Bill Cassidy

Senate Confirms Army Corps Chief
Get-out-of-town vote was overwhelmingly bipartisan

Senators confirmed the new head of the Army Corps of Engineers and then headed home. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate voted 89-1 Thursday to confirm Rickey Dale “R.D.” James to lead the Army Corps of Engineers, which will serve as the chamber’s get-out-of-town vote after a long haul of days that involved the government shutdown over the weekend. 

Earlier in the week, the chamber had expected to approve James by voice vote on Wednesday before a roll call vote on the nomination was scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Afterward, senators headed for the exits. 

Vitter’s Wife Nominated by Trump for Federal Judgeship in Louisiana
Wendy Vitter stayed with her husband amid ‘D.C. Madam’ scandal

Wendy Vitter is seen here in 2005 as her husband, Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, is sworn in to the 109th Congress by Vice President Dick Cheney. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump nominated former Louisiana Sen. David Vitter’s wife for a federal judgeship in Louisiana on Tuesday.

Wendy Vitter, who currently serves as general counsel of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, would become a U.S. district court judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana upon confirmation in the Senate.

47 Images of the Wild Ride That Was 2017 in Congress
The year in photos as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

1. January 6: Carrying the Electoral College ballot boxes, Senate pages lead a procession through the Capitol Rotunda into the House chamber, where Congress certified the results of the 2016 presidential election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With 2017 coming to a close, Roll Call sorted through its photo archive for some of our best images of the year.

Graham Urges Full Health Care Repeal in 2018, Despite Tricky Math
Moving on from health care debate an ‘unpardonable sin,’ senator says

While GOP Senate leaders like Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, left, have shifted away from health care repeal as a priority, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., right, said it should remain at the top of the agenda. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Senate Republican leadership signaled this week it will table efforts to dismantle the 2010 health care law in 2018 and instead focus on market stabilization, at least one GOP senator insists repealing and replacing it is still a top priority.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said it would be an “unpardonable sin” for Republicans to shift their focus from overhauling the health care system created by the so-called Obamacare legislation.

Senate Republicans Weigh Next Steps for Roy Moore
Some said there isn’t much more they can do to pressure Moore to step aside

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Republicans are examining options to block Roy Moore from the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that Republicans were examining options to prevent Roy Moore from becoming a U.S. senator. But some GOP senators acknowledged there isn’t much more they can do with Moore refusing to step aside. 

GOP lawmakers have called on Moore to withdraw his nomination in the special election for the seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions following a bombshell Washington Post story. The Post reported that four women accused Moore of sexual advances while they were teenagers and he was in his thirties. Another woman said Monday that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old. 

Cornyn Rescinds Moore Endorsement
Calls accusations disqualifying if true

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks with reporters outside of his office in the Capitol on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn rescinded his endorsement Monday of Alabama Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore.

“I believe the accusations against Roy Moore are disturbing and, if true, disqualifying,” the Texas Republican said in a statement. “The most appropriate course of action, in my view, is to leave the final judgment in the hands of Alabama voters — where it has always belonged — and withdraw my endorsement.”

McConnell: ‘I Believe the Women,’ Moore Should Step Aside
Majority leader says GOP looking at potential write-in campaign

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, here with Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, center, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn last week, says he believes the women who’ve accused Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of inappropriate sexual conduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday he believes the women accusing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of inappropriate sexual conduct, and that Moore should step aside as the Republican nominee.

Speaking at a press conference in Louisville, Kentucky, about a tax overhaul, McConnell was asked if he believed Moore’s accusers.

Senate Republicans Haven’t Read Tax Bill Yet, but Plan To
House measure regarded as just first step in larger legislative process

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy said he read the roughly 2,300 pages of the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Republicans haven’t yet reviewed the House tax bill yet, so don’t ask them about it.

It’s the same response members routinely give to reporters seeking feedback from lawmakers on major pieces of legislation that become public.

Heard on the Hilloween
We asked staffers to send us their costumes

Aides for Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., from left, Lindsay Black, Marcie Kinzel, and Katie Waldman, are seen in their costumes in their Hart Senate Office Building office on Wednesday. The three represent the 3 cows-to-1 person population ration in Montana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

While most of the Halloween spirit around Capitol Hill was sported by dogs on Tuesday, some humans got into the spirit, too.

HOH asked staffers to send photographs of themselves at work in their Halloween costumes.

Trump Fatigue? GOP Senators to Hear Directly From President, Again
Former aide: 'No such thing as too much coordination' between Hill, president

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. — flanked from left by Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Barrasso, R-Wyo.,  John Thune, R-S. D., Bill Cassidy, R-La., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. —  and the rest of the GOP conference will hear directly from President Donald Trump on Tuesday at the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Republicans hear from President Donald Trump frequently — on the phone, on the golf course and on Twitter. They will hear from him in person Tuesday when he joins them for lunch at the Capitol.

Perhaps more than recent past presidents, the 45th chief executive lets members know just how he feels about both policy and politics. And frequently, Trump’s public displays of honesty can throw confusion into members’ attempts to reach consensus on legislation that requires his signature.