Dan Coats

White House Rejects Intel Committee Wiretap Conclusions
Press secretary instead lashes out at press

Trump stands by his unfounded assertion that Obama ordered wiretaps of Trump Tower. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By REMA RAHMAN and JOHN T. BENNETT CQ Roll Call

The White House on Thursday blasted the House and Senate Intelligence committees that deduced there was no evidence to support President Donald Trump’s claim that he had been wiretapped by the prior administration at Trump Tower during the election.

Senate Intel Leaders: No Wiretapping at Trump Tower
Lawmakers and House members find no evidence to back Trump’s claim

Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner, left, and Chairman Richard M. Burr wrote in a joint statement that they saw “no indications” that Trump Tower was bugged before or after the 2016 election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The top two lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee joined their House counterparts on Thursday to confirm that there is no evidence to back President Donald Trump’s claim that he was under surveillance by the prior administration.

Chairman Richard M. Burr, a North Carolina Republican, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said in a joint statement there were “no indications” to back up Trump’s assertion.

Former Senator Dan Coats Easily Confirmed as Intelligence Director
Retirement will have to wait

Former Sen. Dan Coats won confirmation Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Sen. Dan Coats can formally say goodbye to his brief retirement.

His former Senate colleagues confirmed the Hoosier, 85-12, to be President Donald Trump’s director of national intelligence Wednesday afternoon, in one of their last actions before a long St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

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.

Cabinet-Level Nominees Play the Waiting Game
Politics, paperwork and holdings slowing things down

Four Cabinet-level nominees remain to be confirmed. Clockwise from top left, Dan Coats for director of national intelligence, Alexander Acosta for secretary of Labor, Robert Lighthizer for U.S. trade representative and Sonny Perdue for secretary of Agriculture. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call, Alan Diaz/AP, Chambersandpartners.com, Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Farm groups thought they’d have a new Agriculture secretary by now after a long wait to find out who would be the nominee. But they’re growing anxious again over the delayed confirmation of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. 

President Donald Trump has accused Democrats of keeping him from filling his Cabinet, but Perdue’s nomination appears to be on hold because the Senate Agriculture Committee has yet to receive his paperwork.

A Brief History of Calls for an Independent Prosecutor
Republicans have previously embraced calls for special counsel

Indiana’s Dan Coats was among Senate Republicans calling for an independent counsel to investigate alleged ties between the Clinton White House and China in 1997. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Calls from Congress for a special prosecutor to investigate alleged foreign meddling in U.S. elections aren’t all that new.

Back when the old independent counsel law was still in effect, Republican senators called for just such an appointment to probe alleged efforts by the Chinese to influence President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign, and House Republicans, as recently as last year, pushed legislation to make it easier for Congress to empower independent prosecutors.

House Moves on Obamacare, Spending Bills While Senate Waits
The Senate will be focused on undoing Obama-era regulations

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore. may oversee a markup of the GOP plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By REMA RAHMAN and BRIDGET BOWMAN, CQ ROLL CALL

The public will get its first look at House Republicans’ bill to repeal and partially replace the 2010 health care law likely early this week, but timing on committee markups of the legislation is unclear. 

Senate Floor Could Be Ripe for Procedural Obstacles
With Cabinet mostly confirmed, contentious legislation awaits

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer says Republicans should get their “own act together” before accusing Democrats of not being able to compromise. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Since the beginning of the 115th Congress, the Senate has operated in a procedural bubble, where Republicans can largely move nominations and legislation with simple majorities on the floor.

That has been the case for votes on the latest slate of Cabinet-level nominations that included confirmations of Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to be Interior secretary, Ben Carson as Housing and Urban Development secretary and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to be Energy secretary.

Nevada’s Hill Sway Sinks While Other Small States Surge
New Roll Call Clout Index reveals big disconnects between population and Capitol influence

With the retirement of former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada congressional delegation has lost much of its legislative leverage, Hawkings writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Harry Reid may have masterminded one of 2016’s biggest statewide Democratic sweeps as he headed toward retirement, but the Nevada congressional delegation he left behind has lost much of its legislative leverage as a result. 

In fact, only two delegations have less collective influence at the Capitol this year than the six lawmakers from the Silver State, the newest Roll Call Clout Index reveals.

An Aggressive White House Finds Itself on Defensive
Spicer: 'They should either get with the program or they should go'

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer holds up paperwork highlighting and comparing language about the National Security Council from the Trump administration and previous administrations. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Trump White House wanted the themes — or, in proper Washington-speak “narrative” -- of the day on Monday to be nixing regulations and a coming Supreme Court pick. Instead, a new administration very much on the defensive found out the word of the day was: deflection.

From President Donald Trump’s executive order “temporarily” banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country to confusion about just what another order about the White House National Security Council actually said, administration officials were aggressively deflecting blame.