Senate Republicans

Democrats weighing new gun legislation in wake of mass shootings
CQ on Congress, episode 167

People gather at a makeshift memorial honoring victims outside Walmart, near the scene of a mass shooting which left at least 22 people dead, on August 7, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. A 21-year-old white male suspect remains in custody in El Paso which sits along the U.S.-Mexico border. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Updated 7:33 p.m. | The House Judiciary Committee had planned to return early from Congress’ summer break next week to mark up gun safety legislation. After this podcast previewing the proceedings was recorded, the committee announced it was postponing the markup until the week of Sept. 9 due to Hurricane Dorian, which is expected to hit Florida. Five of the panel members represent districts in the state. 

Will any House bills pressure Senate Republicans to respond to recent mass shootings? At a time when a majority of the country supports enhanced background checks and other measures to curb gun violence, House Democrats hope so.

Capitol Ink | The Tortoise and the F/A 18

Road ahead: Both chambers tackle disaster relief but conclusion still iffy
House goes after administration’s ‘junk’ plan rule, Senate nomination votes could result in Export-Import Bank quorum

From left, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., House Appropriations ranking member Kay Granger, R-Texas, and Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt. The top four appropriators are key to reaching a bipartisan deal on disaster relief. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate appropriators hope to wrap up negotiations this week on a bipartisan disaster relief package that can get President Donald Trump’s support, while House Democrats plan to forge ahead with a vote on their own preferred proposal.

The House bill would provide $17.2 billion in aid to areas affected by recent natural disasters. The measure is similar to one the chamber passed in January, but it includes an additional $3 billion to address subsequent floods in the Midwest and tornadoes in the South.

Capitol Ink | Setting The Bar

Amid border wall debate, House and Senate Republicans aligned on spending issues, for once
GOP unity over border wall has lasted for seven-plus weeks now but could soon be tested

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, right, have largely been on the same page when it comes to border wall funding President Donald Trump, center, has advocated. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For years, House Republicans would blame the Senate if they didn’t get their way in spending negotiations. But now, amid an ongoing border wall funding dispute, GOP lawmakers in both chambers are finally on the same page.

The symbiotic relationship is oddly timed with House Republicans in the minority. In the previous two Congresses, Republicans held the majority in both chambers — first under former President Barack Obama and then under President Donald Trump — but rarely agreed on appropriations matters.

Capitol Ink | Trump’s Wall

Senate Republicans Ready to Limp Into Border Wall Fight
With Democratic votes needed, wall funding may not meet what Trump and House GOP want

From left, Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and John Thune, R-S.D., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, conduct a news conference in the Capitol on Wednesday after the policy lunches. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans say they are willing to join their House counterparts in a postelection fight over border wall funding but recognize that their chamber will be more constrained by the need for Democratic votes.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan predicted Monday that there would be a “big fight” in December on appropriating more money for President Donald Trump’s desired wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. The Wisconsin Republican wouldn’t foreshadow how that fight would play out, but he didn’t rule out a partial government shutdown as a potential outcome.

House GOP Plan Likely to Set Up Funding Bill Volley with Senate
House Democrats retreat may fall victim to latest funding strategy

Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker said the plan to fully fund the Defense Department through the end of fiscal 2018 while keeping the remaining agencies running on a stopgap schedule was “the right move.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican leaders on Monday finally agreed to execute a government funding strategy conservatives and defense hawks have been pushing for months: fully fund the Department of Defense through the end of fiscal 2018 while keep the remaining agencies running through a fifth a stopgap measure.

The play call in advance of the Feb. 8 government funding deadline all but assures a volley with the Senate, which is expected to reject the House GOP measure.

Why the House Is Voting on Defense Funding a Third Time
Messaging and internal politics lead to another vote on increasing military spending

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, left, reached an agreement with defense hawks such as House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry to hold another vote on fiscal 2018 defense funding. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House vote this week on a stand-alone defense appropriations measure to boost funding for the military serves two primary purposes for Republicans: messaging and peacekeeping.

While the chamber has already twice passed legislation to fund the Pentagon above the fiscal 2018 sequestration budget cap, Tuesday’s vote allows the GOP to continue emphasizing its support for national security.

Senate Tax Positions Prevail in Conference, House GOP Doesn’t Care
Concerns muted amid political imperative to achieve a legislative victory

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, left, and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, led negotiations on the GOP tax overhaul conference committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The tax overhaul conference report looks a lot like the Senate bill. Senate negotiators prevailed on most of the major issues — and House Republicans say they’re fine with that.

House Republicans interviewed for this story said they will support the final product despite it being very different from the one they voted on in November, with reasons ranging from specific provisions they championed to the overall benefits of the sweeping package.