Arkansas

House Republicans Considering Leadership Bids — So Far
Much will depend on whether Republicans hold the majority and if so how speaker’s race unfolds

From left, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. All three men are looking to move up in leadership next Congress . (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans will have a new leader next Congress since Speaker Paul D. Ryan is retiring, but will there be additional changes in their top ranks?

The answer to that question will depend in large part on whether Republicans can hold onto their majority in the November midterms, and if they do, how the speaker’s race unfolds.

‘Undeterred’ Trump Administration to Push Ahead With Medicaid Work Rules
Despite Kentucky setback, Alex Azar says HHS is “fully committed” to work requirements

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says the administration will continue to litigate the Kentucky case and is “fully committed” to work requirements in the Medicaid program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration will continue to approve state Medicaid work requirement proposals, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday, despite a federal court recently blocking Kentucky from implementing such rules.

The administration will continue litigating the Kentucky case and is “fully committed” to work requirements in the Medicaid program, Azar said during an address at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Opinion: The Grand Old Patsies
Few Republicans dare to criticize Trump over his behavior toward Putin

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., was among the Republican lawmakers who did not criticize the president directly after the Helsinki summit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Commenting after President Donald Trump’s performance in Helsinki, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell observed, “I have said a number of times, I’ll say it again: The Russians are not our friends. And I entirely believe the assessment of our intelligence community.”

Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander said in a release, “There is no doubt that Russia interfered in our 2016 presidential election.”

Budget Chairmen Weigh in on Veterans Funding Fight
‘Proponents of the effort argue that it is needed to ensure adequate care for our veterans. We disagree.’

Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Budget Chairman Steve Womack, R-Ark., and Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., wrote to top appropriators in both chambers Tuesday insisting that funding for veterans private medical care be kept within the topline $597 billion nondefense spending cap for fiscal 2019. 

That’s a direct shot at the Senate Appropriations leadership on both sides, who want to exempt from budget limits additional funds for the so-called Veterans Choice Program, enacted after the 2014 wait-time scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Joint Budget Committee Will Meet on the Side to Work It Out
Members face November deadline for developing legislation and report

Co-Chairman Steve Womack and the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform will meet on the side to see if they can work out their differences. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The 16 lawmakers tasked with overhauling the budget and appropriations process will begin meeting informally this month to determine if they can agree on bipartisan changes before the end of November, according to House Budget Chairman Steve Womack.

The Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform has an uphill climb before it can produce the type of legislation that a majority of its Democrats and a majority of its Republicans will support — let alone the type of bill that a majority of each chamber will vote to enact.

Trump’s Trade Policies Get a Senate Slapdown
Lawmakers support congressional authority over tariff decisions

President Donald Trump trade policies aren’t feeling the love from Congress. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators delivered a bipartisan, if nonbinding, rebuke to President Donald Trump’s trade policies on the floor Wednesday, voting 88-11 to express support for congressional authority over presidential decisions to impose tariffs for national security reasons.

The motion, offered by GOP Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, would instruct conferees on an unrelated $147 billion spending bill covering the Departments of Energy, Veterans Affairs, Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies to “include language providing a role for Congress in making a determination” under a law enabling presidents to impose trade restrictions on security grounds.

Senate and House to Negotiate on Farm Bill After Recess
Senators overwhelmingly passed their farm bill Thursday

Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts and ranking member Debbie Stabenow were united in keeping the chamber’s farm bill a bipartisan one. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate passed its farm bill Thursday by a vote of 86-11, after rejecting a proposal that would have reduced food stamp benefits for able-bodied adults.

The vote clears the path for a Senate-House conference committee after Congress returns from the weeklong Fourth of July recess. Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts and ranking member Debbie Stabenow remained united in keeping the bill bipartisan by working to prevent contentious provisions from being added to it.

So Many Facets in the Downfall of a Single Democrat
Crowley’s ouster emboldens the left, scrambles House leadership and gives all incumbents pause

From left, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi all saw their political fortunes change with Crowley’s primary loss on Tuesday, Hawkings writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s some silliness to reading too much of a national trend into any single congressional election. So instead it may be better to consider Joseph Crowley’s defeat as more of a Rorschach test.

For the “Bernie Bots,” it’s a sign the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is newly ascendant.

Opinion: Trump and the Case of the Missing 15 Percent
The president’s golden gut has told him to demonize immigrants, but where is that strategy leading?

When President Donald Trump boasted Monday night in South Carolina that he has “the greatest political instinct in 50 years,” he may have been forgetting who won election in 1968, Shapiro writes. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

It was a trademark Donald Trump performance down to his invoking a race of sycophants with the typically vague formulation “Some people have said.” In his self-absorbed ramble at a Monday night South Carolina rally, Trump boasted, “Some people have said I have the greatest political instinct in 50 years.”

Of course, 50 years gets us right back to Richard Nixon.

In Midst of Migrant Crisis, Trump Calls Media ‘Almost Treasonous’
President suggests coverage of Kim summit amounts to crime punishable by death

President Donald Trump was interviewed by Mike Huckabee at the White House on Monday for the former Arkansas governor’s weekly TV show. (Courtesy TBN)

Updated 8:50 a.m. | President Donald Trump had little to say Wednesday night about his self-created migrant crisis, but in its midst he was quick to suggest the media committed treason with its coverage of his summit with Kim Jong Un.

Speaking to a campaign rally crowd in Minnesota, Trump gave only a brief mention to his decision to keep migrant families together while the parents await prosecution for the misdemeanor of trying to enter the United States illegally. He appeared in no mood to talk about the broader subject, immigration, one of his go-to campaign rally themes.