leadership

Senate GOP Set to Revive Time Limits on Debating Nominees
Rules panel expected to advance changes along party lines

Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo., speaks to reporters Tuesday about the proposed rules changes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican senators will take a small step Wednesday toward speeding up the pace of confirming President Donald Trump’s nominees even as controversy swirls around his pick to head the Veterans Affairs Department. 

The proposal by Sen. James Lankford is not exactly new. In fact, it isn’t new at all.

Committees Tackle Politically Powerful Issue of Opioids Legislation
Senate HELP panel advanced bipartisan package Tuesday

Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, chairs the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, which will consider over 60 bills to address the opioids crisis at a Wednesday markup. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House heads into a marathon opioid markup Wednesday, a day after the Senate health committee approved bipartisan legislation of its own addressing the crisis. Both chambers are eager to advance bills to combat the crisis under an aggressive timeline, with an eye toward demonstrating action before the midterms on an issue that affects voters representing most demographics and districts.

“Even though this epidemic is worse in some parts of the country than others, find me a congressional district where this isn’t an issue,” said Keith Humphreys, a drug policy expert at Stanford. “Absolutely, they do not want to go into an election and have their constituents mad at them.”

Republican Debbie Lesko Wins Arizona Special Election
Victory keeps seat in GOP hands but margin could give Democrats hope

Former state Sen. Debbie Lesko is heading to Congress after winning the special election in Arizona’s 8th District. (Courtesy Debbie Lesko/Flickr)

Updated Wednesday, 12:04 a.m. | Former Republican state Sen. Debbie Lesko won the special election in Arizona’s 8th District on Tuesday night, but her victory margin for a seat that President Donald Trump easily carried in 2016 appeared to be relatively slim.

The Associated Press called the race with Lesko leading Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, 53 percent to 47 percent in early ballots, which accounted for an estimated 75 percent of the total votes cast, according to the Arizona secretary of state’s office. The seat opened up after former GOP Rep. Trent Franks resigned in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Here’s What You Should Know About 3 Special Elections Other Than Arizona 8
House control question hovers as 2018 approaches

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds a press conference with House GOP leadership in the Capitol on Wednesday. Some pundits say Arizona could follow in Pennsylvania’s footsteps for an upset election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

All eyes are on Arizona tonight but at least three more upcoming special elections will take place ahead of the 2018 midterms.

If you missed it, here’s the skinny on the Arizona 8th District contest between Republican Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tipirneni to fill Trent Franks seat, which he vacated in December over allegations of sexual impropriety.

‘Robust’ Security for GOP Baseball Team’s First Practice Since Shooting
Four wounded and gunman killed in shootout at Alexandria ball field last year

Alexandria Police officers stand next to a shattered car in Alexandria, Va., after a gunman opened fire on the Republican team’s baseball practice in June 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican lawmakers will lace up their cleats Wednesday morning for their first practice of the year at the baseball field in Alexandria, where a gunman wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others last June.

This year, authorities are taking no chances on security.

Macron Calls for New Iran Talks to Build On Deal Trump Loathes
'It won't be so easy for them to restart,' U.S. president warns Tehran

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron are in the midst of a three-day state visit.(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday proposed a new nuclear accord with Iran, an apparent attempt by the youthful European leader to keep the existing pact in place while assuaging President Donald Trump’s concerns.

Macron made the announcement after several hours of private meetings earlier in the day with the U.S. president at the White House. His call for a new deal came hours after Trump slammed the existing Obama-era pact, calling it “terrible” and “insane” and “ridiculous” while saying it fails to address Iran’s missile program or activities in the region.

Democratic Majority Would Act Quickly on Guns, Dreamers, Infrastructure, Pelosi Says
Minority leader hits on wide array of topics during Georgetown University town hall

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says Democrats would act quickly on gun violence prevention, protections for Dreamers and infrastructure if they retake the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If Democrats control the House in 2019 they would quickly schedule floor action on gun violence prevention, protections for “Dreamers” and infrastructure, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday. 

“When we win and we take over in January, some of the issues that will come up soon are the issues we are asking the speaker to take up now,” Pelosi said, naming those three issues.

Conservative Court Nominee Highlights Smoother Path to Bench
Previous political work no longer impedes confirmation chances

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has presided over a steady stream of judicial confirmations under President Donald Trump, a marked shift from when Barack Obama was president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:29 p.m. | Appeals court nominee Kyle Duncan has advocated on behalf of conservatives in legal fights over contentious cultural issues such as abortion and LGBT rights, leaving behind the kind of paper trail that might have dissuaded presidents from putting him through the Senate’s confirmation process.

Donald Trump is not such a president.

Why the Hill’s Quitters Caucus Keeps Growing
Republicans, especially, are leaving Congress midterm to get a money-making head start

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., is leaving the House to get a head start on his new career as a cable TV news analyst. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There are really just three ways to give up a seat in Congress on your own timetable: retire, resign or quit. And the method with the least attractive connotations has become particularly popular in the last decade, especially among Republicans.

Those who use the term “retirement” properly are lawmakers who decline to run for re-election but complete the term for which the voters chose them before returning to civilian life, whether as money-makers or golf club denizens. Departures are best labeled “resignations” when senators or House members are forced to up and leave by particularly good, or ruinously bad, professional circumstances — elevated to higher positions in public service, most often, or politically poisoned by moral exposures or criminal failings.

Opinion: Negotiating Advice From Capitol Hill to Emmanuel Macron
The last shall become the first. And assume nothing

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron head for Marine One following a tree-planting ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Bienvenue to Washington, Emmanuel Macron! You’ve got a lot on your plate, and we’re not talking about the jambalaya that’s on the menu for President Donald Trump’s first-ever state dinner that he’s throwing in your honor Tuesday night.

From convincing the president to stay in the Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate accords to making the case that new steel tariffs shouldn’t apply to the European Union and urging continued cooperation in Syria, there’s no shortage of items on your negotiating list.