Richard J Durbin

GOP Hopes for Obamacare Repeal Rest on ‘Skinny’ Bill
Several other Republican proposals expected to fail

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., can now bring up several GOP health care proposals for a vote after corralling the support necessary on Tuesday to bypass a key procedural hurdle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republican hopes to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system appear to hinge on the passage of a “skinny” bill that would only repeal a select few provisions in the 2010 health care law.

GOP senators and aides anticipate that several of the other Republican health care proposals expected to be considered by the chamber in the coming days will fail, clearing the way for a package that would likely just repeal the employer and individual mandates and an excise tax on medical device manufacturers.

Senate Democrats Wage Eleventh-Hour Twitter War on GOP Health Care Bill
Vote Tuesday decides whether chamber moves ahead with Obamacare repeal

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., was one of a slew of Democrats to take part in a late Twitter flurry against the GOP health care overhaul ahead of a momentous vote to proceed Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats in the last 24 hours have launched a furious volley of attacks against their colleagues across the aisle ahead of the vote Tuesday on whether to proceed with the GOP health care bill that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

The Democrats hope Twitter is their Agincourt and tweets their arrows.

Analysis: Senators Writing Placeholder Defense Money Bill
Figure will be lower than House, in prelude to likely deal

Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran predicts Congress and the administration will eventually make a deal on raising the budget caps on defense accounts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate appropriators’ forthcoming Pentagon spending bill for fiscal 2018, which will contain tens of billions of dollars less than the House’s measure, should be taken seriously, but not literally.

The Senate spending panel’s defense funding proposal is likely to grow, assuming — as is likely — that an agreement to slightly raise the budget caps is reached, as it has been for every year since the caps called for by the sequester were enacted in 2011.

Durbin and Graham Are Still DREAMing
Lawmakers unveil updated legislation to grant legal status to certain immigrants

Sens. Lindsey Graham and Richard J. Durbin held a news conference to discuss the bipartisan “Dream Act of 2017" in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Lindsey Graham thinks that despite all the campaign rhetoric, President Donald Trump might be the one to build consensus among Republicans on immigration.

Graham said that unlike either Barack Obama or George W. Bush, Trump might be able to reach elements who are the most fearful of immigrants.

New FBI Director Expected to Be Confirmed Before August Recess
Approved by Judiciary Committee on Thursday

Christopher Wray, nominee for FBI Director, is expected to win confirmation before August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators want the new FBI director on the job as soon as possible, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to see Christopher Wray confirmed before August recess. That looks increasingly likely, as the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved his nomination, teeing it up for floor consideration as soon as McConnell moves ahead.

But the year’s nomination process has been so fraught that McConnell’s staff sent a statement out announcing the Kentucky Republican’s intentions complete with a warning shot to Democrats. 

Talk of Bipartisan Health Care Bill Emerges Amid Floundering GOP Effort
Consensus with Republicans, Democrats remains a monumental task

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and the Senate Democratic Caucus have unified against the current GOP health care plan. A bipartisan measure could be next if the GOP plan fails. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican effort to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system appears to be floundering, as GOP senators await additional details on a new draft of the legislation.

While the initiative remains in limbo, more lawmakers are openly exploring the possibility of a bipartisan health care bill. Discussions have been very preliminary, lawmakers say, and such a measure will not be easy to advance, as Democrats and Republicans are miles away on some policy ideas.

Ticks, Floods, and a Dash of Health Care
Recess talks vary widely across Senate leadership

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been speaking on a variety of topics around his state over the recess, not just health care. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Finding the votes for the Republican effort to roll back the 2010 health care overhaul may be the most pressing matter at the Capitol, but it hasn’t been the only topic of conversation for senators back home over the July Fourth recess.

Take the example of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. During a speech to Republicans in Hardin County, Kentucky, on Friday, McConnell likened the health care negotiations to a “Rubik’s Cube.”

Democrats Propose Topics for Trump-Putin Meeting
Don’t let Putin make 2018 campaign his playground, senators say

Sens. Mark Warner, Charles E. Schumer and Benjamin L. Cardin were among the signatories on a new letter to President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats have some friendly suggestions for topics that President Donald Trump should discuss with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Germany, scheduled for Friday.

In a letter sent to Trump just as he landed in Hamburg, Germany, on Thursday, five senior Democrats make the case that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election should be at the top of the agenda.

One Dollar, One Name to Recognize Gun Violence Victims
Robin Kelly wants a vote on gun control legislation

Illinois Rep. Robin Kelly says pressure from the National Rifle Association is keeping House Republican leadership from allowing votes on gun violence. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Rep. Robin Kelly rose to speak on the House floor Thursday morning, she carried a list of 50 names — all victims of gun violence.

“I’ve begged — I’ve pleaded — I’ve screamed — I’ve cried and I even ground the people’s House to a halt with last year’s historic sit-in,” the Illinois Democrat said.