Vermont

Mining Concerns Animate Minnesota Swing District
Rick Nolan gets challenger for DFL endorsement

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan, center, talks with Mark Froemke, right, and Wayne Fleischhacker, of the AFL-CIO, during a fish fry and fundraiser last fall. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

First-time candidate Leah Phifer doesn’t have many policy differences with Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan — an original co-sponsor of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act — except on one issue.

Phifer thinks her fellow Democrat has gone too far toward siding with the mining industry. The former FBI counterterrorism analyst is seeking the DFL’s endorsement for Minnesota’s 8th District and kicked off her campaign over the weekend.

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.

De Leon to Challenge Feinstein in California Senate Race
State Senate leader says Democratic incumbent is not liberal enough

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, left, has the support of fellow California Sen. Kamala Harris. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Senate Leader Kevin de Leon announced Sunday this he will challenge incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the California Senate race.

De Leon, 50, is taking on his fellow Democrat for not being liberal enough to represent the solid blue state. In his announcement video, he highlighted his own story as the youngest child of a single immigrant mother. 

Photos of the Week: SCOTUS Is Back, Gun Debate Reignited and Federal Budget Steps
The week of Oct. 2 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

West Virginia Sens. Joe Manchin III and Shelley Moore Capito talk during their news conference on the introduction of the American Miners Pension Act in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court began its new term this week and heard oral arguments in a case that could determine whether political redistricting is constitutional. And after the Sunday night massacre in Las Vegas, GOP lawmakers appeared Thursday to be coalescing around a bill that would ban bump stocks, a type of device that effectively transforms a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic.

Also this week: The House passed a budget resolution for fiscal year 2018, as the Senate began committee consideration of its own resolution. These steps are meant to pave the way for a tax overhaul measure.

Word on the Hill: Cousins Bernie and Larry
Airbnb surge, and Pet Night results

Sen. Bernie Sanders reacts as his distant cousin is revealed. (PBS.org)

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and comedian Larry David, who portrayed him on “Saturday Night Live” last season, are reportedly distant cousins.

The two found out on PBS’ “Finding Your Roots,” which released a preview of its Season 4 premiere, People reported. In the preview, David is told researchers matched his DNA against others who have appeared on the show, turning up a cousin.

Lawmakers Push Trump to Release JFK Assassination Files
Bipartisan group introduce resolutions ahead of October deadline

Sens. Charles E. Grassley and Patrick J. Leahy want files on the Kennedy assassination released. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senior lawmakers are calling on President Donald Trump to allow the release of remaining government records on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Resolutions introduced in the House and Senate would call on the president to allow release of documents held by the National Archives and Records Administration, and for the Archives to work to meet a statutory deadline that arrives later in October.

Bipartisan Efforts Behind Coal Miner Pension Push
Manchin and Capito lead Senate effort, as miners return to Capitol Hill

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III, center, United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts, center left, and coal miners arrive for a Tuesday press conference on the introduction of legislation to protect miner pension benefits. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The coal miners are back.

Last fall, you couldn’t walk through the Capitol’s hallways without running into mine workers wearing camouflage T-shirts.

Collins Opposition to Graham-Cassidy Likely Dooms Obamacare Repeal
Third GOP senator announced against it

Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced her opposition to the Graham-Cassidy health care repeal proposal Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Susan Collins delivered the likely final blow to the Senate Republicans’ latest effort to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.

“Sweeping reforms to our health care system and to Medicaid can’t be done well in a compressed time frame, especially when the actual bill is a moving target. Today, we find out that there is now a fourth version of the Graham-Cassidy proposal, which is as deeply flawed as the previous iterations,” the Maine Republican said in a statement of the effort spearheaded by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

McConnell Avoided Making a Promise He Couldn’t Keep
McCain’s health care announcement showed value of majority leader’s caution

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had intended to turn back to health care this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell never quite guaranteed a floor vote on the latest Republican effort to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law as the clock ticked toward an end-of-September deadline.

The Kentucky Republican’s office was measured last week when asked about the prospects for floor action, with the majority leader saying through multiple spokespersons that it was “the Leader’s intention to consider” the legislation drafted by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

Word on the Hill: Busy Week
Your social calendar for the week

Events all over D.C. to explore this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Happy Monday and welcome back.

This week is packed with things to do around the D.C. area.