Business

Time Running Out in Ryan’s Quest to Overhaul Welfare Programs
Speaker returns to Jack Kemp roots as he targets SNAP and TANF

In his remaining months as speaker, Paul D. Ryan is making one last push on poverty. Above, Bishop Shirley Holloway helps Ryan unveil his plan for “A Better Way” in Anacostia in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has spent his 20-year congressional career primarily focused on two issues, taxes and poverty. The Wisconsin Republican led a major rewrite of the tax code last year, but when he retires at the end of this term he won’t have many accomplishments to tout on poverty.

The last big win for conservatives in the so-called War on Poverty was the 1996 welfare overhaul, Ryan acknowledged on PBS’ “Firing Line” earlier this month.

Opinion: My ‘Family Leave’ Was a Well-Timed Government Shutdown
Yes, I worked at the White House. But before all that, I am a father

Mothers protest at the Capitol during the government shutdown of 2013. For some new parents, the shutdown brought an unexpected chance to spend time with their children — but luck isn’t much of a family leave policy, Jenkins writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This Father’s Day, I thought a lot about what it means to be a good father. You see, in my mind, I am a father first.

Yes, I worked at the White House. Yes, I now work for Will Ferrell’s Funny Or Die. Yes, I am a sad New York Mets fan. But before all of these things, I am a father. It’s the most important job I will ever have. Unfortunately, in today’s America, considering yourself a “father first” is not always expected by employers or society at large.

Opinion: Higher Education in America Finds Itself on a Slippery Slope
Our great research universities risk getting left behind

As support for our educational system becomes increasingly politicized, a significant number of people are now questioning the very worth of a higher education, Augustine writes. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

A decade ago I chaired a committee that was established on a bipartisan basis by members of the House and Senate to assess America’s future economic competitiveness. The committee’s 20 members included CEOs of Fortune 100 companies, former presidential appointees, presidents of major public and private universities and three Nobel laureates. Upon completion of our work, two of our members joined the then-president’s Cabinet, one as secretary of Energy and the other as secretary of Defense.

The document we produced, which became known as the “Gathering Storm Report,” concluded that the top two priorities for America to remain competitive in the global marketplace were to strengthen education and to double our investment in basic research.

Analysis: The GOP Civil War Continues Without Even a Pause
Battle for Trey Gowdy’s open seat in South Carolina a bitter affair

The battle for the open seat of retiring Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., has laid bare the ongoing GOP civil war. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While many dissected Corey Stewart’s recent Virginia Republican Senate primary victory and South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford’s defeat in his bid for renomination, an even more interesting runoff race is underway in the Palmetto State.

The June 12 Republican primary in Trey Gowdy’s open 4th District seat produced a runoff pitting first-place finisher Lee Bright, a former state senator, against William Timmons, a first-term state senator.

Iowa Rep. Blum Spends Big on Taxpayer-Funded Mass Mailings
Republican is fighting to hold onto hotly contested seat

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, spent more on taxpayer-funded “franked” mailings than any other House member. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Rod Blum, an Iowa Republican waging a tough battle for re-election, has spent more on taxpayer-funded mass mailings to constituents than any other House representative.

Blum spent more than $400,000 in taxpayer money on mass mailings and mass communications to his district from January of 2017 through March 31, according to expense records reviewed by the Associated Press.

At the Races: He’s Off the Trail
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. —Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Why Republicans Aren’t Sweating After 2 Incumbents Lose Primaries
For one, GOP lawmakers who publicly criticize Trump are getting scarcer

Alabama GOP Rep. Martha Roby was forced into a primary runoff last week, largely over her past criticism of candidate Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The defeat of one of the party’s most notorious political survivors this week wasn’t enough to scare House Republicans.

South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford, the disgraced former governor, had never lost an election before Tuesday. But his criticism of President Donald Trump did him in.

Analysis: Trump Trip Showed New Approach to Presidency
But lawmakers doubt future presidents will follow such a path

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un participate in a Tuesday signing ceremony during a meeting on Sentosa Island in Singapore. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

First, Donald Trump remade the Republican Party in his own image. And after his double-dip of G-7 and North Korea nuclear diplomacy, it’s even more obvious he’s doing the same to the presidency.

Some congressional Democrats are worried the former reality television star’s eagerness to break with decades-old norms and traditions is soiling the office and influencing future chief executives to mirror Trump’s ways. And though a handful of Republican members publicly share those concerns, most are helping him transform the highest — and long the most revered — job in the land.

Trump Nominates New Director of Government Publishing Office
Robert C. Tapella will return to GPO and succeed Da Vita Vance-Cooks

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and former GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks review production of the budget for Fiscal Year 2018 at the Government Publishing Office's plant on North Capitol Street on May 19, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 1:30 p.m. | President Trump announced Tuesday his intent to nominate Robert C. Tapella as the Director of the U.S. Government Publishing Office.

Tapella will succeed Da Vita Vance-Cooks, the first African American and first woman to fill the role. Andrew M. Sherman has been serving as the GPO’s acting director since November, following Vance-Cooks’ departure.

Ethics Office Nominee Easily Advances to Senate Floor
Tone from the top critical to fostering strong ethics culture, Rounds says

Emory Rounds cleared the latest hurdle, getting approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to becoming the next head of the Office of Government Ethics. (Courtesy C-SPAN screengrab)

Emory Rounds III is one crucial step closer to taking over the top spot at the Office of Government Ethics, an increasingly high-profile job in the Trump era.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved his nomination by voice vote Wednesday, paving the way for the full chamber to vote on Rounds’ nomination.