Trade

How Orrin Hatch Found His Twitter Groove
‘He has this incredible sense of humor, he loves self-deprecating humor, he loves age jokes’

Matt Whitlock, left, says the voice of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch’s Twitter account is the senator himself. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s not easy to create one of the most popular Twitter handles in Congress when you’re speaking in your 83-year-old boss’s voice.

But Matt Whitlock, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch’s communication director, has done just that. The Utah Republican has about 65,000 followers.

Corker Lifts Blanket Hold on Arms Sales to Gulf States
Still no clear path on Gulf Cooperation Council rift

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker has lifted a months-long hold on weapon sales to Gulf countries after it failed to encourage a resolution to the ongoing diplomatic standoff between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

In a letter this week, the Tennessee Republican notified Secretary of State Rex Tillerson he was ending his eight-month blanket hold on lethal defense equipment sales to the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which comprises Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

With Hunter Floundering, Democrats Eye Flipping Red California Seat
Retired Navy SEAL, ex-Obama official competing in 50th District

Democrats think that with incumbent California Rep. Duncan Hunter under criminal investigation, they have a chance of flipping a solid GOP seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter facing legal troubles, Democrats running in California’s 50th District are increasingly hopeful about picking up a reliably GOP seat.

Hunter won his previous elections in the district by high double digits, beginning in 2008, when he succeeded his father, who served in Congress for almost three decades. President Donald Trump carried Hunter’s district by 15 points in 2016.

Kirsten Gillibrand Says Goodbye to Corporate PAC Money
Union money still OK for potential White House candidate

Gillibrand says corporate PAC money has a "corrosive effect" in politics. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a potential contender in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, said Tuesday she would no longer accept donations from the political action committees of for-profit companies.

Her prohibition includes contributions from PACs connected to trade associations and law firms, her spokesman Glen Caplin told Roll Call in an email, saying the goal was to "get corporate money out of politics."

GOP Frets as Trump Calls U.S. Stupid on Trade
Republicans warn president about setting off tariff battle

President Donald Trump signs a copy of the book ‘Let Trump Be Trump’ in the House chamber after his State of the Union address on January 30, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Several Republican lawmakers did Tuesday what few of their colleagues have since Donald Trump took office: They challenged one of the president’s core principles to his face.

Sen. Roy Blunt was among those who warned Trump against starting a trade war with other countries on which many U.S. companies buy goods and materials.

Challenger Nicholson’s Parents Max Out Contributions to Baldwin
Nicholson was once head of the College Democrats of America

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., received maximum donations from Republican challenger Kevin Nicholson’s parents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Kevin Nicholson’s parents aren’t being very encouraging when it comes to his bid to beat Sen. Tammy Baldwin — both donated the maximum allowed to the Wisconsin Democratic incumbent.

Federal Election Commission documents showed each of Nicholson’s parents donated $2,700 to Baldwin’s campaign.

‘Crisis Budgeting’ Likely Ahead Despite White House Claim
‘All sorts of riders’ could bring new shutdown threats, experts say

Copies of President Donald Trump’’s 2019 budget request are unpacked by House Budget Committee staff on Monday. Experts say it won’t end Washington’s decade of ‘crisis budgeting.’ (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

White House officials contend the two-year budget deal that became law last week will end Washington’s spending crises and government shutdown threats. But President Donald Trump’s new budget request suggests otherwise.

Trump himself was lukewarm about the spending package he signed last week, which raised defense and domestic spending caps for the remaining seven-and-a-half months of this fiscal year and the next. And the president had little to say about the fiscal 2019 budget blueprint his administration sent to Capitol Hill on Monday. But his top aides painted each one as game-changing documents.

Opinion: Budget Deal Gives New Meaning to ‘March Madness’
Upcoming March deadlines point to a budget process in shambles

The Trump administration’s fiscal 2018 budget plan was effectively ignored by Congress, which adopted its own blueprint with the sole focus of getting a tax bill through, Hoagland writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Green shoots of bipartisanship are sprouting on Capitol Hill. A lengthy government shutdown or worse — a default on paying our debt — has been avoided with the two-year budget agreement.

Congress must now fill in the account-level details to fulfill the $1.2 trillion spending “agreement” before the current continuing resolution runs out on March 23. Combining this year’s final appropriation actions with the president’s March 5 deadline for the Deferred Arrivals for Childhood Arrivals program will give new meaning to “March Madness.”

Senate Banking Panel Advances Fed, Two Other Financial Nominees
Economics professor Marvin Goodfriend endorsed for Federal Reserve Board

The Senate Banking Committee has narrowly endorsed the nomination of Marvin Goodfriend to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Banking Committee narrowly endorsed Thursday the nomination of Marvin Goodfriend to the Federal Reserve Board as Democrats complained that the economics professor is more focused on fighting inflation than creating jobs.

Goodfriend faced opposition from Democrats because of what they described as a lack of commitment to the Fed’s goal of supporting maximum employment. His nomination advanced on a party-line vote of 13-12.

Montana’s Greg Gianforte Ditches ‘No PAC’ Pledge for 2018
Now that he’s in Congress, GOP lawmaker is accepting corporate PAC money

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte is accepting PAC money for his re-election race this year, after campaigning on a pledge not to accept corporate PAC donations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After pledging not to take corporate PAC money during his 2017 campaign for Congress, Rep. Greg Gianforte accepted nearly $20,000 in corporate PAC donations during the fourth quarter of 2017.

“I have been taking PAC money,” the Montana Republican said Tuesday.