Steve Daines

McConnell In Difficult Spot With Latest Health Care Push
Senate majority leader tasked with shepherding bill he had no role in writing

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is in an unfamiliar position of pushing a health care repeal bill that he had little role in crafting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is counting on an 11th-hour attempt to repeal the 2010 health care law and change directions on a disappointing year for Republicans.

Having put health care on the back burner after lacking the votes this summer, McConnell has thrown his weight behind a proposal from GOP Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Dean Heller of Nevada.

Closed-Door Process Might Threaten Tax Timeline in Senate
Lack of consensus on budget could push back tax overhaul deadline

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is among the Republicans calling for more information about the tax overhaul effort. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The closed-door process under which Republican congressional leaders and the Trump administration are crafting an overhaul of the United States tax code could impede the Senate’s timeline for the effort.

Lawmakers say they have yet to receive key details, making it difficult to craft a fiscal 2018 budget resolution that will ultimately serve as the vehicle to advance the tax bill.

Word on the Hill: Eclipse Day
A new general in the House, lawmakers cover some ground over recess

Solar eclipse viewing glasses are going fast in advance of Monday’s solar eclipse across the United States. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The main event of the week comes early.

The peak time to view today’s solar eclipse in Washington, D.C., is 2:42 p.m. But the fun starts around 1 p.m. From our vantage point, the moon will block part of the sun from about 1:17 p.m. to around 4:01 p.m.

Word on the Hill: Peters’ Motorcycle Ride
Recess activities for Cárdenas, Ferguson and Hudson

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters toured the Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital in Ontonagon, Mich., on his bike ride. (Courtesy Peters via Twitter)

Motorcycle enthusiast Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., took his annual recess motorcycle tour of the Wolverine State this week.

The senator visited a rural airport to talk about President Donald Trump’s budget cuts to Essential Air Service, a government program enacted to guarantee that small communities maintain commercial airline service. 

Analysis: Health Care Failure to Haunt Republicans Over Recess
Lawmakers call relationship with White House a ‘work in progress’

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leaves the Capitol on Thursday after the last votes in the Senate before the August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans departed on Thursday for a 32-day recess with key victories overshadowed by a momentous defeat on their effort to overhaul the 2010 health care law.

Lawmakers left Capitol Hill for the extended break after several months of tumult, much of which stemmed from a nascent Trump administration fraught with self-inflicted scandals and lacking in traditional political experience.

Podcast: Short Recess, Long on Goals
The Big Story, Episode 62

The Senate will stick around Washington a little longer in August, shortening its recess to focus on an ambitious agenda. The list of things to do could include confirming the new FBI director. CQ Roll Call Senior Senate Reporter Niels Lesniewski and Leadership Editor Jason Dick break down what is doable.

Recess Postponed in Senate
Mitch McConnell announces two extra weeks in session

Sens. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, Luther Strange, R-Ala., Steve Daines, R-Mont., John Kennedy, R-La., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., David Perdue, R-Ga., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, conduct a news conference on Tuesday in the Capitol to encourage the Senate to work into the August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators will need to delay their departures for August recess.

Shortly after eight rank-and-file Republican senators urged postponing the recess to focus on the GOP agenda, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the break would start two weeks later than originally scheduled. 

GOP Waiting on Rosendale in Montana Senate Race
With top contenders passing on contest, crowded primary emerging

Montana State Auditor Matt Rosendale, seen here in 2013, is expected to run for Senate. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican field for Montana’s Senate race keeps growing, but the GOP is hopeful that an imminent announcement from state Auditor Matt Rosendale will give them a top-tier challenger against Sen. Jon Tester, one of 2018’s most vulnerable Democrats. 

“He is 95 percent there,” a Republican close to Rosendale said last week. The first-term auditor is expected to make a decision within the month. 

How Senators Spend Their Fourth of July
Sens. Schumer, Daines, Murkowski, and Scott on their favorite traditions

A Capitol Visitor Center tour guide points up in front of John Trumbull's “Declaration of Independence” painting in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

HOH reached out to several senators to see how they celebrate Independence Day.

After the anticipated vote on the Senate Republicans’ health care bill was postponed, senators may be eager to have a celebratory weekend.

Rural Areas Brace for Health Care Bill Impact
Senate GOP bill could undermine health insurance coverage

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is concerned her state's residents could lose out on health insurance safeguards. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate historically has paid special attention to the needs of rural areas, but as the chamber readies its health care bill, there are concerns that the bill would undermine coverage in those places more than anywhere else.

While the exact text of the Senate bill is not yet posted publicly, all signs point to somewhat similar language to the House bill (HR 1628), which would reduce funding for Medicaid compared to current law and impose caps on Medicaid funding. Under the House bill, older people also would face higher premiums — and rural areas tend to be home to a large number of older Americans.