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Kislyak Leaves His Post With Russiagate in His Wake
Russian ambassador’s communications with Trump advisers at center of investigations

Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak leaves after a farewell reception in Washington on July 11 hosted by the U.S.-Russia Business Council. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington who was in contact with multiple U.S. officials in Donald Trump’s administration during the 2016 presidential campaign and the lead-up to Trump’s inauguration, left his post over the weekend, the Russian embassy announced in a Saturday morning tweet.

Kislyak was replaced in the interim by Minister-Counseler and Deputy Chief of Mission Denis V. Gonchar until his successor arrives from Moscow.

Democrats Want to Seize Populism From Trump
Prepare their agenda with a new focus on antitrust policy

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be in Berryville, Va., for Monday afternoon’s rollout. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When congressional Democrats unveil their “better deal” agenda Monday afternoon, they will be trying to reclaim the populist mantle from President Donald Trump.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer says the shift in messaging is about a commitment to reorienting the function of government.

Health Care, Tax Overhauls Drive Lobbying in Trump Era
“We’re feeling really confident going into the second half of the year”

During the turbulent first six months of the Trump administration, some of the biggest lobbying groups scaled back their spending as his signature initiatives collapsed. But major agenda items, including a tax overhaul, will continue to fuel K Street work.

Other wish-list items in the coming months will include a measure to raise the nation’s debt limit, funding the government for fiscal 2018, and continued negotiations about shoring up the nation’s health care system, even as Republican efforts to dismantle the 2010 health care law have cratered.

Word on the Hill: Week Ahead
Your social schedule for the week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican Conference continue debate over health care this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome back to another full legislative week.

It won’t be as hot as it has been after the temperature drops tonight, so you might actually want to get outside tomorrow.

Another March on Washington?
March fatigue and mixed results from Trump protests has critics getting skeptical of results

Protesters march up 14th Street past the Washington Monument during the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, jan. 21, 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While activists planned Monday’s “Medicare for All” march on Washington to channel energy toward a policy goal, some are becoming skeptical of whether large marches in the capital accomplish much at all as they are becoming somewhat routine.

With the GOP’s effort to repeal the 2010 health care law stalled, many Democrats and those further to the left are rallying around single-payer health care as an alternative. But with Democratic leadership largely opposed to the idea, activists are looking for ways to show public support for it and pressure lawmakers.

Photos of the Week: A Health Care Bill Stalemate Hits D.C. Amid Heat Wave
The week of July 17 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

On Monday, U.S. Capitol Police officers prepare to arrest several demonstrators protesting the GOP health care legislation in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building. Dozens of protesters chanted during the demonstration before police cleared the atrium. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By BILL CLARK and TOM WILLIAMS

The week of July 17 began with health care negotiations in the Senate, amid protests in the hallways of the Senate office buildings, and is coming to an end with an essentially stalled process on a new health care bill in the chamber. The Republican effort to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s signature law continued to be the focus of Congress watchers on the Hill this week.

GOP Senators Take Sessions’ Side in Spat With Trump
Former colleagues provide cover to beleaguered attorney general

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is under fire from President Donald Trump, but his former colleagues in the Senate have nothing but nice things to say about him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Confronted with the rare and awkward choice of siding with either a president of their party or a Cabinet member who’s a former colleague, Senate Republicans are sounding of single mind:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, until five months ago a senior GOP senator from Alabama, has done nothing to merit the upbraiding he’s been taking from President Donald Trump.

Ralph Regula, Avuncular Appropriator from Ohio, Dies at 92
Canton-area congressman unapologetic for pushing bipartisanship

Former Rep. Ralph Regula, a long-time congressman from Northeast Ohio, has died at age 92. (CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Former Rep. Ralph Regula, a moderate Republican from Ohio known for his deal-cutting acumen, avuncular manner and skills as an appropriator, died July 19. He was 92.

Born in Beach City, Ohio on Dec. 3, 1924, Regula was first elected to Congress in 1972 after stints in the Ohio state House and Senate. Between then and his retirement after the 2008 elections, he embodied a middle-of-the-road Midwestern approach to politics that valued working across the aisle and taking care of the folks back home.

New FBI Director Expected to Be Confirmed Before August Recess
Approved by Judiciary Committee on Thursday

Christopher Wray, nominee for FBI Director, is expected to win confirmation before August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators want the new FBI director on the job as soon as possible, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to see Christopher Wray confirmed before August recess. That looks increasingly likely, as the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved his nomination, teeing it up for floor consideration as soon as McConnell moves ahead.

But the year’s nomination process has been so fraught that McConnell’s staff sent a statement out announcing the Kentucky Republican’s intentions complete with a warning shot to Democrats. 

Amid Trump’s Shifting Health Care Stances, a Recurring Infatuation
President keeps bringing up letting 2010 law fail

President Donald Trump have often said Democratic leaders like Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will eventually come to him to make a deal on health care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday again appeared to change his stance on just which path he wants Republican senators to take on health care. But he has long been infatuated with the notion of House and Senate Democratic leaders asking — begging, even — for his help on health care.

This week, the president and his aides have been posturing to put that very scenario in play, even as his own party attempts to resurrect a measure that would repeal most of and partially replace the 2010 health care law in one swoop.