Texas

Hatch Deals Blow To Bipartisan Health Care Bill
Prospects dim after opposition from Finance Committee chairman

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is opposed to an emerging bipartisan measure to stabilize the health insurance markets. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, has dealt an emerging bipartisan health care bill a body blow.

President Donald Trump has sent mixed messages on his stance on the legislation from Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the panel, saying he opposed it on Wednesday after saying he supported it Tuesday

Sessions: ‘Dreamers’ Fix Must Drive Down Illegal Immigration
AG has long opposed efforts to grant undocumented childhood immigrants legal status

Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed immigration issues in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told senators Wednesday they could work with President Donald Trump to protect undocumented childhood immigrants from deportation as long as “amnesty” is coupled with efforts to reduce illegal immigration overall.

“The president has said he wants to work with Congress. He has a heart for young people,” Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee at a wide-ranging Justice Department oversight hearing.

Contrary to Rhetoric, Military Mishaps Have Been Declining
The Pentagon’s deadly accident-filled summer bucked a larger trend

The destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a chemical tanker in August, one of several deadly military accidents this year. Such incidents are on the decline, according to a Roll Call analysis. (Courtesy U.S. Navy)

Hawks in Congress have said military mishaps are up because the defense budget is down, but the data says otherwise.

The summer of 2017 saw a rash of fatal military accidents — ships colliding at sea, planes crashing and vehicles catching fire — that were deadlier than attacks from America’s enemies.

Word on the Hill: Music Advocates Go to Districts
#NoMuslimBanEver rally at the White House

Two teams from Texas compete in the annual King of the Hill softball championship game Wednesday night. (Roll Call File Photo)

The annual King of the Hill softball championship game is tonight. The event pits the best of the Hill staff softball teams from the House and Senate against each other.

For the first time in the game’s history, both teams are from Texas. The 2017 Senate champions, The RBIs of Texas, will take on the 2017 House champions, The Texas Republic, at 7:30 p.m. at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.

Cups Could Be No More
AOC studying whether to give the beloved Hill coffee shop the heave-ho

Cups & Company is located in the basement of the Russell Senate Office Building. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

The beloved Cups & Company in the Russell Senate Office Building, a favorite on Capitol Hill, could lose its contract and end services.

Charles and Kathy Chung have been operating Cups since 2001 and their contract has to be renewed every four years. But this time around, they are competing with other companies and will find out in November if Cups will still be operating.

Word on the Hill: Schneider Rides the Bus
McCain’s award, Conaway’s life in D.C., McSally on sexism

Illinois Rep. Brad Schneider is getting on a commuter bus around 8 a.m. Tuesday to meet with constituents. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., is taking his town hall on the road today.

He will use his “Commuter Town Hall” on the PACE bus in his suburban Chicago district to meet constituents during their work commutes.

Thad Cochran, Still Ailing, Will Miss Senate Votes This Week
Urinary tract infection sidelines Mississippi Republican for extended time

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran has been absent from the Capitol since September and will continue to be away while he recuperates. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Thad Cochran will not immediately return to Washington following a four-week absence, raising speculation about the 79-year-old Mississippi Republican’s ability to continue as Appropriations chairman during the remainder of the 115th Congress.

His absence could also have implications for the budget resolution vote this week, though debate was still on track as of Monday, even after Cochran’s office confirmed he would not be present.

Brady and Ryan Mulling Big Gamble on Key Tax Deduction
State and local tax deduction has its fans among rank and file, though

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady want to repeal the state and local tax deduction, but face resistance from several GOP colleagues in high-tax states. (Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders face many decisions regarding details of a tax overhaul but perhaps none more immediately consequential than whether to roll the dice and try to eliminate the state and local tax, or SALT, deduction.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas and Speaker Paul D. Ryan have made it abundantly clear they’d prefer to get rid of the deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct what they pay in state and local property taxes and either state income taxes or sales taxes.

Rick Perry Defends Private Travel Costs at House Energy Hearing
Some sites are too remote to be accessed by commercial airlines, secretary says

Energy Secretary Rick Perry testifies during a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce’s Energy Subcommittee on Thursday. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

BY ELVINA NAWAGUNA

Energy Secretary Rick Perry told lawmakers Thursday that his use of private aircraft for work travel is sometimes justified because his department’s national laboratories and some sites he has to visit are too remote to be accessed by commercial airlines.

Why Trump’s Immigration Demands Haven’t Changed the Dynamics on Hill
Prospects for a bipartisan bill were already grim

A sign at an immigration rights protest in from on the White House on Sept. 5 to oppose President Donald Trump’s decision to phase out the DACA program. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump’s decision to push for his border wall as part of an immigration deal — after previously saying it would be dealt with separately — would, at first glance, seem to lower the probability of a bipartisan accord.

But the prospects were already grim. So Sunday’s release of Trump’s immigration policy priorities caused no major shift in the dynamics on Capitol Hill.