Bill Flores

As Trump Waffles, House Republicans Confident They’ll Avert Shutdown
Still president, conservatives wary of GOP leaders’ government funding strategy

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, is confident there will not be a government shutdown despite President Donald Trump’s mixed signals on the matter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans prepare a legislative strategy with President Donald Trump seemingly on board, only for the president to catch them off guard with a last-minute tweet suggesting his opposition to the plan.

That scenario has played out a few times this year as lawmakers debated immigration and appropriations bills. And it could realistically happen again next week as Congress plans to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown that Trump has already signaled he might force.

Ryan’s Retirement Timing Adds Complications to Leadership Battle
Midterm results will factor into GOP race dynamics

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, center, left, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise are declining to publicly say if they’re interested in succeeding Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who announced his retirement Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s decision to “run through the tape” and wait until the end of his term to exit Congress makes an already complicated race for his leadership position even more so.

With rumors about Ryan’s potential exit from Congress circulating for the past few months, potential successors like House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana had begun quietly positioning themselves for a leadership battle.

Capitol a Land of Confusion as Shutdown Approaches
House members not even sure if they are free to go home

A worker pushes a Senate subway car Friday morning as the Senate considers the House passed continuing resolution to fund the government on January 19, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A sense of general confusion gripped the Capitol on Friday as the Senate argued over the way forward on avoiding a government shutdown and House members were unclear about whether they were supposed to go home or not. 

“I just don’t think they are in a position to tell us anything right now,” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said, adding that there haven’t been any instructions from GOP leaders about whether members can leave following votes. 

How Many Gas Pipelines Do We Need?
As demand for natural gas rises, so do questions about pipeline capacity

A natural gas pipeline yard is shown beyond a fence in Skokie, Ill., in this 2003 photo. (Tim Boyle/Getty Images file photo)

BY JACKIE TOTH

When coal-fired and nuclear power plants are retired, they’re usually replaced not by new renewable technologies like solar or wind, but with power plants fueled by natural gas.

GOP Lawmakers Stand by Trump as Majority of Americans Oppose His Re-Election
Economist/YouGov survey shows strong disapproval, unfavorables

President Donald Trump points to his ears as he tries to hear shouted questions from reporters while departing the White House for Camp David on Sept. 8. (Win McNamee/Getty Images File Photo)

A new survey indicates a majority of Americans doubt President Donald Trump’s honesty, view him as a weak leader and don’t want him to run again. But Republican lawmakers say he isn’t a drag on their agenda and predict he will be a formidable candidate in 2020.

Fifty-six percent of respondents in the latest Economist/YouGov survey were so put off by the commander in chief they wanted him to opt against a re-election bid. The results were not kind to Trump, with 54 percent saying they either somewhat or strongly disapproved of how the president is doing his job, while 39 percent approved.

Harvey Aid Bill Creates Dilemma for Texas Republicans
Most oppose move to tack debt and CR to disaster relief

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer struck a rare deal with Republican President Donald Trump on Thursday (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A measure that would provide Hurricane Harvey disaster relief to Texas has politically perplexed members of the Lone Star State’s congressional delegation, some of whom plan to vote against it.

That’s because it includes a debt ceiling extension and only three months’ worth of government funding — a deal struck by President Donald Trump with House and Senate Democratic leaders.

Texas Members Respond to Hurricane Harvey
Others send best wishes and prayers to those in the path of the storm

Water churns from approaching Hurricane Harvey in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Friday. The storm has the potential to drop up to 3 feet of rain with 125 mph winds. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

While Texans stocked up on food and water, filled their gas tanks, boarded up their homes, and left the area ahead of Hurricane Harvey, their members of Congress were passing along the latest news and advice.

Some said they would ride out the storm in their districts.

Photos of the Week: A Health Care Bill Stalemate Hits D.C. Amid Heat Wave
The week of July 17 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

On Monday, U.S. Capitol Police officers prepare to arrest several demonstrators protesting the GOP health care legislation in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building. Dozens of protesters chanted during the demonstration before police cleared the atrium. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By BILL CLARK and TOM WILLIAMS

The week of July 17 began with health care negotiations in the Senate, amid protests in the hallways of the Senate office buildings, and is coming to an end with an essentially stalled process on a new health care bill in the chamber. The Republican effort to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s signature law continued to be the focus of Congress watchers on the Hill this week.

Word on the Hill: Whipping Votes for Tilly
Emgage, White Ford Bronco, and hip hop

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, right, lobbies Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey on Wednesday to vote for Tilly, a Boston terrier in Tillis’ office, in a cutest dog on the Hill contest. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call’s Bridget Bowman spotted a bipartisan pup moment Wednesday.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., brought seven-month-old Boston terrier Tilly around with him on Wednesday, whipping votes for her in a cutest dog contest, and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., stopped to say hello.

Energy Pipeline Permitting Bills Passed by House

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., authored a bill that would transfer pipeline permit authority from states to the federal government. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As Republicans rush to join the Trump administration’s efforts to boost oil and gas production, the House pushed two measures on Wednesday aimed at easing the permitting process for pipelines that cross state and international lines.

Lawmakers voted, 254-175, to pass a bill by Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., which would transfer authority to issue permits for pipelines and power transmission lines that cross international borders from the State Department to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Mullin and other Republicans argued the measure is necessary to keep politics out of the pipeline permitting process.