Vermont

GOP Might Buck Senate Rules to Pass Health Care Overhaul
Parliamentarian decision still pending on House bill compliance with reconciliation

Senate Budget ranking member Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi preside over the panel that finds itself overlooking many of the questions concerning the reconciliation process. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans appear ready to make a small, but significant change to historic Senate procedure in order to advance their legislation to rework the U.S. health insurance system, a move that could have notable impact on the future of the chamber’s operations.

GOP leaders are sending signals that, if necessary, they plan to invoke a seldom-used rule included in the Congressional Budget Act that would allow Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi to skirt a decision from the chamber’s parliamentarian, a key gate-keeper for the budget maneuver known as reconciliation that Republicans are using to advance their health insurance measure.

A Long History of Attacks on Members of Congress
A member and aides were shot Wednesday at a baseball practice

The Republican’ congressional baseball team’s practice Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, was the scene of the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Four others were wounded.  The suspected shooter was killed from the injuries he sustained during gunfire exchanged with Capitol Police officers.

This isn’t the first time members of Congress have been targeted. In fact, there have been more than 20 serious incidents since the late 1800s.

James Hodgkinson Had Been Frequent Critic of GOP
66-year-old Illinois man identified as shooter at Republicans’ baseball practice

In this undated file photo, James Hodgkinson holds a sign during a protest outside of a United States Post Office in Belleville, Ill. Hodgkinson has been identified as the suspect in the Wednesday, June 14, 2017, Washington D.C. shooting. (Derik Holtmann/Belleville News-Democrat via AP)

James T. Hodgkinson, who wounded five people at Republicans’ congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning before later dying at a local hospital, had been critical of the Republican party.

Hodgkinson, 66, was from Belleville, Illinois, a town outside St. Louis represented by GOP Rep. Mike Bost. The two-term member is not on the baseball team.

Mo Brooks Describes Shooting in Alexandria
Alabama Republican was at the GOP baseball practice

FBI personnel gather outside of the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Va., to gather evidence where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others were wounded during the Republicans’ congressional baseball practice on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks was taking swings in the batting cage early Wednesday morning at the Republicans’ congressional baseball practice session in Alexandria, Virginia, when he heard a shooter open fire — and briefly caught a glimpse of a white, middle-aged male.

“I heard this loud ‘Blam,’” Brooks said. “I thought it was a car backfiring or something.”

Sanders ‘Sickened’ That Shooter Was Campaign Volunteer
Vermont independent deplores ‘this despicable act’

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he was “sickened by this despicable act” when he learned the shooter at a congressional baseball practice was a former volunteer on his presidential campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he was “sickened” by the fact that the person who opened fire at Republicans practicing Wednesday morning for the Congressional Baseball Game was a volunteer on his unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign.

The gunman, who shot at five people including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, later died from injuries sustained in a shootout with officers at a practice field in Arlington, Virginia. He has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois.

Sessions Declines to Testify About Any Conversations With Trump About Russia
Says potential exists for an executive privilege claim that has not happened

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is greeted by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.), right, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., before his testimony on Tuesday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

BY JOHN T. BENNETT AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ ROLL CALL

Attorney General Jeff Sessions declined to answer questions Tuesday about conversations with President Donald Trump, citing the potential that the White House could assert executive privilege — which has not yet happened.

Democrats Look to Oust Mike Coffman — Again
Colorado Republican remains a top Democratic target

Rep. Mike Coffman has been a top target in the past three campaign cycles. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats are once again eyeing Rep. Mike Coffman’s elusive Colorado seat as they look to take back the House in 2018.

For the past three election cycles, the Republican congressman’s personal brand and relationships with minority communities in the diverse 6th District in suburban Denver, along with a relentless campaign apparatus, have propelled him to re-election since the district was redrawn in 2012. Some Democrats say an anti-Republican environment could sweep Coffman out of office, while others aren’t as confident. 

Efficiency Measure Falls Off House Energy-Bill Express
10 minor bills passed, mostly by voice vote

A bill encouraging the development of energy efficient federal office buildings was left off the House calendar on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House passed Monday a passel of energy infrastructure and efficiency bills that were marked up last week, although the chamber left out the only one with a small hint of controversy, a measure to encourage the development of energy-efficient federal office buildings.

In total, 10 bills were on the House docket under suspension of the rules, with most passing by voice vote. Two of the bills required roll call votes and were passed 400-1 and 402-1, respectively.

Sanders Gets First Endorsement for 2020 Presidential Race
Ro Khanna notes Sanders has ‘trust at a time when people don’t trust anyone in politics’

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has polled as the most popular politician in the wake of the 2016 election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna got an early start talking about the 2020 presidential election on Monday when he tweeted that Rep. Bernie Sanders should “absolutely run again in 2020!”

Khanna went on to say Sanders “has vision, stamina, and most importantly, trust at a time when people don’t trust anyone in politics.”

Sessions to Testify in Public Hearing on Tuesday
Attorney general follows explosive Comey testimony before Intelligence panel

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation into possible ties between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify Tuesday in an open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee for its ongoing probe into Russia’s interference in last year’s presidential election.

The public hearing was announced Monday by Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner.