leadership

Rep. Jim Himes: Top 3 Democratic Leaders in Late 70s Is ‘A Problem’
New Democrat Coalition chairman won‘t say whether he‘ll back Pelosi for speaker

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., says it’s “a problem” that the top three House Democratic leaders are in their late 70s. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chairman of the centrist New Democrat Coalition wouldn’t say Friday whether he would back Nancy Pelosi for House Democratic leader but he did vocalize an issue with the current leadership team.

“The fact that our top three leaders are in their late 70s — I don’t care who those leaders are — that is in fact a problem,” Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes told CNN.

Lawmakers Wary of Potential Trump Cuts to Foreign Aid
Corker, Menendez doubt legality of reported plan

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., left, and ranking member Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., doubt the administration has the legal authority to impound funds in the way they are reportedly planning. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sources close to Capitol Hill and within the foreign aid community say that Trump administration officials are preparing a potential foreign aid “rescission” package that could cut between $2 billion and $4 billion in fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018 funds from the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development.

Some $200 million intended to benefit Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is thought to be on the chopping block as part of the request, sources said.

Barr Compares Time in Congress to Fighter Pilot Opponent’s Military Service
Kentucky Democrats say Barr has ‘obviously lost his mind’ in Toss-up House race

Republican Rep. Andy Barr said that both he and Democrat Amy McGrath “both served our country” in equating his time in Congress to his opponent’s military record. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Andy Barr is getting flak for comparing his three terms in Congress to opponent Amy McGrath’s 20 years as a fighter pilot in a hotly contest campaign for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional district. 

"We both served our country,” Barr told the New York Times Thursday. “I’ve served in a position where ideas matter. My opponent has served her country in the military, where execution matters.”

Senate GOP Seeks Tax Law Fixes, Including ‘Retail Glitch’
Provision meant to reward store renovators would end up hurting them instead

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and other GOP tax writers have spotted some holes they want to plug in the new tax law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch said Thursday that Republicans are aiming to fix at least three glitches in last year’s tax code overhaul, including an error that has so far kept certain restaurants and retailers from taking advantage of a key tax break to renovate their storefronts.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter, Hatch and other Senate GOP tax writers said they will introduce legislation to plug holes in the new tax law like the so-called retail glitch.

Senate Busies Itself, Plus Chuck Norris and Some Cactus
The one-day work week is something we can all get behind

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor on Thursday for the final vote of the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

The Senate convened around noon on Wednesday. The Senate adjourned around 4:33 p.m. on Thursday. Now THAT is a work week!

Senate Democrats ‘Ready to Sue’ for Kavanaugh Records
Schumer threatens lawsuit against the National Archives

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., holds up a letter signed by Senate Judiciary Democrats to the National Archives requesting documents related to Judge Brett Kavanaugh during the Senate Democrats' media availability in the Capitol on Thursday. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is in the background. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Democrats threatened Thursday to file a lawsuit to get access to documents from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s time in the George W. Bush White House.

Schumer told reporters that Judiciary Committee Democrats “stand ready to sue” the National Archives and Records Administration if they don’t quickly fill requests from committee Democrats for records under the Freedom of Information Act. The confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh is set for Sept. 4, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants a floor vote before Oct. 1.

At the Races: The Unending Primary Season
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Senate, After One Day Back at the Capitol, Packs It In for the Week
Chamber confirmed two circuit court judges and moved to appropriations package

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., runs in the Senate subway basement on Thursday, shortly before senators cast their last votes of the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators didn’t exactly extend themselves with the floor schedule for their first week back in session in August, though they did confirm another pair of President Donald Trump’s nominees to be judges on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr. and Julius Ness Richardson. 

Quattlebaum was confirmed Thursday on a 62-28 vote, while Richardson got by on an 81-8 vote. 

Artificial Intelligence May Help Match Veterans with Civilian Jobs
Software translates military job codes into relevant info for civilian employers

Artificial intelligence could help veterans find jobs in the civilian sector that make the most of their military training. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images file photo)

One of the problems military veterans have long faced is matching their skills learned in the armed forces to the needs of civilian employers, an issue Congress continues to grapple with in the fiscal 2019 spending bills.

Many military jobs translate perfectly into the civilian sector — repairing an Abrams tank is much like repairing any heavy piece of machinery, for example — but many combat and leadership skills do not, on the surface, directly transfer.

Meghan McCain Calls McSally’s Snub of Her Father ‘Disgraceful’
McSally, like Trump, omitted mention of John McCain in remarks about bill named in his honor

Megan McCain is seen with her father, Sen. John McCain, at the 100th Annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in 2014. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images file photo)

Meghan McCain, the daughter of Sen. John McCain, lambasted Rep. Martha McSally on Wednesday for joining in the president’s snub of her father.

Like President Donald Trump, McSally omitted mention of the elder McCain when she touted her support for  the National Defense Authorization Act, named in John McCain’s honor.