Richard J Durbin

Ex-Staffer Launches Petition to Save Cups
‘Cups is very life-giving’

(Courtesy “Save Cups”/actionnetwork.org)

The Capitol Hill Twitterverse was not pleased to see the news that Cups & Company in the Russell Senate Office building could lose its contract and have to end services. One woman is taking action.

All the way from New York, where she now lives, Rebecca Christopher has started a petition. She left Capitol Hill in 2009 where she most recently was a press assistant to Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin.

Democrats Drop Congeniality as They Fire Away at Sessions
‘Give me a break,’ attorney general implores at one point

From left, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons and Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal talk Wednesday as Sessions arrives for the Senate Judiciary oversight hearing on the Justice Department. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions took an unusual path to the witness table before Wednesday’s Justice Department oversight hearing. He looped behind the dais to smile and shake the hands of his former Senate Judiciary Committee colleagues and pat them on the shoulder.

But the next four hours made it clear that congeniality has faded for the former Alabama Republican senator. Democrats lectured him on immigration policy, questioned his truthfulness in previous testimony about Russia and criticized his implementation of the Trump administration’s conservative policies.

Trump’s Fluid Views on Policy Drive Headaches in Senate
Health care flip-flop latest in a series of policy shifts by the president

President Donald Trump, seen here Monday at the White House Rose Garden with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has rankled senators with his shifting policy views. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray went to bed Tuesday evening thinking they had hit a home run. The duo at the helm of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee did the seemingly impossible and reached bipartisan consensus on a bill to help stabilize the insurance markets that had the support of President Donald Trump.

Then came the tweet.

Opinion: Working Around Trump on Issues That Matter
Reaching for compromise, change seekers are tuning out the president

Sens. Charles E. Grassley and Richard J. Durbin sponsored a bipartisan bill that would reduce mandatory sentences for low-level drug offenders. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

The kiss-and-make-up press conference with President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was one of the most awkward dates in the history of, well, dates, as my Roll Call colleague Walter Shapiro pointed out. They need each other, sure, but will tax cuts be the glue to hold intermittent and shaky truces together for any length of time?

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky looked to stay on Trump’s good side over genial rounds of golf, but they’d better not relax. All it takes is a bit of criticism, and the president shows that the loyalty he demands goes only one way. They need not reach all the way back to the personal insults of last year’s GOP primary race for proof.

Sessions: ‘Dreamers’ Fix Must Drive Down Illegal Immigration
AG has long opposed efforts to grant undocumented childhood immigrants legal status

Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed immigration issues in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told senators Wednesday they could work with President Donald Trump to protect undocumented childhood immigrants from deportation as long as “amnesty” is coupled with efforts to reduce illegal immigration overall.

“The president has said he wants to work with Congress. He has a heart for young people,” Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee at a wide-ranging Justice Department oversight hearing.

Senators Ready to Confront Sessions at Oversight Hearing
Attorney General likely to face contentious questions about his leadership

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions returns to face his former Senate Judiciary Committee colleagues Wednesday in an oversight hearing likely to include contentious questions about Justice Department actions since he took on the role eight months ago.

“The attorney general will earn his money that day,” said committee member John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican.

What Happens When Corker Lays Down His Foreign Relations Gavel?
Tennessee Republican leaves a committee far from what it used to be

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is the first senator to announce his retirement this Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Neither Peyton Manning nor Reese Witherspoon is going to become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next year. Not Charlie Daniels, Dolly Parton or Samuel L. Jackson, either.

The most clear-cut reason is that none of those celebrity Tennesseans is likely to end up running to become a senator, much to the disappointment of Beltway insiders starved for glitzy, if harmless, political distractions in the Trump era and already enthralled by Kid Rock’s flirtation with a Senate run in Michigan.

Senators Debate When Nominee’s Religion Is Fair Game
Democrats’ questioning of appeals court pick stirs discussion

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, second from left, have stirred controversy over their recent questioning of an appellate nominee. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Senate Judiciary Committee vote on a controversial appeals court pick Thursday prompted a discussion about when it is appropriate to ask questions about a nominee’s religion — and even a suggestion to hold a public hearing on the issue.

The topic arose because of questions Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois asked last month during a confirmation hearing for Amy Barrett, a University of Notre Dame law professor and a Roman Catholic who is nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

Take Five: Tammy Duckworth
Illinois Democrat says the Senate is not as ‘cordial’ and ‘laid-back’ as people said it would be

Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth said she wouldn’t be in the Senate if she had gone on more CODELs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Freshman Sen. Tammy Duckworth, 49, an Illinois Democrat, talks about the loss of bipartisanship in the Senate, the worst advice she’s received and which Disney princess she is.

Q: What is one thing that’s standing in the way of you doing your job?

Norman Makes Congressional Sports Debut at Charity Basketball Game
The 19th annual Member of Congress Charity Basketball Game is Tuesday

Rep. Ralph Norman was elected to replace director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ralph Norman came to Congress at a pivotal time for congressional sports.

The South Carolina Republican was sworn in on June 26, just 11 days after the Congressional Baseball Game and 12 days after the shooting at the GOP team’s practice. Now, he is making his congressional sports debut as a rookie lawmaker at the 19th annual Member of Congress Charity Basketball Game on Tuesday.