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Capitol Ink | Pardon Party

Donald Trump Jr. and Former Trump Campaign Manager to Testify
Appearance before Senate Judiciary Committee next Wednesday

Donald Trump Jr., has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort have agreed to testify privately before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.

“Both Donald Trump, Jr. and Paul Manafort, through their attorneys, have agreed to negotiate to provide the committee with documents and be interviewed by committee members and staff prior to a public hearing,” according to a statement issued Friday evening by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein. “Therefore, we will not issue subpoenas for them tonight requiring their presence at Wednesday’s hearing but reserve the right to do so in the future.”

Parts of Senate GOP Health Care Bill Break Rules, Parliamentarian Says
Abortion, insurance regulations, cost-sharing subsidies would require 60 votes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., along with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks to reporters about the path forward for health care legislation in the Ohio Clock Corridor after the Senate Republicans' policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Several parts of the Senate health care bill would violate the chamber’s budget reconciliation rules, the Senate parliamentarian said in a guidance late Friday.

Provisions related to abortion, certain insurance regulations and funding the law’s cost-sharing subsidies could be struck under the so-called Byrd rule and would require 60 votes to survive.

After Spicer Quits, Scaramucci Vows Aggressive Communications Shop
New communications director took job due to 'love' for president

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned on Friday, refusing to work for new Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. His replacement, however, said he “loves” Spicer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Longtime Wall Street investment banker Anthony Scaramucci made his White House debut Friday, expressing his “love” for Donald Trump and promising a much more “aggressive” strategy of communicating the president’s message.

On a day of upheaval at the executive mansion, Sean Spicer resigned as press secretary and acting communications director amid reports he told Trump he believed Scaramucci’s hiring was a major mistake. What’s more, Scaramucci made his first major announcement as part of Trump’s team when he announced Spicer’s top deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, will be the new press secretary.

Spicer’s Departure is Quickest Resignation for Press Secretary Since 1974
Trump’s first press secretary will leave after 223 days in the role

White House press secretary Sean Spicer leaves the Newseum in  April. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sean Spicer said on Friday that he would step down next month after just 223 days as White House press secretary. It will be the quickest voluntary exit for the position since Jerald terHorst resigned in 1974 after just a month — in protest of President Gerald Ford’s pardon of former president Richard Nixon. 

Fred Upton Might Join Bipartisan Climate Caucus

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., might join a bipartisan climate change caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A House caucus that supports legislation to combat climate change may be joined by key Republican energy influencer who would raise its credibility among GOP lawmakers.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., the former Energy and Commerce chairman who leads the committee's energy panel, is considering joining the bipartisan 48-member Climate Solutions Caucus, a group equally divided between Democrats and Republicans.

McCain Absence Felt Well Beyond Health Care
Defense, immigration are among his top priorities

Arizona Sen. John McCain frequently finds himself at the center of high policy debates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The effect of John McCain’s absence from the Senate goes well beyond the vote-counting on health care.

The Arizona Republican has long been in the middle of major legislative battles, always willing to mix it up with his colleagues and spar with reporters in the Capitol’s hallways. (Few senators would video-bomb a CNN correspondent during a live shot.)

Analysis: Rohrabacher’s Dem Opponents Fight About Who Raised More Money
It’s a matter of interpreting the data

Harley Rouda, Democratic challenger to GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, CA-48, is interviewed by CQ Roll Call at their D.C. office, April 25, 2017. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Former CBO Directors Confront Assaults on Agency
Both Republicans and Democrats alike decry attacks

Douglas Elmendorf, as well as all his fellow former directors of the Congressional Budget Office, sent a letter to Congress protesting recent attacks on the nonpartisan budget scorekeeper. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

All eight former directors of the Congressional Budget Office — Democrats and Republicans alike — sent a letter to Congress on Friday protesting the ongoing attacks on the agency’s integrity and urging that Congress continue to rely on CBO estimates.

In the letter, the former directors registered what they said was their “strong objection to recent attacks on the integrity and professionalism of the agency and on the agency’s role in the legislative process.”

Sean Spicer’s Highlight Reel
Ex-Trump press secretary spent much of his tenure with his foot in his mouth

Sean Spicer takes pictures before Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on the West Front of the Capitol on Jan. 20. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Confusing, offensive, and downright strange incidents and statements often punctuated Sean Spicer’s six-month tenure as White House press secretary. 

That ended abruptly on Friday, when he announced his resignation.

Former Sen. Nelson: GOP ‘Just Can’t Quite Pull it Together’ on Health Care
Says it’s ‘day of reckoning’ for seven years worth of promises to repeal Obamacare

Former Sen. Ben Nelson on where Republicans stand on health care reform: “I believe that you have to be very cautious on promises, and very consistent on keeping your promises when you make them.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska said he’s not surprised Republicans were having so much trouble passing a health care bill, saying Thursday it was the “day of reckoning” for seven years worth of promises that they would repeal the 2010 law.

“I believe that you have to be very cautious on promises,” he told the Omaha World-Herald, “and very consistent on keeping your promises when you make them.”

Senate GOP: Knowing Health Care Plan Is ‘Luxury We Don’t Have’
Uncertainty surrounds floor strategy for Republicans’ health care effort

Many members in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s conference do not know what they would be considering days before a key vote . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS and LAUREN CLASON

Republican senators left Washington no closer to a deal on their health care effort, with no idea what measure might be brought up for a vote early next week or whether the chamber could even clear a key procedural hurdle needed to begin consideration of any legislation.

Photos of the Week: A Health Care Bill Stalemate Hits D.C. Amid Heat Wave
The week of July 17 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

On Monday, U.S. Capitol Police officers prepare to arrest several demonstrators protesting the GOP health care legislation in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building. Dozens of protesters chanted during the demonstration before police cleared the atrium. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By BILL CLARK and TOM WILLIAMS

The week of July 17 began with health care negotiations in the Senate, amid protests in the hallways of the Senate office buildings, and is coming to an end with an essentially stalled process on a new health care bill in the chamber. The Republican effort to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s signature law continued to be the focus of Congress watchers on the Hill this week.

Pearce Sues State to Use Campaign Cash for Governor Run
Can currently use only $5,500 from congressional campaign funds

Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., argues in a lawsuit that New Mexico's Secretary of State is acting in a partisan manner in limiting how much of his congressional campaign funds can be used in his run for governor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Steve Pearce is suing New Mexico’s Democratic Secretary of State to use his $1 million congressional campaign war chest for his gubernatorial bid. 

Maggie Toulouse Oliver told Pearce the state’s campaign contribution limits allow him to use only $5,500 from his federal campaign for his primary race, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

Kirkpatrick to Challenge McSally in Arizona
Calls incumbent ‘one of the ringleaders behind repealing the Affordable Care Act’

Ann Kirkpatrick represented Arizona’s 1st District for three terms before giving up her seat to run against Republican Sen. John McCain. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Arizona Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick announced Thursday she will challenge Rep. Martha McSally in the state’s 2nd Congressional District.

Kirkpatrick represented Arizona’s 1st District from 2009 to 2011 and again from 2013 until January after losing in her bid against Sen. John McCain.