Nancy Reagan

Election Year History Belies Ambitious Talk on Appropriations
Lawmakers’ spending goals could run right into midterm hex

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby says he’s aligned with the president in not wanting another massive omnibus spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

November might seem far away, but the midterm elections’ impact on spending bills is already on display, amplified by internal Republican jockeying for leadership positions in the House.

Election years tend to chill swift movement on appropriations bills — especially when there’s potential turnover in leadership of one or both chambers. That’s in part because lawmakers want to focus on campaigning and are back home more than usual, and party leaders tend to want to shield vulnerable members from tough votes.

Who Can Fill Paul Ryan’s Shoes in the House GOP?
He may be retiring from Congress, but that doesn’t mean he’s going away

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who kept a fractured party together and raised gobs of campaign cash, could be a tough act to follow. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The brain drain from departing House Republicans with policy expertise had sparked worry among party insiders even before Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced his plans to retire.

Now, the extraordinary attrition, along with a potentially brutal upcoming midterm campaign, is enough to send the GOP into panic mode.

Opinion: Congress Needs to Hold On to Its Power of the Purse
Any rescission proposal from the White House should be acted upon quickly

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul D. Ryan at the Capitol in February. Congress should act quickly on any rescission proposal from the Trump administration to avoid relinquishing more control over the appropriations process to the executive branch, Hoagland writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sixteen words in the U.S. Constitution have governed the federal government’s budget process for over 230 years: “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law.” Presidents of all parties over the country’s long history, nonetheless, have sought to wrest from Congress more control over the Treasury than those 16 words allow.

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln spent millions of dollars without congressional approval. While this was otherwise an unconstitutional act, Lincoln felt his actions were guided by the greater responsibility of his oath to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

It’s Trump’s Party Now
As the GOP remakes itself in the president’s image, defectors can’t win

President Donald Trump gestures during his State of the Union address in January as Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Paul D. Ryan look on. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

It was once Paul D. Ryan’s party, built on the union of upright Middle American values and America’s competitive advantage in the world.

Now it’s Donald Trump’s — the nationalist, me-first team, willing to compromise on character, foreign policy and free-market economics if it brings a win.

Barbara Bush: Her Life in Photos
Former first lady died Tuesday at 92

First lady Barbara Bush and President George H.W. Bush at the Republican National Convention in August 1992 (Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former first lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday at 92. The wife of former President George H.W. Bush and mother of former President George W. Bush was known for her wit, patriotism and devotion to her family — especially to her husband of more than 73 years. 

As the matriarch of a public family, Barbara Bush often found herself in front of Roll Call’s cameras. Here are just a few from our archives:

Former First Lady Barbara Bush Dies at 92
The matriarch of the Bush family had chosen to no longer seek medical treatment

Gerald Ford, Barbara and George Bush and Nancy Reagan at the 2000 GOP convention. Barbara Bush died Tuesday at 92. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former first lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday after a long battle with congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She was 92.

Bush was the wife of former President George H.W. Bush, and the mother of former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. She died after choosing over the weekend to pursue “comfort care" — focusing on symptom control and ceasing medical attention for her diseases.

Ryan: Liberated Deficit Hawk or Lame Duck Whose Quack Won’t Be Heard?
Keeping his options open might mean reviving his personas of Trump critic and fiscal doomsayer

Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., announces his retirement at a press conference on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul D. Ryan is the first speaker of the House to depart on his own timetable in more than three decades. So what’s he going to do with the time he’s given himself for trying to massage his wounded legacy?

His most obvious option is working to revive a pair of well-remembered but recently abandoned roles — earnest fiscal doomsayer in a time of coursing red ink, and steward of seriousness and stability in a Republican Party that’s in the thrall of President Donald Trump.

Why All the Speakers Left, 1935-2018
Ryan will be the first speaker to finish out his term in decades

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., during his press conference to announce his retirement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“I know most speakers don’t go out on their own terms,” Speaker Paul D. Ryan said at the press conference announcing his retirement. He will be the first speaker to not resign before finishing out his term in over three decades.

Here’s how past speakers left office:

Timeline: Paul Ryan's Two Decades as a Lawmaker
A look back at his career and speakership

Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced Wednesday that he would not seek re-election this fall, bringing his two-decade career in the House of Representatives to an end in 2019. Here’s a look at what Ryan is leaving to the history books.

Nov. 1998: Ryan is first elected to the House with 57 percent of the district’s vote.

Take Five: Steve Scalise
Louisiana Republican is working on fielding a ball again ahead of the 2018 Congressional Baseball Game

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., is hoping to start at second base for the 2018 Congressional Baseball Game. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, 52, a Louisiana Republican, talks about preparing for the next Congressional Baseball Game after last year’s shooting, his physical therapy and advice he gives to other victims of gun violence.

Q: Are you doing anything in particular to get in shape for baseball?