Trump Upends GOP Plan to Avoid ‘Scary’ Appearance
‘This is the commander in chaos,’ Sen. Robert Menendez says

President Donald Trump talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn after his State of the Union address in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The ousting of a secretary of State once elicited more than shrugs from lawmakers, but not in the era of Donald Trump. His erratic approach to the presidency has become the norm, and that could run counter to the best efforts of his party’s congressional leaders.

Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday morning via a tweet, announcing he would replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. The move, in the works for months as the two clashed, came as House and Senate Republican leaders were hoping for several weeks of legislative progress — and even some high-profile bipartisan votes. For instance, the Senate was preparing for votes on a financial regulation bill that had broad support among Republicans and the backing of key Democrats.

Nancy Pelosi Claims Record for Longest House Floor Speech
And a brief history of the chamber’s ‘filibuster’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., appears on a screen on Wednesday from the House floor where she’s voicing support for a DACA-related vote. In the background, Democratic leaders hold a news conference in the Capitol Visitors Center. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:11 p.m. | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi claimed the record for longest ever House floor speech Wednesday. Democrats clapped when she announced the new record.

Republicans can thank John A. Boehner.

Pulling Out of Politics: How Members Retire From the Hill
Every lawmaker handles announcements a little differently

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen didn’t tell leadership or the NRCC she was leaving before making her announcement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s getting to be that time of year when family moments over holiday recesses inspire lawmakers to think twice about making the weekly slog back to Capitol Hill.

Sixteen current House members have already announced they’re not running for anything next year — short of the 22 members, on average, who have retired each cycle since 1976 without seeking another office. Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez is expected to make a retirement announcement Tuesday.

Analysis: Why Recent Tax Overhaul Efforts Failed and This One May, Too
Republicans taking tax message on the road this week without details

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, second from right, and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, third from right, speak with executives at an appliance store in Lawrence, N.J., during a stop on their 2013 tour to promote their tax overhaul effort. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The last time Republican tax writers unveiled legislation for overhauling the tax code, it elicited this telling response from the speaker of the House: “Blah, blah, blah, blah.”

It was Feb. 26, 2014, and the House Ways and Means Committee had just unveiled a tax overhaul discussion draft, with full legislative text and both dynamic and static scores from the Congressional Budget Office.

Boehner: Trump a ‘Complete Disaster’ Beyond Foreign Policy
Former speaker of the House says Trump is still learning to be president

Former Speaker of the House John Boehner said he doesn't miss his previous job. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former House Speaker John A. Boehner told attendees at an energy conference that beyond foreign policy, President Donald Trump has been a “complete disaster” so far.

As the keynote speaker at KPMG’s Global Energy conference, Boehner said he’s known the president for 15 years and Trump would call him regularly when he had a bad day or to commend him.

Survey: Republicans See Harm From Freedom Caucus
GOP staffers also fault Trump’s temperament and approach to governing

House Freedom Caucus members, from left, Reps. Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho, Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio, make their way to a procedural vote in the Capitol on March 24. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Freedom Caucus, the conservative House faction that stymied Republican efforts to repeal the health care law in March and, before that, upended the speakership of John A. Boehner, is deeply unpopular with the bulk of Republican staffers.

That, anyway, was the case among the respondents to the April Capitol Insiders Survey, CQ Roll Call’s email poll of congressional staff. Asked if the caucus was a positive or negative force for the party, 71 percent of GOP respondents said it was negative, while 22 percent said it was positive. The remainder were unsure.

Harry Reid is Done Talking About Donald Trump
Says he regularly gives advice to Nevada delegation

Former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he’s said all he’s going to say about President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid never held his tongue when talking about Donald Trump when he was a candidate.

But in an interview published Monday in the Las Vegas Sun, Reid said he didn’t want to talk about the president anymore. 

Opinion: An Opening for Reform
What do Democrats have to lose?

Democrats have ceded a lot of political turf to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, Jonathan Allen writes.  (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Since Donald Trump shocked the world by winning the presidency in November, Democrats have had a tendency to bury their heads in the sand.

They want very badly to attribute their defeat to external factors, but the truth is they ceded a lot of basic political turf to Trump and his Republican Party in the last election. Their campaigns, up and down the ballot, had the feel of a party satisfied with communicating only to parts of the electorate that already agreed with them.

Freedom Caucus Member’s Book Slams Money-Obsessed Politicians
In ‘Drain the Swamp,’ Ken Buck also takes aim at NRCC’s ‘pay-to-play’ culture

Colorado Rep. Ken Buck attributes criticism of the House Freedom Caucus to “just plain jealousy.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Freedom Caucus member Ken Buck describes a money-hungry, lobbyist-influenced Republican leadership in his first book “Drain the Swamp” but he told CQ Roll Call that life is better for the hard-line conservative faction under Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

The Colorado Republican, now in his second term, has few kind words in his book released this week for Ryan’s predecessor, Ohio’s John A. Boehner, whom conservative lawmakers worked to oust. Boehner has since set up a practice at the K Street firm Squire Patton Boggs, and his spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

How Devin Nunes Got Where He Is Today
Networking, not expertise, got him the Intel gavel so many now want to take away

California Rep. Devin Nunes is facing criticism for gridlocking the House Intelligence Committee at a potentially historic point in history. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Any search for a single Republican capable of undermining not only his party’s efforts to project a modicum of independence from President Donald Trump, but also the House’s institutional standing in the world of global affairs oversight, would not normally focus on an alfalfa and dairy farmer turned congressman from California.

But such is the uniquely unsettled nature of Washington this spring that the open casting call for the most newly pilloried person at the Capitol this year is over after just 10 weeks, the role awarded by virtually unanimous consent to Devin Gerald Nunes.