Maine

Photos of the week: Shutdown averted, national emergency declared
The week of Feb. 11 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., walks across the Capitol from the House side Monday for a meeting with other appropriators to try to revive spending talks and avert a second government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It appears Congress and the president have averted another partial government shutdown. On Thursday, both chambers adopted a conference report on a seven-bill spending package to fund the remainder of the government for the rest of fiscal 2019.

On Friday, President Donald Trump addressed the nation to declare a national emergency aimed at securing additional funding for a wall on the southern border. 

Republicans have concerns about Trump’s emergency declaration, too
Congressional Republicans raised concerns, but didn't denounce Trump's radical maneuver

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said in a statement Friday that the president's national emergency declaration defies the Founders. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Some in the president’s party are wringing their hands about how the emergency declaration for a border wall might set a reckless precedent.

While Congressional Republicans have raised concerns, most held off on denouncing the president’s radical maneuver to circumvent Article I of the Constitution and devote federal funds to a border wall without their approval.

Democrats are right to be wary of Howard Schultz
Coffee mogul’s independent run could complicate Electoral College math

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is considering running for president as an independent.(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — The frenzy over businessman Howard Schultz’s announcement that he is considering an independent run for president is understandable.

Democrats think President Donald Trump is headed for defeat in a one-on-one general election contest, and anything that changes that trajectory improves his re-election prospects.

That might as well have been Trump’s concession speech
What we learned from the State of the Union: the president is still a one-trick pony

President Donald Trump’s address on Tuesday wasn’t the opening salvo of his 2020 campaign. It was the beginning of the end, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Donald Trump’s next State of the Union Address will be delivered in the shadow of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. It will be a time when the spirited race for Democratic nomination will offer more drama than the president’s tricks and tweets.

And if the Democrats win back the White House, that 2020 speech will have been Trump’s last State of the Union, since defrocked presidents, even ego-mad ones, rarely make the inaugural year trek to Capitol Hill to read their own political obituaries.

Concerns pile up in Senate over Trump’s troop withdrawal
Lawmakers in both parties voice worries about slaughter, getting it right, as top general says he was ‘not consulted’

Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Armed Services members from both parties worried aloud at a hearing Tuesday that looming U.S. troop withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan could risk squandering years of costly effort.

The senators expressions of concern came a day after the Senate voted 70-26 to approve a resolution that would oppose a “precipitous” withdrawal from Syria or Afghanistan. And it came on the same day as President Donald Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address, which is expected to include a call to all but terminate America’s nearly two decades of post-9/11 wars.

Guest list: Here’s who you’ll see at the State of the Union
Cardi B won’t be there, but undocumented worker who worked at Trump’s golf club will

President Donald Trump will deliver the State of the Union Address on Tuesday. Two of his former housekeepers will look on from the House chamber. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump will deliver his second State of the Union address Tuesday night. Two of his former housekeepers, both immigrants, will watch from the House chamber.

Each member of Congress gets at least one ticket for a guest, and though some bring family members, many are accompanied by a constituent whose story helps illustrate a policy priority.

Lawmakers want to boost Pentagon input on tariffs
A proposal gives the Pentagon a lead role on deciding whether tariffs are needed to protect national security

Vice chair Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., left, and chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., talk before the start of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on "Worldwide Threats" on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the trade war with China drags on, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both chambers is pushing to give the Defense Department the lead role in analyzing whether tariffs are needed to protect national security.

The draft legislation, released Wednesday in both the House and Senate, marks a significant revision of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which gave the Commerce Department the authority to analyze the tariffs and ultimately make a recommendation to the president on whether to invoke national security.

A day of House drama over a resolution blaming Trump for the shutdown
Conservatives disrupt floor proceedings in objection, Democrats amend resolution to appease Republicans

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., forced a House vote Tuesday on a motion to adjourn, because of his objections to a Democratic resolution that blames President Donald Trump for the 35-day partial government shutdown that ended Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans disrupted normal floor proceedings Tuesday because they were upset that the Democratic majority scheduled a vote Wednesday on a resolution that blamed President Donald Trump for the 35-day partial government shutdown. 

The resolution, sponsored by freshman Virginia Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton, was ultimately amended to address Republicans’ complaints but not without some partisan squabbling and procedural antics. 

Spy chiefs say Chinese, Russian cyber strengths are top threats to U.S.

From left, FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel, DNI Director Dan Coats, DIA Director Robert Ashley, NSA Director Paul Nakasone, and National Geospatial-Intelligence Director Robert Cardillo testify during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on “Worldwide Threats” on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

China and Russia possess cyber technologies they will increasingly unleash on U.S. companies, the military, election systems and critical infrastructure, and that poses a significant threat to national security, Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence panel in an annual hearing called the Worldwide Threat Assessment.

“At present, China and Russia pose the greatest espionage and cyberattack threats,” but other countries are catching up, the director of National Intelligence told the committee Tuesday. 

Angus King’s new comms director brings bipartisan past
Matthew Felling’s return to the Senate took an unusual route

Matthew Felling is the new communications director for Maine Sen. Angus King, who caucuses with the Democrats. He previously served in the same role for Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It wasn’t a surprise that Matthew Felling would find his way back to the Senate as a communications director, but his destination might have been.

Felling, who left in 2015 after more than four years as Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s top spokesman, had previously worked as a journalist, including as a news reporter and anchor at the CBS affiliate in Anchorage, as well as at CBS News.