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Clerks for New Supreme Court Justice Know Capitol Hill
Gorsuch picks also have White House and justice department experience

Clerks for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch have experience in the White House, the justice department and on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The clerks Justice Neil Gorsuch hired to help launch his Supreme Court career bring a wealth of experience from the political branches of government, including work on Capitol Hill, at the Justice Department and the White House.

That, in turn, could help guide Gorsuch on legal issues this term dealing with cases about the inner workings of Congress or politics. While Gorsuch worked for the Justice Department before becoming a federal judge, Justice Stephen G. Breyer is the only justice with experience working for the legislative branch  — as Senate Judiciary Committee counsel in 1979-80 for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

Syria, Trump and Congress’ Ever-Eroding War Powers
Lawmakers lukewarm to a force-authorization measure for U.S. missile strike

President Donald Trump and his national security team receive a briefing on April 6 about an air strike he ordered on a Syrian air base. (White House photo)

President Donald Trump has gone to great lengths to break from the policies and approaches of his predecessor. Yet, when it came to justifying a round of U.S. military missile strikes in Syria, the new commander in chief dusted off a legal rationale crafted by Barack Obama’s administration.

Like the 44th president, Trump contended that the Constitution vests in the office of the presidency enough war powers to carry out some isolated military operations without lawmakers’ approval.

Shutdown Under GOP Control Could Be Historic
Federal funding gaps rare under unified government

Not since President Jimmy Carter’s administration have funding gaps occurred when Congress and the executive branch were unified under one party. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If the Republican majorities in the House and Senate are unable to get legislation to President Donald Trump’s desk to keep the government running beyond an April 28 deadline, it could be a fairly historic political moment.

Not since President Jimmy Carter’s administration have a Congress and an executive branch unified under one party seen government funding gaps occur, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Chaffetz Departure Opens Coveted Oversight Chairmanship
Freedom Caucus members in panel’s leadership poised to make a play for seat

The departure of Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, left, could give Reps. Trey Gowdy, middle, and Jim Jordan, right, an opportunity to capture the coveted seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Chairman Jason Chaffetz suggested Wednesday he may not finish his congressional term, top Republicans on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee mostly avoided weighing in on whether they would seek the seat under a GOP White House.

The Utah Republican unabashedly used the position of being the House’s top inquisitor to become nationally prominent in a coveted seat. But he did so under a Democratic administration that the House GOP despised.

Former Rep. Schock Asks Judge to Throw Out Case
Attorney says prosecutors are playing ‘Monday morning quarterback’

Former Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., resigned from Congress in 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An attorney for disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock sought Thursday to dismiss federal fraud and theft charges stemming from his time in office, saying the indictment “repeatedly trespasses on land the Constitution reserves for Congress.”

Prosecutors say Schock used campaign and government funds for personal expenses — including travel and the lavish redecoration of his Capitol Hill office in the style of the popular television show, “Downton Abbey.” The Republican, first elected in 2008, resigned from his seat representing Illinois’ 18th District in May 2015.

Rising Stars 2017: Administration Staffers
A mix of fresh and familiar Washington faces

Four Trump administration staffers are among CQ Roll Call’s 17 Rising Stars of 2017. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Over the course of this week, CQ Roll Call is taking a look at 17 Rising Stars of 2017 — people who will now wield power and influence in a Washington that has been turned upside down by the presidency of Donald Trump.

Some of the names are familiar, others have recently burst on the scene. They include members of Congress, congressional and administration staffers, and advocates.

Wittman Answers Questions at Public Forum, Constituents Hold Mock Town Hall
Republican congressman says he favors smaller-scale meetings over massive town halls

Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., leaves a meeting of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors in Stafford, Va., on April 18, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

STAFFORD, Va. — Rep. Rob Wittman provided an update on congressional affairs to the local governing body here Tuesday evening. It was his fifth constituent meeting of the day.

Meanwhile, just over 30 miles northwest in Nokesville, Virginia, citizens held a mock town hall to discuss the congressman’s voting record.

Take Five: Lou Correa
California Democrat says ‘downtime is nonexistent’ in this Congress

California Rep. Lou Correa says people tell him he came to Congress at the wrong time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Freshman Rep. Lou Correa, 59, a California Democrat, talks about advice he received from Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, sleeping in his office, and making friends in Congress.

Q: What has surprised you about Congress so far?

Trump’s Chance to Fill Lower Court Vacancies Rest on Bipartisanship
Grassley is eager to begin processing judicial nominations

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley is waiting for President Donald Trump to nominate more judges for lower court posts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Justice Neil Gorsuch safely ensconced on the Supreme Court, the Trump administration now needs to focus on more than a hundred open federal court seats. 

Of those, 48 vacancies are considered judicial emergencies. But according to statistics maintained by the administrative office of the federal courts, only one nominee has been put forward by the White House so far.

K Street Offers Five Tips for Tax Overhaul
Tip #2: Get the Freedom Caucus involved

Some K Street insiders say President Donald Trump’s salesman skills may be key to the success of a tax code overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional Republicans and the White House can’t gloss over the collapse of their first signature measure — the 2010 health care law repeal and replace effort — but veteran lobbyists see cautionary tales in that mess for the next major overhaul.

A comprehensive revamp of the nation’s tax laws may avoid the health care bill’s fate, if lawmakers and administration officials take note of five lessons learned by K Street.