Lisa Murkowski

Revenge is best served cold on State of the Union night
Nancy Pelosi’s gambit reminds Trump that norms-trampling can cut two ways

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has put the president on notice, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — At last, a welcome burst of creativity as the government shutdown slogs towards the end of its fourth week.

In tactical terms, it was devilishly clever for Nancy Pelosi to write Donald Trump to announce that the House Democrats, in effect, will be at home binge-watching two seasons of “Mrs. Maisel” on State of the Union night.

Senate Republicans Huddle to Break Shutdown Impasse

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has been among the Republicans huddling over a solution to the partial government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group of Senate Republicans camped out in Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office Thursday morning seeking to come up with a solution to the ongoing partial government shutdown that threatens paychecks for 800,000 federal workers starting Friday.

The group includes senators who have sought to broker an immigration compromise that would provide additional funds for border barriers that President Donald Trump wants, while allowing certain categories of undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. That includes some 700,000 “Dreamers” brought here illegally as children, and possibly a broader discussion about overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.

Fireworks and presidential threats send shutdown talks careening into chaos
Sides trade vicious barbs, allegations after Trump abruptly leaves Situation Room meeting

President Donald Trump, flanked from left by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S. D., Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stops to speak to reporters in the Capitol Wednesday following his lunch about the shutdown with Senate Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Talks toward ending the partial government shutdown hit a new low Wednesday when fireworks broke out at the White House, with President Donald Trump abruptly leaving a meeting with congressional leaders after yet another flap over his proposed southern border wall.

The shutdown enters its 20th day Thursday with no end in sight after another round of fruitless talks and blunt warnings from Trump about his next possible move if he cannot secure a deal with congressional Democrats over his border wall demands — even as 800,000 federal workers and their families wonder about future paychecks.

Trump urges Senate Republicans to ‘just hang together’ on border battle
President meets with GOP caucus after several allies urged him to compromise on shutdown standoff

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive to the Capitol to attend the Senate Republican policy luncheon on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump urged Senate Republicans to hold the line on a partial government shutdown in its 19th day after saying he would do “whatever it takes” — including a national emergency declaration — to get billions for his southern border wall.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with Senate Republicans during their weekly luncheon after a handful of them said publicly that the president should compromise with congressional Democrats rather than hold firm to his demand for $5.7 billion for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border barrier.

2018 in 5 Minutes: The Best of Congressional Hits and Misses
 

As the 115th Congress limps across the finish line with several unfinished spending bills and a partially shutdown federal government, Hits and Misses takes a look back at our favorite funny, awkward and downright bizarre moments from the House and Senate in 2018.

The Train Is Leaving the Station for the Last Rational Republicans
If they want to save themselves and repudiate Trump, they better do it fast

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, waits for the Senate subway in the Hart Building in September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — In a classic demonstration of Southern populist oratory at the 1956 Democratic convention, Tennessee Gov. Frank Clement excoriated the misdeeds of the Republican Party by dramatically asking, again and again, “How long, O how long America, shall these things endure?”

As the nation reels towards the end of the second year of Donald Trump’s cataclysmic presidency, Frank Clement’s long-ago question takes on a new urgency. How long, O how long America, will the once-proud Republican Party serve as Trump’s willing enabler?

Senate Passes Government Funding Stopgap, Punts on Lands Issue
Measure now goes to House for consideration, Friday deadline looming

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warned senators that, even with passage of a government funding stopgap, it isn't over until it's over. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After a back-and forth that ran well into the night, senators came together eventually to pass a stopgap spending bill that will run through February 8 and avert a partial government shutdown, sending it over the House for consideration.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seemed to caution senators against assuming they were done for the the holidays, maybe out of an abundance of caution before the House votes to send the package to President Donald Trump.  A continuing resolution funding several nine Cabinet departments, including Homeland Security and the Justice Department, expires at midnight Friday. 

Republicans in Congress Are Coy About Whether They Would Take Interior Post
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said this week she is not interested in the job

Several senators praised outgoing Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and endorsed his capacity to take on the secretary of the Interior job. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In anticipation of the appointment of a new Department of the Interior secretary this week, one member of Congress on the reported shortlist has confirmed his interest in the post, but most rumored candidates have shied away from public statements.

President Donald Trump said on Twitter Saturday that he would nominate a replacement to outgoing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke this week. 

Informal Nature of Border Wall Request Roils Spending Debate
Trump still hasn’t submitted “budget amendment” on $5 billion demand

President Donald Trump still hasn’t put details of his $5 billion request for border wall funding on paper in any official capacity. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump’s $5 billion demand for a U.S.-Mexico border wall has held up the entire spending wrap-up for fiscal 2019. Yet Trump still hasn’t put the details of that request on paper in any official capacity, a departure from precedent that is in keeping with this president’s unconventional style.

The fact Congress hasn’t gotten a formal letter to change the border ask seems technical. But it has set a stage for debate where no one’s arguing on the same terms. And this has arguably let lawmakers and the White House escape a broader debate on the substance by simultaneously referring to an outdated budget request or a dollar figure that doesn’t exist formally on paper.

Racial Concerns Fuel Opposition to Judicial Nominee
Thomas Farr under scrutiny for issues traced back to North Carolina politics

Sens. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., right, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., support the nomination of Thomas Farr to the federal bench, but Farr’s work in the Tar Heel State on voting issues has attracted opposition. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

To grasp how the long partisan war over the Senate’s judicial confirmation process shapes the nation’s legal landscape, look no further than this week’s floor vote on Thomas Farr to sit on a federal district court in North Carolina.

If confirmed — something that appears uncertain in a narrowly divided Senate — Farr would fill the oldest judicial vacancy in the country in a part of North Carolina with a significant black population. The Eastern District of North Carolina seat has been open for nearly 13 years — and three presidents — because of the Tar Heel State’s contentious politics and the way senators have used traditions to block nominees.