Charles E Grassley

‘Medicare for All’ keeps defining 2020 political landscape
Progressive health care plan could become point of contention as campaign heats up

From left, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., at an event Wednesday to introduce the “Medicare for All Act of 2019.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The “Medicare for All” bill that presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders released Wednesday is more likely to be litigated on the campaign trail than in the halls of Congress. And it highlights a rare political divide among Democrats on one of their marquee issues even as the party seeks to appear unified.

Supporters of the Vermont independent are vying with Democrats who prefer to expand and protect the 2010 health care law. Those differences have recently been overshadowed by larger fights between the two parties after the Trump administration broadened its position in a high-profile lawsuit by calling to strike down the entire 2010 law.

Treasury won’t meet deadline to release Trump tax returns
Mnuchin says more time is needed to review lawmakers’ request

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says more time is needed to review a request for President Donald Trump’s tax returns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he needed more time to review House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal’s request for six years of President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

Mnuchin wrote in a letter Wednesday to Neal, D-Mass., that he would personally supervise the review and that he would consult with the Justice Department. Wednesday was the deadline set by Neal in a request to IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig on April 3.

This Iowa farmer has his finger on the 2020 pulse
Hint: It’s Chuck Grassley

Charles E. Grassley’s sway over tariffs and trade may help the GOP senator save President Donald Trump from himself. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — The eyes of the world are again on Iowa, hallowed political ground that punches far above the weight of its six electoral votes.

The state’s senior senator, Charles E. Grassley, a Republican now in his seventh term, says Hawkeye State voters “want people that don’t have extreme right or left views.” It’s also simple math: Democrats and Republicans each make up less than one-third of Iowa’s registered voters, so winning over independents is critical.

Grassley sees chance to pass infrastructure, drug price legislation
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 106

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks with reporters as he arrives for the Senate Republicans' lunch in the Capitol. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Thanks to Mueller, foreign agents come under greater scrutiny
New focus on the influence business is no ‘flash in the pan’

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn filed a retroactive foreign agent registration after leaving the White House and later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images file photo)

The special counsel’s nearly two-year probe of Russian interference in the 2016 elections may have let the president himself mostly off the hook, but one sector emerged positively scathed: international lobbying.

Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation resulted in the convictions of onetime lobbyists, of course, but more consequentially, it put an unprecedented glare on the sometimes shadowy foreign influence campaigns that play out on U.S. soil — and the disclosure rules of those engagements.

Ways and Means chairman asks for Trump’s tax returns
Richard Neal sets a deadline of April 10 for the IRS

Richard Neal, chairman of the House Ways and Means panel, is turning up the heat on Trump’s tax returns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal formally asked the IRS Wednesday for six years of President Trump’s tax returns and set a deadline of April 10 to get the documents.

Signaling a fight ahead, Trump told reporters later he was “not inclined” to comply with Neal’s demand.

Trump would veto tariffs-limiting legislation, Kudlow says
White House is ‘fully’ behind controversial Federal Reserve nominee

National Economic Council Director Lawrence Kudlow says the president would veto legislation targeting the administration’s tariff policy. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The White House is poised for new battles with Congress over possible legislation targeting President Donald Trump’s tariff policy and a contentious Federal Reserve nominee.

Some key Republicans have joined Democrats in urging the president to drop his national security tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, with Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, saying recently he expects bipartisan compromise legislation “in the coming weeks” that would slap on time limits on the tariffs.

Trump’s border threats complicate trade pact talks
Replacement for NAFTA already faces assortment of challenges on Capitol Hill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is suggesting the USMCA may need enforcement changes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump administration’s sales pitch for a new trade deal with America’s northern and southern neighbors has a long way to go, and the president’s threat to close the U.S. border with Mexico does not appear to be helping matters.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday amid renewed concern he may seek to shut down the flow of traffic between the two countries, a move that would by definition make free trade impossible.

In prelude to nuclear option, Senate rejects speeding up confirmation of nominees
McConnell now expected to move forward with only Republican support

President Donald Trump alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate inched closer Tuesday to Republicans using the “nuclear option” to slash the time for debate on the vast majority of judicial and executive nominations.

Senators blocked, 51-48, an effort by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring up a resolution that would have set a new standing order. The support of 60 senators would have been needed to advance the debate.

Ways and Means considers major changes to retirement savings incentives
Much of the bill, approved by the committee Tuesday, recycles provisions from previous Congresses

Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and ranking member Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, talk before a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on U.S.-China trade relations in Longworth Building on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The third time may be the charm for a 122-page collection of retirement benefit tweaks that died in the last two Congresses but has become a top priority for House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal.

Much of the bill that the Ways and Means Committee approved Tuesday recycles provisions from previous Congresses. One major change would make it easier for small businesses to band together to offer retirement benefits, while offering tax credits to defray the start-up costs.