Charles E Grassley

The Search for Intelligent Bipartisanship on Health Care
Rank-and-file lawmakers to keep pushing the issue

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bill Cassidy, R-La., say their bill could be a path forward on health care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ Roll Call 

With Republican leaders pausing their quest to overturn the 2010 health care law, rank-and-file lawmakers see an opportunity for outreach behind the scenes on the divisive issue.

The Senate’s Big Week That Wasn’t
Senators fill the week before Gorsuch comes to the floor

Without a health care bill to consider, senators are waiting for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to hit the floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators were gearing up for a marathon week of debate on a House-passed health care measure, including the peculiar ritual of voting on an unlimited number of amendments known as the vote-a-rama, but political reality has laid that plan to waste. 

The House’s failure to pass a rollback of the 2010 health care law has left senators burning time until the Judiciary Committee sends to the floor the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice on the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court Confirmation Battle That Began 30 Years Ago
Three senators on Judiciary panel weathered watershed 1987 fight

Judge Robert Bork, nominated by President Ronald Reagan to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, is sworn before the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing in September 1987. (John Duricka/AP File Photo)

In one of the more striking moments from the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch this week, Sen. Charles E. Grassley offered this advice:

Don’t answer every question.

Gorsuch Avoids Missteps at Supreme Court Hearing
“I have no difficulty ruling for or against any party”

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch testifies on the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Hart Building, March 21, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch spent 11 hours Tuesday abstaining from giving personal opinions on controversial issues and reassuring critics that he isn’t beholden to President Donald Trump, generally avoiding the kind of major slip that could trip up his confirmation.

Gorsuch adopted a solemn tone at times and tried to add dashes of levity at others, as he fielded gentle Republican questions and fended off Democratic queries on abortion rights, campaign finance and his previous decisions on administrative law and workers rights.

Gorsuch: I Would Have ‘No Difficulty’ Ruling Against Trump
Tells Grassley it was a ‘softball’ question

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch fist-bumps his nephew Jack on the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch called it an easy question Tuesday when asked if he would have any trouble ruling against President Donald Trump, who nominated him to the high court.

“That’s a softball, Mr. Chairman,” Gorsuch responded to Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa. “I have no difficulty ruling for or against any party, other than what the law and the facts in a particular case require.”

Bennet Faces Colorado Blitz on Supreme Court Nominee
Colorado Democrat could help GOP move Neil Gorsuch’s nomination

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet introduced Judge Neil Gorsuch at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Michael Bennet is facing pressure to support his home state’s Supreme Court nominee not just from Republicans, but also from one of Colorado’s most popular figures, Denver Broncos great John Elway.

Shortly before the Colorado Democrat was set to introduce Judge Neil Gorsuch at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Monday, the appellate judge’s publicity team released a letter that the revered former quarterback and current Broncos’ general manager sent to the committee in favor of Gorsuch’s nomination. 

Word on the Hill: Gorsuch on Snapchat
Albright, spottings, and grad school

Monday's snapchat filter from the NRSC. (Photo courtesy of the NRSC)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has decided to have some fun with Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination hearings.

The NRSC launched a Snapchat filter series in support of Gorsuch, and a new filter will be unveiled each day that you can use if you’re in the area. The committee asks that you send your photographs with the filter to ‘TheNRSC’ on Snapchat.

Gorsuch: Judges Aren’t ‘Politicians in Robes’
SCOTUS nominee tries to ease concerns about his legal philosophy

Judge Neil Gorsuch takes his seat for the first day of the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings on Monday for his Supreme Court nomination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Judge Neil Gorsuch used family details to introduce himself to the country Monday on the opening day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing, and sought to ease Democrats’ concerns about his legal philosophy.

In his opening statement, Gorsuch spoke of starting off married life with his wife, Louise, in a small apartment. The federal appeals court judge shared his favorite memories of his teenage daughters, such as bathing chickens for the county fair. The Colorado native mentioned his father’s lessons that kindness is a great virtue and there are few experiences closer to God than wading in a trout stream.

Fellow Clerks Push Gorsuch Confirmation
Nominee’s colleagues from time together in D.C. express support

Judge Neil Gorsuch is President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Dozens of former law clerks of federal appeals judge David Sentelle have written to the Senate calling for quick confirmation of their onetime colleague Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

“We work for law firms, public interest groups, private companies, government entities, and academic institutions. What unites us is our firm conviction that Judge Gorsuch is eminently qualified to serve on the nation’s highest court,” wrote the 60 Sentelle clerks.

GOP Plan Doesn’t Address Members, Staff Health Care
Unanswered questions on fate of 11,000 people

A sign from 2013 alerts Senate employees that representatives from DC Health Link are in the Hart Senate Office Building to help them with health insurance enrollment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As lawmakers delve into questions about the Republican health care plan, one big one will remain unanswered for the time being: What happens to health care for members of Congress and their staffs?

The 2010 health care law required members and their staff to enroll in health care programs created by the law. But it’s not clear if that requirement will continue, or whether lawmakers and staff will return to the coverage plans they had prior to the law taking effect.