Iowa

Democrats Continue Camera Shy Ways With Brett Kavanaugh
Senate courtesy meetings continue, but with nary a photo op

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives to meet with Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., in the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic senators have, at least from Republican states, started meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but they are mostly avoiding the press when doing so. 

With senators back in town, meetings with President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court resumed Wednesday, with a pair of Democrats on the agenda.

7 Ways the Senate Can Spend the Rest of August
A few real problems have bubbled up while senators were away

There’s no shortage of things for senators to do while in town this month, Murphy writes. Above, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., arrives at the Capitol for a vote in April. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Welcome back to the grind, senators and staff. If you were only watching cable news over your abridged recess, you might have been lulled into the idea that the only messes in Washington you would come back to were Omarosa’s habit of recording conversations in the Situation Room and what we’ve learned so far about Paul Manafort’s choice of outerwear from his trial — ostrich. So gross.

But while some in the D.C. media were caught up in the Trump train wrecks of the day, a few real problems bubbled up while you were gone. Somebody has to deal with them, so as long as you’re here — why not you?

Kavanaugh Hearing Date Set for September 4 in Senate
Republicans want a floor vote on Trump’s pick by the midterms

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh meets with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 4:19 p.m. | The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a three- or four- day confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh starting Sept. 4, Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, announced on Friday.

That means the marathon hearing will begin the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Lindsey Graham Quips That Trump Brought Up Mueller and Russia ‘About 20 Times’
South Carolina senator said he told Trump that ending the Mueller probe would undermine GOP in November

Sen. Lindsey Graham said he told the president to just ride out the Russia investigation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday night that he has told President Donald Trump that ending the special counsel investigation of Robert S. Mueller III would undermine GOP chances in November.

The South Carolina Republican, who played golf with Trump on Sunday in New Jersey and discussed several issues with the president, was asked about the investigation of Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election at a Monday evening event hosted by the Greenville County Republican Party.

Donald Trump’s Toughest Adversary? That Would Be Donald Trump
The president’s desire to hog the midterm spotlight guarantees a nationalization of the election

President Donald Trump has stated a desire to insert himself into the midterm election process. That could be a problem for Republicans in tough races. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — While President Trump complains about the national media, Democrats, Robert S. Mueller’s Russian “witch hunt” and the political establishment, none of those things is why the November House elections are a major headache for the Republican Party. Donald Trump’s biggest problem is Donald Trump.

Trump has turned what could have been a challenging midterm election environment into a potentially disastrous one. Through his tweets and statements, the president continues to make the 2018 midterm elections a referendum on his first two years in office.

Why Democrats Need the ‘Dannycrats’ in Ohio’s 12th and Beyond
They have a chance to be the “adults in the room” who value diverse views

Ohio Democrat Danny O’Connor’s only path to victory in the 12th District is by winning over enough “Dannycrats,” some of whom backed the president in 2016, Murphy writes. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

OPINION — Do you know what a “Dannycrat” is? Spenser Stafford does. That’s because she’s a registered Republican who is planning to vote for Danny O’Connor, the 31-year old Democrat running in Tuesday’s special election in Ohio’s 12th District. Also, she is engaged to marry O’Connor after the election.

“Somebody said, ‘Oh, are you a Democrat now?’” Stafford told CNN. “And I was like, no, I cannot identify as a Democrat. I’m a Dannycrat!”

Trump’s Golf Game With Congress Still Stuck in a Sandtrap
Lindsey Graham, one of Trump’s few golf partners on the Hill, played a round with the President Sunday

President Donald Trump, shown arriving at the 2015 Iowa State Fair in a golf cart, has found few golf partners in Congress. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

President Trump on Sunday capitalized on the alignment of his reported two-week golf-club stay with the Senate’s abbreviated recess, making a rare announcement of a tee time with Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C.

But don’t count on too many more presidential swings at coalition building with influential lawmakers during his trip to Bedminster, New Jersey.  The White House keeps most records of Trump’s golf outings secret, but media reports indicate he has spent only a fraction of his golfing time with members of Congress.

GOP Congress Tries to Rein In Trump on Foreign Policy
From the Koreas to Russia, president’s own party works to pre-empt him on multiple fronts

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un participate in a June 11 signing ceremony in Singapore. While Trump wants to reduce the presence of U.S. troops in South Korea, the NDAA conference report would limit how easily he could bring home all but a fraction of American troops stationed on the peninsula. (Evan Vucci/AP file photo)

The Republican-led Congress is increasingly writing and occasionally passing legislation to prevent President Donald Trump from taking what members believe would be ill-advised actions abroad.

The bills are few in number so far, and mostly subtle in effect. But they show how even members of Trump’s own party are restive about the commander in chief’s intentions and want to pre-empt him on multiple fronts.

Photos of the Week: Senate Summer Session Commences, and Breaks
The week of July 30 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., jokes with Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, as he walks down the Senate steps after the last vote of the week in the Senate on Wednesday. Risch was posing for a photo with interns on the steps. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate was at work this week passing a four-bill spending package, which completes the chamber’s 12 appropriations bills for the year. The House got its first week of summer recess under its belt, and by the end of the week, the Senate joined them. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is allowing for a truncated recess, with senators in their home states next week but expected back on the Hill on Wednesday, Aug. 15. 

At the Races: O-H-I-O
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. —Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman