Patrick J Toomey

When Pig Selfies Fly: Pig Book Provides Ritual Railing Against Pork
Pigs give professed pig castrator Sen. Joni Ernst plenty of space

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with a pig Wednesday at the 2018 Congressional Pig Book launch event hosted by Citizens Against Government Waste . (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Jeff Flake was at it again Wednesday, taking selfies with a potbellied pig.

Each year, the Arizona Republican attempts to snap photos with costumed pig characters, as well as Faye, the potbellied pig that serves as the mascot for the annual “Pig Book” release by watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste.

Citing No Regrets About Retiring, Paul Ryan Bets Kevin McCarthy Will Replace Him
Outgoing speaker will not rule out a future presidential bid

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Thursday he has no regrets about retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s Thursday interview with David M. Rubenstein, president of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., started with an admission that he has no regrets — “none whatsoever” — about retiring. It then diverted into a wide array of topics including his replacement, future plans and policy goals for his last few months in office.

The Wisconsin Republican reiterated his preference that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy succeed him as speaker when asked about his replacement.

Senate Delivers Mild Rebuke to Trump on Trade
Sen. Corker secured the vote as a non-binding motion

Sen. Bob Corker offered the motion regarding trade policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Bob Corker has finally got his colleagues on the record in support of Congress playing a role in national security-related trade decisions like those made recently under President Donald Trump.

The Tennessee Republican and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee secured the vote on a motion to instruct conferees on the pending package of three spending bills, which does not have a binding effect on the members of the Appropriations Committee who will be serving on the conference committee to resolve differences with the House.

Rick Scott Raises More than $10.7M in 3 Months
Florida Republican is challenging Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson

Florida Governor Rick Scott says his campaign raised more than $10.7 million in three months. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday that his Senate campaign has raised more than $10.7 million in three months.

The Republican hopeful, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson, received money from over 11,000 contributors, 75 percent of whom gave less than $500. Floridians made up 80 percent of contributors, the Scott campaign said in a press release.

Jeff Flake’s Move to Counter Trump a Lonely Affair
Even critics of Trump trade agenda not on board with holding up judge

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has stalled consideration of a judicial nominee over his concerns about the administration's trade agenda. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As if to answer critics questioning whether he would ever take concrete steps to stand up to President Donald Trump, retiring Sen. Jeff Flake is attempting to force action to counter the administration’s actions on tariffs. But the Arizona Republican may be standing alone.

“I do think that unless we can actually do something other than just approving the president’s executive calendar, his nominees, judges, that we have no reason to be there,” Flake said Sunday. “So I think myself and a number of senators, at least a few of us, will stand up and say let’s not move any more judges until we get a vote, for example, on tariffs.” 

Democrats Irked by Latest Judicial Confirmation Hearing
Senate committee moves forward without a blue slip from Pennsylvania Democrat Bob Casey

Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey was not on board with a federal appeals court pick from his state, but the Judiciary Committee moved forward anyway. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing Wednesday for a fourth federal appeals court pick who didn’t get approval from one of his home-state senators, causing more consternation from Democrats that the White House was cutting them out of the nomination process.

This time, Sen. Bob Casey did not give his approval for the confirmation hearing. The Pennsylvania Democrat opposes the nomination of David Porter for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit based in Philadelphia.

Trump Uses Flags, Military Troops to Make a Political Point
Sens. Booker, Kaine among critics worried about president's recent actions

President Donald Trump speaks at a "Celebration of America" event at the White House that replaced an event with the NFL Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles and returned to one of his favorite topics: the national anthem. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday brought his feud with the NFL and some of its players over national anthem protests to his backdoor — literally. And that’s when something rare happened that shows just how polarizing his presidency and the racially tinged anthem debate has been.

A sitting president of the United States, flanked by Army and Marine Corps personnel, was heckled while standing just steps from the Oval Office.

Allies, Lawmakers Brace for Fallout of Steel, Aluminum Tariffs
“‘Make America Great Again’ shouldn’t mean ‘Make America 1929 Again,’” Sasse says

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, here at the Capitol in 2016, said it was “simply ridiculous” to see trade with his country as a threat to U.S. national security. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mexico, Canada and the European Union threatened to retaliate with tariffs on American-made goods after the Trump administration announced that it would reimpose steel and aluminum tariffs, as it tries to pressure them to crack down on imports of the metals from China, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday.

The tariffs will take effect Friday. U.S. companies that import steel from Canada, Mexico and the 28-nation EU will pay an additional 25 percent duty on steel and a 10 percent duty on aluminum.

The Political Turnpike Runs Through Pennsylvania
Resignations, retirements and redistricting scramble the midterm calculus

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If you’re confused about what comes next in Pennsylvania, even after this week’s primary elections set the midterm slate, don’t worry. That just means you’re paying attention. 

Republicans Grouse Over Tariffs but Lack Plan to Cool Trade Tiff
As China retaliates, lawmakers air unease without threatening to counter Trump

Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., urged the Trump administration to think of farmers in her state but stopped short of threatening legislative action on tariffs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When lawmakers return from recess next week, they are likely to be besieged by various industries seeking protection from the economic fallout of the trade fight between the Trump administration and China that threatens to impose $50 billion in retaliatory duties on U.S. exports.

But the Republican-controlled Congress may not be able to do more than collectively wring its hands, in contrast to the leverage lawmakers have under Trade Promotion Authority to accept or reject a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement.