Louisiana

Grassley Prepares to Bypass Franken to Move Trump Appeals Court Nominee
Rejects policy of allowing blue slip to be used as a veto

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is announcing his interpretation of the “blue slip” policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley is ready to move forward with President Donald Trump’s appellate judicial nominees, even when home-state senators have formal objections.

Grassley is going to move ahead with confirmation hearings for Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to be a judge on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Politico reported ahead of a formal announcement by the chairman.

Senators Unlike Judicial Nominee’s Tweets
Judiciary Committee not amused by Don Willett’s social media output

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, nominated for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A darling of #AppellateTwitter, Don Willett is a Texas Supreme Court justice whose wit earned 104,000 followers on the social media website before President Donald Trump nominated him to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

But the Senate Judiciary Committee took a bit of shine off the Lone Star State’s officially designated “Tweeter Laureate” on Wednesday, when senators tore into him for some tweets and even told Willett it would be a good idea to just stop tweeting altogether.

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. 

3 Ways Republicans Can Block Roy Moore From the Senate
GOP senators have called on their Alabama nominee to step aside

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct by five women. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans looking to block Roy Moore from becoming a senator are exploring a number of options, though the window is closing with the Alabama Senate race just four weeks away.

After The Washington Post reported that four women described sexual advances from Moore, when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, GOP leaders called on the candidate to quit if the allegations were true. Another accuser came forward Monday to say Moore sexually assaulted her. 

Trump on Course for Least Diverse Judicial Picks Since Reagan
President’s nominees have been overwhelmingly white and male

Greg Katsas was nominated by President Donald Trump for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He is seen here during his confirmation hearing last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s picks for federal judgeships reflect a strikingly different direction when it comes to diversity on the bench — it is the most white and male group of nominees in recent history.

So far, 91 percent of Trump’s 58 judicial nominees for district and appeals courts are white, a pace that would make his appointees the least diverse since the Reagan administration, according to statistics compiled by the liberal advocacy group Alliance for Justice. Only 19 percent of his picks are women, a pace that would make his appointees the most male since the George H.W. Bush administration.

Cornyn Rescinds Moore Endorsement
Calls accusations disqualifying if true

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks with reporters outside of his office in the Capitol on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn rescinded his endorsement Monday of Alabama Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore.

“I believe the accusations against Roy Moore are disturbing and, if true, disqualifying,” the Texas Republican said in a statement. “The most appropriate course of action, in my view, is to leave the final judgment in the hands of Alabama voters — where it has always belonged — and withdraw my endorsement.”

NRSC Chairman: Senate Should Expel Moore if Elected
Sen. Cory Gardner said Moore is unfit to serve in the Senate

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., leads the NRSC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Cory Gardner, who leads Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, said Monday the Senate should vote to expel Roy Moore if he wins the Alabama Senate race.

“If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate,” the Colorado Republican said in a statement Monday afternoon.

McConnell: ‘I Believe the Women,’ Moore Should Step Aside
Majority leader says GOP looking at potential write-in campaign

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, here with Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, center, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn last week, says he believes the women who’ve accused Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of inappropriate sexual conduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday he believes the women accusing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of inappropriate sexual conduct, and that Moore should step aside as the Republican nominee.

Speaking at a press conference in Louisville, Kentucky, about a tax overhaul, McConnell was asked if he believed Moore’s accusers.

Capitol Hill Figures Out What to Do With 280 Characters
Members finding creative ways to use Twitter’s expanded limit

Members of Congress are already making the most of the 140 extra characters available for tweets. (Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers are experimenting with new ways to communicate with the extra characters Twitter has given them.

The increased 280-character limit for tweets is already being used to post full statements, Q&As with experts or the member, more hashtags and longer lists in a single posting, instead of a series of tweets.

All the GOP’s Eggs Are Now in the Tax Basket
The pressure’s on as House Republicans try to move their tax bill

Sen. John Kennedy holds up his wallet during a Tuesday news conference in the Capitol as he says that families and small businesses would benefit from the GOP’s tax plan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s hard enough to digest the policy details of the GOP tax overhaul plan — but add in a dose of distraction from the sprawling probe of Russian interference into last year’s elections and it’s easy to lose any budding “taxmentum.”

Selling a comprehensive tax code rewrite — even if it’s packaged as a tax cut for individuals and businesses — is so challenging that Congress hasn’t done it since 1986.