Bill Cassidy

House clears measure to end US role in Yemen
Lawmakers haven’t gone this far in trying to end a foreign military campaign since the Vietnam era

Demonstrators from Code Pink protest Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen as Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., walks by in the basement of Hart Building on Nov. 28, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House on Thursday cleared a historic measure ordering the president to end military operations in Yemen, the first time lawmakers have gone this far in trying to end a foreign military campaign since the Vietnam era.

President Donald Trump has promised to veto the bipartisan joint resolution, which the Senate passed in March. Based on previous Yemen-related votes, there likely will not be the two-thirds support necessary in both the House and Senate to overturn the veto.

Does Trump understand how the federal budget process works?
President declares he has ‘overruled’ staff on Special Olympics, but it’s Congress who will decide

President Donald Trump talks with journalists before departing the White House on March 20. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In a curious statement that defies the realities of the federal spending process, President Donald Trump declared Thursday that “the Special Olympics will be funded” because he has “overruled” his own staff who wanted to cut off the federal spigot to the charity.

The Education Department’s fiscal 2020 spending request proposes eliminating $17.6 million for the Special Olympics, and Secretary Betsy DeVos and other Trump surrogates say the charity simply does not need the federal funds.

These GOP senators voted to potentially let Trump pull funds from military projects back home
Votes could carry some risk for Republicans up for re-election in 2020

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., voted “no” on a resolution to revoke President Donald Trump’s authority to shift military construction funds, putting funds for several military bases in his state at risk. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some Republican senators who voted Thursday against terminating the President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration may face backlash for risking military projects in their home states.

Twelve GOP senators joined all Democrats in voting for the joint resolution to block the president’s bid to redirect up to $6.7 billion from other Cabinet departments for his southern border wall. But 41 Republicans, some facing competitive re-elections in 2020, voted against the measure. 

Republicans, seeing opportunities in the suburbs, advance paid leave plans
Current GOP proposals on tap in Congress could be the first of many in 2020 cycle

Missouri Rep Ann Wagner, who is seeking to improve the GOP’s standing in the suburbs, also plans to launch a new paid family leave bill in the House in the coming weeks. Picture behind Wagner, Florida Rep. Neal Dunn. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats have dominated discussions surrounding parental leave for decades. But Republicans are now poised to introduce a raft of new proposals in the coming weeks, reflecting the party’s effort to win back the suburban women it lost in the midterms.

Lawmakers working on new legislation include Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri, Roll Call has confirmed.

Eli Lilly chief executive escapes drug prices hearing
Diabetes advocates want to hear from CEO of U.S.-based company behind insulin price hikes

A woman hands an insulin pen to Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., during a 2017 town hall meeting on his health care legislation. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images file photo)

The chief executives of seven pharmaceutical companies will have to answer for the steep cost of medicines before a panel of senators on Tuesday.

The tableau of corporate heads raising their right hands to deliver sworn testimony about a growing public health crisis could recall scrutiny of the tobacco industry in Congress in the 1990s.

Primary care changes could be part of Senate effort to lower health care costs
A committee discussed ideas including provider incentives to buy drugs directly from wholesalers, and encouraging employers to offer on-site clinics

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., right, and Tina Smith, D-Minn., talk with attendees of the a Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Sept. 25, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Tuesday highlighted changes to primary care coverage that could be part of a Senate effort to lower health care costs this year.

Those ideas include incentives for providers to buy drugs directly from wholesalers, expanding which services qualify for health savings account purchases, encouraging employers to offer on-site clinics to workers, and clarifying how direct primary care programs can help physicians reduce time spent on administrative tasks.

FEMA Relents on Flood Insurance
Sales of new policies will be allowed during partial shutdown

Sen. Bill Cassidy was among several Republican lawmakers who urged FEMA to reverse its decision not to allow the sale of  flood insurance policies during the partial shutdown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency reversed course late Friday and said it would allow sales of new flood insurance policies during the partial government shutdown.

“As of this evening, all [National Flood Insurance Program] insurers have been directed to resume normal operations immediately and advised that the program will be considered operational since December 21, 2018 without interruption,” FEMA said in a press release.

Photos of the Week: Freshman Lottery, a Christmas Tree and Capitol Moving
The week of Nov. 26 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Rep.-elect Lucy McBath, D-Ga., does a dance after drawing No. 18 during the new member room lottery draw for office space in Rayburn Building on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House new member orientation continued this week as the Capitol community prepares for the holidays and the inevitable switching of offices that happens before each new Congress.

Paid Family Leave Could Make It To Next Congress After Midterm Boost
Elections have seen unprecedented push for paid leave

Vangie Williams, the Democratic nominee for Virginia’s 1st District and a mother of six, says her support for paid family leave comes from her experience balancing work while caring for a sick daughter and returning to work shortly after childbirth. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vangie Williams, a mother of six, was facing foreclosure and a pile of medical bills for her 2-year-old daughter’s rare lung condition when she wrote to her congressman. She wanted help. But she got a form letter, she recalled.

The experience was one of many that convinced the Virginia Democrat several years later to challenge 1st District Republican Rep. Rob Wittman on a platform that includes paid leave so families caring for sick relatives can avoid some of the impossible financial decisions that she faced.  She and her husband ended up tapping out their retirement accounts and losing their home, she said. 

EPA Proposal Would End Summer Ban on Ethanol Motor Fuel — With the Midterms Just a Month Away
Some corn state Republicans facing tough re-election bids

The Environmental Protection Agency will propose an end to the summer ban on motor fuel made with ethanol according to a senior White House official. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The EPA will propose to end the summer ban on the sale of motor fuel made with 15 percent ethanol, according to a senior White House official.

The move is sure to please corn state lawmakers such as Iowa Republican Sens. Charles E. Grassley and Joni Ernst, who have spent the better part of the last year and a half pushing the Trump administration to do more to enforce requirements under the so-called Renewable Fuel Standard — a federal mandate to boost renewable fuels like ethanol in the nation’s gasoline mix.