John Barrasso

Maryland Democrats Blast FBI HQ Plan
Cardin, Hoyer concerned about effort to put new FBI building at current location

Maryland lawmakers are criticizing the GSA and FBI plan to rebuild the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building on its current site. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Trump administration’s proposal to keep the FBI headquarters adjacent to the president’s hotel complex in downtown D.C., has raised the ire of Maryland lawmakers.

“Throughout the Bush and Obama Administrations, the FBI and GSA repeatedly told Congress that the FBI needs a new, fully consolidated headquarters, going so far as to stress the need for selecting a new site because the existing location does not allow the FBI to consolidate the almost 11,000 headquarters employees into one facility,” House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer said in a statement

White House to Pull Nominee to Head Environment Council
Kathleen Hartnett White has history of rejecting climate change science

The White House is withdrawing the nomination of Texas climate change science skeptic Kathleen Hartnett White. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House will withdraw the nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White, the former Texas environmental official tapped to lead the Council on Environmental Quality, a White House official said Sunday.

The Washington Post first reported the planned withdrawal on Saturday.

Senate Confirms Army Corps Chief
Get-out-of-town vote was overwhelmingly bipartisan

Senators confirmed the new head of the Army Corps of Engineers and then headed home. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate voted 89-1 Thursday to confirm Rickey Dale “R.D.” James to lead the Army Corps of Engineers, which will serve as the chamber’s get-out-of-town vote after a long haul of days that involved the government shutdown over the weekend. 

Earlier in the week, the chamber had expected to approve James by voice vote on Wednesday before a roll call vote on the nomination was scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Afterward, senators headed for the exits. 

Senate PSA: Be Nice or Get Rule 19’d
Sherrod Brown was read the decorum rule, and questioned why

Sen. Sherrod Brown, center, was reminded of decorum rules on Sunday, but questioned why. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate prides itself on being the world’s greatest deliberative body, but that doesn’t mean one can say just anything. In fact, if you say something out of bounds, a colleague can invoke a rule that forces you to sit down and be quiet. 

This dynamic came into focus over the weekend. As shutdown tensions ran high, Rule 19 was pulled out for a fresh reading as a reminder about the chamber’s standards for decorum.

Holds on Energy and Environment Nominees Pile Up — Again
Procedural roadblocks reflect concerns about Trump administration policies

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski says the process for environment-related nominees has become “a little more complicated this year.”

A series of energy- and environment-related nominees are stuck in limbo as procedural roadblocks, or “holds,” pile up over concerns by Republican and Democratic lawmakers about policy implementations by the Trump administration.

The holdups — five announced last week — have almost become a rite of passage for Trump nominees looking to take positions within the Energy Department, Interior Department and the EPA.

House GOP Has Message for Senate on Shutdown: Nuke the Filibuster
McCarthy, other lawmakers joins Trump in reiterating call for changes

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy renewed his call for the Senate to change its rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated Sunday, 1:18 p.m. | House Republicans say Senate Democrats are holding government funding “hostage” to their demands on immigration. And they’ve got an idea for ending the crisis: Throw away the filibuster.

The legislative tool of the minority is one of the few remaining things that distinguish the Senate from the House. The Senate GOP is coming under pressure from House Republicans and President Donald Trump to pursue the so-called nuclear option — change chamber rules and end the legislative filibuster, at least on spending bills.

Photos of the Week: Ice Cold to 60s, a Happy Alabama Fan and More as Full Congress Returns
The week of Jan. 8 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

A visitor from Vietnam poses for a picture on the frozen Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool on Monday. A member of the National Park Service subsequently told people to leave the ice and said that 12 people had recently fallen through. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House returned to Washington this week (after the Senate gaveled in last week), officially kicking off the second session of the 115th Congress. Temperatures were frigid as the week began, but the city thawed out by Friday, when highs hit around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Podcast: A Big Finish for Trump's First Year; Can He Sell Conservative Accomplishments?
The Big Story, Episode 84

President Donald Trump arrives with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for the Republican Senate Policy luncheon in the Capitol to discuss the tax reform bill on November 28, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The biggest tax overhaul in three decades, a record roster of judicial confirmations, strikes at Obamacare and a regulatory rollback: Roll Call White House correspondent John T. Bennett reviews how the president ended up winning much of what he campaigned for, but remains at record low approval ratings. Can he sell his agenda to midterm voters?

 

Advice for Donald Trump After Alabama
‘Stay out of the primaries,’ one GOP lawmaker says

President Donald Trump arrives with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., before a Republican caucus luncheon in the Capitol on Nov. 28. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After the Republican Party suffered a stunning loss in deep red Alabama, an ever-defiant President Donald Trump is selling himself as the party’s soothsayer — but some lawmakers and strategists have some advice for Trump.

Republicans are both relieved that Roy Moore will not bring his sexual misconduct allegations to the Senate and evaluating whether his inability to protect a seat that had been safely in GOP hands since 1992 signals a Democratic wave ahead. The president, who last week did something rare by calling himself “the leader of the party,” signaled Monday he believes he knows best which candidates can and cannot win general elections.

Roy Who? Trump, GOP Quickly Pivot From Alabama to Taxes
Democrats characterize Alabama result as repudiation of president

Republican Roy Moore rides his horse across a field on his way to vote at the Gallant Volunteer Fire Department in Gallant, Ala., on Tuesday. Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones in Tuesday’s Senate special election in Alabama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers tried Wednesday to pin blame for Roy Moore’s special Alabama Senate race loss on the controversial former judge, but Democrats contend the president owns the bruising defeat after his full-throated endorsement. 

At the White House, the message was all about a GOP tax overhaul bill following Democrat Doug Jones’ stunning upset win in a state that had not put a member of that party in the Senate since 1992. On Capitol Hill, Republican members admitted relief that Moore would not be bringing his sexual misconduct allegations to Washington — and they asserted neither Trump nor the GOP were damaged by the Alabama race, despite the embrace of Moore by Trump and the Republican National Committee.