2017

Trump Divided, Conquered in First Year in Office
An analysis of votes cast in 2017 shows GOP senators voted with the president 96 percent of the time

President Donald Trump speaks in January. An analysis of congressional votes suggests that Trump’s first year in office was a time of deepening partisanship. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Donald Trump campaigned as a successful business mogul whose negotiating skills made him uniquely qualified to be a president capable of ending Washington’s decades of bitter partisanship to get things done.

Trump, in fact, got his way on almost every vote last year where he publicly stated a position, setting a record for success. The results of votes by both House and Senate combined show he won 98.7 percent of the time on issues he supported. That set a new bicameral record, besting Obama’s 96.7 percent success level in 2009 (the last time a president’s party controlled both chambers.)

State of the Union Latest Marching Order for Marc Short
Legislative affairs director is ultimate utility player for Team Trump

Marc Short, White House legislative affairs director, talks with reporters in the Capitol on Nov. 13. He has become an unlikely messenger for President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For Marc Short, the work began in earnest the moment President Donald Trump wrapped up his first official State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

Short, the White House legislative affairs director, played a role in crafting the president’s speech. But he told Roll Call in an interview on Monday that the work of crafting, editing and re-crafting the address fell to a team led by Stephen Miller, Trump’s top domestic policy adviser.

Democrats Have Some Work to Do With Black Women
African-American female turnout could be key in midterms, as it was in Alabama

Supporters of Alabama Democrat Doug Jones celebrate his victory over Republican Roy Moore at his election night victory rally in December. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After African-American women played a key role in Doug Jones’ victory in the Alabama Senate race last month, Democrats are working on more effective messaging for them in hopes they will do the same thing in midterm races.

To have a chance to win, the Jones campaign had hoped for a turnout among African-Americans comparable to their percentage of the Alabama population — around 27 percent. But black voters made up 29 percent of the election electorate, exit polls showed, a slightly higher percentage than the black turnout in the state for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election.

Group Backed by Liberal George Soros Posts Uptick in Lobbying
Open Society Policy Center spent record $16.1 million in 2017

Billionaire George Soros, left, attends a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in November 2008. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Open Society Policy Center, the lobbying arm of liberal billionaire George Soros’ philanthropic network, reported spending a record sum to influence federal issues during the first year of the Trump administration.

The group disclosed spending a total of $16.1 million on federal lobbying in 2017, with the majority of that coming in the last three months of the year, according to a report filed with Congress. The Soros group disclosed spending $10.3 million in the fourth quarter.

Warren’s PAC Spreading Cash Around in Swing Senate States
Doled out money to state parties in Alabama, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Montana, and Nevada

The leadership PAC for  Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., disbursed campaign cash in swing Senate seats including Missouri, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Montana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A number of state Democratic parties and committees got a helping hand from a PAC affiliated with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the last fundraising quarter.

PAC for a Level Playing field, Warren’s leadership PAC, donated to state Democratic parties where Democrats are trying to be competitive, according to the PAC’s quarterly FEC report that was filed on Friday.

Trump Again Waives Iran Sanctions — But With a Threat
President has vowed to kill what he calls 'the worst deal ever'

Donald Trump, then president-elect, talks after a meeting with then-President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Nov. 10, 2016. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Despite Donald Trump’s vows to kill it, Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal lives. The 45th U.S. president on Friday again gave a reprieve to the 44th's pact despite his longheld stance that it is “the worst deal ever.”

Trump is again waiving sanctions on Iran that would jeopardize the nuclear pact between Tehran and world powers, according to senior administration officials. But it is the final time he plans to do so, they warned, adding Trump wants to negotiate a new pact with European allies that would re-impose sanctions on Iran if its government violates terms produced by those desired talks.

Trump Returns to a Fave With Vow to Review Libel Law
Campaign talking point resurfaces in ‘Fire and Fury’ aftermath

Copies of the book “Fire and Fury” by author Michael Wolff are displayed on a shelf at Book Passage on Friday. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump returned to a favorite talking point Wednesday, vowing to take a “a strong look at our national libel laws” in the aftermath of the release of author Michael Wolff’s new book, which paints a negative portrait of him and his presidency.

Trump and his personal legal team tried to halt publication of “Fire and Fury,” threatening to sue. That prompted the publisher to release the book early. The threat of legal action reflects a trend that spans Trump’s life. And the promise to try to alter libel laws was a fixture of his presidential campaign as he railed against the media industry.

Trump Terminates Election Fraud Commission
President cites states’ refusal to turn over data

The White House  blames states for refusing to turn over data to President Donald Trump’s election fraud commission. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order terminating his election fraud commission. In a statement, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders  blamed states’ refusal to turn over data to the special panel.

[Trump’s Voter Fraud Panel Remains Lightning Rod]

Doug Jones Officially Wins Alabama Senate Race
Officials certified results as Roy Moore continues to challenge outcome

Doug Jones officially won the special Senate election in Alabama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:45 p.m. | Alabama officials certified the special Senate election results Thursday, declaring Democrat Doug Jones the winner.

Jones is expected to be sworn into office on Jan. 3, his spokesman confirmed. He will be the first Democratic senator to represent Alabama in 25 years.

17 of 2017’s Most Popular Stories
A look back at a contentious year on the Hill

President Donald Trump arrives with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for the Republican Senate Policy luncheon in the Capitol to discuss the GOP tax reform bill in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, Republicans had high hopes of pushing an ambitious agenda forward and making good on last year’s campaign promises.

But their long-held promise of repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law stalled in the Senate in one of the most dramatic moments of the year. Infighting derailed other agenda items that followed.