Tim Scott

Republicans to Weigh Surplus of Tax Policy Options
Standalone bills provide a glimpse into senators’ priorities

South Dakota Sen. John Thune has introduced several standalone bills that could be wrapped into a broader overhaul of the U.S. tax code. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Legislation introduced by Republican senators over the past several months could help guide the upcoming debate on an overhaul of the U.S. tax code.

While the effort is still in the adolescent stage, the bills provide an early look into the priorities members will push for during the forthcoming tax negotiations.

Senate Republicans Face Key Tax Overhaul Decisions
Effort remains in nascent stages in the face of looming deadlines

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says the GOP debate over rewriting the tax code pits the establishment, who oppose proposals that would add to the deficit, against conservatives who would “rather see a tax cut.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans have not yet come to a consensus on several crucial decisions that must be made before any serious work begins on legislation to overhaul the U.S. tax code.

Complicating that effort are a number of pressing deadlines the chamber faces, including funding the government past the end of September, the upcoming debt ceiling, and a pending reauthorization of a popular children’s health insurance program. 

Opinion: Forget the Moderates, Only the Die-Hards Can Get Health Care Back on Track
Kennedy and Hatch a great example of working across the aisle

Sens. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, left, and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts at a 1997 press conference introducing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If the failure of health care reform taught us anything last week, it’s that somebody somewhere in Washington is going to have to start compromising if anything is ever going to get done.

But if you’re thinking a successful compromise is going to come from moderates like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, or Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., think again. Although those senators’ roles will be important, all of the moderates from both parties together still don’t have enough votes to pass legislation.

White House Talks Tax Outreach, but Senators Guarded
Legislative director outlines ambitious timetable

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short, left, here with Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso last week, has hopes for a bipartisan tax overhaul effort. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll)

The White House sees Democrats up for re-election in states President Donald Trump won as possible partners in their effort to overhaul the tax code, but Senate Republicans appear less optimistic about the chances of a bipartisan bill.

White House legislative director Marc Short said Monday the White House is not wed to using the often partisan reconciliation process to advance a tax overhaul, though senators were hesitant to rule out that procedural tool.

GOP Tax Unity Statement Creates Messaging, Negotiating Room
Big Six negotiators leave plenty of space on the table for differing ideas

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady plans to spend the August recess pitching a tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP congressional and administration leaders’ joint tax overhaul statement took one big item off the negotiating table Thursday but left almost everything else on it. And that’s likely by design. 

The official death of the border adjustment tax removes the most controversial idea from the tax overhaul conversation and provides GOP lawmakers and stakeholder groups with room to message on aspects of the tax rewrite effort that have garnered less attention. 

GOP Hopes for Obamacare Repeal Rest on ‘Skinny’ Bill
Several other Republican proposals expected to fail

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., can now bring up several GOP health care proposals for a vote after corralling the support necessary on Tuesday to bypass a key procedural hurdle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republican hopes to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system appear to hinge on the passage of a “skinny” bill that would only repeal a select few provisions in the 2010 health care law.

GOP senators and aides anticipate that several of the other Republican health care proposals expected to be considered by the chamber in the coming days will fail, clearing the way for a package that would likely just repeal the employer and individual mandates and an excise tax on medical device manufacturers.

Word on the Hill: Staffer Corrects 200-Year Mistake
Religion, soccer, cats and dogs as sharks

Staffer Ryan Martin and his family check out the Utah flag before it goes up in the Kennedy Center's Hall of States. (Kennedy Center)

House staffer Ryan Martin noticed at The Kennedy Center that the Utah flag in the Hall of States display wasn’t quite right. A manufacturing error on the flag showed 1647 as the year Mormon pioneers settled in the state, 200 years off from the actual year.

Martin informed the center and a new flag was ordered. The new flag, with the correct year, was raised Monday at a ceremony in the Hall of States. 

The GOP Full-Court, Post-Lunch Press on Health Care
After White House lunch, an effort to turn nays into ayes

Sen. Tim Scott and other Republican senators went to the White House for lunch on Wednesday to discuss their health care efforts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By John T. Bennett and Joe Williams

Senate Republicans are planning a last-ditch effort to revive their legislation to overhaul the U.S. insurance system after a lunch-time meeting on Wednesday afternoon with President Donald Trump.

Senate Health Care Failure Prompts Republican Soul Searching
Onus falls to Mitch McConnell to unite GOP conference

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, seen here Tuesday with Majority Whip John Cornyn, is facing questions over his strategy used in crafting the health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell employed an iron fist over the Republican health care effort, keeping top lieutenants in the dark about key decisions and withholding detailed policy information from the conference as a whole until just before it was released publicly.

Now with the seven-year effort to gut the 2010 health care law in tatters, it falls on the Kentucky Republican to deal with the aftermath, and quell concerns about whether he can continue to lead effectively. 

Rare Bipartisan Internship Exists for North Carolina HBCU Students
Alma Adams and Mark Walker run a paid summer internship program

From left: North Carolina Rep. Alma Adams, Nasya Blackwell, Dariana Reid and North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker. (Courtesy Adams’ office)

Twenty-year-old political science majors Dariana Reid, a rising senior at Johnson C. Smith University, and Nasya Blackwell, a rising junior at North Carolina A&T State University, are interning in both a Democratic and a Republican office on the Hill this summer.

They are interns in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship Program, which was established last year. The universities are located in the districts of two North Carolina lawmakers, Democrat Alma Adams and Republican Mark Walker, who teamed up to create the experience.