Joe Manchin III

Photos of the week: A budget, Marie Antoinette and St. Patrick’s Day
The week of March 11 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., holds a copy of the president's budget proposal during a news conference after the Senate policy luncheons on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump administration’s budget for fiscal year 2020 was released at the beginning of this week with little fanfare. And President Donald Trump attended the annual St. Patrick's Day reception on the Hill on Thursday. Lawmakers then headed out of town for their March recess next week.

Here's the entire week in Washington in photos:

The most vulnerable Republican senator in 2020
Colorado’s Cory Gardner has a difficult, but doable, roadmap for re-election

Cory Gardner of Colorado is the most vulnerable Senate Republican heading into the 2020 campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Under normal circumstances, Sen. Cory Gardner would be a clear favorite for re-election.

Personable and politically astute, the Colorado Republican ran a terrific campaign in 2014 to oust Democratic incumbent Mark Udall. But President Donald Trump has energized partisan Democrats and alienated suburban swing voters nationally, and that has made Gardner the most vulnerable GOP senator up for re-election in 2020.

Senate confirms former coal lobbyist to lead EPA
Andrew Wheeler has worked to weaken and delay national and global environmental protections

Andrew Wheeler, arrives for his confirmation hearing in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Jan. 16, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate on Thursday voted 52-47 to confirm Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who has worked to weaken and delay national and global environmental protections, as the head of the EPA.

Wheeler has served as acting EPA administrator since July, when the previous head, Scott Pruitt, resigned under a cloud of more than a dozen federal ethics investigations.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins becomes first Republican to oppose Trump’s EPA nominee
Claims Andrew Wheeler’s policies ‘not in the best interest of our environment and public health’

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, opposed the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Maine’s Susan Collins on Wednesday became the first Republican senator to oppose  President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the EPA as the Senate cleared a procedural hurdle on the nomination.

The Senate voted 52-46 to end debate on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler, the acting EPA administrator, setting up his final confirmation vote for Thursday. Sens. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., did not vote, and Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., an ardent supporter of the coal industry, voted against ending debate on Wheeler’s nomination.

Senate vote on abortion legislation fails to advance measure
Bill stalls despite lobbying efforts and Trump support

A bill by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., would not outlaw abortion at any stage of pregnancy, but rather seeks to provide protections for an infant who survives the procedure. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/POOL file photo)

UPDATED 6:20 pm | The Senate voted Monday evening on a bill that Republicans say would guarantee additional protections to an infant who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.

The bill fell short on a procedural vote, 53-44, despite lobbying efforts by anti-abortion groups and support from President Donald Trump. Sixty votes were required to proceed on the measure.

Two protests in Hart end in Valentine’s Day arrests

Demonstrations for gun control and against a West Virginia factory project resulted in 19 arrests Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Passion was in the air in the Hart Senate Office building on Valentine’s Day. Demonstrations for gun control and against a West Virginia factory project  resulted in 19 arrests Thursday.

A group called Gays Against Guns staged a demonstration in the Hart Atrium in the afternoon. They chanted “Guns are breaking America’s heart,” and “Stronger background checks now” as they lay on the floor enveloped in a massive swath of shiny red fabric.

Some GOP lawmakers are thawing on climate change
‘There are some things I’m willing to look at,’ said House Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows

“There are some things I’m willing to look at,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Meadows said of climate solutions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional Republicans seem to be thawing on climate.

Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who has denied the science behind climate change, told reporters Wednesday he was open to confront the peril of the warming planet.

Democrats ‘went low’ on Twitter leading up to 2018
An analysis of tweets from candidates running for Senate leading up to Election Day

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., arrives for the confirmation hearing for Neomi Rao, nominee to be U.S. circuit judge for the District of Columbia Circuit, in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 5. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — Voters in 2016 repeatedly heard Democrats cry out against negative Republican rhetoric, especially from the party’s presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“When they go low … ?” came the call at rally podiums. “We go high!” constituents would shout.

The memorable and awkward moments of the State of the Union
Trump was a polarizing figure before the address and remains so after it

Lawmakers applaud in the House chamber Tuesday night during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

I did something dangerous Tuesday night. I watched the State of the Union and the Democratic response on my own, without Twitter as a crutch. I even watched the C-SPAN feed on my phone in order to avoid commentary from the networks and cable channels.

My goal was to avoid groupthink and try to formulate some coherent thoughts and analyses without being persuaded by my friends in the media. Here’s what stuck out to me.

Democrats were ripe for division. Then the shutdown came along
All Trump did was unify progressives and moderate Dems

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that this photo “looks like a Spice Girls album cover, but for reopening the government.” From left, Reps. Jahana Hayes, Ocasio-Cortez, Lauren Underwood  and Katie Hill are seen after delivering a letter to the Russell Building office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Jan. 16. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — By shutting down the government, Donald Trump unintentionally gave Democrats the biggest gift possible: Unity.

It could doom his presidency. Stunningly, it is a repeat of the exact mistake he made by choosing Obamacare repeal as his first legislative fight.