Susan Collins

From a Scream to a Whisper: Rescissions Push Goes Dark
Clock runs out on GOP effort to assuage Trump’s omnibus displeasure

Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., arrives in the Capitol on May 15. His decisive vote last week effectively drove a final dagger in a rescissions effort the president had sought. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After much sound and fury, President Donald Trump’s push to cut nearly $15 billion in unspent funds sitting in federal coffers ended with a whimper last week.

The House-passed rescissions plan was unceremoniously scuttled in the Senate on Wednesday when Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr of North Carolina cast the decisive vote against a discharge petition to advance the measure. With a 45-day clock expiring Friday — and senators long gone for the weekend — Republicans could no longer take advantage of filibuster protections under the 1974 budget law to advance the measure with a simple majority in the Senate.

Government Reorg Plan Greeted Without Fanfare
Key members of Congress seemed unaware of details as White House plan was released

The Office of Management and Budget, led by Director Mick Mulvaney, released a sweeping reorganization proposal on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration’s proposal to reorganize the federal government won’t likely be moving to the top of the Senate agenda anytime soon.

“This effort, along with the recent executive orders on federal unions, are the biggest pieces so far of our plan to drain the swamp,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said of the proposals. “I am eager to work with my colleagues across the executive branch and in Congress to deliver a more trusted and efficient government that puts the American taxpayer first.”

Jared Golden Wins Democratic Nod to Take On Bruce Poliquin
Ranked-choice voting put Marine vet over the top a week after primary

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin will face state House Assistant Majority Leader Jared Golden in the fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than a week after voters went to the polls, the Maine secretary of state on Wednesday night declared state House Assistant Majority Leader Jared Golden the winner of the Democratic nomination in the 2nd District.

Golden will now challenge two-term Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin in November in a traditionally Democratic district that voted for President Donald Trump in 2016.

Trump Signs Executive Action Ending Family Separation
ACLU warns president’s action merely replaces ‘one crisis for another’

Central American asylum seekers wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take groups of them into custody on June 12, 2018, near McAllen, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Updated 6:57 p.m. | Bowing to public pressure, President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive action ending the practice of separating migrant children from their parents amid a firestorm that saw congressional Republicans break with him.

The president contends Congress must pass legislation addressing the matter for it to be permanently solved given existing laws and court rulings his administration says mandates a process under which migrant children are separated from their parents when caught trying to illegally enter the United States. And it appears families can only be held together for 20 days, unless a federal judge alters a previous ruling placing a limit on detaining migrant families together.

Opinion: When Even Ted Cruz Balks at Trump’s Excesses
Children’s screams are now the soundtrack of the Trump era

A boy and father from Honduras are taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents near Mission, Texas, on June 12. (John Moore/Getty Images)

If the arc of history does indeed bend toward justice, then we know what soundtrack will greet future visitors to the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library and Golf Resort.

It will be the eight-minute audio recording, obtained and authenticated by ProPublica, of children in a Border Patrol detention facility screaming for their parents.

Beat the Press: Lawmakers Look to Break Media Team’s Softball Streak
‘We get to get a little physical and we get to do something really good’ in charity game

The media team celebrates after its 2-1 victory over female lawmakers at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After months of strong female voices challenging male-dominated institutions, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand is eager to direct that fervor onto the softball field.

“I think there’s a lot of energy on our team right now and there’s a lot of enthusiasm for women and women’s voices,” the New York Democrat said at practice for the Congressional Women’s Softball Game last week.

Senate Appropriations Approves $5M to Pay Interns
New funding approved in the fiscal 2019 Legislative Branch markup

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., has been tackling the issue of paying interns in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved $5 million Thursday to compensate the chamber’s interns.

Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen teamed up with fellow Democrats Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut, Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, and Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine.

Democrats Look for a Mainer to Take on Poliquin
Tuesday’s primary will be held under ranked choice voting system

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin has attracted three Democratic challengers, who will face off in Tuesday’s primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin has proved an elusive target, but with a new candidate this year, Democrats will have another to chance to defeat the well-funded Republican.

Three Democrats are competing in Tuesday’s primary in Maine’s 2nd District, which will use ranked-choice voting for the first time.

Senators Push Defense Amendment to Restore ZTE Sanctions
Proposal would effectively block ZTE from American technology — again

Sen. Tom Cotton is leading a bipartisan effort to restore penalties on ZTE. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A bipartisan contingent of senators wants to use the defense authorization to restore penalties against Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE that were eased Thursday morning.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas joined Democratic Sens. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Charles E. Schumer of New York in filing the legislation as an amendment to the defense programs bill. Senators are expected to begin amendment debate on the broader legislation early next week.

Women on the Verge of a Breakthrough on House Appropriations
One-two punch on the panel would be the first since women led the House Beauty Shop Committee

Texas Rep. Kay Granger is one of five Republicans — and the only Republican woman — competing for the top spot on the Appropriations Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House of Representatives hasn’t had two women lead a committee since the Select Committee on the House Beauty Shop was eliminated in 1977.

All of that could change in January.