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White House Call on Immigration Plan Gets Personal, Testy
Bipartisan compromise ‘spectacularly poorly drafted,’ official says

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer were among those slammed by a senior White House official over a bipartisan immigration measure they both helped craft. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The White House is “alarmed” by a bipartisan immigration measure offered by nearly 20 Republican and Democratic senators, a senior administration official said during a testy midday briefing.

The measure is “totally and completely unserious,” the official said during a conference call that would only be attributed to senior officials despite their sharp critiques, by name, of sitting U.S. senators. Other terms and words this official used: “dead on arrival,” “reckless,” and “spectacularly poorly drafted.”

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.

Anger Management in the 2018 Midterms
Who will turn out to vote? Depends on who is angry

Midterms getting you down? Let Stu Rothenberg and Bridget Bowman provide some context. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Howdy from Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

“Voters who are angry tend to vote in midterms,” Roll Call political analyst Stu Rothenberg says in the latest “Political Theater” podcast. “In bad times, everybody’s angry and everybody wants to send a message,” he continues.

Gowdy Launches Oversight Investigation Into Rob Porter Scandal
‘How in the hell was he still employed?’ House Oversight Committee chairman asks

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, launched an investigation into the Rob Porter scandal Tuesday evening. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has launched an investigation into the White House’s handling of senior aide Rob Porter, who was not issued a permanent security clearance due to allegations of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives.

“Who knew what, when, and to what extent? Those are the questions that I think ought to be asked,” the committee’s chairman, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, said Wednesday on CNN.

Some Answers, More Questions for Mysterious Club for Conservatives PAC
Background, finances a tangled web

Club for Conservatives PAC has given to the Senate campaigns of Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta and Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photos)

Inflammatory, hyperpartisan fundraising emails are a standard part of the election process, but who’s behind them can sometimes be a mystery. Take the case of a political action committee set up last fall that raised over $160,000 by sending out roughly a dozen emails.

Since its inception in October, the Club for Conservatives PAC has been a confusing web of details. The group’s year-end report with the Federal Election Commission provided more information about its fundraising and spending, but also raised new questions about its operations.

Opinion: Meet the Deficit Doves
Deficit hawks soar like a rock

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., once could be counted among the GOP’s deficit hawks. Has he become a different kind of bird? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Do you remember the deficit hawks of the last decade, that breed of budget cutter so single-minded and focused on reducing, rather than growing, government debts and deficits that you knew what they were going to say before they said it?

Military spending needed a pay-for. Medicare Part D? Too expensive. For every legislative idea their congressional colleagues cooked up to solve a problem, the deficit hawks rightly pointed out that spending money the country doesn’t have is itself a problem, especially without a plan to reduce spending in the out years.

Senators Call for Special Committee to Investigate Olympic Abuse
Bipartisan group of 18 senators unveils resolution

From left, Sens. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Joni Ernst of Iowa and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire conduct a news conference Wednesday to announce a bipartisan resolution to form a Senate committee to investigate USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Two days ahead of the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics, a bipartisan group of senators is trying to set up a special committee to investigate the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The 18 senators, led by Republican Joni Ernst of Iowa and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, unveiled their resolution Wednesday.

Orrin Hatch and the Origins of Mitt Romney’s Senate Bid
Lunch at the Marriott plants seeds for Romney’s political second coming

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is expected to announce his bid for Sen. Orrin G. Hatch's open Senate seat in Utah on Feb. 15. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As Utahns await Mitt Romney’s expected Feb. 15 announcement that he will run for Orrin G. Hatch’s Senate seat, the story of why the former GOP presidential nominee decided to make his political comeback now has begun to emerge.

It all started nearly a year ago over lunch with Hatch at the JW Marriott in downtown Washington, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

FISA Memo Not What Trump Says It Is, Some Republicans Say
Memo does not ‘vindicate’ Trump, Gowdy and others say

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., called the FISA memo and the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia separate issues. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Key Republican House members rejected the notion that the memo released by the House Intelligence Committee last week “totally vindicates” President Donald Trump, as the president tweeted on Saturday.

GOP Reps. Trey Gowdy, Chris Stewart, Will Hurd and Brad Wenstrup made the Sunday political talk show circuit and agreed the memo is a separate issue from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Trump Formally Clears Release of Nunes Memo
President ignores FBI director’s objections as Democrats howl

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., makes his way from the panel's office to a news conference at the Capitol in March. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ignoring warnings from his hand-picked FBI director, President Donald Trump on Friday cleared the release of a classified memo compiled by House Intelligence Committee Republicans alleging the bureau overstepped its authorities early in the Russia election meddling probe.

President Donald Trump confirmed he cleared the Nunes memo for release, telling reporters on Friday that its contents amount to a “disgrace.”