Politics

Burr: Too Early to Draw Conclusions on Russia-Trump Team Contact
Burr and Warner update Senate Intelligence Committee investigation

Burr, right, and Warner, left, lead the Senate Intelligence Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee effectively rebuked the White House Wednesday, declining to rule out whether people associated President Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.

“We would be crazy to try to draw conclusions from where we are in the investigation,” Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. said, standing next to ranking member Mark Warner at a press conference. “I think Mark and I are committed to let this process go through before we form any opinions.”

Over the Years, Capitol Shootings
Without access to open records, timing is unclear about particulars of incidents

Police mark shell casings on Independence Avenue near the U.S. Capitol after a woman nearly hit U.S. Capitol Police officers, which resulted in an officer firing shots on Wednesday morning, March 29, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By JASON DICK and GILLIAN ROBERTSCQ Roll Call

It was a jarring beginning to the workday when Capitol Police walkie talkies started blaring “shots fired” shortly before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Report: O’Rourke to Announce Cruz Challenge on Friday
Would be a long shot against national conservative leader in red state

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, will announce his candidacy for Senate on Friday against Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke will reportedly announce his challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz in what will be a long shot race.

O’Rourke sent out an email to supporters on Wednesday saying he will make “a big announcement” on Friday. Sources told the Houston Chronicle that O’Rourke will announce his Senate bid in his hometown of El Paso then.

DFA Endorses Democrats in Kansas, Montana Uphill Races
‘The only way we can win everywhere is if we run everywhere’

Musician Rob Quist, left, shown here with Montana Sen. Jon Tester in February, faces an uphill battle in the race for Montana’s open House seat. (Courtesy Rob Quist for Congress)

Liberal group Democracy for America has endorsed Democratic candidates in special congressional elections Kansas and Montana.

The group announced it would back musician Rob Quist in Montana, who is running against Republican Greg Gianforte for the state’s at-large seat, which was left vacant after Ryan Zinke left Congress to the serve as secretary of Interior in President Donald Trump’s administration.

Shots Fired Near Capitol Building
Traffic incident near Botanic Gardens involved gunshots

Capitol Police responded Wednesday morning to an incident on Independence Avenue SW in Washington, D.C. next to the Botanic Gardens and near the Rayburn House Office Building. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Police walkie talkies started blaring “shots fired” shortly before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, a jarring start to the workday as members of Congress, staffers and visitors arrived at the Capitol grounds. 

A Capitol Police source said there was a traffic incident that involved gunshots being fired. The source said no one was injured and the suspect was in custody as of 9:40 am. The source also said there was damage to a police cruiser.

Warren and Carper Question Ivanka Trump’s White House Arrangement
Senators ask who would enforce ethics violations

Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Thomas R. Carper want to know more about the White House’s arrangement with Ivanka Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to know how ethics laws will affect Ivanka Trump as she goes to work in the White House without, apparently, being a government employee.

The Massachusetts Democrat joined Sen. Thomas R. Carper of Delaware in a Wednesday morning missive to the Office of Government Ethics questioning the White House’s arrangement with the daughter of President Donald Trump.

Man Who Claims He Invented Email Files to Challenge Warren
He’s got Curt Schilling’s backing

Shiva Ayyadurai, who claims to have invented email, officially filed to challenge liberal hero Sen. Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts’ Senate race next year.

Schock’s Attorneys Claim FBI Broke the Law
Former staffer helped the feds build corruption case against former congressman

Lawyers for former Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., claim that his constitutional rights were violated when a former staffer worked as an informant for the FBI. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock’s legal team claims that a staffer working as an informant for the FBI broke the law.

The staffer provided emails, credit card receipts, and other documents that helped the feds make a case against Schock, Fox News reported,but Schock’s lawyers say this violated his constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.

Former Rep. Steve Stockman Indicted on 28 Counts
Charges include fraud, conspiracy and money laundering

Former Steve Stockman, R-Texas, was indicted by the U.S. Justice Department for violating election law (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Former Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman was formally indicted Tuesday evening on fraud, conspiracy and money laundering charges, the Justice Department announced.

Stockman, who retired after losing a 2014 primary challenge to Sen. John Cornyn, and aide Jason Posey were charged in a 28-count superseding indictment.

Why Ryan Is Key to Republican Moderates’ Survival
Health care debacle has left GOP centrists without political cover

Some House Republican moderates are pushing Speaker Paul D. Ryan to try a different approach on health care. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Some moderate Republicans were left out in the cold by the GOP leadership’s push of a deeply unpopular health care bill over the last month.

And now, with leadership signaling it’s sticking by its commitment to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, they have every reason to want Speaker Paul D. Ryan to try a different approach — to save themselves and their party.

Why Committee Chairmen Should Be Concerned About Trump
White House has sent veiled warnings to appropriators, tax writers and authorizers

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., holds a news conference in the Capitol last Wednesday. The embattled chairman’s recent actions offer a cautionary tale for his colleagues. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS | For Republican committee chairmen, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes has had a month that amounts to a cautionary tale.

One day, you can be the respected chairman of one of the last remaining bipartisan committees on Capitol Hill. A few weeks later, your ranking member is calling for you to step aside from the most important probe the panel has done in years. Such is life for Republican committee chairmen in the Trump era.

Lawmakers Hope to Avert Government Shutdown
The deadline to fund the government is April 28

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said there is “no desire” for a continuing resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After weeks of partisan fighting over health care and the Supreme Court, lawmakers have less than one month to come together and avert a government shutdown.

Government funding for the 2017 fiscal year expires on April 28, five days after lawmakers return to the nation’s capital after a two-week recess. But negotiations appear to be moving forward.

Rank and File Might Go Around Paul Ryan
In wake of health care misfire, members look for another way

Paul Ryan might face members bypassing him on future negotiations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan is not in danger of losing his job over his Republican conference’s failure to pass health care legislation, but he is at risk of losing some of his negotiating power. 

Rank-and-file members trying to salvage the GOP’s goal to dismantle the 2010 heath care law are taking matters into their own hands, pushing the effort back on the priority list and hatching plans for where they want to see the next round of negotiations go.

Senators Look to Supreme Court Nuclear Winter
With rule change seemingly inevitable, senators look to what’s next

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Judge Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed to the Supreme Court, one way or another. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Republicans’ deployment of the “nuclear option” to change the chamber’s rules and confirm President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is so inevitable that senators are already moving on to the next debate.

“We’re on this spiral downward, and obviously, the next thing to go likely the next time there’s a big issue that comes up legislatively will be the legislative filibuster,” Sen. Bob Corker said Tuesday.

White House Looks Forward to Fired Acting AG Testimony
Aide denies trying to block Sally Yates from talking to Congress

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer at a recent briefing in the White House. On Tuesday, he denied reports that the administration tried to prevent a former acting attorney general from testifying about Russia. (John T. Bennett/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump White House on Tuesday denied it tried to prevent the former acting attorney general whom President Donald Trump fired from testifying before a House committee about Russia.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said a Washington Post article, which reported just that, was inaccurate. He said the the president would prefer that Yates, the Obama administration’s last deputy attorney general and who was acting attorney general during the Trump administration’s first days, testify.