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GOP Congressman Floats Passing Border Wall Funding Through Budget Reconciliation
Process would allow for simple-majority vote in the Senate, but both chambers would need to pass a budget first

Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., says his legislation aims to prevent Democrats from continuing to “block our efforts to build a wall along our southern border.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alabama Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne announced Monday that he has introduced legislation to use the budget reconciliation process to provide for up to $25 billion for President Donald Trump to construct his border wall before the end of his first term.

The bill, co-sponsored by 15 House Republicans, would allow the GOP to pass wall funding with a simple-majority vote in the Senate by using the reconciliation process — if the measure can withstand a “Byrd bath,” the scrubbing of the bill for violations of the Senate’s reconciliation rules. 

Kushner, Pelosi Discuss MBS, Journalist Khashoggi’s Death Amid Uproar
Administration has ‘eyes wide open’ but seeks to maintain relations, Kushner says

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is in the spotlight after the killing of a Saudi journalist. (Leon Neal/Getty Images file photo)

The Trump administration has “its eyes wide open” about what happened to a dead Washington Post columnist who was killed inside a Saudi diplomatic facility in Turkey, White House adviser Jared Kushner said Monday.

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law also said he personally told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to “just to be transparent” about allegations his government ordered Saudi-born and self-exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi killed inside its Istanbul consulate.

Trump Claims Migrant Caravan in Mexico Has ‘Unknown Middle Easterners’
President threatens to end U.S. aid to Central American countries

A boy and father from Honduras are taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents near the U.S.-Mexico Border on June 12 near Mission, Texas. A caravan of other migrants largely from that country is heading for the U.S.-Mexico border. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Without offering evidence to support the claim, President Donald Trump on Monday contended a large caravan of Central American migrants also includes “unknown Middle Easterners.”

He also threatened to end foreign aid to countries from which most members of the caravan come. That list includes Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Trump has proposed foreign aid cuts before, only to have Republican and Democratic lawmakers reject them and allocate the funds via massive spending bills Trump was forced to sign to avert more government shutdowns on his watch.

Sheldon Adelson Breaks Spending Record on Midterm Elections, Surpassing $100M
Conservative megadonor outpaces his 2016 spending

Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, attends a forum on guarding against a nuclear Iran in March 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Conservative megadonors Sheldon Adelson and Miriam Adelson have doled out more than $100 million to aid Republicans in the midterm election, far outpacing their giving during the 2016 presidential cycle.

A new $25 million donation puts the billionaire benefactors’ total spending toward helping Republicans hold on to both chambers of Congress at $113 million, Bloomberg reported. The donation was to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Democrats Spin McConnell Entitlement Comments Into Political Messaging
McConnell says Republicans cannot tackle program on their own but Democrats warn of GOP action

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., says a vote for the GOP is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, spinning Senate Majority McConnell’s comments that Republicans can’t execute that goal on their own. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are spinning comments Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently made on overhauling entitlements to craft a political message that electing Republicans will lead to cuts in safety net programs. 

“Sen. McConnell gave the game up in his comment yesterday,” Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said on a press call Wednesday. “It was very clear from what he said that a vote for Republican candidates in this election is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That’s what he said.”

Capitol Ink | Red Wave

Could Republicans in Competitive Districts Pursue NRCC Top Job?
NRCC head has usually been someone who can travel, fundraise for others

California Rep. Mimi Walters may be interested in chairing the NRCC if the position is open. First, she has to win re-election in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With many Republicans conceding their poor prospects of holding the House next month, attention outside the conference is beginning to turn to who will helm its campaign committee for the next cycle. 

Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, who’s running for a fifth term in a safe Republican seat, is the current chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. It’s not uncommon for there to be turnover at the end of a cycle, and it’s largely understood Stivers is unlikely to remain in charge should the GOP lose its majority.

Impeachment or Bust? Democrats Have Few Options on Kavanaugh Inquiries
Lawsuits, possible House probes expected, but party largely staying mum for now

Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee ponder their next move during a session on the nomination of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Sept. 28. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Brett M. Kavanaugh looked bewildered. Sen. Kamala Harris looked perturbed but determined. It was hour ten of the then-Supreme Court nominee’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee early last month, and the California Democrat seemed to have him backed into a corner.

Harris, a former prosecutor, was very much back in a courtroom. She was trying to get her witness, Kavanaugh, to reveal the name — or names — of anyone at the Washington law firm of Trump’s personal attorney with whom she alleged he had discussed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his ongoing Russia election meddling investigation the president almost daily refers to as a “witch hunt.”

Why Trump Spent His Friday Night in Deep-Red Southwest Ohio
Rep. Steve Chabot won re-election by 18 points in 2016. Now he faces a closer race

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pa., on Wednesday night. Two days later, he took his campaign road show to Ohio. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump took his campaign road show to Ohio on Friday, a state that is a microcosm of the fight his Republican Party faces in next month’s midterm elections.

On the one hand, a recent Suffolk University-Cincinnati Enquirer poll showed a boost in Republican support and enthusiasm for Trump — and, he hopes, GOP candidates by extension. But on the other, those same surveys suggest the overall electorate in the Buckeye State is more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Republican ones.

In His Own Words: Trump Becomes Spokesman-in-Chief as Midterms Near
President weighs in and Democratic lawmakers fume

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn before boarding Marine One at the White House on Tuesday. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | President Donald Trump on Thursday said Kanye West can “speak for me anytime he wants.” But the controversial rapper is one of the few folks doing so lately.

Worried Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination was in trouble, Trump decided to go on the offensive last week. He sent a message to his conservative base — and other Republican voters — when he declared men are in danger of being “ruined” by a single “false” allegation by a woman. At a campaign rally, he mocked one of Kavanaugh’s accusers as an arena full of his supporters laughed and chanted that she should be thrown in jail.