Richard Shelby

Senate Republicans Became More Bipartisan in the Last Congress — Democrats, Not So Much
Report places Sen. Bernie Sanders as the least bipartisan senator

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, talk before a committee hearing. Collins was identified in a report as the most bipartisan senator of the 114th Congress. The report ranked Warren 88th. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats, once happy to rail against what they called obstructionist Republicans in the chamber, flipped positions with their friends across the aisle when it came to partisanship in the 114th Congress.

A new report from the Lugar Center and Georgetown University shows that most senators — almost two-thirds of the chamber — acted more bipartisan when it came to cosponsorships on bills during the most recent Congress, compared to the Congress before.

Wells Fargo CEO Apologizes for Sales Practices
Senate Banking chairman places some blame on regulators

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, center, prepares to testify at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, about the company's unauthorized accounts opened under customers' names. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf said Tuesday he was “deeply sorry” about the bank’s creation of more than 1.5 million bank accounts without customer authorization and added that the bank holding company’s board “has the tools to hold senior leadership accountable, including me and Carrie Tolstedt.”

Tolstedt and her planned departure from the bank with well over $100 million in stock and options has been the focus of ire by Democrats and consumer advocates. She was the head of Wells Fargo’s community banking division where the alleged wrongdoing occurred.

This Nevada Primary Candidate Spent $62 Per Vote
Catherine Cortez Masto's campaign says this will pay off in November

Former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto spent about $62 per vote in winning her Democratic Senate primary in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If money can buy votes, there’s certainly some difference in market value.  

Senate primary candidates from the two major parties have spent as much as $62 and as low as 3 cents per vote received, according to a Roll Call analysis of Federal Election Commission disbursement filings for the primaries that have taken place to date. The three candidates who spent the most per votes all competed in the Nevada Senate race to replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, which is rated a Tossup by The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call.  

Republicans Shocked White House Won't Bite on Zika Funding
Obama, aides continue to demand $1.9 billion to fight virus

Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks with a reporters as she leaves the Senate Republicans' policy luncheon on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Veteran Republicans are flabbergasted that the Obama administration has not once budged during four months of talks in demanding nearly $2 billion to fight the Zika virus outbreak, a posture that's helped stall emergency legislation.  

The White House and Democrats who participated in the talks say the sum, first requested in February, reflected what senior federal health officials determined is needed to track the spread of the disease, develop vaccines and study links between Zika and birth defects, among other tasks.  

Obama: Congress Should Delay Summer Break to Pass Zika Bill
Sticks by demands for full $1.9 billion in budget request

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., plays with 7-month old Max Huijbregts before the start of the Senate Democrats' news conference on May to demand emergency funding to combat the spread of the Zika virus in the United States. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama on Friday said lawmakers should pass a “good” bill to respond to the Zika virus outbreak before leaving for a lengthy summer recess while again insisting on a nearly $2 billion funding level Republicans have firmly rejected.  

After a meeting with top federal health officials, Obama told reporters that Congress should quickly hammer out and send him a spending bill he could accept when they return to Washington after the July 4 holiday.  

Trivia Tuesday
Your weekly dose of trivia

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Which senators are the only ones to have competed against each other in a Senate election yet still get elected within that same year in the same state?    

A) Maryland: Paul S. Sarbanes and Barbara A. Mikulski  

Pork Served Up on Hill as Pig Sleeps
Annual report on wasteful spending comes as lawmakers seek to restore pet projects in budget

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., tries to take a selfie with a pig before the start of the Citizens Against Government Waste news conference to release the 2016 Congressional Pig Book on pork spending. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers and a live pig in an American flag hat joined forces on Wednesday to expose pork-barrel spending in this year’s Congressional Pig Book.  

This year is the 24th edition of the Citizens Against Government Waste’s book, which documents spending on questionable projects that lawmakers inserted into the budget. The release is especially timely due to the attempts to restore earmarks from both sides of the aisle, according to the organization.  

No Year of the Outsider in Down-Ballot Races
Despite Success of Anti-Establishment Presidential Candidates, House and Senate Challengers Strike Out

Adrea Zopp is running an outsider campaign against Tammy Duckworth in the Illinois Senate Democratic primary. (Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call file photo)

PHILADELPHIA – John Fetterman is the rare candidate for U.S. Senate who belongs in dive bars like this one in north Philadelphia. But just because your candidacy is calibrated for hipsters – and there were a few dozen of them crammed into the charmingly dingy Billy Murphy’s Irish Saloon here last week – that doesn’t mean they’re going to treat you like a rock star, or even like Bernie Sanders, when you talk.  

A few in the youthful crowd clapped when the Democrat Fetterman – who’s known as much for his brawny NFL stature as his unapologetically progressive politics – was introduced. More cheered after Fetterman, 46, declared that marijuana should be made legal.  

Republican Incumbents Hope to Dodge Fallout From Presidential Primary

Shelby is facing a challenge from his right on March 1. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican Party establishment has campaigned aggressively ahead of Tuesday’s congressional primaries, optimistic that they can not only score a round of victories but also send a message to would-be conservative challengers that 2016 will be another year of electoral setbacks for them.  

The incumbent lawmakers and their allied groups would be absolutely confident of victory, too — if it weren’t for Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and the turnout-busting GOP presidential primary.  

Could Trump, Cruz Victories Cause GOP Problems Down-Ballot?

Attendees cheer for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Tuesday as he gives his victory speech after winning the New Hampshire 2016 primary in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call)

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have demonstrated anew to conservatives how to take on — and defeat — the GOP establishment. If they’re not careful, Republicans might soon feel the consequences of their victories beyond the presidential race.  

The unprecedented early success of the Texas senator and billionaire businessman in Iowa and New Hampshire might spark a transformation in a year’s-worth of Republican House and Senate primaries, threatening to transform a sleepy slate of contests into ones that recall the pitched intra-party wars waged during the height of the tea party movement. The hope among conservative insurgents — and concern among the GOP powers-that-be — is Trump and Cruz serve as beacons to like-minded voters, donors and candidates, who can harness the energy and enthusiasm of the White House race into their down-ballot battles against incumbent GOP lawmakers.