West Virginia

Manchin and Cortez Masto Bet on NCAA Sweet 16 Game
Gonzaga and West Virginia alums’ team face off Thursday

Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin III and Catherine Cortez Masto made a friendly bet over their alma maters facing off Thursday night in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Nuclear Option Looms as Supreme Court Hearings Wrap Up
Senators ready to blame opposing party for any upending of Senate rules

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch testifies on the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings wrapping up, senators will soon confront whether his nomination will upend Senate rules.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet said  whether he would move to change Senate rules that currently require 60 votes to end debate on Gorsuch’s nomination. If eight members of the Democratic caucus do not join the 52 Republicans to move the nomination forward, McConnell could move to change the rules, lowering the threshold to a simple majority.

Members Show School Spirit as Sweet 16 Games Begin
Manchin, Cortez Masto go head-to-head while other members are torn

The Sweet 16 round of the NCAA March Madness starts today and members are showing their school spirit. And talking a little smack.

Sen. Joe Manchin III is the only member of Congress who is an alumnus of West Virginia University — he graduated with a business administration degree.

Vulnerable Senate Democrats Stand Firm in Opposing GOP Health Care Plan
Senators in tight races are making a moral argument against the bill

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III talks with constituents during a town hall meeting in Martinsburg, W.Va., last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Senate Democrats up for re-election in Republican-leaning states are united in opposition to the GOP health care plan.

For them, overhauling the health care system is not just about policy. It’s a matter of right and wrong.

‘What Does It Mean?’ West Virginians Weigh GOP Health Care Plan
Voters at town hall meeting wanted to know more about the overhaul

Stephanie Frederickson, right, and Diane Hughes, who spoke about their experience with medical coverage under the 2010 health care law, listen to Sen. Joe Manchin during a town hall meeting in Martinsburg, W.Va. on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Diane Hughes took the microphone, looked down at the paper in front of her and said, “I’m nervous and I don’t like politics, but here it goes.”

Hughes was among the West Virginia residents gathered at the Robert C. Byrd Health Science Center here on Thursday for a town hall meeting on the Republican plan to overhaul the 2010 health care law. The meeting’s organizers had asked her to share her story, and she admitted she was initially reluctant to do so.

Word on the Hill: St. Patrick’s Day
Cherry Blossoms?

It's been a busy week. Blow off some steam by celebrating the holiday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

The Dubliner and Irish Times are two restaurants right in front of Union Station that are perfect places to celebrate the holiday.

Manchin: Only Trump Can Stop Obamacare Repeal
Democratic senator gives his constituents White House phone number

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III conducts a town hall meeting in Martinsburg, W.Va., on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

MARTINSBURG, W. Va. — There might be a few more West Virginians clogging up the White House phone lines, courtesy of their home-state senator. 

Sen. Joe Manchin III encouraged his constituents gathered at a town hall meeting here Thursday to phone the White House and implore President Donald Trump to slow down the effort to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.

Reacting to Trump Budget, Van Hollen Previews 2018 Message
DSCC chairman says budget will be ‘wake-up call’ to Trump voters

Reacting to President Donald Trump's proposed budget, DSCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen said it will likely be a wakeup call to GOP voters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Previewing a likely political argument heading into 2018, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen says the proposed reductions in President Donald Trump’s budget would disproportionately hit more rural, Republican areas.

“I think this is going to be a wake-up call to a lot of people who supported Donald Trump that his budget is betraying them,” Van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said at a Thursday afternoon news conference on Capitol Hill. 

Liberals Put Political Money in Spotlight of Gorsuch Fight
Senate Democrats urged to probe nominee’s views on campaign finance law

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, seen here meeting with Judge Neil Gorsuch last month, is facing pressure from liberals and conservatives ahead of the Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation hearings. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers and liberal interest groups are intensifying their pressure on senators to probe Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s views on campaign finance law during his confirmation hearings next week.

“He does not come into this with the benefit of the doubt in his favor,” said Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Judiciary Committee member. The panel is scheduled to begin the Colorado judge’s hearings at 11 a.m. Monday.

Mike Lee Doubts House GOP Health Plan Complies With Senate Rules
Utah senator cites abortion, insurance premium language

Sens. Mike Lee. left, and Rand Paul favor a vote on the 2015 repeal of the health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Mike Lee is suggesting that a ban on federal funding for abortion in the House health care bill might not survive a procedural challenge on the Senate floor.

In an opinion piece for The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, the Utah Republican wrote that under Senate rules, the House health care bill might not be compliant as a reconciliation bill (a budget measure that only requires a majority vote). He said provisions will need to be stripped to comply with the so-called Byrd Rule.