politics

Attacks Come to Life in First Indiana Senate Primary Debate
Messer, Rokita and Braun sparred in Americans for Prosperity debate

Three Indiana Republicans, including Rep. Todd Rokita, sparred in Tuesday’s debate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The first debate among Indiana’s three Republican Senate candidates began much as this primary race started — with some punches.

In his opening statement, Rep. Todd Rokita came out swinging. “Mike, welcome to the Republican Party. Luke, welcome back to Indiana,” he said.

Scott Walker Backs Patrick Morrisey in West Virginia Senate Primary
Morrisey is running for GOP nod to take on Manchin in November

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is picking up the endorsement of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday endorsed West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in his bid for the GOP nomination for Senate. 

“Attorney General Morrisey’s strong, conservative record is exactly what West Virginia needs in its next senator,” Walker said in a statement obtained first by Roll Call. 

Rob Porter’s Ex-wives Accept Apology from Hatch
Former White House aide was Utah senator’s chief of staff

Rob Porter, right, former White House staff secretary, resigned earlier this month amid allegations of physical abuse against his ex-wives. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former White House aide Rob Porter’s ex-wives appeared to accept Sen. Orrin Hatch’s apology letters for his initial statement on the abuse allegations against their former husband.

“I feel like it’s a sincere apology,” Jennie Willoughby, one of Porter’s ex-wives, told a Washington Post reporter over the weekend. “Having been in D.C. for upwards of 12 to 13 years, I feel like this is sufficient given what I know to be true.”

Trump Re-Ups Criticism of Obama’s Handling of Russia
POTUS pins blame on predecessor for Russia meddling in U.S. elections

President Donald Trump continued his Twitter attack on former President Barack Obama on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump kept his foot on the gas on Twitter Tuesday blaming his predecessor for Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, annexation of Crimea, and swelling influence in Syria.

The Democrats’ interest in the Russian affair, Trump alleged, arose only after he won the election.

RNC Raises $12.4 Million in January
Has four times the amount in the bank as it did at this point ahead of 2014 midterms

Michigan Republican Party Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel exits the stage after speaking ahead of President-elect Donald Trump in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in December 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

The Republican National Committee announced that it has four times more cash on hand than it had at this point ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

The RNC said it raised $12.4 million in January and has a total of $40.7 million cash on hand.

Florida’s Tom Rooney Not Running for Re-Election
The GOP congressman leaves behind Solid Republican seat

Florida Rep. Tom Rooney will not seek a sixth term. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida Rep. Tom Rooney announced Monday he will not seek a sixth term in November. 

“After what will be 10 years in the United States Congress representing the good people of Florida’s Heartland, it’s time to ‘hang ‘em up,’ as my old football coach used to say,” the GOP congressman said in a statement. 

Kelly Admits Missteps With White House Aides’ Clearances
Embattled chief of staff to phase out interim security clearances

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, seen here with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, has altered how the West Wing handles aides’ security clearances after the Rob Porter domestic assault scandal. (AP/Andrew Harnik file photo)

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, under fire after a former staffer’s domestic abuse scandal, has admitted the Trump team mishandled aides’ background investigations, and ordered new steps in how the West Wing handles security clearances.

In a five-page memo to staffers released Friday afternoon by the White House, Kelly alluded to the Rob Porter scandal but also attempted to spread the blame for a process he said was flawed but was one he inherited.

Analysis: Trump’s Hawks Won Senate Immigration Debate (By Not Losing)
White House remains well-positioned for coming rounds as DACA deadline looms

White House aides Stephen Miller, fourth from right, and Marc Short, second from right, were instrumental in preventing bipartisan immigration proposals President Donald Trump opposed from passing the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s immigration hard-liners proved Thursday it is possible to win even when the outcome of a battle is, on paper, a draw.

An immigration overhaul amendment backed by the administration received fewer votes Thursday than three other Senate proposals that also failed to pass the Senate. But the White House emerged from that chamber’s underwhelming and unproductive floor debate in strong shape for future fights on the issue.

Democrats Push Bill They Say Could Have Prevented Parkland Shooting
Measure would provide states grants for passing Gun Violence Restraining Order laws

California Rep. Salud Carbajal and other House Democrats are pushing a bill in the wake of a Florida high school shooting that would reward states that create laws to allow courts to authorize temporary removal of guns when an individual poses a threat to themselves or others. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group of House Democrats on Friday highlighted a bill they’ve authored that they say could have prevented Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 dead.

The bill would authorize a federal grant program for states that enact Gun Violence Restraining Order, or GVRO, laws. These statutes allow law enforcement or family members to petition courts to temporarily remove guns from a person’s possession if they pose a threat to themselves or others. If passed, a separate appropriation measure would be needed to provide the funding for the grants.

House Budget Being Drafted Despite Nearly Insurmountable Obstacles
Topline spending levels, no path to reconciliation among reasons lawmakers to oppose

House Budget Chairman Steve Womack is writing a fiscal 2019 budget resolution despite major obstacles to passing it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Obstacles to House Republicans passing a fiscal 2019 budget resolution appear insurmountable and have some members questioning why the Budget Committee is even planning to write one. 

Exactly half of the 22 Republicans on the Budget panel — more than enough to block a partisan budget resolution — voted against last week’s budget deal that set fiscal 2019 topline spending levels of $647 billion for defense and $597 billion for nondefense. Under the agreement, House and Senate leaders committed to those topline numbers if their chambers decide to advance fiscal 2019 budget resolutions.