appropriations

7 Ways the Senate Can Spend the Rest of August
A few real problems have bubbled up while senators were away

There’s no shortage of things for senators to do while in town this month, Murphy writes. Above, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., arrives at the Capitol for a vote in April. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Welcome back to the grind, senators and staff. If you were only watching cable news over your abridged recess, you might have been lulled into the idea that the only messes in Washington you would come back to were Omarosa’s habit of recording conversations in the Situation Room and what we’ve learned so far about Paul Manafort’s choice of outerwear from his trial — ostrich. So gross.

But while some in the D.C. media were caught up in the Trump train wrecks of the day, a few real problems bubbled up while you were gone. Somebody has to deal with them, so as long as you’re here — why not you?

Road Ahead: Senate Returning to DC for the Ides of August
Floor agenda will look familiar: judicial nominations and appropriation bills

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.,left, jokes with Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, as he walks down the Senate steps on Aug. 1 after the chamber’s last vote of the week. Risch was posing for photos with interns on the steps. Senators return Wednesday from their truncated district work period. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Thank goodness the Senate has “manufactured weather.”

That’s what Carrier called the system that was first installed to cool the chamber in the early 20th century. The modern air conditioning will be in full use this week as the Senate returns for a rare mid-August session.

Space Farce? The Challenges of Creating a New Military Department in Just 2 Years: Podcast
CQ on Congress, Episode 115

On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence announced the Trump administration's plan to create a U.S. Space Force by 2020. ( Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Space is the “next battlefield,” Vice President Mike Pence said this week. CQ editor Patrick B. Pexton talks with reporter Andrew Clevenger about all the steps needed to create the Space Force. The biggest challenge? A just-passed, two-year defense authorization bill that’s on the president’s desk awaiting his signature. That bill has no extra funds for such an ambitious enterprise that critics say isn’t even necessary to protect the U.S. from space-based threats.

3 Takeaways From the Pence ‘Space Force’ Sales Pitch
Vice president ignores white elephant: a skeptical military and Congress

Space Force was on the mind of Vice President Mike Pence, seen here in the Rotunda last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s a new applause line in President Donald Trump’s campaign spiel.

It’s not quite up there with “Crooked Hillary” or demanding professional football players who kneel for the National Anthem to “get the hell out of here.” Crowds react with loud cheers when the president touts his envisioned “Space Force.”

Maryland Democrat Pushes for Answers on Trump Role in FBI Headquarters Project
Sen. Chris Van Hollen said the GSA has not been fully forthcoming

The front of the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Maryland Democratic senator wants to know how involved President Donald Trump has been in the development of a new FBI headquarters building.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen has written to General Services Administration Administrator Emily Murphy to give her an opportunity to expand on answers she gave in response to written questions for the record following a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing back in February.

Trump Reiterates Falsehood About California Water Diversions
California officials not sure what to make of presidential claims

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump walk across the South Lawn to Marine One on their way to Joint Base Andrews on July 27. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Monday again falsely stated that the California government is diverting river water into the Pacific Ocean that could be used to fight forest fires, but he also signaled he will fast-track federal help.

For the second consecutive day, the president took to Twitter to contend Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is sending water from “the North” into the Pacific Ocean. Trump contended Monday that water could be used for “fires, farming and everything else.”

Speeding Through Spending Bills
CQ Budget, Episode 72

Files are carried out of the House of Representatives in preparation for Memorial Day recess Thursday, May 24, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mitch McConnell Is Already Running for Re-Election — In 2020
Formally announced his plans in Kentucky on Saturday

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday that he will seek re-election in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proved again this weekend he won’t be caught asleep at the wheel when it comes to his own campaigns in Kentucky.

McConnell formally announced Saturday his plans to seek a seventh term, speaking at a Republican breakfast in western Kentucky ahead of the Fancy Farm picnic, which is the bipartisan political event of the year in the commonwealth.

As Trump Looks to Outer Space, Senate Dems Put In a Word for Earth
They were there to hear about NASA’s ‘search for life,’ but Democrats wanted to talk about climate change

Space, Science and Competitiveness Subcommittee Chairman Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and ranking member Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., revealed differing visions for NASA’s science mission at a Wednesday hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump may be known for flip-flopping on issues, but he hasn’t backed away from his lofty goals in outer space. His push for a military “space force” and boots on the Red Planet has some in Congress trying to bring him back to Earth.

As senators heard Wednesday about NASA’s “search for life” in the galaxy, some Democrats wanted to talk about climate change.

Trump Says He Might Delay Shutdown Showdown Until After Elections
‘I happen to think it’s a great political thing,’ president says of border security

Aurelia Lopez and her daughter Antonia overlook construction of U.S.-Mexico border wall prototypes in October 2017. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump signaled Wednesday that he might side with some Republican lawmakers and delay a government shutdown showdown until after November’s midterm elections.

“Now, the shutdown could also take place after the election. I happen to think it’s a great political thing, because people want border security,” Trump said on the Rush Limbaugh radio program.