Joe Donnelly

Attacks Come to Life in First Indiana Senate Primary Debate
Messer, Rokita and Braun sparred in Americans for Prosperity debate

Three Indiana Republicans, including Rep. Todd Rokita, sparred in Tuesday’s debate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The first debate among Indiana’s three Republican Senate candidates began much as this primary race started — with some punches.

In his opening statement, Rep. Todd Rokita came out swinging. “Mike, welcome to the Republican Party. Luke, welcome back to Indiana,” he said.

‘Dreamers’ in Limbo After Senate Rejects Immigration Plans
It remains unclear when Congress will take up DACA legislation again

Immigration rights advocates demonstrate in favor of “Dreamers” at a protest in Washington on Dec. 6. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate squandered three opportunities on Thursday to advance legislation that would protect so-called Dreamers from deportation and enhance border security measures.

Lawmakers could not muster the 60 votes needed on any of the three proposals, all of which would have offered a path to citizenship for at least 1.8 million Dreamers in return for some degree of border security. Eight Republicans crossed the aisle to support a last-ditch bipartisan deal announced Wednesday, but even that was not enough.

Rokita Taunts Pelosi by Introducing CRUMBS Act
References House Minority leader characterizing tax overhaul’s benefits to most Americans as ‘crumbs’

Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., introduced legislation to make bonuses received in 2018 up to $2,500 tax-free. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita plans to take a not-so-subtle dig at Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi with new legislation.

Rokita plans to introduce the CRUMBS Act, an acronym for Creating Relief and Useful Middle-Class Benefits and Savings, Fox News reported.

Conservative Group Targets McCaskill, Donnelly on Tax Vote
Americans for Prosperity has pledged $20 million to support the tax law

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is the target of a new ad on the tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:41 a.m. | The conservative group Americans for Prosperity is launching a multi-million dollar ad campaign Monday aimed at two vulnerable Senate Democrats over their vote against a bill overhauling the tax code. 

Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by billionaires Charles and David Koch, is dedicating $4 million  for television and digital ads targeting Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Both senators are running for re-election in states that President Donald Trump won by wide margins in 2016. 

Trump Uses NFL Player's Death for Latest Border Security Push
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson was allegedly killed by drunk driver who was undocumented immigrant

President Donald Trump commented on the death of NFL linebacker Edwin Jackson in a series of tweets Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump is not a stranger to responding controversially to tragedy. (He once patted himself on the back “for being right on radical Islamic terrorism” in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016.)

The president used the death of NFL linebacker Edwin Jackson to hammer Democrats for weakness on border security after authorities said the drunk driver who crashed into Jackson’s ride share was an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala.

Rokita Uses Death of NFL Player to Call for Wall
Indianapolis Colts’ Edwin Jackson was killed in reported drunk-driving wreck with undocumented immigrant

Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., said the death of a player for the Indianapolis Colts should be impetus for building a border wall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita used the death of Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson on Sunday as an argument for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Rokita made the statement after CBS-4 Indy reported that Jackson was killed in an alleged drunk driving accident in Indianapolis with a man who police said was in the country illegally.

Republicans Prepare for Upcoming Abortion Vote
Votes not likely there in Senate, but measure could be a midterm issue

Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford is among the proponents of the legislation to ban late-term abortions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans are readying for a vote next week on a late-term abortion bill. And while it’s unlikely they will have the votes to pass it, abortion opponents say the measure could play a role in the 2018 midterm elections.

The bill would ban abortions after the 20-week mark, while providing exceptions for rape, incest or the endangerment of a woman. It passed the House along party lines last year and has been waiting on a Senate vote.

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.

Opinion: It’s Not the Senate That Is Selling Out the Dreamers
The House has always been the problem

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., faced a difficult predicament during the government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two songs, familiar to every baby boomer, summed up Chuck Schumer’s predicament: Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler,” with the lyric “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em,” and the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t Always Get What You Want,” which was the odd message blared out at the end of Donald Trump rallies in 2016.

For many Democratic activists, Schumer’s decision to make this the shortest government shutdown since 1990 represented a betrayal. The Senate minority leader seemingly put the re-election interests of Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota and Indiana’s Joe Donnelly over the future of the 690,000 Dreamers registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

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.”