Budget

Mnuchin misses Trump tax returns deadline; asks for more time
Noncompliance with Democrats’ request could put Treasury secretary in jeopardy, legal experts say

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says “exposure for the sake of exposure” is not a valid reason for House Democrats seeking the president’s tax returns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 6:12 p.m. | Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday he will make a determination by May 6 on whether to comply with House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal’s request for six years of President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

Neal had set a 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday for the administration to comply with his request. The Treasury Department announced shortly after the deadline that Mnuchin had sent a 10-page response to the Massachusetts Democrat’s request.

Mueller says messaging apps likely destroyed Trump-Russia evidence
Tech challenges prevented special counsel from establishing full picture of what happened

Some of the individuals interviewed by the special counsel’s office communicated using apps that “do not provide for long term retention of data or communication records,” according to the Mueller report. (Carl Court/Getty Images file photo)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III concluded that there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against individuals connected with President Donald Trump’s campaign for their ties to Russia, but he said the investigation faced numerous challenges, including technological ones, in establishing a full picture of what transpired in 2015 and 2016.

“While the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges,” Mueller wrote in his report made public Thursday by the Justice Department.

Barr says he has no problem with Mueller testifying before Congress
Pelosi and Schumer call for special counsel to appear before House and Senate

Attorney General William Barr testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the Justice Department’s fiscal 2020 budget request on April 9. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Attorney General William Barr said Thursday he had no problem with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III testifying before Congress about his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election or possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

“I have no objection to Bob Mueller personally testifying,” the attorney said at a news conference before the release of Mueller’s 400-page report.

Trump civil rights official wants to defend abortion opponents and religious freedom
OCR is now reporting a rise in civil rights complaints related to a person’s moral beliefs

Roger Severino, the director for the HHS’ Office of Civil Rights, speaks at a news conference on Jan. 18 announcing a new division on conscience and religious freedom. The new division will aide medical professionals who object to certain procedures on religious grounds. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images file photo)

A Trump administration official charged with protecting civil rights has major plans for defending abortion opponents and promoting religious freedom, he said in a rare and wide-ranging interview.

Roger Severino, the director for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights, highlighted his goals to investigate states that require insurance to cover abortion, protect individuals who reject certain vaccinations on religious grounds, and defend students training to be medical providers if they object to participating in abortions.

Trump, Meadows aim to discredit Mueller report before Thursday release
Timing of report’s release confirmed by Justice Department

Attorney General William Barr talks with his chief of staff, Brian Rabbitt, before his Senate subcommittee hearing last week on the Justice Department’s budget request for fiscal year 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows are continuing to discredit the report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Russian election meddling and obstruction of justice.

A redacted version of the long-anticipated report is expected to be released Thursday, the Justice Department confirmed Monday. The president and the North Carolina Republican took to Twitter, calling the probe a hoax and suggesting that Democrats will spin findings, no matter what the report says, in a way that looks bad for Trump.

Congress might finally help the IRS trade in its old clunkers for newer computers
Updates to the agency’s systems could provide new features and web-based solutions to taxpayers

IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig testifies during a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government hearing in Rayburn Building on the IRS’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2020 on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig likes to compare the IRS’ past-their-prime computer systems to an aging car. In the case of this clunker, he puts the repair bill at somewhere between $2.3 billion and $2.7 billion.

That’s the cost of the IRS’ six-year modernization plan, intended to make dealing with the agency more like banking online, a goal it has attempted, and missed, in the past.

Stephen Miller must testify about placing immigrants in ‘sanctuary cities,’ Nadler says
Trump immigration adviser is at center of controversial proposal to release ‘thousands’ of undocumented immigrants into ‘sanctuary cities’

Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., is seen before a House Judiciary Committee hearing titled “Protecting Dreamers and TPS Recipients,” in Rayburn Building on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Three top House Democrats are demanding answers from the Trump administration on a White House proposal to release undocumented immigrants in so-called sanctuary cities to retaliate against President Donald Trump's political rivals.

The chairmen of the House Committees on Oversight and Reform, the Judiciary, and Homeland Security set a May 3 deadline for Trump's White House and DHS to deliver documents and communications about the proposal, which was reportedly devised and pushed by Trump immigration adviser Stephen Miller.

In their first 100 days, socialist Democrats have shown they are unable to lead
Nancy Pelosi’s optimism over 2020 is misplaced, NRCC chairman writes

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer says the past three months have been “disastrous” for House Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — After 100 days of accomplishing nothing but tax increases and bad headlines, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives boldly proclaimed her socialist Democratic caucus have the 2020 elections in the bag. Her faux confidence is misplaced; the past three months for her band of socialists were disastrous.

In the first 100 days, the socialist Democrats managed to call for over $100 trillion in new spending, but are so dysfunctional, they refuse to propose a budget outlining the payment plan for their radical agenda. Ridiculously, these socialists have spent weeks continuing to attack President Donald Trump’s budget proposal. Talk about hypocrisy.

Rep. Donald McEachin hospitalized after developing a blood clot
His hospitalization comes as he faces pressure from voters to endorse a “Medicare for All” bill

Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Va., suffered a blood clot last week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Photos of the Week: Hot dishes, tulips and high fives
The week of April 12 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Tulips bloom on the West Front of the Capitol on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is heading out of town for its two-week April recess, but members had an eventful week before they hit the road. 

Spring entered full bloom as Minnesota members enjoyed delicious hotdishes during their annual cooking competition, and Democrats pow-wowed in Leesburg, Virginia, for their retreat — with some celebrity guests.