Jeff Flake

Give Trump a Chance, Alexander Says
Tennessee Republican strikes tone of harmony as Senate GOP tries to pass tax code overhaul

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said he would continue working with the Trump administration to advance the GOP agenda. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump was elected by the American people to navigate the U.S. through uncertain times, Sen. Lamar Alexander said Monday, and lawmakers should “give the president a chance.”

The Tennessee Republican told CNBC that while Trump “does things and says things that I don’t do, and that I don’t approve of,” he is the person that Americans “entrusted with the presidency, and I’m going to try to help him succeed.”

Flake Fires Back at Trump to Dispute Tax Vote Prediction
Another defection would put GOP bill in jeopardy as president seeks first big win

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and President Donald Trump are trading barbs again, this time over the Senate GOP tax plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump and perhaps his top congressional Republican critic are sparring again, this time with Sen. Jeff Flake’s office disputing the commander in chief’s claim that the Arizona Republican plans to oppose the party’s tax overhaul plan.

Trump started the duo’s latest back-and-forth with a Sunday evening tweet predicting the retiring Flake — whom he mocked by referring to him as “Flake(y)” — will “be a NO on tax cuts because his political career anyway is ‘toast.’”

Opinion: The GOP Tax Bill — All Hat and No Rabbit
Even passing no legislation might be a better option

From left, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady and Majority Whip Steve Scalise celebrate during a news conference after the chamber passed the GOP tax bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

All politics is state and local.

That update of Tip O’Neill’s dictum is inspired by the Republican tax bill. The legislation that passed the House on Thursday eviscerates the deduction for state and local taxes and the current Senate version, which just emerged from the Finance Committee, eliminates the write-off entirely.

Corker, Cardin See Little ‘Firm’ in Latest Trump North Korea Shift
President told of peaceful path, ‘maybe it sunk in,’ Cardin says

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, left, speaks with ranking member Ben Cardin during a hearing earlier this year. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senior Senate Foreign Relations Committee members aren’t quite sure what to make of the White House’s dramatic shift on North Korea during President Donald Trump’s recent Asia tour

Before the president departed on the 12-day trip, he and his senior aides ruled out negotiations with North Korea. But during the Asia swing, he invited the North’s government to the negotiating table, and Trump’s senior staff spoke openly about the president’s terms for the very talks he for months had said would not work.

Senate Republicans Weigh Next Steps for Roy Moore
Some said there isn’t much more they can do to pressure Moore to step aside

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Republicans are examining options to block Roy Moore from the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that Republicans were examining options to prevent Roy Moore from becoming a U.S. senator. But some GOP senators acknowledged there isn’t much more they can do with Moore refusing to step aside. 

GOP lawmakers have called on Moore to withdraw his nomination in the special election for the seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions following a bombshell Washington Post story. The Post reported that four women accused Moore of sexual advances while they were teenagers and he was in his thirties. Another woman said Monday that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old. 

Opinion: For the Republicans, Less Is (Roy) Moore
McConnell said it: Every day is a Maalox moment for the GOP

Republican senators started to abandon Alabama Senate GOP nominee Roy Moore after The Washington Post published allegations of sexual misconduct with underage women. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The implosion of the Senate candidacy of Roy Moore brings to mind the title of an early Spike Lee movie: “Do the Right Thing.”

After Moore romped home in the Alabama Senate primary runoff in late September, the national Republican Party could have shunned him for many valid reasons. There was Moore’s un-American belief that Muslims should not be allowed to serve in Congress; his wackadoodle claim that Sharia law governed communities in Indiana and Illinois; and his defiance of the law that twice led to his removal from Alabama’s Supreme Court.

King Slams Senators Critical of Moore as Unhelpful to Trump
Moore allegedly had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, signaled support for Roy Moore in a tweet Thursday. The Alabama Senate candidate has been accused of sexual advances on a 14-year-old girl when he was 32. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Steve King signaled support for Roy Moore in a tweet late Thursday, saying the senators who were distancing themselves from the Alabama GOP Senate candidate’s campaign were the ones “who won’t or can’t help move [President Donald Trump’s] agenda.”

The Washington Post published a story Thursday citing four women who said Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 14 and 18, between 1979 and 1981, when Moore worked as a district attorney. One woman said she was 14 years old when Moore removed her clothes and attempted to have her touch his genitals.

At the Races: 362 Days to Go
Our weekly roundup of Roll Call’s top campaign stories and more

ATR-NL-Topper-1line

We’re officially one year out from the 2018 midterms. (Hard to believe, right?) There are a lot of House and Senate races to watch, and you can keep track of them all with At the Races. Each week we’ll round up our top stories and bring you some new content, like the Reader’s Race (scroll down for more on that). Make sure to sign up *here* to receive the newsletter next Thursday. We want to hear from you! Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone and Bridget  

This week… Voters went to the polls, Martha McSally discussed her Senate run, three Republicans retired and Utah got a new congressman. Here’s what happened At the Races:

Opinion: Will 2018 Midterms Follow Scorched-Earth Playbook?
Look to lessons from 2017

Polls that showed a tight race were no predictor of the result in Charlotte's mayoral contest Tuesday, which saw the outspent Democrat Vi Lyles win by nearly 20 points. (Courtesy Vi Lyles/Facebook)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It was a nice little mayor’s race in the largest city in North Carolina, considering that Charlotte has gone through a lot of mayors (seven) in the past nine years. And that’s even taking into account Democratic incumbent Jennifer Roberts losing, in the primary, her chance to defend her spot because of her part in a “bathroom” bill that labeled the state in all the wrong ways and her handling of protests that turned violent after a police-involved shooting.

But all that aside, the scorched-earth campaign between two mild-mannered city council members competing to move into the mayor’s office was a bit unexpected. It reached a heated crescendo with a digital ad from the N.C. Values Coalition, which supported Republican Kenny Smith. The ad said Democrat Vi Lyles “is Jennifer Roberts” and featured an ominous voice-over, a man entering a bathroom to the frightened chagrin of a girl already claiming the space, scenes of rioting and the image of comedian Kathy Griffin holding a blurred severed head.

Opinion: Democrats Go from the Window Ledge to Giddy
Caution advised in interpreting Va. gubernatorial election results

Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam greets supporters at a Tuesday night election night rally in Fairfax, Virginia. Northam defeated Republican candidate Ed Gillespie. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

For those Democrats who still revere the memory of Franklin Roosevelt, Tuesday night was a time for many lusty choruses of his theme song, “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

In 48 hours, the Democrats have gone from the fetal crouch to giddy exuberance. New Jersey offered few surprises as former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy bridged his Wall Street background to cruise to any easy victory over Chris Christie’s lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno.