Paul D Ryan

Trump Hedges on $5 Billion for Border Wall on Day of Meeting With Schumer, Pelosi
President hints at military construction of barrier, which could be problematic legally

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Just before a scheduled meeting with Democratic leaders on border security funding, President Donald Trump appeared to soften his demand for $5 billion in construction funds for his southern border wall proposal.

in a series of tweets, the president sought to build a case that portions of fencing and levee wall already built or in the works on his watch have successfully increased border security to a degree, even without the money he wants. And in a subsequent tweet, Trump foreshadows “some important announcements” in his administration’s trade talks with China; if true, any positive headlines of those talks could be drowned out by an ugly partial government shutdown that Trump likely would be blamed for.

Paul Ryan: The Good, the Bad and the Truly Disappointing
He never wanted the job. He never lived up to his potential. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom

Paul D. Ryan’s time as speaker is coming to an end, and everyone’s reviewing the tape. It wasn’t all bad for the gentleman from Janesville, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It’s hard to excel in a job you never wanted in the first place. That seems to be one of the primary takeaways from the three years Paul Ryan served as House speaker since Republicans practically begged him to step into the void they created when they ran John Boehner off from the job in 2015.

Add to Ryan’s burden the fact that he had to work with a president who was his opposite in every measure but party affiliation, and it’s easy to think Ryan’s speakership was doomed from the start. But it wasn’t all bad for the gentleman from Janesville. Let’s review.

With Opponents Dug In, Pelosi Has Little Room to Negotiate on Speaker Votes
At least 15 Pelosi opponents say they remain firm and will not vote ‘present’

Reps.-elect Max Rose, D-N.Y., left, and Jason Crow, D-Colo., pictured fist bumping at the new member office lottery on Nov. 30, are among the Democrats firmly opposed to Nancy Pelosi’s speaker bid. Rep.-elect Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., is among those who voted against Pelosi in caucus elections but appears open to supporting her on the floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At least 15 Democrats resisting Nancy Pelosi’s speaker bid are holding firm in their opposition and say they plan to vote for someone other than the California Democrat during the Jan. 3 speaker election, providing Pelosi with little room to negotiate a victory.

With the House poised to have 235 Democrats seated on the opening day of the 116th Congress when the speaker election takes place, Pelosi can only afford to have 17 Democrats vote and say a name that is not hers to meet the 218-vote majority threshold. 

Capitol Christmas Tree Glows After Delay in Honor of Bush
Speaker Paul Ryan lights up the ‘People’s Tree’ for his fourth and final time

The Capitol Christmas tree is seen alongside the Capitol Dome after the official lighting in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. (Jerel Flint/CQ Roll Call)

As Speaker Paul D. Ryan flipped the Christmas switch for the last time on Thursday, he paid tribute to a man he called a “beacon of joy.”

“This is my fourth and final time leading this event, and each time the tree is more stunning,” Ryan said before lighting the Capitol Christmas tree.

Exiting Lawmakers Retain Parking Access and Other Congressional Perks
Customs, courtesies and Congress

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and other outgoing lawmakers still get quite a few perks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Don’t worry, outgoing members can still snag prime Hill parking spots.

Following the lame-duck session, lawmakers exiting Congress in January will retain some member privileges, fitness center access, some postage rights, and parking among them. But there are limitations, especially for former lawmakers that take lobbying gigs.

Schedule for George H.W. Bush's Funeral Services in Washington D.C.
The nation's capital bids the former president farewell this week

Mike Dean, chief upholsterer of the House of Representatives, vacuums the Lincoln catafalque as work continued Monday for the arrival of former President George H.W. Bush’s casket in the Capitol Rotunda. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The remains of former President George H.W. Bush arrived at Joint Base Andrews on Monday afternoon and services commenced at the Capitol shortly thereafter.

Here is the schedule for the Washington D.C. portion of the services and ceremonies accompanying the 41st president’s state funeral.

Capitol Welcomes George H.W. Bush to Rotunda for the Last Time
Congressional leaders, dignitaries on hand for arrival of 41st president, who will lie in state

President Donald Trump salutes as First Lady Melania Trump holds her hand over her heart at former President George H.W. Bush's casket in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 8:45 p.m. | The sounds of military cannons rattled the Capitol Rotunda on Monday. Over and over. Twenty-one somber times as Congress paused to welcome former President George H.W. Bush for the final time.

With votes set aside in both chambers, Republican and Democratic members gathered in the ornate room under the building’s signature dome, black bunting adorning its doorways.

[Correction] Violence Against Women Act Extension Included in Latest Spending Proposal

A reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act will likely lapse at the end of the week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Corrected 6:30 p.m. | Despite indications earlier Monday that the Violence Against Women Act would not be extended as part of the two-week continuing resolution, the stopgap funding measure would indeed extend VAWA until at least Dec. 21. 

This means the landmark domestic violence law will not lapse for the second time in 25 years.

House Cancels Votes, Senate Postpones for Bush Ceremonies
Send-off for former president scrambles calendar and changes calculation of shutdown politics

Workers set up the Capitol Rotunda on Monday for the body of former President George H.W. Bush to lie in state. The House and Senate have both altered legislative schedules to honor Bush, who died Friday at age 94.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House has canceled all votes for the week and the Senate has postponed votes until after the Wednesday funeral of former President George H.W. Bush.

House lawmakers were scheduled to vote on 14 bills under suspension of the rules this week, in addition to the farm bill conference report and a fiscal 2019 spending package. Current funding for nine Cabinet departments and dozens of smaller agencies will run dry on Dec. 7.

Newly Elected Congressman Says He May Have Broken Campaign Finance Law
Incoming Rep. Ross Spano accepted large personal loans during campaign, delayed reporting them

Incoming Rep. Ross Spano, R-Fla., acknowledged possibly violating campaign finance law in a letter to regulators dated Friday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida member-elect Ross Spano acknowledged he may have violated campaign finance law and promised to repay $180,000 in personal loans by the end of week in a letter to federal regulators.

The freshman Republican and his lenders now recognize they may have transgressed rules against straw donations “in violation of the Federal Campaign Finance Act,” according to a letter from his attorney to the Federal Election Commission dated Friday and first reported by the Tampa Bay Times.