Richard M Burr

Bipartisan Tax Bill More Durable, GOP Says After White House Meeting
Toomey sees overlap, but Democrats show little enthusiasm

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, seated left, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, seated center, and Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, standing center, were among the Finance Committee members who met with President Donald Trump on Wednesday about a tax overhaul bill. Also pictured, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, standing right. (Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call File Photo)

After huddling Wednesday with President Donald Trump and a handful of Democrats, Senate Republican tax writers said an overhaul bill that secures bipartisan support would be more “durable” than a GOP-only path. 

Senate Republicans are moving ahead with plans to ensure a tax bill could pass with as few as 50 GOP votes, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote. But after a White House meeting with Trump and five Senate Finance Committee Democrats, three GOP members on that panel said they agree with the president that a bipartisan bill is preferable.

Pro-Trump Great America Alliance Endorses in Three Senate Primaries
Rosendale, Morrisey and Blackburn received the group’s backing

Great American Alliance endorsed Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s bid for Senate on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Great America Alliance, an issue advocacy organization supporting President Donald Trump, on Wednesday made its first three Senate endorsements for the 2018 midterms.

Great America Alliance is backing Montana Auditor Matt Rosendale, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn. All three Republicans are seeking the GOP nod for Senate in their states.

Opinion: Bob Corker and the Chairmen Who Hold Trump’s Fate in Their Hands
Alienating key GOP senators unwise for the president

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is among the key Senate chairmen that President Donald Trump has lied about, demeaned, ignored or otherwise alienated, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

We all know that Washington is about relationships. I’ve gotten some of my best scoops (so to to speak) at the dog park and met some of my best sources on “Wing Night” at the Capitol Lounge years ago. On Capitol Hill, good bills have died over years-long grudges, while mediocre bills have gotten by on, “Well, I just like the guy (or lady).”

With a huge legislative agenda to pass and a major international incident looming in North Korea, you’d think that President Donald Trump would be rallying his fellow Republicans to his side, especially the most senior leaders who could shepherd his agenda through the Hill. Instead, he has attacked, lied about, demeaned, ignored or otherwise alienated a host of GOP senators, including the ones crucial to his efforts to build a wall, pass tax reform, reform health care and, if it came to it, escape impeachment.

New Foreign Surveillance Bill Would Boost Privacy Protections
Top House Judiciary leaders reached decision last week

House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte and ranking member John Conyers Jr. introduced the so-called USA Liberty Act on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte and the panel’s top Democrat Rep. John Conyers Jr. reached agreement last week on a new bill that would tighten privacy protections in a surveillance law considered vital by U.S. intelligence agencies.

The bill’s attempt to shore up civil liberties runs contrary to what the White House and intelligence agencies have sought, and is likely to face opposition from a group of national security hawks in the Senate who back the Trump administration position.

Opinion: A Fake Senate Hearing on Fake News
What if the Intelligence Committee took up the president’s request

North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr, right, and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner lead the Senate Intelligence Committee, which President Donald Trump called on recently to look into “Fake News Networks.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Under Donald Trump’s interpretation of the Constitution, when the president tweets, the Senate must take action immediately.

So it was with Trump’s pointed suggestion last week, filled with the kind of oddball capitalization normally found in ransom notes: “Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!”

Photos of the Week: SCOTUS Is Back, Gun Debate Reignited and Federal Budget Steps
The week of Oct. 2 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

West Virginia Sens. Joe Manchin III and Shelley Moore Capito talk during their news conference on the introduction of the American Miners Pension Act in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court began its new term this week and heard oral arguments in a case that could determine whether political redistricting is constitutional. And after the Sunday night massacre in Las Vegas, GOP lawmakers appeared Thursday to be coalescing around a bill that would ban bump stocks, a type of device that effectively transforms a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic.

Also this week: The House passed a budget resolution for fiscal year 2018, as the Senate began committee consideration of its own resolution. These steps are meant to pave the way for a tax overhaul measure.

Burr, Warner Should Investigate ‘Fake News Networks,’ Trump Says
Call comes a day after Intel Committee leaders pledged to find ‘any hint of collusion’

Reporters follow Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr earlier this year. President Trump wants his panel to investigate the media, his latest attack on the First Amendment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the Senate Intelligence Committee continues to probe possible collusion between Moscow and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, the president wants the panel to investigate one of his self-described enemies: the news media.

A day after the panel’s chairman and vice chairman, GOP Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Mark Warner of Virginia, announced the entire committee has reached a “general consensus” that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. They also formally gave the Intelligence Committee’s endorsement of an intelligence community report issued last fall that delivered a warning about the Kremlin’s meddling.

Intelligence Committee Backs Spy Agencies on Russia Conclusions
Senate panel is keeping its own Russia inquiry open

Senate Intelligence Committee leaders Mark Warner, left, and Richard M. Burr, right, say their panel overall agrees with U.S. spy agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday said a “general consensus among members and staff” is that an intelligence community conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election is accurate, but the panel will keep the investigation open.

President Donald Trump has yet to voice support for the intelligence assessment. He has sought to investigate potential voter fraud in the past election.

Photos of the Week: Health Care Dominates Senate While House Is Out
The week of Sept. 18 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Sen. Bernie Sanders raises his fist as rally attendees chant "Bernie" following his speech on the Capitol grounds Tuesday. Senate Democrats held the rally to oppose the Graham-Cassidy health care proposal, which is expected to reach the Senate floor next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate was in town for just a few days this week, while the House was recessed for a district work week and in observance of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah on Thursday and Friday.

Here's the short week in photos: 

Civil Rights, Racial Disputes Fuel Divide Over Judicial Nominee
North Carolina senators defend Thomas Farr

Sens. Richard M. Burr, right, and Thom Tillis prepare for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Sept. 20. The two support North Carolinian Thomas Farr for a federal judgeship, a nomination that has raised the ire of civil rights groups and African Americans. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s pick for a federal judgeship in North Carolina has drawn the opposition of the Congressional Black Caucus and civil rights groups in part because of past work defending the state’s congressional redistricting plans and voter ID law, which courts have struck down as unfair to minorities.

The vacancy in the Eastern District of North Carolina has fallen victim to the Tar Heel State’s contentious politics and the Senate’s confirmation process — making it now the oldest judicial vacancy in the country at 11 years and 9 months.