance on temporary funding measures, while Graham continues to push for a vote on his proposal to address the pending expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Ward and McSally Slam Flake’s Freedom of Press Speech
Ward called it ‘embarrassment to the state of Arizona’

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., arrives in the Capitol on Wednesday before making his floor speech on press freedoms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Arizona’s Republican candidates for Senate slammed Sen. Jeff Flake for his speech criticizing President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press.

Former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who planned to challenge Flake in a primary before he announced he would not seek re-election, called his comparisons to Joseph Stalin “appalling and an embarrassment to the state of Arizona” in a statement.

Trump Might Avoid Republican Primaries
President tells Reuters he plans to campaign heavily for GOP candidates in midterms

President Donald Trump said he’ll spend “probably four or five days a week” campaigning for Republican candidates in the midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump says that he will campaign frequently for Republicans during the 2018 midterm elections, but might avoid getting involved in primaries.

“I am going to spend probably four or five days a week helping people because we need more Republicans,” he told Reuters. “To get the real agenda through, we need more Republicans.”

Trump Contradicts Kelly, Claims Wall Views Have Not ‘Evolved’
Chief of staff contends president was previously ‘uninformed’

President Donald Trump was up early on Thursday contradicting what his chief of staff had told lawmakers about the southern border wall on Wednesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Contradicting his chief of staff, Donald Trump on Thursday claimed his thinking about a southern border wall has not “evolved,” and returned to his vow that Mexico, one way or another, will pay for it.

Kelly first described Trump’s views on the U.S.-Mexico border barrier as changed during a Wednesday morning meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Capitol Hill. The retired Marine Corps four-star general kept up his rare public remarks about the controversial Trump campaign pledge during an evening cable news interview.

How the No. 2 Leaders Have Taken Over the DACA Debate
Talks between Hill’s second-in-command honchos represents best shot at accord

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has spearheaded the immigration negotiations among the Hill’s No. 2 leaders. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The No. 2s. The deputies. The gang of four.

There are a lot of names for the four congressional leaders engaged in bipartisan, bicameral talks on immigration, but one thing has become increasingly clear over the past week: The group is Congress’s best shot at reaching an elusive deal to protect young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation.

The Next Special Election in the Heart of Trump Country
President will travel to Pennsylvania’s 18th District on Thursday

Democrats see Conor Lamb’s moderate profile and background as a Marine and federal prosecutor as an advantage in Pennsylvania’s 18th District. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

It’s no accident that President Donald Trump will travel Thursday to an equipment manufacturing plant outside of Pittsburgh. And it’s no accident that Pennsylvania Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone will be there too. 

The visit is an official one, but with a political backdrop. H&K Equipment is located in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, where Saccone will face Democrat Conor Lamb on March 13, the first special election of the year.  

Congress Honors ‘Soldier, Legislator and Statesman’ Bob Dole
Trump, Pence and congressional leaders share tales of majority leader from Kansas

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole is greeted by Speaker Paul D. Ryan during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony at the Capitol on Wednesday to honor him as a “soldier, legislator, and statesman.” Also pictured, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When it was Vice President Mike Pence’s turn to honor former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, he praised the Kansan for a decision he made during his 1996 run for the White House.

“There was one moment in his life that seemed for me to embody the character of this great American,” Pence said, speaking at a ceremony to present Dole with a Congressional Gold Medal.