Jeanne Shaheen

Bipartisan Praise, and Questions, About Thad Cochran
Omnibus spending measure, future awaits veteran Mississippi Republican

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran has bipartisan support and respect, but also faces questions about how much longer he will be in office, even as he begins the task of moving an omnibus spending bill wrapping up the current fiscal year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An omnibus bill wrapping up fiscal 2018 spending could serve as a victory lap for Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran, who continues to battle questions over his health and stamina in the role.

Rumors have swirled quietly for months about the 80-year-old Mississippi Republican’s future. Those whispers became louder last year after Cochran took a prolonged absence from the Senate due to health issues.

Photos of the Week: A Budget Deal, a Leadership Talk-a-Thon and a Brief Shutdown
The week of Feb. 5 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., make their way to the Senate floor after announcing a two-year deal on the budget earlier in the day on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Another busy week in Washington and another partial government shutdown. 

The Senate leaders announced earlier this week that they had come to an agreement on a two-year budget deal as well as a continuing resolution to fund the government through March 23. But the week was not without drama. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., used the powers of leadership in the chamber to speak on the floor for eight hours and six minutes on Wednesday to ask the speaker to make a commitment to immigration legislation. 

Senators Call for Special Committee to Investigate Olympic Abuse
Bipartisan group of 18 senators unveils resolution

From left, Sens. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Joni Ernst of Iowa and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire conduct a news conference Wednesday to announce a bipartisan resolution to form a Senate committee to investigate USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Two days ahead of the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics, a bipartisan group of senators is trying to set up a special committee to investigate the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The 18 senators, led by Republican Joni Ernst of Iowa and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, unveiled their resolution Wednesday.

Gillibrand Calls for Criminal Investigation of U.S. Olympic Committee
Wants Justice to ‘determine the depth of their failures and whether they violated the law’ in Nassar case

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice calling for an investigation of the U.S. Olympic Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for the Justice Department to investigate the U.S. Olympic Committee in light of the serial sexual abuse committed by gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the New York Democrat said while some gymnastics officials have resigned after more than 150 women and girls abused by Nassar publicly shared their stories, it was not enough.

Photos of the Week: A Government Shutdown, Several Protests and a January Barbecue
The week of Jan. 27 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Protesters cross Constiution Avenue in Washington on Saturday as they arrive for the Women’s March one year after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s not yet March, but the week of Jan. 22 came in like a lion and out like a lamb.

Action on Capitol Hill throughout the previous weekend and on Monday saw a government shutdown, multiple protests, long lines to get to work at Hill office buildings and more.

Senate’s Radical Reasonable Caucus Finds Its Moment
Will a group of 20 senators be able to gain influence?

A bipartisan group of Senators hold a new conference in the Capitol on Monday after they voted to end debate on a continuing resolution to reopen the government. From left, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, Tim Kaine, Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly, Joe Manchin III, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lisa Murkowski, Amy Klobuchar and Maggie Hassan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a Senate environment where party discipline has been the norm, a group of senators that lobbied leadership to accept a resolution to end the government shutdown Monday now has leverage, if they decide to use it.

“One of the good outcomes is that we had a group of 20 … that built a lot of trust with each other. So it could create an environment, at least over the next month or so, where some really positive things happen,” Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, a GOP participant, said Monday. “On the Democratic side, it was necessary to have a large group of Republicans [who] were committed to try and resolve these issues.”

Senate Democrats, a Few Republicans, Have Votes to Block Spending Bill
Murray: It’s time for GOP to “get real”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, leaves a meeting on the continuing resolution in House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats have the votes necessary to block the chamber from advancing a short-term spending bill should the House approve it Thursday evening, according to Democratic senators and aides.

“I do,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen replied when asked if Democrats have enough support to block the four-week continuing resolution.

Opinion: 2018 Could Be Oddly Productive
Who says Congress can’t get things done during an election year?

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray, shown here in 2013, are throwing their weight behind legislation to promote evidence-based policymaking. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As we enter 2018, the pundit class is already pushing the usual refrain that nothing important gets done in an election year. It is always safe to be cynical in uncertain times, and low expectations have an undeniable appeal. But history does not support the premise that legislative achievements occur only in odd years. Moreover, I challenge anyone to say that 2018 won’t be odd.

The theory of election year incapacitation harks back to a time when lawmaking had a strategic cadence. Members of Congress would focus on policy for 18 months and then shift their concern to re-election. Now, our democracy exists in a constant election cycle. New members of Congress hold fundraisers before taking the oath of office, and the tyranny of our digital society ensures that every vote, utterance and facial expression becomes campaign fodder. While this perpetual election has many grim implications, it also has served to diminish the distinction between “on” and “off” years.

A Huge Congressional Settlement Involving Sexual Harassment — And Hardly Anyone Knew
Lawmakers on Helsinki Commission blindsided by report of $220K payout

Florida Rep. Alcee L. Hastings has denied allegations of sexual misconduct that led to a $220,000 payment to a former congressional staffer. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The $220,000 paid to former staffer Winsome Packer in 2014 is by far the largest known settlement involving Congress and accusations of sexual harassment in recent years.

But few, if any, of the lawmakers who served on the congressional commission where Packer worked seem to have been informed about it until the sum was reported by Roll Call on Friday.  

Photos of the Week: A House Tax Marathon as Senate Starts Action
The week of Nov. 6 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

From left, Rep. Sam Johnson, Chairman Kevin Brady and ranking member Richard Neal open a House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republicans’ tax overhaul plan in Longworth Building on Monday. Rep. David Schweikert also appears. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House Ways and Means Committee finished its marathon markup of the GOP tax overhaul plan Thursday, as attention shifted to the Senate, which will be marking up its own version of the bill next week. 

Here’s the entire week in photos: