Mississippi

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.

Super PAC Staffs Up for Morrisey in West Virginia GOP Primary
Morrisey led Jenkins in mid-October poll commissioned by 35th PAC

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is running for the GOP Senate nomination. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A super PAC supporting West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the GOP Senate primary is staffing up for the 2018 contest. 

The hires, shared first with Roll Call, will be announced Wednesday. 

Opinion: Democrats Go from the Window Ledge to Giddy
Caution advised in interpreting Va. gubernatorial election results

Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam greets supporters at a Tuesday night election night rally in Fairfax, Virginia. Northam defeated Republican candidate Ed Gillespie. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

For those Democrats who still revere the memory of Franklin Roosevelt, Tuesday night was a time for many lusty choruses of his theme song, “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

In 48 hours, the Democrats have gone from the fetal crouch to giddy exuberance. New Jersey offered few surprises as former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy bridged his Wall Street background to cruise to any easy victory over Chris Christie’s lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno.

Senate Postpones Monday Vote
Republican disabled list grows

The Senate has postponed its Monday vote until Tuesday, likely due to Republican attendance issues. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The scheduled Senate vote on Monday evening to cut off debate on the nomination of Steven Engel to be an assistant attorney general has been moved to Tuesday.

The scheduling change is likely a result of Republican attendance issues, and to accommodate member schedules, according to congressional aides. 

Absences Could Complicate Senate Plans, McConnell Says
Rand Paul, Thad Cochran return timelines questionable

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Monday the potential extended absence of his Kentucky colleague Rand Paul from the Senate could complicate the Republican agenda.

“Any time a senator on our side is not there, it’s potentially challenging,” McConnell said at an event in Louisville.

What to Watch as 2018 Primaries Inch Closer
It’s never too early: first contests take place in March

Spread out over the first nine months of the year, primaries will set the stage for the 2018 midterm elections in November. These contests will be the first test of each party’s ability to field strong candidates in key pickup opportunities and fend off intraparty challenges. 

The first elections will take place in March. Here’s what to watch for as the primaries pick up. And click here for Roll Call's comprehensive guide to every 2018 election from start to finish.

Roger Wicker Still Running, But Checking Right Flank
Former NRSC chairman could face primary foe who almost felled Thad Cochran

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., says he is not contemplating retirement and will continue to run for re-election in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Roger Wicker on Wednesday said he is not contemplating retirement and plans to run for re-election in 2018.

The Mississippi Republican and former chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee is said to be a top target of former White House adviser Steve Bannon, who is traveling the country trying to urge more far-right candidates to primary Senate GOP incumbents.

Senate Democrats Doubt Validity of Puerto Rico Death Toll
Reports of full morgues may signal incomplete official count, senators say

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined 12 of her Democratic colleagues in signing a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke raising questions about the official death count in Puerto Rico. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

As Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló travels to Washington to meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday, a group of Senate Democrats is asking the administration about the accuracy of the island territory’s death toll.

Thirteen senators, led by Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have written a new letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke expressing concern that reports about morgues at Puerto Rican hospitals being full may signal that the official tally of 48 fatalities may be incomplete.

Word on the Hill: Schneider Rides the Bus
McCain’s award, Conaway’s life in D.C., McSally on sexism

Illinois Rep. Brad Schneider is getting on a commuter bus around 8 a.m. Tuesday to meet with constituents. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., is taking his town hall on the road today.

He will use his “Commuter Town Hall” on the PACE bus in his suburban Chicago district to meet constituents during their work commutes.

Thad Cochran, Still Ailing, Will Miss Senate Votes This Week
Urinary tract infection sidelines Mississippi Republican for extended time

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran has been absent from the Capitol since September and will continue to be away while he recuperates. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Thad Cochran will not immediately return to Washington following a four-week absence, raising speculation about the 79-year-old Mississippi Republican’s ability to continue as Appropriations chairman during the remainder of the 115th Congress.

His absence could also have implications for the budget resolution vote this week, though debate was still on track as of Monday, even after Cochran’s office confirmed he would not be present.