Filibuster

Cory Booker explains why he is a reluctant filibuster warrior
The Democratic presidential hopeful might prefer to use budget reconciliation

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Presidential candidate and Sen. Cory Booker may have inched toward supporting elimination of the legislative filibuster, but the New Jersey Democrat shouldn’t expect the questions to stop.

In an interview for Wednesday’s episode of the “Pod Save America” podcast, Booker expanded on his long-held reservations about changing the Senate rules allowing contentious legislation to advance without needing 60 votes to get past procedural hurdles.

Senate learns pushing back on Trump can be hard work
After rejecting U.S. role in Yemen war, senators will vote Thursday on terminating the border security emergency

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah., announced support for the termination resolution after President Donald Trump said he opposed a Lee measure to limit national emergencies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate is learning this week that exercising atrophied constitutional muscles can be hard work — and it comes with political repercussions.

Thursday’s chamber agenda features debate and votes on a joint resolution that would terminate President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency for border security, which is part of his attempt to move money around to build a wall at the border with Mexico. It will be considered under an expedited procedure that will allow for Senate passage without the need for 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.

Nancy Pelosi joins House and Senate Democrats launching new push to restore net neutrality
Legislation expected to move quickly in the House

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., are pushing legislation to restore net neutrality. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Democratic majority intends to move quickly on legislation that would revive and codify net neutrality, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday.

Joined by Democrats from both chambers including Pelosi and top party leaders, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. said the bill would be a priority for his committee. It would codify the 2015 open internet order from the Federal Communications Commission during the Obama administration, which was rolled back after President Donald Trump took office.

Party unity on congressional votes takes a dive: CQ Vote Studies
Decline more dramatic in the Senate

Of the top six Democrats who broke from their party in 2018, four are no longer in Congress, including Heidi Heitkamp, right. Senators eyeing the presidency, meanwhile, are sticking to their party like glue. Elizabeth Warren had a perfect unity score. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After Democrats and Republicans reached record highs sticking together by party on congressional votes in 2017, those numbers nose-dived in 2018 as lawmakers worked across the aisle on high-profile legislation, including a rewrite of the Dodd-Frank financial law, a package dealing with the opioid crisis, spending bills and an overhaul of the country’s criminal justice laws.

CQ’s annual vote study shows that in the House the total number of party unity votes — defined as those with each party’s majority on opposing sides — fell from 76 percent of the total votes taken in the House in 2017, a record, to 59 percent in 2018. That latter figure is the lowest since 2010, the most recent year of unified Democratic control of Congress. Election years typically have fewer votes and 2018 was no exception — the total number of votes taken in the House, 498, was the lowest since 2002.

Democrats see loss of Senate power in latest judicial vote
Both home-state senators opposed appointment of Eric D. Miller to 9th Circuit

Eric D. Miller is the first appeals court judge confirmed over the objections of both home state senators since at least 1956. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate confirmed another of President Donald Trump’s appeals court nominees Tuesday evening, in a vote that Democrats say represents further erosion of senators’ power to influence who is appointed to federal courts from their states.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the floor that Eric Miller’s law career makes him “well prepared” for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which is based in San Francisco and hears cases from nine states. Miller, confirmed 53-46, will fill a spot that has traditionally been associated with a nominee from Washington state.

Jon Stewart, advocates for 9/11 first responders are tired of visiting Congress
Crew renews call to authorize a permanent victims compensation fund

From left, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, comedian Jon Stewart, and Reps. Peter T. King and Jerrold Nadler participate in a news conference with 9/11 first responders, survivors and their families on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Jon Stewart and the New York City first responders pushing to make permanent the funding for 9/11 victim compensation are tired of making the trek to Capitol Hill.

Road Ahead: Michael Cohen returns amid disapproval, gun votes
Senate will also continue work on key presidential nominations, as House takes up gun legislation

Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Donald Trump, leaves the Monocle restaurant on Capitol Hill on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Three days of congressional testimony by President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney round out what could be a crazy week on Capitol Hill — even by recent standards.

Lawmakers in both the House and Senate will have their chance to grill Michael Cohen this week. The former Trump fixer is scheduled to talk to the Senate Intelligence panel Tuesday behind closed doors for a deposition-style interview, ahead of long-awaited public testimony Wednesday before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Democrats introduce disapproval of Trump’s border emergency declaration
Rep. Joaquin Castro told reporters there was one Republican cosponsor — Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, is leading the resolution of disapproval. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An effort to disapprove of President Donald Trump’s border security national emergency declaration is on the fast track through the House of Representatives.

Rep. Joaquin Castro told reporters that he filed the joint resolution of disapproval on Friday.

One House Republican joined Democrats to stop Trump’s border wall national emergency
216 members had signed on as of Thursday afternoon

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, is leading the joint resolution of disapproval. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

About an hour before an announced deadline for original co-sponsors on a Democratic-led effort to disapprove of President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency over border security, one Republican had signed on.

At the same time, the measure had already gathered support from 216 members, almost all of them members of the House Democratic caucus.

Barr nomination to get votes on the Senate floor next week
Comes after 12-10 committee vote, which reflected concerns from Democrats about how he would handle the Justice Department’s special counsel investigation

William P. Barr, left, nominee for attorney general, greets former Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, upon arriving for his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. Hatch introduced Barr to the committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:18 p.m. | William P. Barr is on track to be confirmed as the next attorney general next week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to limit debate and cut off any filibuster threats against the Barr nomination Thursday, setting up votes as soon as the Senate finishes work on a bipartisan package of public lands bills.