Patrick J Leahy

McCarthy Bill Would Fund Border Wall, Boost Speaker Bid
Legislation not likely to move this year, but raises issue profile

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has introduced legislation to fund a border wall, something that could boost his bid to lead the House Republican Conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has introduced legislation that includes more than $23 billion for President Donald Trump’s border security agenda and numerous enforcement provisions aimed at cracking down on sanctuary cities and undocumented criminals, a proposal that could boost his bid to lead the House GOP after next month’s elections.

The California Republican introduced the bill on Friday after visiting the El Paso, Texas, sector of the southern border on Thursday.

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.”

Senators Trigger Investigation Into Missing Saudi Journalist Who May Have Been Murdered
Jamal Khashoggi went missing after visiting Saudi consulate in Turkey

Protesters hold posters of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi  at the entrance to Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday. Fears are growing over his fate after Turkish officials said they believe he was murdered. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Senators on Wednesday triggered a U.S. government investigation into what happened to a prominent missing Saudi journalist, who is suspected to have been murdered last week in Turkey.

The lawmakers said they expect the investigation to look into the actions of the “highest-ranking officials in the government of Saudi Arabia,” a move that signals lawmakers on both sides of aisle are willing to confront the staunch ally.

Republicans Restart Push for Lower Court Judges
Democrats object to the process

Eric E. Murphy, nominee to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit, introduces his wife, Michelle, and daughters Isabelle, 7, right, and Grace, 9, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on judicial nominations in Dirksen Building on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With the fight over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh behind them, Republicans on Wednesday restarted the Senate Judiciary Committee’s push to confirm lower court judges with a hearing on a pair of nominees that Democrats staunchly oppose for their legal work on health care, LGBT rights and other issues.

The hearing featured almost everything Democrats have complained about the confirmation process during President Donald Trump’s administration — including scheduling more than one circuit court nominee in a single hearing and doing so over the objections of a home state senator.

Trump Mocks Kavanaugh Accuser, Takes Ownership of Midterms
President ostensibly in Mississippi to stump for Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., talks with Vice President Mike Pence at her swearing-in ceremony in April. President Trump was in Mississippi Tuesday night to campaign for her. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump mocked Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser and took ownership of whatever happens to Republican control of the House and Senate after November’s midterm elections Tuesday night.

Trump defended the federal appellate judge amid sexual assault allegations and questions about whether he lied under oath last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his drinking habits and other actions as a younger man. 

Democrats Protest ‘Railroad Job’ After Kavanaugh Vote Set
Senators storm out, Booker and Harris refuse to vote

A woman holds up her handcuffed hands while being arrested for sitting in outside of the Judicial Committee meeting on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court Friday Sept. 28, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Sparks flew even before the Senate Judiciary Committee started a hearing to vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for a seat on the Supreme Court, as two women confronted Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator.

“Look at me when I talk to you!” one of the women yelled at the Arizona Republican just minutes after he announced he would vote to confirm the federal judge.

Key Republican Senator Jeff Flake Says He Will Vote for Brett Kavanaugh
Senate Judiciary Committee voting on nomination Friday morning

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., arrives in the Senate Judiciary Committee for the vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Seated in front are Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Jeff Flake announced Friday he will vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The Senate Judiciary Committee is voting on the nomination Friday.

“What I do know is that our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence to the accused, absent corroborating evidence,” Flake said in a stement. “That is what binds us to the rule of law. While some may argue that a different standard should apply regarding the Senate’s advice and consent responsibilities, I believe that the constitution’s provisions of fairness and due process apply here as well.

From Soft Certainty to Roaring Indignation, Kavanaugh Hearing Was Study in Contrasts
“This is not a good process, but it’s all we got,” Sen. Jeff Flake says

Rachel Mitchell, counsel for Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, questions Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday as, from left, Sens. Michael D. Crapo, R-Idaho, Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Ben Sasse, R-Neb., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Mike Lee, R-Utah., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, listen during the hearing on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/POOL)

Senators got two irreconcilable accounts Thursday about whether Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually attacked a girl when he was in high school, setting up a pitched partisan showdown about whether that allegation and others that have surfaced this week are enough to derail his confirmation.

First, Christine Blasey Ford, in a soft but certain tone, told the Senate Judiciary Committee she is “100 percent” certain it was Kavanaugh who pinned her to a bed and covered her mouth as he sexually attacked her at a high school gathering decades ago.

After Angry Beginning for Kavanaugh, Senators Duke It Out Over Process
Emotional Supreme Court nominee alleges conspiracy, Democrats circle back to Ford testimony

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 27, 2018. (POOL PHOTO/SAUL LOEB/AFP)

An emotional Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, after berating the Senate Judiciary Committee for “destroying” his name, said he would support a FBI investigation into the charges about alleged sexual misconduct.

“Senator, I’ll do whatever the committee wants. I wanted a hearing the next day,” he said of claims made by the first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. “Instead, 10 days passed.”

Sexual Assault Survivors in Congress Call for Delay on Kavanaugh Vote
Five House Democrats ask for probe into all allegation against nominee

From left, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., listen Thursday as Christine Blasey Ford testifies during a hearing on  the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/POOL)

Five Democratic lawmakers, each survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse, are calling for a delay in the Senate vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Reps. Alma Adams of North Carolina, Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, Ann McLane Kuster of New Hampshire, Jackie Speier of California and Debbie Dingell of Michigan penned a letter Thursday to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asking for the vote on Kavanaugh to be postponed and calling for an investigation into the additional allegations made against him in recent days.