leadership

Scalise Defends Trump Joking About Gianforte Assaulting a Reporter
Majority whip says Trump was ‘ribbing’ Gianforte, not asking his supporters to engage in violence

Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., defended President Donald Trump’s support of a congressman’s assault on a reporter as a joke that does not equate to Democrats’ inciting violence against Trump supporters and Republican candidates. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has been on TV, Twitter and writing op-eds criticizing Democrats for inciting violence, but on Friday he defended President Donald Trump’s comments about a congressman’s assault on a reporter as simply a joke.

Last year Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte body slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs after the reporter tried to ask him questions about his views on a GOP health care plan. 

Rosenstein Agrees to Sit for Transcribed Interview With Judiciary, Oversight Leaders
Freedom Caucus, rank-and-file panel members will not be able to participate

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will sit for a transcribed interview with House Judiciary and Oversight committee leaders on Oct. 24. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has agreed to sit for a transcribed interview with leaders of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees Oct. 24, the panels’ chairmen announced Thursday evening.

The announcement comes just hours after House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, an Oversight subcommittee chairman, called on Rosenstein to resign, citing his unwillingness to cooperate with the panels’ investigation.

Blumenauer Sends Blunt Marijuana Blueprint to Democratic Leadership
Goal is to have Congress pass legislation by the end of 2019

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., wants Democrats to legalize marijuana if they take back the House majority. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, one of Congress’s most vocal marijuana proponents, sent Democratic leadership a memo Wednesday outlining steps Congress should take to legalize the Schedule I drug.

“Congress is out of step with the American people and the states on cannabis,” Blumenauer wrote in the memo, citing polling showing that 69 percent of registered voters support legalizing marijuana. “We have an opportunity to correct course if Democrats win big in November.”

Democrats Spin McConnell Entitlement Comments Into Political Messaging
McConnell says Republicans cannot tackle program on their own but Democrats warn of GOP action

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., says a vote for the GOP is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, spinning Senate Majority McConnell’s comments that Republicans can’t execute that goal on their own. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are spinning comments Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently made on overhauling entitlements to craft a political message that electing Republicans will lead to cuts in safety net programs. 

“Sen. McConnell gave the game up in his comment yesterday,” Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said on a press call Wednesday. “It was very clear from what he said that a vote for Republican candidates in this election is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That’s what he said.”

Even Without Democrats, Trump Judicial Nominee Gets Some Tough Questions
Sen. John Kennedy asked about Allison Jones Rushing’s experience for appeals court

Allison Jones Rushing, nominee to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit, testified Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee didn’t make the trip back to Capitol Hill to question one of President Donald Trump’s federal appellate picks Wednesday.

But that doesn’t mean she got away without some tough questions.

Lindsey Graham Sees Big Election Night for Senate Republicans
Speaking at Heritage Foundation, Mitch McConnell was predictably more reserved

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is upbeat about the chances for big Senate Republican wins on Election Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham is very bullish on the chances of Republicans expanding their Senate majority on Election Day in three weeks.

“We’re off to the races. Everything is breaking our way,” the South Carolina senator said Tuesday night. 

Pelosi Not Willing to Trade Over Border Wall, Calls It Trump ‘Manhood Issue’
‘It’s probably the worst way to protect the border,’ House minority leader says

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says she will not trade with President Donald Trump for his border wall, calling it a "manhood issue" for him. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday there is nothing she would trade for President Donald Trump’s border wall, setting a hard negotiating stance in advance of an expected December showdown over the issue.

“It happens to be like a manhood issue for the president, building a wall, and I’m not interested in that,” the California Democrat said during a discussion at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. 

Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein Again Sparring Over Judicial Nominations Schedule
Argument about October nomination hearings could be Kavanaugh fallout

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley and ranking member Dianne Feinstein are once again sparring over the judicial confirmation process. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even with senators having left the Capitol, the battle over the pace of judicial nominations is not slowing down.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, led panel Democrats in protesting the scheduling of nomination hearings for federal judgeships while the Senate is holding only pro forma sessions.

Democrats Pan Trump’s Deference to Saudi King on Journalist’s Disappearance
President again siding with authoritarian leaders over U.S. intelligence officials, lawmakers say

Sens. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., left, and Tim Kaine, D-Va., criticized President Donald Trump for seeming to agree with Saudi King Salman’s denial of his government’s involvement in journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers criticized President Donald Trump on Monday for seeming to siding with Saudi King Salman, who denied during a phone call with the president that his government was involved in the disappearance of a Washington Post journalist. 

Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was born in Saudi Arabia, has been critical of Salman in his writings. He has not been seen or heard from since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Why Pelosi Is Likely to Be Speaker Again if Democrats Win Back House
There’s no obvious field of candidates ready to challenge her

It’s hard to see Nancy Pelosi stepping down if the Democrats take back the House next month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — “You can’t beat somebody with nobody.”

That political axiom explains in just six words why Nancy Pelosi is likely to be elected speaker if Democrats retake the House in November. No one has announced plans to challenge the California Democrat, and it’s unclear if anyone will after the election.