Debbie Stabenow

Trump Intensifies War on California’s Immigrant ‘Sanctuaries’
So far, little to show for effort to crack down on illegal immigration

Protesters arrive at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles during a march on Feb. 28. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

The legal struggle over immigrant “sanctuaries” is escalating, and deep-blue California is ground zero.

“This is basically going to war,” Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown said after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week that the Trump administration is suing the state over three recently enacted laws limiting local and state law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration agents.

How Vulnerable Senate Democrats Have Pushed to the Center
Of the 10 running in Trump states, four stand apart for siding with the president

Joe Manchin III voted with the president 71 president of the time last year when his wishes were clear in advance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If you’re wearing a blue uniform but your game is in a stadium where most of the crowd usually roots for the reds, try accessorizing with as much purple as possible.

That bit of fashion advice is one cheeky way of describing the politically pragmatic behavior of most, but not all, of the 10 Democratic senators hoping to hold their seats this fall in states that went for President Donald J. Trump.

When Allies Attack: Friction Between Democrats, Immigration Advocates
Hard feelings about groups pressuring minority party

Demonstrators with United We Dream and others rally in the atrium of the Hart Building in January to call on Congress to pass the so-called DREAM Act to protect young immigrants from deportation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Friction lingers between Senate Democrats and progressive advocacy groups after the chamber failed to advance a bipartisan bill in February to protect the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. 

Tensions came to a breaking point in the weeks before the Senate voted on several immigration-related proposals aimed at extending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, aides say. The rift was a long time in the making, as some Democratic lawmakers questioned the strategy that pro-immigration and progressive groups used to drive action over the past six months.

Photos of the Week: A Budget Deal, a Leadership Talk-a-Thon and a Brief Shutdown
The week of Feb. 5 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., make their way to the Senate floor after announcing a two-year deal on the budget earlier in the day on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Another busy week in Washington and another partial government shutdown. 

The Senate leaders announced earlier this week that they had come to an agreement on a two-year budget deal as well as a continuing resolution to fund the government through March 23. But the week was not without drama. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., used the powers of leadership in the chamber to speak on the floor for eight hours and six minutes on Wednesday to ask the speaker to make a commitment to immigration legislation. 

Warren’s PAC Spreading Cash Around in Swing Senate States
Doled out money to state parties in Alabama, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Montana, and Nevada

The leadership PAC for  Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., disbursed campaign cash in swing Senate seats including Missouri, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Montana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A number of state Democratic parties and committees got a helping hand from a PAC affiliated with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the last fundraising quarter.

PAC for a Level Playing field, Warren’s leadership PAC, donated to state Democratic parties where Democrats are trying to be competitive, according to the PAC’s quarterly FEC report that was filed on Friday.

Amid Shutdown, White House Says Senate Democrats ‘Out of Control’
Administration officials, lawmakers signal quick resolution is unlikely

The previous government shutdown took place in October 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

White House officials on Saturday described Senate Democrats as “out of control” with their demands to end a government shutdown and signaled negotiations have stalled, raising questions whether the federal apparatus will be open when the workweek begins.

President Donald Trump is spending the anniversary of his swearing-in calling congressional GOP leaders and other lawmakers in pursuit of an agreement to reopen the government, aides say. But with both sides trading barbs and insults, a resolution on the shutdown’s first day appears unlikely.

GOP Hoping Tax Plan Could Be Difference in 2018
Despite polling and opposition, benefits could bolster support

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is among the Republicans who think the tax bill will help the GOP in next year's midterm elections. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans hope a sweeping package to overhaul the U.S. tax code will be a boon for them in the 2018 midterm elections, betting that voters will appreciate higher take home pay despite the measure’s unpopularity with the public.

The rewrite of the tax code would be one of the party’s most significant achievements of President Donald Trump’s first year in office. It would also check off a number of other major priorities for the GOP, including zeroing out the penalty for not purchasing health insurance, a central plank of the 2010 health care law, and authorizing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. All of that could give Republicans momentum going into the midterms, which usually are brutal for the party in power.

With Levin Leaving, Dan Kildee Seeks Ways and Means Spot
Third-term Michigan Democrat spent the weekend lobbying leadership

Rep. Dan Kildee, second from left, is angling for a spot on the Ways and Means Committee now that fellow Michigan Rep. Sander M. Levin, second from right, isn’t seeking re-election in 2018. Also pictured, from left, Virginia Rep. Robert C. Scott and Michigan Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With longtime House Ways and Means member Sander M. Levin announcing Saturday he won’t run for re-election next year, his fellow Michigan Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee spent the weekend lobbying leadership for a spot on the influential panel.

Kildee sent letters to each member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which is responsible for making committee assignments after the midterms.

Podcast: Trip Wires Await the GOP Tax Proposals
The Week Ahead, Episode 79

From left, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, participate in the Senate Finance Committee markup of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call reporters Lindsey McPherson and Niels Lesniewski, who cover the House and Senate, walk us through the hurdles that Republicans have to overcome to pass the legislation.

Show Notes:

Michigan’s Fred Upton Not Running for Senate
16-term Republican will seek re-election to 6th District

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton will seek re-election instead of running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton announced Friday he will run for re-election instead of trying to challenge Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2018.

“I will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate. There was a path, but today we are choosing not to follow it,” the Republican lawmaker said in a statement. The former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee had been publicly weighing a Senate bid for much of this year.