Virginia

GOP Baseball Team Returns to Scene of Last Year’s Shooting
Huge media and security presence around field where gunman opened fire last year

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., in red hat, hugs Matt Mika, who was critically injured in the shooting at last year’s Republican baseball practice. The GOP team held a news conference after their first practice at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican congressional baseball coach Roger Williams was hitting infield practice Wednesday morning as Rodney Davis played catcher and Williams staffer Zack Barth backed them up around a flooded batter’s box.

In the outfield, lobbyist and former Hill aide Matt Mika was fielding balls with teammates.

Medicaid Won’t Look the Same Next Year
From expansions to work mandates, states seek sweeping changes in 2018

Some states want to expand Medicaid, others want to add a work mandate, and Virginia is trying to do both. This year may define the 50-year-old program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This year could mark a significant shift for Medicaid programs across the country, as some states look to expand the government insurance program to more poor Americans while others seek to add more requirements for people who benefit.

Initiatives to get Medicaid expansion put on the November ballot are underway in Utah, Nebraska, Idaho and Montana. And Virginia lawmakers appear on the verge of securing an expansion deal, after years of rejecting the idea.

White House Uses Obama to Try to Salvage Jackson Nomination
Trump opens door to let VA nominee see himself out, Democrats question White House vetting

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary, leaves the Dirksen Senate Office Building after a meeting on Capitol Hill with Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The White House is trying to salvage Ronny Jackson’s nomination for Veterans’ Affairs secretary by citing former President Barack Obama, even after President Donald Trump publicly advised him to step aside.

Hours after Trump told reporters he would not continue as the nominee if he were in the White House physician’s shoes, a senior official shared information touting Jackson’s record. The information included praise from Obama, including the 44th president’s recommendation that Jackson, a Navy officer, be promoted ahead of his peers.

‘Robust’ Security for GOP Baseball Team’s First Practice Since Shooting
Four wounded and gunman killed in shootout at Alexandria ball field last year

Alexandria Police officers stand next to a shattered car in Alexandria, Va., after a gunman opened fire on the Republican team’s baseball practice in June 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican lawmakers will lace up their cleats Wednesday morning for their first practice of the year at the baseball field in Alexandria, where a gunman wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others last June.

This year, authorities are taking no chances on security.

Trump Opens Door for Ronny Jackson Exit
Military physician under fire on multiple fronts, from qualifications to misconduct

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary, leaves the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Tuesday after a meeting with Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:55 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended his Veterans Affairs nominee, Ronny Jackson amid allegations of drinking on the job and creating a hostile work environment even as he opened the door for his White House doctor to withdraw his nomination.

“I’ll always stand behind him,” the president said.

Conservative Court Nominee Highlights Smoother Path to Bench
Previous political work no longer impedes confirmation chances

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has presided over a steady stream of judicial confirmations under President Donald Trump, a marked shift from when Barack Obama was president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:29 p.m. | Appeals court nominee Kyle Duncan has advocated on behalf of conservatives in legal fights over contentious cultural issues such as abortion and LGBT rights, leaving behind the kind of paper trail that might have dissuaded presidents from putting him through the Senate’s confirmation process.

Donald Trump is not such a president.

Allegations of Excessive Drinking and Hostile Work Environment Delay VA Nominee’s Hearing
Jackson gave Trump clean bill of health in January

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary, leaves the Dirksen Senate Office Building after a meeting with Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee will delay confirmation hearings for Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s pick to run the Department of Veterans Affairs, after allegations rose from his past.

An aide with ranking Democrat Jon Tester confirmed to Roll Call that hearings were delayed after Chairman Johnny Isakson told the Washington Post and CNN.

Why the Hill’s Quitters Caucus Keeps Growing
Republicans, especially, are leaving Congress midterm to get a money-making head start

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., is leaving the House to get a head start on his new career as a cable TV news analyst. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There are really just three ways to give up a seat in Congress on your own timetable: retire, resign or quit. And the method with the least attractive connotations has become particularly popular in the last decade, especially among Republicans.

Those who use the term “retirement” properly are lawmakers who decline to run for re-election but complete the term for which the voters chose them before returning to civilian life, whether as money-makers or golf club denizens. Departures are best labeled “resignations” when senators or House members are forced to up and leave by particularly good, or ruinously bad, professional circumstances — elevated to higher positions in public service, most often, or politically poisoned by moral exposures or criminal failings.

New Budgeting Software Hopes to Help Democratic Campaign Managers
Warchest now has 200 users, including the DCCC

Juliet Albin and Josh Wolf talk about their campaign budgeting software, called Warchest, at the WeWork in Navy Yard last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The surge of Democratic candidates this cycle has given way to a new crop of campaign managers who are taking their first crack at managing millions of dollars. 

And up until recently, there wasn’t a streamlined way for them to handle the money coming in and spend down to zero, which is the most important job for managers. 

After Coons Demonstrates Comity, Pompeo Avoids Dubious Distinction
Old Senate traditions on display as Delaware Democrat pairs with Georgia Republican

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., left, and ranking member Bob Menendez, D-N.J., confer Monday before a tense committee markup on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be secretary of State. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

CIA Director Mike Pompeo narrowly avoided historical ignominy on Monday when the Foreign Relations Committee approved his nomination to be secretary of State.

It took more steps to advance President Donald Trump’s nominee than anyone might have anticipated going into the meeting, including what in the modern Senate was a magnanimous gesture from Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware.