Chris Coons

Grassley Gave McConnell Judges. Now He Wants His Criminal Justice Bill
‘I look at this in a very personal way,’ Grassley said

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has helped confirm a record number of judges. All he wants from Mitch McConnell now is a little “reciprocity.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley is leaning on his track record of processing judicial nominations to get a floor vote on a bipartisan bill he spearheaded to overhaul the nation’s criminal justice system.

In an unusual personal plea, the 85-year-old Iowa Republican on Thursday said he wanted “reciprocity” from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for “what I’ve done in our unified effort on judges” during President Donald Trump’s administration.

Senate Appropriators Cast Doubt on Mueller Protections Making It Into Spending Deal
Chairman wants to keep December spending deal as clean as possible, despite interests of Pelosi, House Democrats

Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., does not favor attaching protections for Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III to a December spending package. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby thinks trying to attach language designed to shield Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III to a big December spending package would be ill-advised.

Asked ahead of a meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump about the interest of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to use the must-pass spending measure as the vehicle for such a bill, Shelby said, “She’s not talking about putting it in an appropriations bill?”

Flake Interested in Own Future, Not Protecting Mueller Probe, Trump Says
Arizona Republican has not ruled out challenging Trump in 2020

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was the target of more harsh words from President Trump on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump lashed out Friday at retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, accusing the Arizona Republican of putting his own possible presidential ambitions ahead of actually protecting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Flake said Thursday that he and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons would try to call up legislation designed to protect Mueller when the Senate returns for the lame-duck session next week. In a tweet about the bipartisan bill, Flake said, “After the firing of The AG, it is more important than ever to protect the Special Counsel.”

Legislation to Protect Robert Mueller Still Not on Senate Agenda, McConnell Says
Senate majority leader says President Donald Trump will let the Russia investigation run its course

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate does not need to take up legislation to protect the Russia probe. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that legislation to shield special counsel Robert S. Mueller III from being fired is still not on the Senate agenda.

“It’s not going to come up because it isn’t necessary,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters.

Impeachment or Bust? Democrats Have Few Options on Kavanaugh Inquiries
Lawsuits, possible House probes expected, but party largely staying mum for now

Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee ponder their next move during a session on the nomination of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Sept. 28. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Brett M. Kavanaugh looked bewildered. Sen. Kamala Harris looked perturbed but determined. It was hour ten of the then-Supreme Court nominee’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee early last month, and the California Democrat seemed to have him backed into a corner.

Harris, a former prosecutor, was very much back in a courtroom. She was trying to get her witness, Kavanaugh, to reveal the name — or names — of anyone at the Washington law firm of Trump’s personal attorney with whom she alleged he had discussed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his ongoing Russia election meddling investigation the president almost daily refers to as a “witch hunt.”

Brett Kavanaugh to Be Rare Beneficiary of Senate Paired Voting
Votes of Republicans Lisa Murkowski and Steve Daines will be offset

Sens. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and  Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, center, will pair their votes on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Saturday, enabling Daines to attend his daughter’s wedding and Murkowski to voice her position. Also pictured above, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When the Senate votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday, two senators will engage in a practice that’s all but died out.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the only member of the Republican Conference opposed to elevating the current D.C. Circuit Court judge to the high court, announced Friday that ordinarily she would vote “no.”

Kavanaugh Nomination Clears Key Hurdle, Final Vote Teed Up
Democrats turned confirmation process into ‘demolition derby,’ Sen. Grassley says

Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 27. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Embattled federal judge Brett Kavanaugh moved one step closer to becoming the ninth Supreme Court justice and providing a decisive fifth conservative vote Friday when the Senate voted to tee up a final up-or-down vote.

In a vote that broke mostly along party lines after several deeply partisan weeks that culminated with a FBI investigation into sexual misconduct charges against Kavanaugh dating to his high school days, the chamber voted to end debate on his nomination, 51-49.

Trump to Senators: Ignore ‘Elevator Screamers’
President issues closing argument ahead of crucial vote on Brett Kavanaugh

Sens. Jeff Flake and Chris Coons head out of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last Friday to discuss an FBI probe of sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh after Flake had been confronted by protesters on an elevator. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

As a crucial Senate vote on his controversial Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh neared, President Donald Trump appeared to lobby undecided senators by casting two women who confronted Sen. Jeff Flake last week as Democratic-funded “Troublemakers.”

Trump dubbed the women “very rude elevator screamers” and “paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad,” referring to wealthy liberal donor George Soros. The president appeared to plead with GOP senators to not “fall for it!” He ended his tweet with “#Troublemakers.”

Jeff Flake’s Ex-Chief on What to Do When It’s Time to Go
‘To say that folks sometimes disagreed with positions my former boss had is a bit of an understatement’

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., talks with Chandler Morse during a Senate Judiciary Committee markup session in May 2013. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If your boss retires, resigns or loses an election, there is no clinging to your job in Congress. Your job will cease to exist.

That’s not always a bad thing. Chandler Morse got to cook dinner in the middle of the week for the first time in his 11-year-old child’s life because Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake decided to retire.

Coons Challenges Senate to Have a Greater Awareness on Sexual Assault
Delaware Democrat said his phone was ‘blowing up’ with stories of sexual assault

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., read #WhyIDidntReport tweets on the Senate floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Chris Coons took to the Senate floor Thursday to acknowledge survivors of sexual assault.

“If I could make one request it would be that we come out on the other side of these last few weeks with an awareness,” the Delaware Democrat said.