Idaho

Ratings Change: Franken Steps Down Amid Allegations, Seat Starts Likely Democratic
Minnesota Senator resigns after colleagues call for his exit

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and his wife Franni, leave the Capitol on Thursday, after Franken announced on the Senate floor that he will resign his seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Al Franken’s resignation puts another Democratic seat into the 2018 mix, but it’s still unclear whether his departure provides Republicans with a legitimate takeover opportunity.

To handicap a race, it’s helpful to know where the contest will take place and who is running. In this case, we know the place is Minnesota, where, despite Donald Trump’s surge in the Midwest, Hillary Clinton narrowly prevailed in 2016, 46-45 percent, and where Republicans haven’t won a Senate race since Norm Coleman’s 2-point victory in 2002.

Senate Banking Advances Powell Nomination for Fed Chairman
Sen. Elizabeth Warren only senator to vote against recommendation

Jerome Powell earned the support of all but one member of the Senate Banking Committee to advance his nomination for Fed chairman. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Banking Committee voted 22-1 Tuesday to recommend confirmation of Jerome Powell as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren voted against the recommendation.

Powell received the support of Chairman Michael D. Crapo, who had voted against him during his renomination to the Fed board in 2014.

Hot Start With Trump 'Pep Rally' Burns Out as Tax Bill Cruises
Before passing tax bill, GOP members gush about president

President Donald Trump, accompanied by his chief of staff John Kelly, arrives at the Capitol to speak to House Republicans before a floor vote on a GOP-crafted tax overhaul bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two fireplaces outside the House chamber told the story Thursday a few minutes before members streamed in to vote on a sweeping tax bill. Orange embers were still just visible in both beneath scorched logs and ash. For Republicans, what had started with a white-hot visit by President Donald Trump ended with the anti-climactic passage of their tax plan.

But there was nothing anti-climactic a short time earlier in the basement of the Capitol, where House GOP members gather weekly as a group. They scurried in — mostly on time, with a few notable exceptions — for the presidential visit, and many emerged just before noon strikingly giddy about the scene during the president’s roughly 20 minutes of remarks.

Let Us Now Praise President Donald Trump
Republicans describe their rally with president

President Donald Trump makes a brief statement to the media as Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, right, look on, after a meeting with the House Republican Conference in the Capitol to discuss the GOP’s tax reform bill on November 16, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Unbelievably engaging.”Mark Meadows, N.C.

Senate GOP Throws Health Care Curveball Into Tax Debate
Bid to repeal individual mandate to pay for tax cuts roils Capitol

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch is presiding over a tension-filled committee markup of the GOP’s tax bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A complicated tax overhaul debate got more complicated Tuesday when Senate Republicans injected health care politics into the equation. 

With a growing number of Senate Republicans seeking bigger tax cuts for individuals and families, but short of ways to finance it, GOP leaders gave the go-ahead to repeal the 2010 health care law’s mandate to purchase insurance to pay for their wish list

Bipartisan Group Looks to Split Difference on DACA Fix
Moderate Republicans, Democrats look for a way forward on immigration measure

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., co-chairman of the Problem Solver Caucus, says there is more work to do on a compromise immigration bill, but he is optimistic it can get done. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan bill that would bridge differences between two largely partisan measures to provide young undocumented immigrants with a path to citizenship and beef up border security could soon be forthcoming.

The Problem Solvers Caucus is working on legislation that would provide a compromise between the mostly Democratic-sponsored Dream Act and the GOP-led Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act, as well as a bipartisan border security proposal.

Governors’ Obamacare Waiver Power Would Broaden Under GOP Proposal
Discussion draft shows easier path to 1332 waiver

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch finds himself in a turf war with HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander over health care. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Legislation from two Republican senators would allow governors to implement a waiver under the 2010 health care law without approval from state legislatures, a departure from current law, according to a discussion draft obtained by Roll Call.

The bill from Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch and Idaho Sen. Michael D. Crapo would end the requirement for states to pass legislation to implement a so-called 1332 waiver. It would also let governors unilaterally end the program and would mandate that the Department of Health and Human Services secretary make a determination on a waiver application within 100 days.

Members Face Tough Odds in Races for Governor
Competitive primary, general elections await nine representatives running

Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa would be a heavy favorite to win her state’s governor’s race if she gets past the Democratic primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s been plenty of media attention on the twelve members who have decided to call it quits and retire from the House, and another eight members are seeking a promotion to the Senate. But nine additional members are forgoing likely re-elections for uncertain and challenging races to become their state’s governor.

Many of them have to navigate crowded and competitive primaries (including knocking off an incumbent in one state), and the precedent for members getting elected governor isn’t great.

Trump Picks Jerome Powell to Head Federal Reserve
President praises nominee as a “consensus builder”

Jerome Powell, who was nominated by President Donald Trump for chairman of the Federal Reserve, looks on as Trump speaks at the White House Rose Garden on Thursday. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump announced Thursday he has selected Jerome H. Powell to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. Powell, a longtime Republican, has been a member of the Fed’s board of governors for five years.

“I hope the Senate will swiftly confirm him once again,” Trump said in an announcement Thursday at the White House Rose Garden. He also called the nominee a “consensus builder,” who understands what it will take to grow the economy.

Rushed Tax-Writing Process Draws Few Complaints — For Now
House GOP still expects to pass tax measure by Thanksgiving

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and GOP leaders want to pass a tax bill by Thanksgiving, a compressed time frame for major legislation that has not been introduced yet. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While rank-and-file House Republicans know little about the sprawling bill tax writers have been drafting behind closed doors — a measure they could be asked to vote on in just two weeks — few are ready to complain publicly about the rushed process.

As GOP leaders hit pause, pushing the legislation’s unveiling back a day to Thursday, several members interviewed Wednesday said they understood why tax writers were keeping provisions of the long-awaited bill secret. And while they were eager to see the text, they said if they got it this week, they could likely analyze it in time for a floor vote before Thanksgiving.