2017

Analysis: Senators Writing Placeholder Defense Money Bill
Figure will be lower than House, in prelude to likely deal

Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran predicts Congress and the administration will eventually make a deal on raising the budget caps on defense accounts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate appropriators’ forthcoming Pentagon spending bill for fiscal 2018, which will contain tens of billions of dollars less than the House’s measure, should be taken seriously, but not literally.

The Senate spending panel’s defense funding proposal is likely to grow, assuming — as is likely — that an agreement to slightly raise the budget caps is reached, as it has been for every year since the caps called for by the sequester were enacted in 2011.

Opinion: Can Democrats Deliver Like Papa John’s?
Better ingredients needed, at least something in the box

Democrats have reportedly come up with a slogan very similar to Papa John’s Pizza, Allen writes. But can they deliver and will there be anything in the box? (CQ Roll Call/Photos by Tom Williams and Bill Clark, Photo Composition by Chris Hale)

Democrats are so lost they don’t know how lost they are.

Instead of working feverishly on the substance of a contrast with the imploding Trump administration, they decided it was most important — a year and a half out from the next election — to publicly unveil a new slogan first.

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.”

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. 

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.

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.

House Appropriators Ignore Trump’s Proposed Cuts to Arts
NEA, NEH would each receive $145 million

Nevada Rep. Mark Amodei, a member of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, said he was happy to see the arts funding preserved. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal arts and humanities programs targeted for elimination by the Trump administration would get a lifeline from House appropriators willing to ignore the president’s proposal and keep them running.

The $31.5 billion fiscal 2018 Interior-Environment spending bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday includes $145 million for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Paul Ryan: 'Don't Fall For' Cynicism on Tax Overhaul
Speaker touts plan at New Balance factory in Massachusetts

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., spoke Thursday about GOP plans to overhaul the tax code. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has a message for American families who only hear cynical talk coming out of Washington: “Don’t fall for it.”

Specifically, the Wisconsin Republican was addressing cynicism surrounding his top legislative priority of rewriting the nation’s tax code, which he acknowledges will be a heavy lift.

Filibuster Fight Makes Its Way Into Alabama Senate Race
Strange campaign accuses Brooks of ‘flip-flopping’

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks is rejecting charges of flip-flopping from Senate rival Luther Strange’s campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Rep. Mo Brooks released the first ad of his Alabama Senate campaign, he made a splash by threatening to filibuster — by reading from the King James Bible — any spending bill that doesn’t fund President Donald Trump’s border wall. 

On Wednesday, he took to the House floor to blast the Senate’s legislative filibuster, calling it a “murder weapon” that’s “killing” Trump’s agenda. That’s not a new position for Brooks.