Robert Menendez

Senate GOP’s Immigration Bill Without Path to Citizenship Panned
Democratic lawmakers and even some Republicans have concerns

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley supports offering immigrants enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program three years of protected status in return for enhanced border security, a crackdown on “sanctuary” cities and other GOP immigration priorities. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats and even some Republicans are panning a GOP bill designed to protect undocumented young people and toughen immigration laws because it would not offer the so-called Dreamers a path to citizenship.

The bill, introduced this week by Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley and Majority Whip John Cornyn, would offer Dreamers enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, three years of protected status in return for enhanced border security, a crackdown on “sanctuary” cities and other GOP immigration priorities.

Cascade of Senate Democrats Call on Franken to Resign
Messages for Franken’s departure appear coordinated

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.,is facing new calls for his resignation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly simultaneously, a series of Senate Democratic women issued calls for Democratic Sen. Al Franken to resign Wednesday morning including Patty Murray, a trusted lieutenant to Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and rising star Kamala Harris.

They were followed quickly by several Senate Democratic men and the head of the national Democratic Party.

Democratic Senators Pressure House Counterparts on Tax Overhaul
29 GOP House members represent states with no Republican senator

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic senators from Maryland, New York, California and New Jersey are pressuring their Republican counterparts in the House to reject the GOP tax bill if it comes back up for a vote in the chamber.

The group, in a letter sent Monday, highlighted provisions in both the House and Senate versions of the tax bill that would allow individuals to deduct up to $10,000 in property taxes but would otherwise repeal the popular state and local tax deduction.

TV Pundit Exploring Primary Bid Against Menendez in New Jersey
Michael Starr Hopkins has filed with FEC

Powerful New Jersey Democrats have stuck by Sen. Robert Menendez since a judge declared a mistrial in his federal corruption case. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic political pundit and attorney Michael Starr Hopkins is exploring a primary bid against Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez in New Jersey. 

“I’m taking the first steps towards challenging Bob Menendez because I believe New Jersey deserves a fresh start, the chance to vote for someone who hasn’t been tainted by the culture of corruption in Trenton and Washington, someone who doesn’t owe any favors to the political establishment or powerful interests,” he wrote in an op-ed in The Hill on Monday afternoon. 

Report: Rep. Luis Gutiérrez Won’t Run for Re-Election
Illinois Democrat has been an outspoken immigration overhaul advocate

Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, seen last year with New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, is expected to announce his retirement Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez is expected to announce Tuesday he’s not running for re-election, according to sources who spoke to NBC 5 Chicago.

The Democratic lawmaker will make his announcement at 1 p.m., Central time, and is expected to endorse Cook County Commissioner Jesus Chuy Garcia to succeed him, sources told NBC 5.

Hot Start With Trump 'Pep Rally' Burns Out as Tax Bill Cruises
Before passing tax bill, GOP members gush about president

President Donald Trump, accompanied by his chief of staff John Kelly, arrives at the Capitol to speak to House Republicans before a floor vote on a GOP-crafted tax overhaul bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two fireplaces outside the House chamber told the story Thursday a few minutes before members streamed in to vote on a sweeping tax bill. Orange embers were still just visible in both beneath scorched logs and ash. For Republicans, what had started with a white-hot visit by President Donald Trump ended with the anti-climactic passage of their tax plan.

But there was nothing anti-climactic a short time earlier in the basement of the Capitol, where House GOP members gather weekly as a group. They scurried in — mostly on time, with a few notable exceptions — for the presidential visit, and many emerged just before noon strikingly giddy about the scene during the president’s roughly 20 minutes of remarks.

Senate Ethics Committee Could Get Real Busy, Real Soon
Inquiries of Franken, Menendez and maybe Roy Moore loom

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken likely faces a Senate Ethics Committee investigation, which even he has requested at this point. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Ethics Committee may soon become one of the most active panels in the chamber.

It is all but assured the committee will investigate allegations that Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken groped and kissed a Los Angeles news anchor during a 2006 USO tour. (Franken was not a U.S. senator at the time.) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Franken himself have all called for the panel to take up the case.

Judge Declares Mistrial in Menendez Case
Jurors said they were deadlocked on all counts

Sen. Robert Menendez has occasionally been at the Capitol while on trial in New Jersey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A federal judge is declaring a mistrial in the federal corruption case against Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, after a New Jersey jury was declared hopelessly deadlocked on all counts.

That’s according to a defense attorney, who informed reporters at the courthouse.

Report: Menendez Jury Deadlocked, Judge Orders Further Deliberation
Relieved juror predicted hung jury

Sen. Robert Menendez. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A judge in the Sen. Robert Menendez trial ordered a deadlocked jury Monday to deliberate further, according to CNN.

The judge asked the seven women and five men to go home for the day and clear their heads before returning Tuesday, the report said.

Menendez Trial Jury to Resume Deliberations After Juror Replaced
Judge might question jurors if they heard former juror’s comments that they were leaning toward acquittal

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., has been on trial for 11 weeks on 17 counts of bribery. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Bob Menendez’s day of reckoning is back on track after a snafu with a juror in his trial halted deliberations last week. The juror has been replaced and deliberations are scheduled to resume today.

Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby has been relieved of jury duty  because of a previously scheduled vacation U.S. District Judge William H. Walls knew about during jury selections in August. Walls assured Arroyo-Maultsby she could take the vacation under the premise that the trial would not last more than eight weeks. The trial is entering its 11th week.