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Gowdy Will Not Initiate Oversight Investigation Into Trump Allegations
Chairman kicks Dems’ letter requesting investigation to Justice Department

House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., indicated in a letter Tuesday he will not open an investigation in his committee into allegations against President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, will not initiate an investigation into allegations of sexual assault against President Donald Trump, he signaled in a letter Tuesday.

Responding to a Monday letter signed by more than 100 House Democrats asking him to launch an investigation, the South Carolina Republican said he would forward the letter to the Department of Justice.

Analysis: 2017 Has Been Nutty for K Street, but 2018 Could Be Insane
Campaign season is soon to kick into high gear

As 2017 draws to a close, the unpredictable nature of the first year of the Trump administration could very well bleed into next year as the midterm elections heat up. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lobbyists have — almost — survived a genuinely bonkers year.

The Trump era ushered in a maelstrom of unpredictable policy fights along with scandals that have ripped into K Street. Think it can’t get any stranger? Just wait until campaign season kicks into high gear in 2018.

Fifty-Plus Female Democratic Lawmakers Urge Investigation Into Trump Allegations
Group sends letter to oversight committee over sexual misconduct claims

More than 50 female Democratic lawmakers are pushing for an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

More than 50 female Democratic lawmakers on Monday asked leaders in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to open an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump.

In a letter to Chairman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings of Maryland, 59 lawmakers from the Democratic Women’s Working Group (DWWG) said the president’s own comments “appear to back up the allegations.”

Can Presidents Obstruct Justice? Republicans and Democrats Say Yes
Durbin: ‘Desperate statement’ suggests ‘they expect to lose on the merits’

Vermont Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, left, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham confer before a hearing in 2015. Both senior Judiciary Committee members say there is ample precedent showing a president can obstruct justice, despite a claim to the contrary by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican and Democratic lawmakers say an assertion by Donald Trump’s personal lawyer that a sitting president cannot obstruct justice is dubious, warning the White House there is ample precedent to the contrary.

The members were reacting to Trump lawyer John Dowd’s legal argument in a recent interview with Axios that “the president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [Article II of the Constitution] and has every right to express his view of any case.”

Senate GOP’s Immigration Bill Without Path to Citizenship Panned
Democratic lawmakers and even some Republicans have concerns

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley supports offering immigrants enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program three years of protected status in return for enhanced border security, a crackdown on “sanctuary” cities and other GOP immigration priorities. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats and even some Republicans are panning a GOP bill designed to protect undocumented young people and toughen immigration laws because it would not offer the so-called Dreamers a path to citizenship.

The bill, introduced this week by Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley and Majority Whip John Cornyn, would offer Dreamers enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, three years of protected status in return for enhanced border security, a crackdown on “sanctuary” cities and other GOP immigration priorities.

Ratings Change: Franken Steps Down Amid Allegations, Seat Starts Likely Democratic
Minnesota Senator resigns after colleagues call for his exit

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and his wife Franni, leave the Capitol on Thursday, after Franken announced on the Senate floor that he will resign his seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Al Franken’s resignation puts another Democratic seat into the 2018 mix, but it’s still unclear whether his departure provides Republicans with a legitimate takeover opportunity.

To handicap a race, it’s helpful to know where the contest will take place and who is running. In this case, we know the place is Minnesota, where, despite Donald Trump’s surge in the Midwest, Hillary Clinton narrowly prevailed in 2016, 46-45 percent, and where Republicans haven’t won a Senate race since Norm Coleman’s 2-point victory in 2002.

House GOP Plans to Lobby Leaders on Key Tax Provisions
Estate tax and corporate rate addressed in letters

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans are planning to pressure leaders from both chambers to maintain two key provisions in the House tax measure during conference negotiations, according to draft letters obtained by Roll Call.

The lobbying comes as the House and Senate try to bridge gaps between their two bills. While many provisions are similar, the differences in the two measures are stark and could require substantial revenue to reconcile.

Cascade of Senate Democrats Call on Franken to Resign
Messages for Franken’s departure appear coordinated

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.,is facing new calls for his resignation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly simultaneously, a series of Senate Democratic women issued calls for Democratic Sen. Al Franken to resign Wednesday morning including Patty Murray, a trusted lieutenant to Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and rising star Kamala Harris.

They were followed quickly by several Senate Democratic men and the head of the national Democratic Party.

Victorious McConnell Praises GOP Team Effort on Taxes
The leader says he does not expect a tough conference

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leaves the Mansfield room after the Senate Republicans' lunch with President Donald Trump on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 2:28 a.m. | This time, just about everything went according to plan for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Kentucky Republican, who months ago came up just short of passing a bill through his chamber to roll back the 2010 health care law, got 51 Republicans behind the sweeping tax overhaul that passed in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

12 House Republicans Sign Letter Opposing Arctic Drilling
The proposal, not included in the House-passed tax bill, remains in the Senate version on floor

Reindeer wander off at the end of the Senate Democrats’ news conference and rally opposing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge at the Capitol on Thursday. A number of activists dressed up as polar bears and reindeer for the event. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A dozen House Republicans, half of whom voted for the House tax overhaul bill that passed Nov. 13, wrote a letter to GOP leaders urging them not to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, adding another complication to negotiating a tax bill that can pass both chambers.

The Senate tax overhaul bill is tied in a reconciliation measure with legislation that would open up drilling parts of the ANWR. Its inclusion is seen as key to having secured GOP Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s support for the measure.