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Chuck Grassley Opts for Finance Chairmanship
Move kicks off a round of musical chairs in the Senate, opening up a slot for a new Judiciary panel chairman

Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, right, will succeed Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, as gavel-holder on the Senate Finance panel. That means Judiciary will be looking for a new leader too. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley announced he would take over the gavel of the tax-writing Finance Committee in the 116th Congress, a position he held in the early part of 2001 and again from 2003 through 2006.

Grassley’s move also opens up a slot for a new Judiciary panel chairman, likely South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham

Fudge to Make Speaker Bid Decision After Thanksgiving
Potential challenger seen heading into Pelosi’s office

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, calls the convention to order at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Marcia Fudge said she will make a decision on whether to run for speaker sometime after Thanksgiving.

The Ohio Democrat said she has not decided yet whether she would seek the Democratic Caucus’s nomination during leadership elections Nov. 28.

Nancy Pelosi Claims She Would be Speaker if Contest Held Today
‘Oh, please,’ California Democrat says about any need for GOP support

The fate of Nancy Pelosi’s bid to be the next speaker rests in large part on the big freshman class, including about 60 new Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:43 p.m. | Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi claims if the vote for speaker were held today, she would have the support to be elected on the floor, despite the claims of opponents they have the numbers to block her. 

“Yes,” the California Democrat answered simply when asked that question during her weekly press conference Thursday. 

Mitch McConnell Talks About Working With Nancy Pelosi
Two leaders have a long history dating to Appropriations Committee

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is talking about working with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after Democrats flipped the House Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the most likely next speaker of the House are not strangers.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and McConnell have had to work together over the years, as long-tenured leaders of their respective conferences. And McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, noted their history goes back many years before that.

Trump Confirms Arrest in Package Bomb Case as Targets Mount
“We will prosecute … whoever it may be to the furthest extent of the law,” president says

A string of suspicious packages addressed to prominent Democrats set Congress on edge this week. Above, an officer in a bomb suit sifts responds to an unrelated threat near the Capitol in September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12:53 p.m. | Federal authorities have arrested a man in Florida in connection with a string of suspicious devices that were mailed to prominent Democrats and CNN.

Trump confirmed the arrest Friday, saying he was “committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop” politically motivated violent acts.  

For Trump, Pipe Bombs Sent to Opponents Is Ploy to Halt GOP ‘Momentum’ Before Midterms
President dismisses mailed munitions as “‘Bomb stuff”

With an umbrella handle in front of his face, President Donald Trump talks to reporters before leaving the White House on Oct. 15. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

For President Donald Trump, the pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats this week appear to only be about spoiling a Republican Party on cruise control.  That was the president’s message on Friday, when he said media outlets are covering a string of mail bombs sent to leading Democrats and CNN to distract voters from an election cycle he believes favor Republicans.

“Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this ‘Bomb’ stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows - news not talking politics,” he said in a tweet. 

Republicans Condemn Explosive Devices Sent to Clintons, Obamas
Ryan, Scalise among those who quickly responded to threats

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., is a survivor of political violence. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

High-profile Republicans in Congress moved quickly to denounce political violence aimed at Democrats on Wednesday, even as some of their colleagues across the aisle blamed President Donald Trump for working the nation into a frenzy. 

Suspicious packages, potentially containing explosive devices, were intercepted at the homes of the Clintons and Obamas and at CNN’s headquarters. Democratic donor George Soros had a similar package sent to him this week.

Rob Portman’s Report on Trump Trade Policy to Feature Mixed Results
Policy speech on automobile industry offers mix of praise and scorn for administration trade actions

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, will be speaking about the effect of the Trump trade agenda on the auto industry during a Tuesday speech. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A key Republican senator sees positive signs in the Trump administration’s trade discussions with Canada and Mexico, but he still has plenty of criticism for the White House, too.

In a major trade policy speech at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday morning, Sen. Rob Portman is planning to focus on the effects of the Trump trade agenda on the auto industry, a key business in his manufacturing-heavy home state of Ohio.

GOP Ad Defends Rep. David Joyce on Health Care Protections
Ad doubles down on strategy to run Republican as health care centrist

Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, who has voted with his party multiple times to repeal the 2010 health care law, is depicted as a centrist on the issue in an ad released Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group supporting Rep. David Joyce is releasing an ad Tuesday touting the Ohio Republican’s commitment to “protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.”

The $125,000 ad buy from Defending Main Street, the political arm of the Republican Main Street Partnership, doubles down on Joyce’s campaign strategy of painting the candidate as an independent voice who has bucked his party on health care and who has “stood up to President Trump.” 

GOP Super PAC Knocks Kansas Democrat Paul Davis for Voting Record
Race to replace GOP Rep. Lynn Jenkins in 2nd District is a Toss-up

Kansas Democrat Paul Davis faces Republican Steve Watkins in the 2nd District. (Courtesy Paul Davis for Congress)

The super PAC tied to House Republican leadership is continuing its attacks on Democrat Paul Davis in Kansas’ 2nd District, this time knocking him for his record in the state Legislature.

The 30-second ad is part of Congressional Leadership Fund’s $3.2 million ad reservation in the district, where Davis faces Republican Steve Watkins. It will run on broadcast and cable in the Topeka and Kansas City media markets.