Orrin G Hatch

Will He or Won’t He? Hatch Keeps Utah in Suspense
Senate’s most senior Republican weighs an eighth term

Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch was first elected to the Senate in 1976. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s been a question on the minds of many Utahans lately: Will Sen. Orrin G. Hatch run for an eighth term?

“While I have taken steps to run, I have yet to make a final decision,” Hatch, the most senior GOP senator, said in a statement. “I remain focused on my work in the Senate and will make any political decisions in due course.”

Senators Look to Move Past Nuclear Option
Bipartisanship touted when they return from recess

Maine Sen. Susan Collins said lawmakers should move on to an issue with bipartisan support, such as improving infrastructure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators are getting some time away from the nation’s capital for the next week and half, following a tense battle over the Supreme Court. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked the so-called nuclear option last Thursday to effectively change the Senate rules and lower the threshold for ending debate on high court nominees. While the move raised questions about whether the chamber had reached a partisan point of no return, senators were hopeful they could still come together on other issues.

Word on the Hill: National Pet Day
TMZ spots Ryan, and a disco survivor is coming to the LOC

Play with some pets in D.C. today. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If you have a pet, give him or her a little extra love today on National Pet Day.

If you don’t have a pet, Pets and Pints will have more information about your adoption options.

Word on the Hill: Recess
AIDS briefing on Capitol Hill

House members including Arizona’s David Schweikert, pictured here with his daughter, Olivia, are in their districts this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Happy two-week long recess.

Passover begins today at sundown and Easter is coming up on Sunday.

McConnell Spoke to Romney About Utah Senate Bid
Orrin Hatch still says he’s planning on running for eighth term

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is considering a Senate run from Utah if Sen. Orrin Hatch doesn’t run for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed Friday that he has spoken with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney about running for the Senate from Utah if the state’s senior senator, Orrin G. Hatch, does not seek an eighth term.

“I’ve had some conversations with Mitt Romney. Obviously, I am an Orrin Hatch supporter. … If [Hatch] wants to run again, I’m for him,” McConnell said.

The Bipartisan Effort to Make Senate History
Lack of Senate retirements could be unprecedented

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein appears more likely to run for a fifth full term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For all of the moaning and groaning about Washington being dysfunctional, members of Congress aren’t exactly tripping over each other to get out of town.

So far, all of the Republican and Democratic senators up for re-election this cycle seem intent on seeking another term. And if that trend continues, it would be historic. 

Manchin: Pushing for a ‘Full Fix’ on Miner Benefits
December standoff brought only a stopgap deal

From left, Sens. Bob Casey and Joe Manchin III, and Reps. Matt Cartwright and Robert C. Scott conduct a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center to introduce miner’s health care legislation the "Black Lung Benefits Improvement Act of 2017" and the "Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act of 2017." (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The debate over miner health care and pensions that brought the Senate to the precipice of a government shutdown in December might be coming back.

Coal miners from the United Mine Workers have been all over the Capitol meeting with lawmakers in recent weeks.

Senate Moves Closer to Supreme Court Showdown on Gorsuch
Graham: ‘If we have to, we will change the rule and it looks like we’re going to have to.’

Sens. John Kennedy of Louisiana, left, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina listen to Minnesota Sen. Al Franken make a statement during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Monday on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:22 p.m. | Long-held Senate rules that require consensus for Supreme Court nominees appear doomed, after enough Democrats announced they would block Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and force Republicans to alter filibuster rules if they want to put President Donald Trump’s pick on the high court.

The Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-9 along party lines Monday, as expected, to favorably advance Gorsuch’s nomination to the Senate floor, but not before key Democrats said they would oppose the 49-year-old federal appeals court judge from Colorado.

How Senate Republicans Will Likely Invoke the Nuclear Option
 

With 41 senators having announced they will vote against cloture on the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Senate Republicans will need to change Senate procedure in order to ensure the Colorado appeals court judge makes it to the high court. Here’s how the historic rules overhaul will likely go down when the cloture vote takes place — slated for this Thursday.

Word on the Hill: Focus on Girls
March Ratness and March Madness

Girl Scouts will be on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A briefing entitled “Creating Opportunities for Girls to Thrive and Learn” is taking place on Capitol Hill today. It’s co-sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Reps. Susan W. Brooks, R-Ind., and Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J.

The event is hosted by Girls Inc., YWCA USA, and Girl Scouts of the USA. The groups hope to create a series of briefings focused on issues facing girls and young women.