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Thursday Could Be Most Consequential Day of Trump’s Tumultuous Tenure
Kavanaugh and accuser face senators as president meets with Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein

President Donald Trump speaks at the United Nations on Monday. When he returns to Washington, a big day awaits him on Thursday. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — Circumstance, confusion and chaos have collided to ensure Thursday will be one of the most consequential — and perhaps the most by a wide margin — days of the tumultuous Trump presidency.

Washington has rarely seen the kind of spectacle ahead in just a few days, and the inevitable ramifications will trigger ripple waves that will be immediately apparent but not fully known until voters head to the ballot box on Nov. 6. For President Donald Trump, the already high stakes seem to only grow by the day.

Kavanaugh Undeterred by Sexual Assault Allegations
Trump and Senate Republicans stood by him Monday

Protesters assemble at the Supreme Court on Monday to oppose the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after new allegations of sexual misconduct emerged. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans showed no signs of faltering in their support for embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who again insisted Monday that he wanted to clear his name at a public hearing this week after a second allegation of sexual misconduct emerged Sunday night.

As hundreds of protesters gathered at different spots on Capitol Hill to oppose his confirmation, Kavanaugh sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee to say he would not withdraw his nomination and looks forward to the hearing set for Thursday. The federal appeals court judge characterized allegations of sexual misconduct against him as “smears, pure and simple.”

Democratic Candidate for Tom Rooney’s Florida Seat Dies Unexpectedly
April Freeman was expected to face Republican Greg Steube in November

Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., is retiring after five terms. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

April Freeman, a Democrat who was running for retiring Rep. Tom Rooney’s Florida seat, has died unexpectedly, according to media reports Monday.

Her husband, David Freeman, told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that his wife appeared to have had a heart attack Sunday night.

Location, Location, Location: Hearing With Kavanaugh's Accuser Could be in Tight Quarters (For Now)

Thursday's blockbuster hearing featuring Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser is scheduled to be in a tiny room, but that could change. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford are expected to testify Thursday in a tiny room before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  If the hearing is held in the small room as scheduled, there won't be much room for the public — including protesters — or reporters to watch the proceedings. But that could change. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on tap for Thursday is set to be in Dirksen 226, a small room that can accommodate lawmakers, a few staffers and a witness, but not much beyond that. The highly anticipated meeting is sure to draw enormous media attention and throngs of protesters.

Mitch McConnell Reaffirms Vow for Senate to Vote on Kavanaugh
Nothing, it seems, could keep the majority leader from giving the Supreme Court nominee a floor vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reaffirmed his vote to get Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh a floor vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:11 p.m. | Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not heard anything that should slow confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and is pledging to push ahead.

“Judge Kavanaugh will be confirmed,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. He was echoing comments he made Friday, before revelations of additional accusations of sexual assault were leveled at Kavanaugh on Sunday.

Democrats Pan Proposal to Limit Green Cards for Poor Immigrants
Administration touts rule as moving toward ‘merit-based’ immigration

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that “those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers are criticizing a new rule proposed by the Trump administration that would make it harder for immigrants who receive public benefits to obtain green cards.

The 447-page proposed rule, unveiled by the Department of Homeland Security on Saturday, would expand the government’s ability to deny a green card — and eventual citizenship — to applicants deemed likely to rely on programs including Medicaid, Section 8 low-income housing, and food stamps. The proposed rule represents a significant step in the administration’s efforts to move toward a “merit-based” immigration system, rather than the family-based system currently in place.

Former Staffers Want to Fund Diverse Women for Hill Internships
New foundation’s goal is to fund 50 internships a year for young women

Sara Lonardo, left, and Elizabeth Whitney, right, both are former Capitol Hill interns. They teamed up to create the Women's Congressional Staff Foundation. (Photo courtesy Wynne Leahy)

All eyes are on women on Capitol Hill this week: How will those in the Senate vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination? What might his accusers say to affect his confirmation?

Behind the scenes, staffers work to keep the trains moving and their bosses informed. One group doesn’t think there are enough staffers from different backgrounds among them.

Twitter Battles Over Kavanaugh Nomination Roar
Social media fuels partisan fire

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is at the center of a partisan Twitter war. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The political din over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination features the same kind of overheated rhetoric and partisanship of previous legendary confirmation fights. But this time, there is Twitter.

The preferred social media platform of President Donald Trump — the one that allows him to deliver his unfiltered message broadly and often shape the day’s media coverage — has introduced that same dynamic to the latest nomination for the high court, 280 characters at a time.

Republicans Push Back Against States Seen as Too Pro-Regulation
GOP favors independence by state governments unless they don’t like a state’s decision

Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming and ranking Democrat Tom Carper of Delaware talk before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hears from acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in early August, the energy and environment community was watching.

It was Wheeler’s first appearance since his predecessor, Scott Pruitt, resigned after months of ethical, spending and personnel scandals. Washington was eager to see how Wheeler would right the agency.

DCCC Cancels Airtime in Potential Sign of Trouble for Iowa’s Rod Blum
Move signals Democrats are confident in their challenger Abby Finkenauer

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, is one of the most vulnerable House incumbents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has canceled its television ad reservation in the race against Republican Rep. Rod Blum in Iowa’s 1st District, according to a media tracking firm, which could signal that Democrats are confident about flipping the seat.

Blum faces state Rep. Abby Finkenauer, whom Democrats tout as a top recruit. The DCCC’s decision, reported by the firm Medium Buying, signals Finkenauer might not need as much help, and the committee wants to spend its resources elsewhere. The DCCC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.