Al Franken

Dems to Trump: Now Let’s Talk About Refugees
Air strikes alone can’t mitigate humanitarian disaster, Democrats say

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., left, and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., head to the Senate floor for a vote on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats who were quick to express support for the American air strikes in Syria followed up Friday with a warning that the Trump administration cannot hope to fully address the humanitarian disaster without reassessing its intolerance toward refugees.

“The President said that images of slaughtered Syrian children contributed to his decision to take military action,” said California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris. “That should also compel the Administration to rethink its misguided refugee policy and open our doors to the children and families fleeing ongoing violence and oppression in Syria and elsewhere.”

Photos of the Week: Senate Goes Nuclear to Confirm Gorsuch
The week of April 3 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

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

The consideration of Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court was front and center all week on Capitol Hill. The final vote for confirmation took place Friday morning, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding over the Senate, but the lead-up had more fireworks — with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoking the “nuclear option” on Thursday to lower the threshold of cloture votes needed, effectively clearing the way for Gorsuch’s approval. 

Minnesota’s Rick Nolan Facing Big Decision on Governor Run
DFL congressman’s seat would be a top GOP pickup opportunity

Rep. Rick Nolan, seen here with his wife Mary in Brainerd, Minnesota, last year, says he’s now closer to a 2018 run for governor in the North Star State. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As he heads out of Washington for two weeks back home in Minnesota, Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan has a big decision to make that could have implications for his party’s efforts to retake the House majority in 2018. 

After Nolan outperformed Hillary Clinton by 12 points last fall in his 8th District, once again holding a rural seat Republicans are desperate to pick up, his allies in Minnesota started urging him to run for governor. 

Senate Moves Closer to Supreme Court Showdown on Gorsuch
Graham: ‘If we have to, we will change the rule and it looks like we’re going to have to.’

Sens. John Kennedy of Louisiana, left, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina listen to Minnesota Sen. Al Franken make a statement during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Monday on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:22 p.m. | Long-held Senate rules that require consensus for Supreme Court nominees appear doomed, after enough Democrats announced they would block Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and force Republicans to alter filibuster rules if they want to put President Donald Trump’s pick on the high court.

The Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-9 along party lines Monday, as expected, to favorably advance Gorsuch’s nomination to the Senate floor, but not before key Democrats said they would oppose the 49-year-old federal appeals court judge from Colorado.

Gorsuch Avoids Missteps at Supreme Court Hearing
“I have no difficulty ruling for or against any party”

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch testifies on the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Hart Building, March 21, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch spent 11 hours Tuesday abstaining from giving personal opinions on controversial issues and reassuring critics that he isn’t beholden to President Donald Trump, generally avoiding the kind of major slip that could trip up his confirmation.

Gorsuch adopted a solemn tone at times and tried to add dashes of levity at others, as he fielded gentle Republican questions and fended off Democratic queries on abortion rights, campaign finance and his previous decisions on administrative law and workers rights.

Word on the Hill: Mid-Women’s History Month
Congressional basketball lineup is out

From left, Reps. Grace F. Napolitano, Jackie Speier, and Nancy Pelosi of California, Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Barbara Lee and Nanette Barragán of California, Nydia M. Velázquez of New York, Katherine M. Clark of Massachusetts, and Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico wear red as they descend the House steps to support “A Day Without Women” on March 8. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s the middle of Women’s History Month and we want to hear about your experiences so far this March.

We covered International Women’s Day last week. Do you have another story to share or plans coming up?

Photos of the Week: Health Care, Health Care and More Health Care
The week of March 6 on Capitol Hill as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., held a presser Thursday on the GOP plan to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, complete with a PowerPoint. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans started the week by rolling out their option to repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law on Monday evening. From there, several news conferences held by GOP leaders — and one headlined by Speaker Paul D. Ryan with series of charts — began the sale of the bill to House members. Some conservatives, however, are on not on board with the plan despite it passing two committees. 

Heard on the Hill This Week: Al Franken’s Hotdish and the Tallest Senator in Modern History

This week Roll Call’s Heard on the Hill reporter Alex Gangitano checked out a Minnesota cooking competition hosted by Sen. Al Franken. In addition to sampling some North Star State “hotdishes,” Alex sat down with new Sen. Luther Strange, the tallest senator in modern history.

Al Franken Explains the Minnesota Hotdish During Annual Cook-Off

The Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition was held Wednesday on Capitol Hill and Roll Call was there. Watch for who won (hint: it featured bear meat), who cheated (spoiler alert: someone didn’t just submit a hotdish to the hotdish cook-off) and lots and lots of warm food.

Peterson Exercises Right to Bear Arms to Win Hotdish Competition
Franken hosts the seventh annual Minnesota bake-off

From center left, Sen. Amy Klobucharand Rep. Betty McCollum size up the fare at the seventh annual Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s that time of the year when Al Franken makes jokes and eats casserole. Or, as the Minnesota senator and his North Star State colleagues call it, hotdish.

Rep. Collin C. Peterson won the seventh annual Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition with his dish that had bear meat in it.