Lamar Alexander

Puzder Is First Trump Nominee Spiked by GOP
Votes just weren’t there for fast-food tycoon

Andrew Puzder, left was the first of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees to not get enough Republican votes for confirmation. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The withdrawal of Andrew Puzder’s nomination to be Labor secretary represents a milestone in the nascent Trump administration: the first time congressional Republicans played a significant part in spiking a Donald Trump Cabinet pick. 

The nomination of the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which runs the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chains, had been plagued by scandal, including revelations he had employed an undocumented immigrant as a housekeeper and failed to pay taxes on her, as well as the fallout from a 1987 divorce that brought up allegations of domestic violence against him.

It’s Huge: Trump Administration Sets Record with Empty OMB Director Slot
S.C. Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney still waiting for confirmation

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., President Donald Trump’s nominee to be director of the Office of Management and Budget, testifies during his Senate Budget Committee confirmation on January 24, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate’s slow pace in confirming Cabinet nominees appears to be holding up lawmakers’ work on major fiscal legislation while they wait for President Donald Trump’s budget shop to get up and running.

The White House needs to move on budget priorities and discretionary spending levels for fiscal 2018; a wrap-up of fiscal 2017 appropriations; and supplemental funding requests to boost military spending and begin construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump Open to 'Gang of 8' Immigration Bill, Sort Of
The bill included a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants

Trump apparently told senators he is open to the bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By DEAN DeCHIARO and BRIDGET BOWMAN, CQ ROLL CALL

President Donald Trump might be open to comprehensive immigration legislation — or maybe not.

Puzder Employed Undocumented Housekeeper
Labor nominee has paid back taxes

Puzder says he has paid all outstanding back taxes on the undocumented worker he employed as a housekeeper. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder said Monday evening that he had employed a housekeeper who did not have the proper documents to work in the United States.

“My wife and I employed a housekeeper for a few years, during which I was unaware that she was not legally permitted to work in the U.S.,” Puzder said in a written statement Monday. “When I learned of her status, we immediately ended her employment and offered her assistance in getting legal status. We have fully paid back taxes to the IRS and the state of California and submitted all required paperwork.”

Word on the Hill: Try to Avoid Metro This Weekend
And a new voting study on employees

Biking around the city might be your best option this weekend. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A major track work project is planned for Saturday and Sunday on the Metro.

Service on the Orange, Blue and Silver lines will be affected. Free shuttle buses will replace all trains between Foggy Bottom and Eastern Market, Metro reminded riders on Wednesday.

GOP Leaders Move to Shore Up Shaky DeVos Nomination
Education nominee moves up in the floor queue

Betsy DeVos’ nomination for Education secretary lost key support Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In Age of Trump, Chaos Reigns in the Senate
Tensions over basic procedures takes over chamber

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, right, speaks with aides during a Senate Finance Committee meeting Tuesday to vote on Georgia Rep. Tom Price’s nomination to be HHS secretary and Steven Mnuchin’s to be Treasury secretary. Democrats boycotted the votes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate reached a new level of dysfunction Tuesday, and that was even before the debate on filling the Supreme Court began.

“You know, ‘advice and consent’ doesn’t mean ram the nominees through … These nominees are not what Donald Trump promised and not what represent middle-class American values,” Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer told reporters, adding that it wasn’t enough to just vote against President Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks.

Ten Days That Shook the World
Since Nixon, presidents have governed with reverence for office — until now

President Donald Trump, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon are pictured in the Oval Office last Saturday as Trump speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

It was one of those small, but instructive, stories about fate and character in politics that you hear late at night on the campaign trail and never forget.

Flying across Florida in late 1995 in the midst of his first bid for the presidency, Lamar Alexander (or Lamar! as he was known then) reminisced about why as a young man he abruptly left the Richard Nixon White House after just 18 months to go back to Tennessee.

GOP Leaves Retreat Pushing Small Steps to Repeal and Replace Obamacare
Expect to have Trump using the bully pulpit to get Senate votes

President Donald Trump got a standing ovation after speaking at the GOP congressional retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Pool)

PHILADELPHIA — Republicans emerged from their Center City retreat planning to replace Obamacare one step at a time by moving a series of smaller bills that President Donald Trump might try to bludgeon Senate Democrats into passing.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said Friday that both key committees involved in replacing the Affordable Care Act would be getting underway with hearings on individual elements.

Word on the Hill: March for Life Planning
School Choice Week rally

Last year’s March for Life went ahead as planned despite blizzard warnings issued for the D.C. area. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The annual anti-abortion rally in Washington, the March for Life, is this Friday.

While everyone was preparing for President Donald Trump’s inauguration, march organizers released its list of speakers, which includes counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, the highest-ranking White House official to ever address the event in person. Also scheduled to speak are Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, and Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J.