Debbie Stabenow

Activists Applaud Senate Democrats’ Harder Line on GOP Health Care Bill
In the days before the bill's expected unveiling, Senate Democrats seem to be listening

Senate Democrats rally against Medicaid cuts in front of the Capitol two weeks ago. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Senate Republicans prepare to release a draft of their health care bill and attempt to pass it before the July 4 recess, activists are applauding Senate Democrats for pulling out all the stops to derail it.

At a Wednesday rally against the bill hosted by Senate Democrats, activist groups and unions including Ultraviolet, Moms Rising, MoveOn, the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of Teachers, Sen. Debbie Stabenow said, “We have a very simple message: ‘No hearing, no vote.’”

Why House Members Aren’t Rushing to Announce for Senate
Here’s a hint: It’s about raising campaign cash

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer is expected to run for Senate but has yet to make an official announcement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s no secret that a handful of House members are mulling bids for the Senate next year, with several of them all but running their 2018 races already.

Most are in no rush to officially announce their Senate campaigns. Sixteen months is a long time to face the barrage of attacks that comes with running statewide. And in an uncertain political environment, candidates may be taking longer to test the waters. 

Michigan Businesswoman to Challenge Stabenow
Served as Co-chair of Donald Trump's presidential campaign

Lena Esptein, who announced her intent to run against Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, said Michigan needs an outsider candidate with a business background. (Lena for Senate via YouTube)

Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow received her first Republican challenger as businesswoman Lena Epstein announced her candidacy for Michigan's Senate race.

Epstein is a third-generation co-owner of Vesco Oil Corp., which distributes automotive and industrial lubricants.

Report: Trump Told Russians Comey Firing Relieved ‘Great Pressure’
Close WH aide to president allegedly a person of interest to FBI

President Donald Trump walks toward Marine One before departing from the White House on April 28. Two reports out Friday allege he told Russian officials firing FBI Director James Comey helped him, and that a close aide is a person of interest in a FBI probe of the 2016 election. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Trump reportedly told senior Russian officials that firing FBI Director James Comey relieved “great pressure” on him because of allegations of nefarious ties between his campaign and Russia. And another report places a senior White House official as a “person of interest” in the bureau’s ongoing investigation.

“I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” the New York Times reported Friday, citing a document that summarizes his Oval Office meeting earlier this month with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Moscow’s ambassador to Washington.

Democrats Grill Interior Nominee Over Energy Industry Ties
David Bernhardt wouldn't say whether he believes in climate change

Sen. Maria Cantwell said she was concerned whether David Bernhardt could avoid potential conflicts of interest with the energy industry in his new position as deputy Interior secretary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump’s deputy Interior secretary nominee David Bernhardt sidestepped questions during his Thursday confirmation hearing about whether he believes in climate change, saying instead that regardless of what the science says, he will follow the president’s the policy positions.

At the hearing by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Republicans praised Bernhardt as “uniquely qualified” and Democrats raised objections to his long history as a lobbyist for oil, gas and mineral firms that could benefit from his appointment.

Trump Denies Pressuring Comey to End Flynn Probe
President repeats claims investigation is a witch hunt

President Donald Trump continued to claim the investigation into Russia and the circumstances of his firing James B. Comey are a witch hunt. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By JOHN T. BENNETT and JOE WILLIAMS

President Donald Trump denied pressing former FBI Director James B. Comey to drop a criminal investigation of his first national security adviser, and said his campaign did not collude with Russia.

Mitch McConnell, Still Playing the Long Game
Trump revelations, FBI director search, don't rattle majority leader

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not allow the latest news about President Donald Trump to knock him off message. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BY JASON DICK AND JOE WILLIAMS, CQ ROLL CALL

It’s difficult to get Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to play anything but “The Long Game,” the Kentucky Republican’s political strategy, encapsulated by his 2016 memoir of the same name.

Word on the Hill: Weekend for Moms
Today is the annual memorial service honoring the four Capitol Police officers

Political moms will be celebrated on Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sunday is Mother’s Day and we talked to some senators about lessons they learned from their mothers.

Sens. Tim Scott, Debbie Stabenow, Lisa Murkowski and Ron Wyden paid tribute to their moms and shared with us some stories.

Senators Have Moms Too: Lessons on Mother’s Day

Supreme Court to Explore Power of Congress to Affect Lawsuits
Separation of powers between branches is at issue

Chief Justice John Roberts has previously been skeptical of allowing Congress to weigh in on dismissing lawsuits with legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide a case that could reshape Congress’ power to use legislation to affect the outcome of specific ongoing court cases — in this instance, a 2014 law about a Michigan land tract and its use as a Native American casino.

The move puts the justices back into a long chain of litigation and legislation about whether the Interior Department could take that tract into trust for the Gun Lake Tribe of Pottawatomi Indians to pave the way for gaming operations — and whether a nearby resident can sue to stop it.