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Budget Overhaul Panel Can’t Pull It Together in Time for Thanksgiving
Lowey: Reporting out final product as-is would ‘doom it to failure’

Rep. Steve Womack, says that while the joint committee package does not completely satisfy every member of the panel, “that is no reason for us not to move forward and finish this.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The special select panel charged with overhauling the congressional budget process on Thursday punted a final vote on recommendations until after Thanksgiving amid disagreement by its two leaders over when the panel should act.

The committee is scheduled to reconvene at 2 p.m. Nov. 27, three days ahead of the Nov. 30 deadline for the committee to report a bill.

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.

Luján Jumping in Assistant Democratic Leader Race, Creating 3-Way Contest
Reps. Cheri Bustos and David Cicilline are also running for the No. 4 leadership slot

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., is running for assistant Democratic leader. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Outgoing Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján announced a bid for assistant Democratic leader Wednesday, creating a three-way race for the incoming majority’s No. 4 leadership slot.

The New Mexico Democrat is running against Reps. Cheri Bustos of Illinois and David Cicilline of Rhode Island in the caucus’s first contested election for the assistant leader post. 

Welcome to the Marvel Political Universe
Presidential and midterm elections are now surrounded by lead-in elections

Girls dressed as characters from “Thor,” pose during an event near the Capitol reflecting pool hosted by Awesome Con in 2014. The U.S. election system is starting to take on aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a constant churn of smaller narratives setting up bigger chapters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The American election system has become its own version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Presidential elections every four years used to be the tentpole movie that everyone went to see. Midterms, off-year special elections, primaries — those were for the real political geeks out there. Not anymore. 

3 Ways Congress Can Punish Saudi Arabia
Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged murder prompts bipartisan calls for action

Saudi officials arrive at the White House on March 20 ahead of a visit by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill from Republicans and Democrats alike to impose stiff penalties on Saudi Arabia for its suspected murder of a prominent dissident journalist, as new gruesome details were leaked by Turkish intelligence on Wednesday.

The growing congressional outrage over the reported torture, beheading and dismemberment two weeks ago of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul is diametrically opposed to the signals coming from President Donald Trump, who has criticized the rush to judge the kingdom. A columnist for The Washington Post, Khashoggi was a resident of Virginia.

Jack Reed Talks Tough on Saudi Arabia Arms Sales
Key Dem on Khashoggi killing: ‘This outrageous act can’t be followed by a business-as-usual arms deal’

Earlier this year, Sen. Jack Reed joined Republicans in killing a push to end U.S aid to Saudi Arabia in Yemen. Now he’s striking a different tone. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The U.S. military should stop refueling Saudi Arabian aircraft fighting in Yemen and Congress should not approve any new offensive arms sales to Riyadh, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee told reporters Wednesday.

Jack Reed of Rhode Island also told a Defense Writers Group breakfast that a multinational, independent criminal probe should be launched to investigate the disappearance and alleged murder earlier this month of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Man to Plead Guilty to Sending Threatening Letters to Trump Jr., Stabenow
Court appearance for Daniel Frisiello scheduled for late morning in Boston

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., was among the targets of threatening letters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Massachusetts man is expected to plead guilty Wednesday morning in connection to sending threatening letters, some including white powder, to Donald Trump Jr., Sen. Debbie Stabenow and a congressional candidate.

Daniel Frisiello planned to admit to sending six letters with white powder, and plead guilty to a total of 19 related charges, the Salem News reported last month.

Arizona Congressional Candidate Greg Stanton Was Victim of Armed Robbery
Attacker wielded hatchet-like weapon

Arizona Democratic congressional candidate Greg Stanton was robbed Saturday. (Isaac Brekken/Getty Images file photo)

Arizona Democratic congressional candidate Greg Stanton was robbed Saturday outside a Thai restaurant in Phoenix by a man brandishing a hatchet-like weapon but has said he is fine, according to The Arizona Republic.

Police do not have a suspect, but Stanton believes the robbery was “a random act,” the newspaper reported.

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.”

Cheri Bustos Joins Race for Assistant Democratic Leader
Sets up contest that could show diversity of House Democratic caucus next year

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., has joined the race for assistant Democratic leader. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Cheri Bustos has formally announced she wants to move up in House Democratic leadership, setting up a contested race with candidates from different parts of the caucus.

The Illinois Democrat said her candidacy for assistant Democratic leader will focus on efforts to support the most vulnerable members of the House Democratic caucus, and that will include significant support for new staff.