Patrick J Toomey

Four Up, Four Down on Senate Immigration Proposals
Bipartisan, Democratic, Republican amendments all blocked

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., right, and Senate minority leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., were not able to convince enough senators on the other side of their respective aisles to advance any of the immigration proposals. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate voted down all four immigration proposals in front of it on Thursday, failing to cut off debate on each one of them and leaving the chamber at a loss on how to proceed, eventually, on the high-profile issue.

First up was a motion to cut off debate on a proposal from Arizona Republican John McCain and Delaware Democrat Chris Coons to provide conditional permanent residence to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program if they meet certain qualifications, and would authorize $110 million annually, for fiscal 2018 through fiscal 2022, for grants for border security activities in states with international or maritime borders.

Senate Poised for Immigration Votes With Uncertain Outcome
None of the proposals appear to have support of at least 60 senators

An immigration proposal by Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley has the support of President Donald Trump but faces strong opposition from Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate is likely to hold test votes Thursday on four immigration proposals, none of which has an obvious route to passage or a clear-cut coalition of lawmakers backing it.

Democrats emerging from a meeting late Wednesday were noncommittal about their support for a compromise reached by the so-called Common Sense Coalition, one of the four proposals likely to get a cloture vote when the chamber reconvenes Thursday. Sixty votes are needed to advance.

And They’re Off! Senate Finally Votes to Proceed on Immigration
Votes on amendments expected soon

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had some harsh words for his Democratic colleagues before the chamber approved the motion to proceed to immigration legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After two days of the equivalent of a legislative staring contest, the Senate has decided to move along toward immigration legislation. But this is just the beginning, and feelings are a little raw over how things have unfolded so far. 

The chamber approved, by voice vote Wednesday morning, a motion to proceed to the expected legislative vehicle for an immigration overhaul. 

Immigration Debate Sputters at the Starting Line
While McConnell and Schumer disagree, second federal judge issues DACA injunction

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer were at an impasse Tuesday over how to structure the immigration debate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:13 p.m. | The Senate kicked off its long-awaited immigration debate Tuesday not with the flurry of bipartisan cooperation that some lawmakers had hoped for, but with a thud.

Before a single vote was cast to amend the shell bill serving as the vehicle for a potential deal, leaders of both parties were at an impasse over how to structure the debate, which is aimed at reaching a compromise to protect 690,000 “Dreamers” from deportation and meeting President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement and border security goals.

GOP Frets as Trump Calls U.S. Stupid on Trade
Republicans warn president about setting off tariff battle

President Donald Trump signs a copy of the book ‘Let Trump Be Trump’ in the House chamber after his State of the Union address on January 30, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Several Republican lawmakers did Tuesday what few of their colleagues have since Donald Trump took office: They challenged one of the president’s core principles to his face.

Sen. Roy Blunt was among those who warned Trump against starting a trade war with other countries on which many U.S. companies buy goods and materials.

Philly Cheesesteaks at Stake
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania lawmakers place bets on Super Bowl

Top: Betting on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII are, from left, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey and Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III. Bottom: Betting on the Philadelphia Eagles are, from left, Sens. Patrick J. Toomey and Bob Casey and Rep. Brendan F. Boyle.

Lawmakers from New England and the Philadelphia area are gearing up for Super Bowl LII by making bets with one another. And there are a lot of cheesesteaks involved.

The Philadelphia Eagles play the New England Patriots on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and both teams’ fan bases cross multiple delegations.

Frustrations With Senate Rules Near Boiling Point
Senators who negotiated shutdown end broach rule changes

Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma, left, and Roy Blunt of Missouri could be instrumental in convincing their colleagues to change Senate rules to make it easier to consider legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican senators are again talking up potential rule changes to make it easier for the chamber to move President Donald Trump’s nominations, as well as spending legislation. But the necessary GOP unity  — much less broad bipartisan support — may prove elusive.

Multiple senators said the question of what to do to get the Senate legislating again was one focus during the extended Friday-night vote, just before what turned out to be a three-day government shutdown.

Rating Change: Meehan Seat More Vulnerable for GOP
Pennsylvania Republican faces sexual misconduct allegations

Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Meehan’s swing district is even more risk of a Democratic takeover, Nathan L. Gonzales writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania is the latest lawmaker hit with allegations of sexual misconduct, putting his suburban Philadelphia seat at even more risk of a Democratic takeover.

GOP leadership removed Meehan from the House Ethics Committee within hours of the initial New York Times report that he used funds from his personal office to settle a sexual harassment complaint with a former member of his staff. The congressman has denied any wrongdoing.

It’s Not Just Romney: Hatch Retirement Could Lead to Decisions for Grassley, Crapo
Judiciary chairman appears to have time left as leader of Finance panel

Sens Charles E. Grassley and Orrin G. Hatch have served alongside each other at the Finance and Judiciary committees. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When GOP Sen. Orrin G. Hatch announced Tuesday that he will retire from the Senate after serving Utah for more than four decades, talk quickly turned to whether Mitt Romney will seek to succeed him.

But on Capitol Hill, the pending departure of the Finance Committee chairman — who could have wielded the tax writing gavel for two more years under conference rules — also raises questions about which senator will lead the GOP on taxes, trade, health care and entitlements.

A Senate Christmas Present: Several Trump Nominees Confirmed
Senators finish delayed routine business, hard choices put off

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 7: The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree stands on the West Lawn of the Capitol on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At the very end of an acrimonious first year working with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, the Senate reverted to form, looking very much like the Senate.