James M Inhofe

Corn State Lawmakers Get Ethanol Hearing

Sen. Deb Fischer’s legislation would ease restrictions on the sale of ethanol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bowing to pressure from corn state lawmakers, Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso allowed a hearing on legislation that would ease restrictions on the sale of gasoline blended with at least 15 percent ethanol, a measure he opposes.

The bill (S 517) sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., would order the EPA to waive its rule prohibiting the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent corn-based ethanol, also known as E15, during the summer months. The prohibition was based on findings that tied the mixture to smog-causing emissions during warm weather.

Trump Withdraws US From Paris Climate Agreement
President says country could re-enter accord under a ‘deal that’s fair’

President Donald Trump will announce his decision on the Paris Agreement on Thursday afternoon. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

BY ELVINA NAWAGUNA AND JOHN T. BENNETTUpdated 4:26 p.m. | President Donald Trump said the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, fulfilling a campaign promise and handing victory to Republican lawmakers who had pushed for an exit from what they termed a bad deal that would put a drag on the U.S. economy.

Trump left open the possibility of re-entering the accord after renegotiating a “deal that’s fair.”

Bipartisan Pressure Mounts on Trump to Stay in Paris Agreement
Schumer: Leaving the deal would be a ‘historic mistake’

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney takes a break during testimony before a House Budget Committee hearing in Longworth Building titled “The President’s FY2018 Budget” on May 24, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The White House has continued to delay a decision on whether it will stay in the Paris climate agreement, but pressure is mounting on the president from both Republicans and Democrats to keep the U.S. in the deal, albeit for different reasons.

Democrats, like environmental groups, see the accord as crucial in efforts to slow global warming. And while many Republicans despise the deal, they fear leaving it would undermine U.S. global leadership and take away the opportunity to reshape, even weaken the accord.

Cloud of Scandals Follow Trump Overseas
Lawmakers warn of stalled domestic agenda

President Donald Trump exits Air Force One on Feb. 6 at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. On Friday, he leaves on a five-country swing amid several domestic scandals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ned T. Johnston via Wikimedia Commons)

A cloud of scandal and uncertainty will follow Donald Trump to five countries on his first overseas trip as president beginning this weekend. And it could only grow more ominous by the time he returns.

When Trump boards Air Force One on Friday, he will leave behind a growing pile of smoldering scandals, mostly of his own creation.

Congressional Review Act Gets a Workout
Window for expedited nixing of regulations closes, maybe

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is among lawmakers who would be interested in expanding the scope of the Congressional Review Act beyond its generally understood reach. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On May 11, Republicans in Congress had a little celebration for the end of more than a dozen Obama-era regulations, with member after member coming to the Senate floor heaping praise on a once-obscure law known as the Congressional Review Act.

Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma could barely contain himself: “I’m almost speechless when I think about the success. You know, we went 20 years taking up one CRA and then we end up passing 14 of them — all but one. It’s a huge success record.”

Maverick McCain Re-Emerges on Methane Vote
Surprise vote sinks resolution

Arizona Sen. John McCain, center, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, left, talk with reporters in the Capitol on May 10, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JEREMY DILLON, ANDY VAN WYE, and ELVINA NAWAGUNA, CQ Roll Call

Sen. John McCain was thought to be a yes. But he says he was always a no. In the end, the Arizona Republican helped sink a resolution to upend an Obama administration climate change policy.

Rising Waters at Home Cause Republicans to Buck Party in D.C.
Moderate Republicans are out front on climate change threat

New York Rep. John J. Faso is one of several GOP freshmen concerned about climate change. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Whipping out his iPhone, New York Rep. John J. Faso scrolled through text messages from his wife until he found the photo he sought. 

“There’s my wife’s car in the driveway,” he said, pointing to a lump covered in snow. “So there was no climate change that we were worried about in the last couple of days.”

Congress on Edge Awaiting Unpredictable Trump
Trump addresses joint session of Congress for first time

President Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday promises to be dramatic theater for all involved. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

For most congressional Republicans, Donald Trump has, until now, been a faraway force. His rapid and unprecedented political ascent played out mostly on cable news — and Twitter — far away from the Capitol.

Very few members of the 115th Congress’ Republican caucus were asked to costar or even play bit roles in the reality show that was The Donald’s road to the White House. Though GOP leaders and backbenchers alike condemned some of his campaign-trail antics, they ultimately celebrated his victory and inauguration.

Kamala Harris Aims for Influence as a Check on Trump
Even as a freshman, Calif. Democrat has started Senate career with a bang

California Sen. Kamala Harris has been sharply critical of President Donald Trump’s recent actions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Donald Trump received less than a third of the votes cast for president by California voters, and that’s something the state’s new senator, Kamala Harris, is well aware of.

Harris, the former state attorney general, had already spoken up on the Senate floor against the nominations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos by the time she gave her more traditional “maiden speech” Thursday. The freshman Democrat started by recounting how her mother, an Indian immigrant, chose to marry her Jamaican father in the U.S. instead of returning to India for an arranged marriage.

Trump Hill Backers Provide Cover After Flynn Departure
Republicans say there's no reason to question president's judgement

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., is interviewed by a television crew in the Cannon rotunda. He defended President Trump on Tuesday after his national security adviser resigned. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Some of President Donald Trump’s earliest and most vocal congressional supporters offered him political cover Tuesday, chalking up the first-month dismissal of his national security adviser as merely an inevitable early stumble.

GOP Rep. Chris Collins of New York, an early Trump supporter who was his transition team’s congressional liaison, was quick to protect the president’s flank after Michael Flynn resigned on Monday night. But few other Republican members flocked to television cameras on Trump’s behalf.