Charles E Grassley

Lawmakers are bracing for a Commerce Dept. report on car import tariffs
The department has sent Trump its report on whether or not to impose new duties on imported vehicles

U.S. Department of Commerce building in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As President Donald Trump studies a Commerce Department report on the impact of car imports, lawmakers and industry groups are bracing for yet another hit on trade.

On Sunday, the Commerce Department sent Trump its long-awaited report on whether or not to impose new duties on imported vehicles under a national security rationale. The report’s contents have not been released to the public or apparently to members of Congress.

Senate confirms Barr amid questions about Mueller report
The Senate voted to confirm Barr as the next attorney general, mostly along party lines

William P. Barr, left, nominee for attorney general, greets former Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, upon arriving for his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Hart Building on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. Hatch introduced Barr to the committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

William Barr takes over the Justice Department on Thursday at a pivotal moment for the nation’s legal landscape, with his tenure closely tied to how he will handle the special counsel’s Russia investigation and any political pressure from the White House.

The Senate voted 54-45 to confirm Barr as the next attorney general, mostly along party lines. Senators have strong clues that he will continue the Trump administration’s conservative policies and legal arguments on immigration, civil rights enforcement and LGBT employment discrimination.

Canada and Mexico will act on new NAFTA once tariffs end, Grassley says
Country officials reaffirmed opposition to tariffs on steel and aluminum imports meetings last week

Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, arrives for the Senate Finance Committee organizational meeting and hearing on pending nominations on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mexican and Canadian officials are serious about their countries not ratifying the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement unless the Trump administration ends steel and aluminum tariffs on their products, Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley said Tuesday.

Grassley, R-Iowa, said the Mexican ambassador and the Canadian Foreign Affairs minister in meetings last week with him reaffirmed their countries’ opposition to the continuation of the 25 percent steel tariff and the 10 percent levy on aluminum imports.

2020 Democratic contenders largely align on drug price bills
Candidates may strain to stand out on drugs in crowded primary field

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, left, introduced a three-bill drug pricing package last month. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is one of its original co-sponsors. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bold stance on drug pricing will be a prerequisite for any candidate who wants to win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, but one challenge will be differentiating the contenders from each other.

The main distinction among candidates could be between those pushing bipartisan policies and those promoting more liberal ideas that currently stand little chance of enactment. But in most cases, the bills have a list of co-sponsors that could resemble a future primary debate stage.

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.

Chuck Grassley has no problem with corn syrup in beer (but he doesn’t drink it)
Senate Finance chairman responds to the Bud Light Super Bowl ads

Sen. Charles E. Grassley does not drink beer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee were a beer drinker, he would not be a fan of Bud Light.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley took a moment out of a call with reporters Tuesday morning to thank brewers who use corn syrup, in response to a Super Bowl advertising campaign by Anheuser-Busch InBev that trashed competitors for including the ingredient.

Cracks in GOP support for Trump emerge, but White House claims ‘we’re all good’
‘What was boiling under the surface … has now come to the surface,’ Republican insider says

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as Republican senators look on following a lunch meeting in the Capitol on Jan. 9. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican lawmakers are increasingly breaking with Donald Trump — through critical words and high-profile votes — but White House officials contend the president still has a grip on his party mates on Capitol Hill.

The Senate floor in recent weeks has become ground zero for GOP members jumping out of line. With a series of national security and government spending speeches and vote results, the president’s party has issued a string of stinging blows after nearly two years of mostly sticking with and defending him.

House, Senate panels begin hearings seeking drug cost solutions
Future hearings will likely focus more on legislative proposals, and at some point members hope that drug companies will share their ideas

From left, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Mark Meadows, R-N.C., talk during a House Oversight and Reform Committee business meeting in Rayburn Building on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers emphasized the steep cost of the diabetes treatment insulin and ways to use Medicare and Medicaid to discourage companies from setting high prices as Congress kicked off a series of drug price hearings Tuesday.

Hearings before the Senate Finance and the House Oversight and Reform committees featured academics and patient advocates as lawmakers in both chambers investigate why drug prices are high and what Congress can do about it.

Barr says he’d resign rather than fire Mueller without cause
Attorney general nominee fills in some blanks with new answers on special counsel probe, border wall, abortion

William P. Barr, nominee to be attorney general, speaks during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 15. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Attorney General nominee William Barr assured senators that he would not fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III without good cause or change Justice Department regulations for the purpose of firing him.

“I would resign rather than follow an order to terminate the special counsel without good cause,” Barr said in written answers to questions from Senate Judiciary Committee members released Monday.

Senate shutdown talks hastened after airline disruption
Trump announces deal that would open shuttered government agencies and negotiate DHS funding

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leaves the Senate floor after Senate rejected two attempts from Republicans and Democrats to reopen government on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Discussions between Senate leaders of both parties on how to end the 35-day government shutdown picked up with renewed urgency Friday as the record-setting government shutdown began halting flights scheduled to land at LaGuardia Airport — in Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer’s home state of New York.

President Donald Trump announced Friday afternoon that a deal had been reached that would fund shuttered government agencies for three weeks while providing time to negotiate funding for the Department of Homeland Security.