breaking-news

NASA chief warns yearlong stopgap could cripple return to moon
Sen. Moran asked Administrator Bridenstine for help winning over former House colleagues

The image of a Saturn V, the rocket that sent Apollo 11 into orbit on July 16, 1969, is projected on the Washington monument on July 16, 2019, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to land the first man on the moon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With celebrations underway marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, the NASA administrator is warning that a full-year stopgap spending bill, like one recently floated by the Trump administration, would be “devastating” to U.S. efforts to get back to the moon.

Administrator Jim Bridenstine was at the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday for a hearing on space exploration to the moon and Mars, when Commerce Chairman Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican, asked about the potential consequences of a yearlong continuing resolution, or CR.

Debt limit may be reached before end of August recess, Mnuchin says
Treasury secretary formally notified Congress of the uncertainty on Friday

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the debt limit may be breached before Congress gets back from August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin put his request on paper for Congress to act on the debt ceiling before the August recess, writing to congressional leaders Friday that there’s a chance Treasury could run out of cash in early September.

“Since there is a reasonable uncertainty in projecting government cash flows, it is impossible to identify precisely how long extraordinary measures will last,” Mnuchin wrote in his four-sentence letter, referencing accounting maneuvers Treasury can engage in to carve out room under the $22 trillion debt limit.

Trump drops census effort, announces new plan to ‘count’ noncitizens
‘The 2020 reelect is a big factor in this battle for Trump,’ GOP strategist says

President Donald Trump speaks at the “Salute to America” ceremony in front of the Lincoln Memorial on July 4. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump lost a battle Thursday when he dropped his bid to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, but by reviving the effort in dramatic fashion he amassed more ammunition for his coming reelection campaign.

During an unrelated social media forum event at the White House, Trump criticized federal judges and the Supreme Court for blocking his attempt to add the question, calling it a “left-wing” effort to erode rights. And he teased a “solution.” Once in the Rose Garden to address the citizenship matter, he declared, “we are not backing down.”

Trump will announce executive order on census and immigration on Thursday afternoon
Bid to add citizenship question comes amid legal challenges

President Donald Trump announced Thursday morning he would talk about the census and immigration in the Rose Garden in the afternoon amid the controversy over Alex Acosta, his secretary of Labor. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Updated 10:35 a.m. | President Donald Trump on Thursday afternoon will announce an executive order on adding a citizenship question to the census, according to a source familiar with the plan.

Earlier Thursday, the president announced he would hold a Rose Garden news conference about his push to add a citizenship question to the census. Any such order almost immediately would be challenged in court. Federal judges have been hesitant to allow the Justice Department to replace attorneys working on lawsuits looking to block a citizenship question.

Acosta defends plea deal as Epstein child-sex scandal engulfs Trump
Labor secretary continues to play defense against criticism about accused child sex trafficker’s previous plea deal

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is interviewed during the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Md. Wednesday, Acosta defended himself against criticism after he cut a generous plea deal with accused child sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein while he was U.S. Attorney in South Florida. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As President Donald Trump struggles to shake a child-sex scandal involving a former friend, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta defended a 2007 plea deal he offered billionaire financier and accused sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

Acosta used an afternoon press conference to call alleged sex-trafficking by Epstein “despicable,” and said his actions deserve a “stiffer sentence” than the 13 months he served last decade. He called a new New York case against him that included charges filed Monday an “important opportunity to more fully bring Epstein to justice.”

Joe Manchin wants to block funding 2026 World Cup until women’s team gets equal pay
Competition to be hosted in North America would require federal support

Sen. Joe Manchin III wants to block funding for the 2026 World Cup until women athletes get equal pay. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Senate appropriator wants to block spending of federal money to support the 2026 men’s World Cup until the U.S. women’s team receives equal pay.

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III unveiled the two-page bill Tuesday afternoon that would block the use of funds to support the 2026 World Cup matches, which are scheduled to be shared among Canada, Mexico and the United States as part of a joint bid.

Why 2020 Democrats need to pay so much attention to Nevada
State Democratic Party will further boost influence with virtual caucus, early voting

Presidential candidate Cory Booker poses with supporters Veronica Rodriguez and Patrick Hirsch, both of North Las Vegas, at the Rotary Club of Boulder City pancake breakfast before the start of the Boulder City Damboree Celebration 4th of July parade. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BOULDER CITY, Nev. ⁠— Like most Nevada Democrats, Sen. Jacky Rosen always wants to see more 2020 candidates paying attention to her state, and a new early caucus voting process may further boost the party’s influence.

“What I try to tell people about Nevada is that you might know us for beautiful Lake Tahoe or [the] Las Vegas Strip, but we’re a string of communities that have been here a long time, people who deeply care and are committed to each other,” Rosen told CQ Roll Call on the side of the parade route here at the annual Damboree Celebration last week.

Rep. Matt Gaetz to be investigated by House Ethics for tweet apparently threatening Cohen
Move comes after Florida Republican chose not to submit to an interview

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., refused to appear for an interview with the House Ethics Committee, which triggered the establishment of an investigative subcommittee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Matt Gaetz faces an inquiry by the House Ethics Committee for a tweet that appeared to threaten President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen with blackmail.

The House Ethics Committee announced Friday it would establish an investigative subcommittee to review whether the Florida Republican, a staunch ally of the president, sought to intimidate Cohen before he testified before the House Oversight and Reform panel. The Ethics Committee had sought an interview with Gaetz, but he declined, triggering the investigation.

Melania Trump aide Grisham to be White House press secretary and communications director
Grisham replaces Sarah Huckabee Sanders, whose last day is Friday

Stephanie Grisham, right, communications director for first lady Melania Trump, and Emma Doyle, White House principal deputy chief of staff, return to the White House in March after President Donald Trump spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. The first lady announced Tuesday that Grisham will be the next White House press secretary. (Al Drago/Getty Images file photo)

Stephanie Grisham, who has been a top aide to first lady Melania Trump, will be the next White House press secretary and communications director.

The first lady announced the move in a tweet a week after Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that she would leave the post. Friday will be Sanders’ last day.

U.S.-Iran confrontation escalates as Trump threatens ‘obliteration’ after Rouhani’s insult
Schumer: ‘The danger of bumbling into war is acute‘

Then-Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., conduct a news conference in the Capitol after a briefing with senators on the Iran nuclear deal in September 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Responding to Iranian officials calling his White House “mentally retarded,” President Donald Trump called their latest statement “ignorant and insulting” before warning them he is prepared to use “great and overwhelming force” against their country.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani used the same televised Tuesday address that included an insult for Trump and his staff to say new sanctions the Trump administration slapped on some of their top leaders “useless.” He sharply criticized Trump’s hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, as “a source of belligerence and aggression” in the region. (Bolton for years has advocated a U.S. policy of seeking regime change in Tehran.)