Science

Heller ‘Will Not Support’ Draft Senate GOP Health Bill
Nevada Republican joins chorus of senators raising concerns over proposal

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., listens as Secretary of Commerce nominee Wilbur Ross Senate testifies during his confirmation hearing in the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS and BRIDGET BOWMAN, Roll Call

Sen. Dean Heller came out in opposition Friday to draft legislation released Thursday that would overhaul the U.S. health insurance system, teeing up a major battle for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Opinion: Jon Ossoff and the New Breed of Yellow Dog Democrats
How politics in a onetime Southern GOP stronghold have changed

By the kind of campaign he ran in Georgia’s 6th District, Jon Ossoff is emblematic of a New Southern Democrat, Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — It’s Election Day in Georgia, so this column goes to print before we know the outcome of the 6th District special election to replace Dr. Tom Price in Congress. But whether Karen Handel, the Republican, pulls off a win or Jon Ossoff, the Democrat, manages an upset, it is well-understood here that the politics of this once solidly Republican district have changed, almost overnight.

The fact that Ossoff became so competitive, so quickly in this race was almost entirely because of Donald Trump. Trump was certainly the reason Democratic activists across the country pumped $20 million into a district where the biggest tourist attraction is a giant red chicken in front of a vintage KFC. Trump was also the reason countless Ossoff volunteers told me they were working for him “because at least it is something I could do” after Trump won in November.

EPA Budget Cuts Won't Fly, House Appropriators Tell Pruitt

House appropriators, both Republicans and Democrats, were opposed to the cuts to the EPA budget defended by its administrator, Scott Pruitt. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s defense of the administration’s proposal to his agency’s budget by 30 percent are falling short with House appropriators, who are making clear that they’ll toss it aside when they write their Interior-Environment spending bill.

The sharp cuts proposed in the President Donald Trump’s budget are “untenable,” Interior-Environment Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert told Pruitt at a hearing, a sharp rebuke from a key appropriator.

As Comey Testifies, Trump’s Presidency Hangs in Balance
White House looks to Senate Intel Republicans for cover

Former FBI Director James B. Comey returns to Capitol Hill on Thursday for perhaps the most-anticipated congressional hearing since the Iran-Contra and Watergate scandals. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Cal file photo)

It has been decades since Washington has seen anything like the maelstrom that will consume the capital city — and, perhaps, Donald Trump’s presidency — on Thursday when James B. Comey appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The testimony of the former FBI director, whom Trump fired after allegedly asking him to drop a federal investigation of his first national security adviser, will be watched around the world. Not since the 1987 Iran-Contra and 1973 Watergate hearings will so much attention be on Republican and Democratic members as they question — and criticize — a witness.

Gomez Will Fit In Well With Democrats’ Liberal Wing
Newly elected California lawmaker brings wealth of political experience

State Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez won the special election in California’s 34th District on Tuesday. (Courtesy Jimmy Gomez Facebook page)

California Rep.-elect Jimmy Gomez has spent his career in politics and labor organizing and will fit into the liberal wing of the Democratic caucus.

Given that experience, expect him to be a major voice on labor and workplace issues. His bill to expand California’s paid family leave was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in April 2016.

Republican Moderates Jeer Paris Accord Withdrawal
In rare statement, Obama joins Democrats in criticizing U.S. removal from pact

Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo panned President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Some moderate Republicans in Congress have come out against President Donald Trump’s decision Thursday to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, saying it would lessen the country’s leadership role internationally.

They were joined by the former Democratic president who helped seal the deal: Barack Obama.

Lobbyists Don’t Get Business Boom With Trump
Clients have been hiring lobbyists at a reduced rate compared to 2009

BY SEAN MCMINN and KATE ACKLEY

With a unified Republican government in Washington, lobbyists hoped that 2017 would offer a long-awaited opportunity to push big proposals through Congress — but records do not indicate any large uptick in clients during the early months of the Trump administration.

Lawmakers Seek to Restore Internet Privacy After Repealing It
Move comes after waves of consumer concerns

Legislation by Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn would restore some of the internet regulations Republicans in Congress just repealed. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House and Senate lawmakers are hoping to push legislation to replace recently repealed Obama-era internet privacy regulations, a move by the Federal Communications Commission that has led to a tide of consumer complaints.

At least two Senate bills are being drafted to address the regulatory void and public outcry created last month when congressional Republicans repealed internet privacy rules issued by the FCC last year, using the Congressional Review Act. With the repeal, internet service providers such as Comcast and Verizon can use and sell their customers’ online internet activity for marketing purposes unless consumers specifically request to opt out.

Energy, Interior Nominees Caught in Budget Crossfire
Energy and Natural Resources hearing becomes forum on Trump budget cuts

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken expressed hope that one Energy Department nominee would be “a voice of reason and experience.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee used a Thursday confirmation hearing for a deputy Energy secretary and two other regulators to question elements of the Trump administration’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal.

The confirmation hearing for Dan Brouillette to be Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s deputy included questions from senators seeking clarity from the nominee about his views of some of the more controversial proposals in the Trump budget, including the plan to draw down by half the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Rep. Lamar Smith Out of Touch With Science, Challenger Says
Aerospace engineer — a veteran — is taking on Science committee chairman

Lamar Smith chairs the House Science Space and Technology Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP Rep. Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, is getting a Democratic challenger who says Smith is out of touch with science and his constituents.

Joseph Kopser announced Tuesday that he is taking on Smith, who is running for re-election for a 17th term in Congress in the solidly Republican central Texas district. Kopser, a combat veteran who served in Iraq and earned a Bronze Star, is one of a slew of candidates in science and technology fields running for elected office as political outsiders.