Financial Services

Opinion: Historic Tax Reform is Working
Unemployment is down and wages are up

Workers at a plant in Louisville, Kentucky, install visors on a Ford Expedition SUV in 2017. More Americans are going to work because of the Texas Cut and Jobs Act, writes Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images file photo)

Unemployed, jobless, out-of-work — words that far too many of our friends and neighbors know all too well. Whether you’re a mother or father with a family to feed, or an individual working to pay off student-loans, the face of unemployment is ruthless and does not discriminate.

However, thanks to the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, those who are unemployed are becoming few and far between.

Appropriations Vs. Judges: Battle for Senate Floor Time Nears
White House, senators apply pressure on summer recess

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has been upfront about his wish to approve nominations and consider appropriations bills on the floor this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Nominations and spending bills — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s twin top priorities this summer — are on a collision course given the scarcity of floor time.

The Kentucky Republican has made confirming conservative judges a core mission this year. He’s also told appropriators he wants the Senate to move back toward real floor debate on spending bills, including amendments, while avoiding another massive year-end pileup with another 12-bill omnibus President Donald Trump said he won’t sign.

Paul Ryan Starts Off Whirlwind Day With Coffee With House Chaplain
Speaker says controversy is behind them as busy day on Capitol Hill gets under way

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said his relationship with House Chaplain Patrick Conroy is on the mend. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid a whirlwind day as Capitol Hill began digesting proposals to claw back spending and next steps on the Iran nuclear deal, Speaker Paul D. Ryan walked through policy moves Republicans want to take — and even found time to suggest a simmering conflict over the House chaplain is improving.

“Father Pat and I had a good cup of coffee this morning,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “We talked about how to improve the services going forward. We’re going to keep talking. ... I think we can ultimately make improvements so that everyone ultimately has access to the pastoral services they’re looking for.”

Hollingsworth Won‘t Face Primary — Accused of Buying 2016 Seat
Indiana freshman impresses in Washington and at home

Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-Ind., won a five-way primary in 2016 by spending lots of his own money. This year, he doesn’t even have a viable primary challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Recent Tennessee transplant Trey Hollingsworth faced widespread attacks in 2016 from Republicans and Democrats, who accused him of trying to buy an Indiana congressional seat.

But he withstood those charges, winning a contested GOP primary and then the general election by double digits in the 9th District. He’s now the 12th wealthiest lawmaker in Washington, according to Roll Call’s “Wealth of Congress” analysis.

Voters Reward a Do-Something Congress. Wrong, Recent Results Show
Some midterm years are policy voids, others historic. Either way, voters tend to shake things up

Sound and fury signifying few achievements might describe what Congress has accomplished this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Four years ago, the second session of the 113th Congress was widely identified as one of the most profoundly unproductive stretches at the Capitol in the run-up to a midterm election.

And yet the achievements of that divided Congress tower over the minimalist aspirations for this year held by the Republicans unilaterally in charge of the Hill. The limit on federal debt was raised in 2014, federal flood insurance premiums were rolled back, dozens of new waterway and environmental projects were authorized, a five-year farm bill was finished and, most notably, a generous deal was struck for improving veterans’ medical care.

Bank Group Plans Midterm Ads, Starting With Tester, Budd
Six-figure ad buys on the way in Montana and North Carolina

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., will get a helping hand from the American Bankers Association in his re-election bid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The American Bankers Association said Wednesday it would weigh into midterm congressional campaigns for the first time with independent expenditure TV ads, beginning with “six-figure” buys in Montana and North Carolina.

“These ads are a concrete example of our stepped-up political engagement efforts,” American Bankers Association President Rob Nichols told hundreds of bankers at the association’s government relations conference in Washington Wednesday.

Spending Bill, Tariffs Drive Lobbying as 2018 Elections Approach
Future uncertainty also plays major role

K Street sign at 15th and K Streets in Washington, D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An omnibus appropriations package, steel tariffs, regulatory work on the new tax law and general uncertainty about the nation’s direction on policy and governing fueled K Street business during the first three months of this year.

The politics of the coming November midterm elections will consume the Capitol for much of the rest of 2018, as lawmakers debate a farm bill, possible new disclosures for social media companies and federal spending beyond Sept. 30.  

Who Can Fill Paul Ryan’s Shoes in the House GOP?
He may be retiring from Congress, but that doesn’t mean he’s going away

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who kept a fractured party together and raised gobs of campaign cash, could be a tough act to follow. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The brain drain from departing House Republicans with policy expertise had sparked worry among party insiders even before Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced his plans to retire.

Now, the extraordinary attrition, along with a potentially brutal upcoming midterm campaign, is enough to send the GOP into panic mode.

Photos of the Week: House Heads Out Early, Senate Welcomes a Baby
The week of April 16 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., walks up the House steps as he arrives at the Capitol for the final votes of the week Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House members scrambled out of town on Wednesday this week  — a day earlier than originally scheduled. And on Thursday the Senate made history by welcoming an infant onto the chamber’s floor. Sen. Tammy Duckworth gave birth on April 9, and the rules were changed to accommodate the new mom.

Heritage Action Poised for Transition Amid CEO’s Exit
Michael Needham is leaving to become Sen. Marco Rubio’s chief of staff

Heritage Action produces an annual scorecard on how lawmakers voted on issues important to conservatives. (Screenshot/Heritage Action for America)

Change is coming to Heritage Action for America, the political arm of one of the nation’s best known, and often controversial, think tanks.

Heritage Action for America has boosted its presence on Capitol Hill during CEO Michael Needham’s tenure, and his upcoming departure from the conservative outfit has fueled speculation about whether the uptick in advocacy will continue.