Orrin G Hatch

Democrats learning their subpoenas are only as powerful as Trump allows
Congress has never faced the all-encompassing opposition to administrative oversight that president is putting up

“We’re fighting all the subpoenas” that Democrats want to throw at his White House and his business empire, President Donald Trump said last week. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

As Donald Trump vows to fight every congressional subpoena issued by House committees investigating his presidency and personal affairs, Democratic lawmakers and strategists are coming to grips with a new reality in which the subpoena might be obsolete.

“At this point, it’s just a piece of paper,” a former senior congressional investigative aide said. “It’s useless.”

Arthur Finkelstein reprised with GOP’s ‘socialists’ cries
The ‘s’ word is a reworking of the ‘liberal’ label from decades ago

Republicans have used the “socialist” label on New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of the Democratic Party, reprising the tactics of the late campaign consultant Arthur Finkelstein, Rothenberg writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — If you’re on any Republican list, you’ve undoubtedly received emails from one of the GOP campaign committees or a Capitol Hill communications staffer calling the Democrats “socialists.” To those of us who were around in the 1980s and 1990s, that’s nothing new. We remember the late GOP campaign consultant Arthur Finkelstein’s strategy: Call your opponent a liberal again and again until voters believe it.

Finkelstein’s style was “unmistakable,” wrote Howard Kurtz in The Washington Post in 1996, “an avalanche of attack ads painting Democrats as ‘liberal,’ ‘ultraliberal,’ ‘embarrassingly liberal’ and ‘unbelievably liberal.’”

Senate doxxing suspect pleads guilty, faces over 2 years in prison
The former staffer accused of doxxing Senators during the Kavanaugh hearings pleaded guilty to five federal charges

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY., walks to the U.S. Capitol from the Senate Subway on December 4, 2012. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former Capitol Hill staffer accused of doxxing Senators during the Brett Kavanaugh nomination hearings pleaded guilty Friday to five charges, including witness tampering and computer fraud.

Jackson A. Cosko, 27, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of making public restricted personal information; one count of computer fraud; one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstruction of justice. Cosko posted the cell phone numbers and home addresses of senators onto the web from House and Senate computer networks.

Ways and Means considers major changes to retirement savings incentives
Much of the bill, approved by the committee Tuesday, recycles provisions from previous Congresses

Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and ranking member Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, talk before a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on U.S.-China trade relations in Longworth Building on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The third time may be the charm for a 122-page collection of retirement benefit tweaks that died in the last two Congresses but has become a top priority for House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal.

Much of the bill that the Ways and Means Committee approved Tuesday recycles provisions from previous Congresses. One major change would make it easier for small businesses to band together to offer retirement benefits, while offering tax credits to defray the start-up costs.

Seeking to shrink Bears Ears, uranium firm met with Interior before review
House panel plans oversight hearing on monuments next week

The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on a review that led to substantially reduced boundaries for Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. A company tied to mineral interests there met with a senior Interior Department official nearly a month before President Donald Trump requested the review. (George Frey/Getty Images file photo)

A meeting between an Interior Department official and a company tied to mineral interests in the Bears Ears National Monument area — almost a month before President Donald Trump requested a review that substantially reduced its boundaries — may end up in the crosshairs of House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva.

Documents show that Energy Fuels Resources (USA) Inc., a subsidiary of a Canadian energy firm, met with a top Interior official who would be involved with the review before Trump requested it.

Senate confirms Barr amid questions about Mueller report
The Senate voted to confirm Barr as the next attorney general, mostly along party lines

William P. Barr, left, nominee for attorney general, greets former Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, upon arriving for his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Hart Building on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. Hatch introduced Barr to the committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

William Barr takes over the Justice Department on Thursday at a pivotal moment for the nation’s legal landscape, with his tenure closely tied to how he will handle the special counsel’s Russia investigation and any political pressure from the White House.

The Senate voted 54-45 to confirm Barr as the next attorney general, mostly along party lines. Senators have strong clues that he will continue the Trump administration’s conservative policies and legal arguments on immigration, civil rights enforcement and LGBT employment discrimination.

Barr nomination to get votes on the Senate floor next week
Comes after 12-10 committee vote, which reflected concerns from Democrats about how he would handle the Justice Department’s special counsel investigation

William P. Barr, left, nominee for attorney general, greets former Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, upon arriving for his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. Hatch introduced Barr to the committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:18 p.m. | William P. Barr is on track to be confirmed as the next attorney general next week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to limit debate and cut off any filibuster threats against the Barr nomination Thursday, setting up votes as soon as the Senate finishes work on a bipartisan package of public lands bills.

Sen. Tim Scott picks ‘Movin’ On Up’ as his moving-day soundtrack
The South Carolina Republican has an almost brand-new office, plus a giant roll of bubble wrap

Sen. Tim Scott is moving into an office this week that just one other lawmaker has ever occupied. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Tim Scott is moving into an office this week that just one other lawmaker has ever occupied. That’s as close to brand-new as you can get in the Senate.

Former Sen. Orrin Hatch moved into Hart 104 when the building first opened in 1982 and vacated the space upon his retirement in December. After 36 years, the suite was packed with personal treasures, including his Book of Mormon, a rifle given to him by the NRA and a recent gift from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senators Confirm Slew of Trump Nominees in Final Hours of 115th Congress
List does not include lifetime judicial appointments; next business will be in the new Congress

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got a deal to confirm more of President Donald Trump’s nominees. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As a practical matter, the 115th Congress is finally history.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the announcement that the Senate will convene for a pro forma session at 11:50 a.m. Thursday, but there will be no real business until after noon arrives, when the new Congress begins, as outlined in the Constitution. 

Negotiations on Spending Deal Will Continue, But No Deal in Sight
Senate won’t vote on House spending plan, McConnell says he hopes White House and Democrats can make a deal

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., is seen on the Capitol's Senate steps before a procedural vote on the spending bill on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker reached an agreement with the two Senate leaders that no vote on a spending plan will happen until there’s agreement between Senate Democrats, House Republicans and the White House.

“We’re not voting on anything else ... until there’s a global agreement,” Corker said on the Senate floor.