Mark Sanford

House GOP Still Bickering Over Budget
Defense increase, mandatory spending cuts primary areas of disagreement

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent says Republicans should not waste time arguing over topline levels for nondefense discretionary spending since those will likely be raised in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican squabbling over a defense spending increase and mandatory spending cuts continues to put in danger a fiscal 2018 budget resolution, and subsequently, plans to overhaul the tax code.

After a Friday conference meeting to discuss the budget and appropriations process, their second “family conversation” of the week on the topic, the House GOP appeared no closer to consensus on a budget resolution that could get the 218 needed votes on the floor.

GOP Frets About Fiscal Restraint Progress
Conservatives pushing cuts to mandatory spending

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan says Republicans are still discussing options for the budget and appropriations process, even as conservatives are pushing for steep cuts to mandatory spending. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Fiscal restraint has long been part of the Republican Party’s brand, but GOP lawmakers have made little progress on reducing the amount of money the federal government spends. And frankly, they’re sick of it.

That’s the impetus for what has become a serious push by rank-and-file House Republicans to use the budget reconciliation process to enact mandatory spending cuts.

In Ralph Norman, Trump Gets a Strong Ally
Incoming South Carolina congressman gives president an A-plus

South Carolina Rep.-elect Ralph Norman won on his second attempt for the 5th District seat. (Courtesy Ralph Norman for Congress)

Republican Ralph Norman, a developer of hotels, shopping centers, and retail stores, won a House seat 11 years after his first unsuccessful bid for the same South Carolina seat in 2006.

In Tuesday’s 5th District special election to replace former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who resigned from the House to become head of the Office of Management and Budget, Norman defeated Democrat Archie Parnell, a former Goldman Sachs executive and tax lawyer by an unexpectedly close 51 percent to 48 percent margin.

Trump Finds Strange Bedfellows on Cuba Policy
US-Cuba analyst: Given executive powers, president needs little Hill buy-in

Tourists walk near a poster of Cuban President Raul Castro and then-President Barack Obama in Havana last year. On Friday, President Donald Trump announced changes to Cuba policies instituted by Obama. (YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images file photo)

By wading into the always-tricky domestic politics of U.S.-Cuba relations, President Donald Trump finds himself working “hand in glove” with some former foes and new allies.

The businessman turned chief executive promised during the campaign to roll back some of President Barack Obama’s policies aimed at warming relations with America’s Caribbean neighbor. In doing so before his 200th day in office, Trump defied the wishes of some lawmakers and corporate titans.

Word on the Hill: JFK and Memorial Day Weekend
Logistics for Saturday’s parade and spottings this week

The Kennedy Stamps. (©2017 USPS)

Happy Memorial Day weekend, which is also President John F. Kennedy’s Centennial weekend.

Kennedy was born 100 years ago Monday. To celebrate, the United States Postal Service released a commemorative “forever” stamp to honor the late president.

GOP Leaders Careful on Response to Gianforte Assault Charges
Trump, Pence remain mum on incident

Montana Republican candidate Greg Gianforte was cited for misdemeanor assault of a reporter Wednesday night, a day before the special election for the state’s lone House seat. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By JOHN T. BENNETT And REMA RAHMAN

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan became the first Republican leader to address Montana GOP House candidate Greg Gianforte’s alleged assault on a reporter, saying, “There’s never a call for physical assault.”

Gowdy Gunning for Oversight Chairman
South Carolina Republican would succeed Chaffetz

South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy led the select committee that investigated a terrorist attack in Benghazi while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A spokeswoman for Rep. Trey Gowdy said Thursday he is exploring a bid for chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee once its current gavel-holder leaves Congress next month.

“It is fair to say he is considering it,” the spokeswoman said.“Rep. Gowdy is talking to members in the conference about the qualities they believe are most important for the next chairman to possess.”

GOP Moderates Face Health Care Heat
‘Many of our members who were opposed to the bill are probably still opposed’

Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on April 26, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By LINDSEY McPHERSON and ERIN MERSHON, CQ ROLL CALL

Conservative Republicans put their moderate colleagues in the health care hot seat Wednesday.

Two Freedom Caucus Members Feeling Strong After Trump's Threat Last Month
Sanford and Labrador still comfortable with their votes against health care bill

Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., said President Donald Trump threatened a primary challenge against him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

South Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Sanford talked with CNN on Sunday about the threat he says President Donald Trump’s team made on his seat during the health care debate last month — a primary challenge against him.

“It all, I guess, fits in love, war and politics but I don’t think it’s particularly productive to his own legislative agenda and we’ll see what develops,” he said.

Chaffetz Departure Opens Coveted Oversight Chairmanship
Freedom Caucus members in panel’s leadership poised to make a play for seat

The departure of Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, left, could give Reps. Trey Gowdy, middle, and Jim Jordan, right, an opportunity to capture the coveted seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Chairman Jason Chaffetz suggested Wednesday he may not finish his congressional term, top Republicans on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee mostly avoided weighing in on whether they would seek the seat under a GOP White House.

The Utah Republican unabashedly used the position of being the House’s top inquisitor to become nationally prominent in a coveted seat. But he did so under a Democratic administration that the House GOP despised.