Missouri

Joint Budget Committee Will Meet on the Side to Work It Out
Members face November deadline for developing legislation and report

Co-Chairman Steve Womack and the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform will meet on the side to see if they can work out their differences. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The 16 lawmakers tasked with overhauling the budget and appropriations process will begin meeting informally this month to determine if they can agree on bipartisan changes before the end of November, according to House Budget Chairman Steve Womack.

The Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform has an uphill climb before it can produce the type of legislation that a majority of its Democrats and a majority of its Republicans will support — let alone the type of bill that a majority of each chamber will vote to enact.

Opinion: McCain’s Legacy of Stronger Military Reflected in Senate’s Landmark Defense Bill
This year’s NDAA could be a big win for military personnel and their families

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, left, hands the gavel to House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry before a National Defense Authorization Act conference meeting in October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain has served on the committee for over three decades, helping it draft and pass dozens of National Defense Authorization Acts — some seemingly routine, others carrying historic significance.

This year’s NDAA, the annual policy bill for the Defense Department, has the potential to rank among the latter. Many provisions in the Senate version, drafted under McCain’s leadership, would have a positive long-term effect on military readiness, servicemember satisfaction and, crucially, the well-being of military families, who are often overlooked.

A Visit to the Balkans Casts Light on the Divisions in America
Balkan-like partisanship in the U.S. set to get more intense, experts say

The “Warrior on a Horse” statue in downtown Skopje, Macedonia. American politics has increasingly taken on a Balkan flavor with party affiliation coming in the way of finding policy solutions. (Boris Grdanoski/AP file photo)

SKOPJE, Macedonia — A statue depicting an ancient soldier, thrusting a sword skyward, on horseback, rises in the main square here. Across the Macedonian capital’s famed Stone Bridge is another, of Philip II, urging on his son.

But locals are quick to provide visitors to the Balkan nation this advice: Whatever you do, “do not” refer to the equine-mounted fighter as Alexander the Great. The statue is known simply as “Warrior on a Horse.” For now, at least.

At the Races: The Unlikely Team Behind a 2018 Star
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. —Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Texas Tough: Hensarling Hammers Trump Administration on Trade, Treatment of Allies
Comments made at opening of testimony with Treasury secretary

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, shown here at a February 2017 hearing, had strong words for the Trump Administration about trade policies and how U.S. allies are being treated. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling sharply rebuked the Trump administration Thursday over its treatment of allies and the handling of trade, urging it to unite with “traditional allies to confront China.”

Hensarling, R-Texas, made his comments at the opening of testimony by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and in the wake of President Donald Trump’s trip to Europe, where the president said both that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was strong and yet criticized its members, most of which are close trading partners.

Trump Shifts Tone on NATO, But Says He Could Pull Out Without Congress
Trump says he convinced allies to up spending, but NATO secretary-general stops short of agreeing with that

President Donald Trump, here at the Capitol last month, changed his tone about NATO as he was leaving a summit in Belgium. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump was in damage control mode Thursday morning, declaring a tense NATO summit a success even while saying he could withdraw the United States from the alliance without the consent of Congress.

The U.S. commander in chief spent Wednesday and Thursday morning lambasting other NATO members — especially Germany — and turned the annual alliance meeting into a spectacle of ill will amid whispers, including from some GOP lawmakers, that he was working to undermine it. But by midday Thursday in Brussels, Belgium, he was taking credit for allegedly securing pledges from the other leaders to pay more into NATO’s coffers.

House Democrats Contemplate Post-Pelosi ‘Bridge’
Tim Ryan considers challenging Pelosi; members discuss idea of bridge speaker

From left, Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., and House Minority Leader Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talk after a news conference in May. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some House Democrats have begun to talk more openly about the possibility someone other than Nancy Pelosi may be their leader next year — although, for now, she is still the odds-on favorite to continue leading the caucus. 

Leadership jockeying has picked up steam in the wake of House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley’s primary loss last month. The New York Democrat had been seen by many as a potential successor to Pelosi one day.

Missouri ‘Deserves Better’ Than McCaskill, Pence Says in Kansas City
VP applies pressure on Democratic senator over coming high court vote

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., was the target of Vice President Mike Pence when he made a stop in her home state on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vice President Mike Pence told an audience in Missouri the state “deserves better” than Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, whom he pressured to vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“The Democratic Party has gone farther to the left than ever before. And you only need to look at Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill to see that,” he said during remarks in Kansas City. “Every single Democrat in Congress voted against President Trump’s tax cuts. When it came time to cut your taxes, Sen. Claire McCaskill voted no.”

Jones’ Bill Would Declassify, Release Civil Rights Cold Cases
Alabama Democratic senator says bill would help public circumvent problems with Freedom of Information Act

Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., introduced a bill Tuesday that would make public a trove of documents related to unsolved civil rights cases from decades past. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Doug Jones introduced a new bill Tuesday to create a panel to systematically review, declassify, and release government documents and information related to unsolved criminal civil rights cases from decades ago.

Executive branch officials process Freedom of Information Act requests to see documents related to such cases too slowly, Jones’ office argued in a news release Tuesday, and the scope of what they hand over when they finally do can often be too narrow.

Analysis: Brett Kavanaugh and the Midterm Effect
Three scenarios provide mixed bag on effect of tight Senate races

Reporters swarm Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, as she arrives in the Capitol on Tuesday, the day after President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Murkowski, who supported Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, is an expected to be a key vote on the current nomination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The selection of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court will have less of an impact on November’s midterms than you think. Sure, depending how the confirmation process develops, it’s possible the nomination could affect a handful of races, but the most likely scenario will not change the overall trajectory of the November elections.

The most likely outcome of the Kavanaugh nomination involves all 50 Republican senators voting to confirm him to the Supreme Court (with John McCain not voting).