Missouri

Senators Go Their Own Way on Stopgap Funding
‘We can’t pass the House bill,’ GOP chairmen say

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., says his colleagues are preparing to fully revamp the temporary spending bill. “The House bill is not going to pass over here,” he said this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators are preparing to completely rework the temporary spending bill needed to keep much of government open past Dec. 22.

The legislation will be stripped of the House-passed Defense appropriations bill and a partisan measure reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which many expected. But its length will also likely change, and it may or may not carry new topline spending levels for appropriators to construct a final fiscal 2018 omnibus package. 

Senate Panel to Consider Rules Change
Resolution would cut debate time on the floor for nominees

Sen. Roy Blunt thinks Democrats are abusing the rules in demanding full debate time on nominees. On Tuesday, the Rules panel will consider a resolution to cut the debate time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans are readying another rule change to the chamber, this one aimed at reducing the number of hours the chamber debates executive and judicial nominees. 

The Rules and Administration Committee will meet on Tuesday to consider a resolution sponsored by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., that would reduce the time the chamber debates nominees drastically from the current 30 hours after debate is cut off. 

Some GOP Senate Candidates Follow Party’s Evolution on Moore
Like McConnell, candidates moved away from calling on Ala. Republican to step aside

Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita said he’d be “comfortable” with Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore in the Senate. He previously suggested Moore should drop out. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While many sitting Republican senators — including Alabama’s own Richard C. Shelby — have continued to criticize Roy Moore, a few candidates who’d like to join them in the Senate have taken a more measured tone leading up to Tuesday’s election.

In several cases, that warmer embrace (or less forceful rejection) of the Alabama GOP Senate nominee is a change in tone from their previous public statements.

GOP Candidates Who Stand With Roy Moore
Four 2018 hopefuls attended Alabama Republican’s rally Monday night

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert was the only lawmaker at Senate candidate Roy Moore’s rally Monday night in Midland City, Ala. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. — Most Republican lawmakers have shunned Roy Moore. And top GOP candidates have ducked questions about him. But four 2018 hopefuls traveled to Alabama on Monday to show their support.

These candidates are backing the former state Supreme Court chief justice even after allegations surfaced that he inappropriately pursued — and in two cases assaulted — teenage girls when he was in his 30s. Moore still has the support of President Donald Trump and former White House adviser Steve Bannon, and this small cohort of GOP primary candidates looking to take on the party establishment.

At Odds with NRSC, Montana’s Rosendale Stands by Roy Moore
Rosendale is running for GOP nod to take on Tester

Montana State Auditor Matt Rosendale is running for the GOP nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Montana State Auditor Matt Rosendale said he supports Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore "until he’s found guilty of a crime" and praised his public service in a Thursday radio interview. 

Rosendale’s comments put him at odds with the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which cut off ties to Moore, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has called on Moore to step aside

A Gun Rights Vote Only the GOP Base Can Appreciate
Expansion of concealed carry permission will die in the Senate, but the NRA really wanted the vote

Majority Whip John Cornyn has some doubts that he can get a bill passed that would improve background checks for gun purchasers but doesn’t make it easier for gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines. A House bill passed Wednesday would do both. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One government shutdown may be narrowly averted, but another looms right around the corner. The stain of sexual misconduct at the Capitol continues to spread, and an alleged child predator is days away from possibly joining the Senate. Middle East destabilization seems assured as Congress gets its wish to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Public support dwindles daily for a loophole-encrusted, deficit-busting tax package that would be the year’s biggest legislative achievement. The push for presidential impeachment has gone far enough to necessitate procedural pushback in the House.

A week such as this one — already chockablock with headlines touching the Hill — seemed to the Republicans who run the place like an ideal time for making a bold hiding-in-plain-sight move.

Cascade of Senate Democrats Call on Franken to Resign
Messages for Franken’s departure appear coordinated

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.,is facing new calls for his resignation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly simultaneously, a series of Senate Democratic women issued calls for Democratic Sen. Al Franken to resign Wednesday morning including Patty Murray, a trusted lieutenant to Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and rising star Kamala Harris.

They were followed quickly by several Senate Democratic men and the head of the national Democratic Party.

GOP Spending Strategy Would Delay Shutdown Showdown
House Republicans consider multistep formula for combination defense-CR

Speaker Paul D. Ryan hosted a strategy meeting in his office Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans are working on a multistep government funding strategy that involves a two-week stopgap measure to keep the lights on beyond Dec. 8 and fully funding defense by Christmas.

No final decisions have been made but the idea GOP leaders have discussed with key conference members is to stick to the plan to pass a continuing resolution through Dec. 22.

As Crunch Time Approaches, More Rumbling About Trump Behavior
Many members taken aback by a chaotic 48 hours last week

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House on Sept. 27. A recent 48-hour period last week, which was chaotic even by Trump's standards, has lawmakers newly concerned about his mindset. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Several veteran Democratic lawmakers were flabbergasted last week by 48 hours that were among the wildest so far of Donald Trump’s presidency. And in private conversations, they say many of their Republican colleagues share similar concerns.

Trump appears to embrace a certain amount of chaos. After all, it generates media coverage — and the president is a voracious consumer of cable television and print news. But the 48 hours between last Tuesday and Thursday caused a spike in concerns among longtime Democratic members about Trump’s mindset and competence.

House Conservatives Deal Blow to Rubio-Lee Child Tax Credit Proposal
Expansion proposal would be paired with a 22 percent corporate rate

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., reiterated Thursday he did not support a tax bill with a corporate rate above 20 percent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Conservative House members dealt a blow Thursday to a proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan by Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Utah’s Mike Lee that would trim the corporate tax cut to help lower-income working families.

The plan, which was floated Wednesday, would make the child tax credit refundable against payroll taxes. To offset losses in tax revenue from the refunds, the proposal calls for an adjustment to the corporate tax rate from the proposed 20 percent to 22 percent.