Jeff Flake

Obscure Pentagon Fund Nets $2B, Sets Pork Senses Tingling
Program prompts complaints of ‘jurassic pork’ as some see earmarks by another name

Where supporters see a way to bankroll innovate programs that the military may not even know it needs, critics see pork by another name. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Pentagon will soon have received about $2.3 billion in the last nine years — money the military never requested — for a special fund intended to help replace earmarks after Congress banned them, our analysis shows.

Buried deep inside the $674.4 billion Defense spending measure for fiscal 2019 that the Senate is expected to vote on this week is a chart with one line showing a $250 million appropriation for the Defense Rapid Innovation Fund, the latest installment of sizable funding for a largely unknown program that quietly disburses scores of contracts every year.

McConnell Slams Democrats for Timing of Sexual Assault Allegation Against Kavanaugh
Asserts that accusation of misconduct brought forward in an ‘irregular manner’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accuses Democrats of leaking an allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the press and not raising it through proper channels. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed Democrats for the process and timing under which the sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been raised. But  he said he has confidence that Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley will handle the matter appropriately.

It’s been 70 days since President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh and the Senate has spent more than two months poring through his background, including hundreds of testimonials from people who know him, McConnell said.

All Senate Judiciary Democrats Formally Ask for Delay to Kavanaugh Vote
Combined with Republican panel member Jeff Flake, panel could entertain postponement

Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats have formally asked Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, to delay a panel vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

All 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday formally asked for a delay in the confirmation vote of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which, taken together with similar calls by one of the committee Republicans, Arizona’s Jeff Flake, add to the face-off between the judge and the woman accusing him of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford.

“We write to ask that you delay the vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. There are serious questions about Judge Kavanaugh’s record, truthfulness, and character. The Committee should not move forward until all of these questions have been thoroughly evaluated and answered,” the Democrats wrote in a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa.

Republicans Face Critical Moment With Kavanaugh
Allegation against Supreme Court nominee heaps cultural importance on what senators do

Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh meets with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Judiciary Committee, in July. Graham said on Sunday that he is willing to hear Kavanaugh’s accuser, but said that should happen “immediately.” (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS: President Donald Trump’s pick for a pivotal spot on the Supreme Court already put the Senate at the confluence of the nation’s contentious political and legal movements.  But a woman’s allegation of sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh  — dating back decades to when he was a teenager — heaps cultural importance as well on what senators do at this moment.

Senators, particularly Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Republicans who have relentlessly insisted on a confirmation vote this month, now have to decide what to do amid a “Me Too” movement that has exposed how these types of allegations have been hidden, mishandled or simply ignored by powerful men in the past. 

Chuck Schumer Navigates the Resistance
The Senate’s Democratic leader wants to get along with everyone. Now he finds himself between Scylla and Charybdis

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Charles Schumer waves an American flag after unveiling the Democrats’ ‘Better Deal for Our Democracy’ platform in May. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Back when he was policy director for Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Jim Kessler had a conversation with his boss about working with a high-profile Republican. This is how it went, according to Kessler.

Schumer: I can call Newt, he likes me.

Jeff Flake: Kavanaugh Accuser ‘Must Be Heard’
Arizona Republican tells Washington Post nomination vote should be delayed

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said Sunday that a woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault more than three decades ago “must be heard.”  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen Jeff Flake is urging the Judiciary committee not to vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation until it hears from a woman who has accused him of a sexual assault while they were in high school.

The Arizona Republican told The Washington Post that Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist who first went public with her allegations in a Post story Sunday,  “must be heard.”

Senators Seek Allegation Details Before Kavanaugh Vote
Arizona Republican Jeff Flake joins Democrats’ calls to delay committee vote

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is among Democratic lawmakers who want to delay the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 11:51 p.m. | Republican Sen. Jeff Flakejoined calls from Democrats on Sunday to hit pause on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to get more information from a woman who went public with details of an alleged sexual attack by Kavanaugh decades ago when they were both in high school.

The comments by the Arizona lawmaker, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, are the first sign of trouble for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s push for a confirmation vote on Kavanaugh this month.

What’s Missing From Bob Woodward’s Book? Ask Ben Sasse
With McCain gone, the Nebraska Republican may be the closest thing left to a never-Trumper

Sen. Ben Sasse says he’s committed to the party of Lincoln and Reagan as long as there’s a chance to reform it. The true test would be a 50-50 Senate, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Bob Woodward’s book “Fear” — which might better have been called, Hunter Thompson-style, “Fear and Loathing in the White House” — is filled with revealing anecdotes that have gotten overlooked amid the incessant rounds of TV interviews and cable news panels.

One of my favorites comes from the early days of John Kelly’s White House tenure, as the new chief of staff briefly labored under the illusion that he could tame the erratic president.

3 Takeaways From Brett Kavanaugh’s Testimony
Americans ‘rightly’ will have ‘dimmer view of the Senate,’ Graham says

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies Wednesday before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh spent two days jousting with Senate Democrats over his views on executive power and abortion rights. But he appeared mindful that his top job was to keep all 51 Republican senators firmly in his corner.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee rarely flustered the 12-year veteran of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and by midday Thursday several complimented his knowledge of the law and character. Republican Judiciary members began Thursday in a huddle called by Chairman Charles E. Grassley and spent the second day of questioning refuting Democrats’ criticisms of the nominee and defending him.

Liberal Health Care Group Launches Seven-Figure Campaign
Will target vulnerable Republicans in more than 20 districts

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., is one of the Republicans being targeted by a liberal advocacy group two months out from the midterms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A liberal health care group is launching a seven-figure campaign targeting more than 20 congressional districts ahead of the midterm elections.

Health Care Voter announced the campaign on Thursday and said it will also release a 50-state voter guide for every candidate for federal office.