Connecticut

Nuclear Option Looms as Supreme Court Hearings Wrap Up
Senators ready to blame opposing party for any upending of Senate rules

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch testifies on the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings wrapping up, senators will soon confront whether his nomination will upend Senate rules.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet said  whether he would move to change Senate rules that currently require 60 votes to end debate on Gorsuch’s nomination. If eight members of the Democratic caucus do not join the 52 Republicans to move the nomination forward, McConnell could move to change the rules, lowering the threshold to a simple majority.

Opinion: James Comey and the Art of the Shiv
FBI director has the credibility to oppose the White House

In his testimony Monday, James B. Comey dropped enough bombshells to solidify his reputation as the most significant FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Late in Monday’s marathon hearing of the House Intelligence Committee, FBI Director James Comey reminded the nation that he was something of a hostile witness, reluctantly summoned to talk about Russia, Donald Trump and the 2016 campaign.

“I’d rather not be talking about this at all,” Comey said. “Now we are going to close our mouths and do our work.”

Members See Green
How they’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney at a previous St. Patrick’s Day celebration. (Photo courtesy of Maloney’s office)

It’s St. Patrick’s Day and plenty of members of Congress are celebrating their heritage.

On Thursday, many showed up at the office by wearing Irish flag ties, green blazers, dresses, and accessories.

Yesterday’s US Attorneys May Be Tomorrow’s Congressional Candidates
Abrupt ouster by Trump administration provides incentive

Dana Boente could be a plausible challenger to Republican Scott Taylor in Virginia’s 2nd District. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump’s abrupt ouster of almost half the country’s U.S. attorneys has done more than create yet another tempest for his nascent administration. It’s also created a new and potentially potent Democratic political class.

Campaign consultants in both parties have long identified prosecutors — especially those confirmed by the Senate to act as the chief federal law enforcement officers in the nation’s 93 judicial districts — as top-flight congressional recruiting opportunities. But, for reasons that aren’t all that obvious, the Republicans have propelled many more crime busters onto Capitol Hill than the Democrats in recent years.

Word on the Hill: D.C. and Guns
Save the date for Dine Out Day

Cherry blossoms were covered with ice on the East Front of the Capitol after snow and freezing rain fell over the region on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With gun sales on the decline in the U.S. since President Donald Trump took office, WalletHub conducted a study to find out which states were the most dependent on the gun industry.

The District of Columbia topped the list for highest average wages and benefits in the firearms industry at $348,325. That’s more than 10 times higher than New Mexico, which came in last at $34,232.

Word on the Hill: Cortez Masto and Latina Staffers
Tea party rally and award for Biden

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, center, front row, and the staffers. (Courtesy Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto's office)

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., met with Latina Senate staffers on Monday for a roundtable discussion on the importance of women and students of color getting access to internships and employment opportunities on Capitol Hill.

They also discussed obstacles women face in a Senate office and brainstormed other ways to address issues pertaining to a lack of diversity.

Tough Choices for Democrats: Obstruct or Govern
Angry constituents want members of Congress to step up

Police escort Republican Rep. Tom McClintock through a town hall audience from the Tower Theatre in Roseville, California, on Feb. 4. (Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee via AP file photo)

It’s now well known in Washington that on Feb. 4, police escorted GOP Rep. Tom McClintock, a fifth-term libertarian whose district stretches from the Sacramento suburbs to Yosemite National Park, out of a town hall meeting full of angry constituents in Roseville, Calif., 30 miles northeast of the state capital. The calls of activists opposed to President Donald Trump rained down: “This is what democracy looks like!”

Less than a week later, activists ambushed another Republican representative also starting his ninth year in Congress, Jason Chaffetz, at a town hall in a high school auditorium in suburban Salt Lake City. “Do your job!” they yelled at the Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, demanding that he investigate Trump’s conflicts of interest.

Senators Ask White House: Where Are the Nominees?
Vice President assures GOP lawmakers names are coming

Rod Rosenstein, nominee for deputy attorney general, and Rachel L. Brand, nominee for associate attorney general, faced the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican senators are eager to continue pushing through President Donald Trump’s executive branch nominees, but they are increasingly concerned about the slow pace of nominations being sent to the Capitol for the people who will be tasked with much of the nitty-gritty work of government. 

“I continue to ask for additional names to come forward, and I’m assured that they will be soon,” Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso said Tuesday.

Word on the Hill: Hotdish Time
West Virginia, baseball and women

Last year's hotdish made by Minnesota Sen. Al Franken was titled "The Most Beautiful Hotdish in the World," in honor of Prince. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Minnesota tradition of eating “hotdish” and listening to Al Franken’s jokes is here again.

Franken is hosting the seventh annual Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition, and will be joined by Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Reps. Collin C. Peterson, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Tim Walz, Rick Nolan, Erik Paulsen, Tom Emmer and Jason Lewis.

The Democrat Who Hugged the President
Trump and Sen. Joe Manchin share an interlocked fate

West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin III has embraced the idea of working with President Donald Trump, a smart strategy given the Mountain State’s strong support for Trump in last year’s election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Most Democrats fled after President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress last week. But Sen. Joe Manchin III instead approached him — and leaned in for a hug.

The gesture only lasted a few seconds. But it speaks volumes about the symbiotic relationship that has emerged between the West Virginia Democrat and the Republican president in recent months.