Charles E Grassley

Senators Seek to Protect Mueller From Trump
Work will take place to reconcile two bills over recess

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has broad support among senators. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What’s the best way to keep President Donald Trump from firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III? Senators and their staffs on both sides of the aisle will be trying to figure that out over the next few weeks.

Sen. Chris Coons hopes lawmakers will come together quickly to craft a bill to provide Mueller with some insulation from Trump. The Delaware Democrat is the lead co-sponsor on a bill introduced by North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis that would create a right of action for a special counsel to seek legal recourse in the event of a firing.

Christopher Wray Faces Challenges as New FBI Director
Senate confirms new director on 92-5 vote, showing bipartisan support

The Senate confirmed Christopher Wray as the FBI director, 92-5. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Christopher Wray will lead the FBI as it wrestles with challenges such as cybersecurity and domestic terrorist investigations, as well as the political fallout from the bureau’s role in the 2016 presidential election and its ongoing investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign.

The Senate’s bipartisan support for Wray, 50, is rooted in his reputation as well as experience with national security issues and major investigations as a federal prosecutor, a Justice Department official after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and as a lawyer in private practice.

Trump Threatens Congressional Health Insurance Benefits
Tweet may be prelude to rescinding employer contribution for members

President Donald Trump is suggesting his administration may act to slash health benefits for members of Congress. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is considering stripping the employer contribution for health insurance away from members of Congress.

While the Trump White House has previously declined numerous requests from Roll Call to weigh in on the possibility, the president took to his favorite social media platform Saturday to make the threat himself.

Word on the Hill: This Isn’t ‘House of Cards’
Girls Nation, tennis and whisleblowers

Actor Paul Sparks spoke about being diagnosed with diabetes at 28-years-old at a Senate Aging Committee hearing Wednesday. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)

The author writing a book about Frank and Claire Underwood in Netflix’s “House of Cards” was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday — well, the actor who plays him was.

Paul Sparks, who plays Tom Yates on the show and also stars on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” testified before the Senate Aging Committee on diabetes research.

Grassley, Feinstein Issue Subpoena for Manafort Testimony
Committee wants Trump campaign chief to appear on Wednesday

Then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump (left) and his then-campaign manager Paul Manafort at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland last July. Senators want to hear from Manafort, possibly this week, about Russia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday they saw no choice but to use a subpoena to compel Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, to testify on Wednesday.

Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement they were “willing to accommodate” Manafort’s requests to cooperate with the committee’s investigation without appearing at Wednesday’s hearing, but they “were unable to reach an agreement” for his desire to provide “only a single transcribed interview to Congress, which would not be available to the Judiciary Committee members or staff.”

Analysis: Moving Past Obamacare May Include Embracing Some of Its Conservative Roots
Parts of 2010 health care law based on Republican ideas

Montana Sen. Max Baucus, seen here in 2013, solicited Republican opinions while crafting a template for what became the 2010 health care law. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Missteps, miscalculations and mistakes have almost defined efforts to repeal the 2010 health care law. 

Some political theorists and economists — including conservatives — suggest that one of the biggest mistakes may be the reluctance by Republicans to acknowledge that significant parts of President Barack Obama’s signature law were based on conservative principles.

Word on the Hill: Week Ahead
Your social schedule for the week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican Conference continue debate over health care this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome back to another full legislative week.

It won’t be as hot as it has been after the temperature drops tonight, so you might actually want to get outside tomorrow.

New FBI Director Expected to Be Confirmed Before August Recess
Approved by Judiciary Committee on Thursday

Christopher Wray, nominee for FBI Director, is expected to win confirmation before August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators want the new FBI director on the job as soon as possible, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to see Christopher Wray confirmed before August recess. That looks increasingly likely, as the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved his nomination, teeing it up for floor consideration as soon as McConnell moves ahead.

But the year’s nomination process has been so fraught that McConnell’s staff sent a statement out announcing the Kentucky Republican’s intentions complete with a warning shot to Democrats. 

John Bush Nomination Exposes Partisan Divide
Kentucky jurist’s anonymous blog posts brings up questions of temperament

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley and ranking member Dianne Feinstein are not on the same page when it comes to the nomination of John Bush to the federal bench. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The nomination of John Bush to be a federal appellate court judge underscores how swiftly Senate Republicans can help President Donald Trump reshape the nation’s courts in a conservative direction.

Bush, nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate on Wednesday on a 51-48 vote. Democrats now have an opportunity to air their concerns on the floor ahead of a final confirmation vote later this week.

Word on the Hill: Rooney to Hunt Pythons
Grassley challenges reporter to pushup contest

Florida Rep. Francis Rooney is going python hunting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

So far, it appears Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., will be the lawmaker with the best story to tell about what he did during the August recess.

The freshman congressman announced Monday that he is going to hunt pythons in Florida on Aug. 10, part of “Python Elimination Program,” which targets the invasive Burmese python.