North Dakota

Democrats Continue Camera Shy Ways With Brett Kavanaugh
Senate courtesy meetings continue, but with nary a photo op

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives to meet with Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., in the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic senators have, at least from Republican states, started meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but they are mostly avoiding the press when doing so. 

With senators back in town, meetings with President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court resumed Wednesday, with a pair of Democrats on the agenda.

Kavanaugh Makes Strategic Stops on His Senate Tour as Chamber Returns
Heitkamp, Donnelly and other swing votes are on his schedule

Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., are among those expected to meet with Trump’s Supreme Court pick. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will ramp up his behind-the-scenes preparation over the next three weeks for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, starting with more one-on-one meetings Wednesday with senators whose votes could prove pivotal.

Kavanaugh, who is more used to asking questions from the dais as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the past 12 years, has been going through mock hearings that last several hours with questions from people assigned to the role of different senators, a White House official said.

Donald Trump’s Toughest Adversary? That Would Be Donald Trump
The president’s desire to hog the midterm spotlight guarantees a nationalization of the election

President Donald Trump has stated a desire to insert himself into the midterm election process. That could be a problem for Republicans in tough races. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — While President Trump complains about the national media, Democrats, Robert S. Mueller’s Russian “witch hunt” and the political establishment, none of those things is why the November House elections are a major headache for the Republican Party. Donald Trump’s biggest problem is Donald Trump.

Trump has turned what could have been a challenging midterm election environment into a potentially disastrous one. Through his tweets and statements, the president continues to make the 2018 midterm elections a referendum on his first two years in office.

More Than Just ‘Regular Order’ at Stake in Senate Spending Push
Most vulnerable Senators now have material to take on the campaign trail

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate approval of a $154.2 billion, four-bill spending package this week wasn’t just a banner moment for bipartisanship and the open debate and amendment process senators have been promoting.

There’s also a more practical reason: giving the most vulnerable senators on both sides of the aisle something to crow about on the campaign trail.

Trump Vents Rage at Koch Brothers Again
President dubs Charles Koch’s criticism of tariffs ‘ridiculous’

President Donald Trump is at war with the conservative megadonor Koch brothers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Escalating his feud with the influential conservative donor Koch brothers, President Donald Trump on Thursday dubbed one of them “ridiculous” and suggested he puts foreign workers over American ones.

Trump’s Twitter strike on Charles Koch comes two days after he went to war with the libertarian-leaning megadonors who are powerful in Republican circles by labeling them a “total joke” who are “against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade.”

Trump Goes to War With Koch Brothers
In angry tweets, president dubs conservative megadonors as ‘total joke’ after they pivoted toward bipartisan policies

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk across the South Lawn to Marine One on Friday on their way to Joint Base Andrews. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted influential conservative donors Charles and David Koch, dubbing them a “total joke” who are “against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade.”

The president’s harsh words for the powerful brothers came a day after they signaled an intention to shift away from their practice of pushing for Republican-only bills and policy solutions, saying they would seek and push bipartisan proposals, which is seen as a repudiation of Trump.

Koch Group Declines to Back Republican Cramer in North Dakota Senate Race
Americans for Prosperity will not be spending to support the GOP lawmaker

Americans for Prosperity will not be spending in support of North Dakota GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer’s bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A conservative group affiliated with billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch will not be spending to support Rep. Kevin Cramer in the North Dakota Republican’s bid for Senate, the organization announced Monday. 

Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, said at a Koch network summit in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that the group would not be backing Cramer because he did not align with its policy positions. It would not back Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp either.

Rand Paul Backs Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court
Support firms up ahead of nominee‘s first meeting with a Democrat

Sen. Rand Paul has announced his support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has picked up the support of Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, just ahead of his first scheduled meeting with a Democratic senator.

“No one will ever completely agree with a nominee (unless, of course, you are the nominee). Each nominee, however, must be judged on the totality of their views, character, and opinions,” Paul said in a statement. “I have expressed my concern over Judge Kavanaugh’s record on warrantless bulk collection of data and how that might apply to very important privacy cases before the Supreme Court.”

For Once, Senate Set to Eclipse House in Appropriations Pace
But Congress has just 11 legislative days remaining with both chambers in session before Sept. 30

Kentucky Rep. Harold Rogers, left, here in June 2017 with House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, says the Senate’s actions “greatly enhance” the chances of getting the spending bills passed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Optimism is building that Congress may send a handful of spending bills to the White House in September — avoiding the need for the entire federal government to operate under a stopgap during the fall and lowering the odds that a lame-duck Congress will resort to a 12-bill omnibus.

That hope is tempered, however, by the uphill climb to negotiate compromise versions of several spending bills that either have passed both chambers already or seem likely to by the end of this week. And the two chambers look to be headed for an impasse over border wall funding that could dominate the post-midterm session.

RNC Launching ‘Week of Action’ to Test Its Ground Game
Committee expects 4,000 volunteers to make 2 million contacts over the week

Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the RNC has “a record number of staff on the ground and more volunteers than ever before.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With 101 days left before the midterm elections, the Republican National Committee wants to test the strength of its ground game with a “national week of action.”

The committee expects 4,000 volunteers to make 2 million contacts over the week.