James Lankford

Senate GOP’s Immigration Bill Without Path to Citizenship Panned
Democratic lawmakers and even some Republicans have concerns

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley supports offering immigrants enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program three years of protected status in return for enhanced border security, a crackdown on “sanctuary” cities and other GOP immigration priorities. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats and even some Republicans are panning a GOP bill designed to protect undocumented young people and toughen immigration laws because it would not offer the so-called Dreamers a path to citizenship.

The bill, introduced this week by Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley and Majority Whip John Cornyn, would offer Dreamers enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, three years of protected status in return for enhanced border security, a crackdown on “sanctuary” cities and other GOP immigration priorities.

Senate Tax Bill Could Add Anti-Stadium Bond Provision

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By JACOB FISCHLER

Sen. James Lankford offered an amendment to the Republican tax bill in the Senate to eliminate tax breaks for professional sports stadium construction, matching a provision in the House bill.

Wheelin’ and Dealin’ McConnell in Full Force on GOP Tax Bill
Successful vote on the motion to proceed ignites last-minute scramble to 50 votes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is assembling the votes for the GOP tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans on Wednesday evening got the necessary votes to launch debate on the party’s measure to overhaul the U.S. tax code. But this came after a day of backroom deal-making by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that could lead to several major changes to the current version of the legislation.

The pressure on the Senate GOP is sky-high as the party looks to achieve at least one major legislative victory during President Donald Trump’s first year in the White House.

Senate Officially Begins Debate on Tax Overhaul Bill

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., jokes around with reporters on Wednesday afternoon, hours before the chamber voted to begin debating the tax overhaul bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate voted Wednesday to officially begin debating the GOP tax overhaul bill, moving one step closer to a drastic rewrite of the nation’s tax code.

The Senate adopted the motion to proceed to the House-passed tax overhaul bill, 52-48.

Pro-Trump Group Pressures Lankford on Tax Cuts
Running TV and radio ads across Oklahoma

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., has been working on a backstop for the tax bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A pro-Trump outside group is taking to the airwaves in Oklahoma, pushing to make sure that GOP Sen. James Lankford votes in favor of the Senate’s tax overhaul.

Lankford has been among the Republican senators working on a so-called “trigger” option that could provide a backstop, rolling back some of the tax cuts in the event economic growth targets and thus the accompanying revenue are not met.

Budget Committee Approves Tax Overhaul
GOP turns holdouts Corker, Johnson

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid loud protest, the Senate Budget Committee passed Tuesday the tax overhaul reconciliation bill after two holdouts changed course.

Sen. Bob Corker, one of the late holdouts voted yes. The Tennessee Republican cited an agreement in principle with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Finance Committee leaders on a “trigger” mechanism that would increase taxes if estimated growth projections do not materialize.

Lankford Report Critiques Funds for Trolley, Dating Study
‘Clearly, this is cutting-edge research with shocking results’

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on Federal Labor Relations Authority nominations on November 7, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The federal government has spent billions of dollars since 2015 on items such as a study of refugee services in Iceland, virtual reality puppets, and expired body armor for law enforcement personnel, according to Sen. James Lankford’s third annual “waste report” released Monday.

The Oklahoma Republican used the 86-page report to criticize a variety of departments and agencies for how they used their annual appropriations during the last three fiscal years. 

An Old Saw’s New Twist: Death (of the Deficit Hawks) and Taxes
A few Republicans clinging to old party orthodoxy could doom Trump’s big win

Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney has said “a lot of this is a gimmick,” referring to the tax bill’s expiration dates for some of the lower rates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This apparent contradiction confronts Congress as it returns for a grueling month of legislating: The Republicans who run the Capitol, so many of whom came to Washington as avatars of fiscal responsibility, are going to spend the rest of the year working to make a worsening federal balance sheet look even worse.

December holds the potential for a productivity breakthrough, but it also threatens to end in embarrassing deadlock — which is why the clear consensus within the upper reaches of the congressional GOP is that it’s the right time to get comfortable with any feelings of hypocritical guilt.

Congress’ Gun Massacre Caucus
Dealing with mass shootings is becoming all too familiar for many members

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, center left, with Rep. Mark Sanford to his right and then-Gov. Nikki Haley, second from right, attend a memorial service commemorating the anniversary of the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

On Dec. 14, 2012, Elizabeth Esty was attending a social media workshop for new members of Congress at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She had been elected to represent Connecticut’s 5th District a month earlier.

“I raised my hand and I said, ‘Here’s an example right now — I’m getting texts and alerts that there’s been a shooting and we don’t know what happened,’” she said.

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.