Kansas

Senators try to punt their way out of trouble and Trump’s line of fire
It may look like a winning strategy today, but the election is still nine months away

Sen. Susan Collins suggested impeachment itself was enough to scare Donald Trump into walking the straight and narrow from now on. Has she ever met the president? Curtis asks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Don’t you just hate it when someone uses a sports metaphor to teach a life lesson? So do I, usually. But with the Super Bowl not a week in the rearview mirror, it would be impossible to ignore the concept of the punt — getting out of a tough situation by moving the ball as far as possible toward the opponent’s end zone.

If you’re playing against a Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs, you’re merely buying some time before the inevitable score. But senators using that tactic in an impeached President Donald Trump’s trial are no doubt hoping any payback comes late, or not at all.

States weigh expansion of their Medicaid programs
Several push for more individuals to be covered while others balk because of cost

Participants hold signs during the Senate Democrats’ rally against Medicaid cuts in front of the U.S. Capitol on June 6, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

State officials are seeking to change health care coverage for the nation’s poorest individuals, with Democrats trying to expand Medicaid to cover more people while Republicans aim to save costs over time.

Democratic governors in at least three states with Republican-controlled legislatures are ramping up efforts to pass legislation to expand the program. At the same time, states like Michigan have begun implementing aspects of their requirements that people receiving Medicaid work, which could lead to fewer people being covered if that is upheld in the courts.

Trump State of the Union guests highlight reelection messaging
Taxes, immigration, abortion among issues expected on campaign trail

Vice President Mike Pence claps while Speaker Nancy Pelosi rips up a copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address after his remarks to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The guest lists for the 2020 State of the Union underscored both the messages for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and the way in which congressional Democrats will be on offense against him and his GOP supporters on Capitol Hill.

From an appeal to his base through a typical hard line on immigration and Iran to a broader audience through talk of the benefits of 2017 Republican-led tax cuts and the state of the economy, the president’s guests set up a series of bullet points for the speech-writing team behind the teleprompter text.

For Trump, a State of the Union with nothing to say
President’s hardcore base craves red-meat rhetoric. Will he give it to them?

Bill Clinton’s State of the Union address in 1999, made in the midst of his impeachment trial, exemplified his ability to compartmentalize, Shapiro writes, but that’s a skill Donald Trump doesn’t possess. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — In 1999, in the midst of his impeachment trial, Bill Clinton delivered a typically verbose State of the Union Address that ran for 78 minutes. Although it surprised many at the time, Clinton did not display a glimmer of concern about his predicament or allude to impeachment in any way.

Even more than most presidents, Clinton had a rare talent to compartmentalize. But the 1999 State of the Union was more than just an artful performance by a political master of denial. At the end of his speech, Clinton actually unveiled a new political argument that shaped the final two years of his presidency.

View from the gallery: Senators pack up desks as impeachment trial nears its end
Chamber takes on a last-day-of-school vibe

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., leaves the Capitol after the conclusion of the Senate impeachment trial proceedings on Feb. 3. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer tightly hugged Rep. Adam B. Schiff just after the closing argument in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, and spoke directly into the House lead manager’s ear for about 10 seconds.

Before the New York senator let go, he gave Schiff three loud pats on the back, as a line of other Senate Democrats waited to hug the California Democrat or shake his hand.

EMILY’s List ‘hyper-focused’ on Senate elections in 2020
Abortion rights group’s leader urges voters who care about Supreme Court to get involved

EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said Thursday that Senate races are critically important in 2020. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

While the presidential race will dominate the 2020 cycle, EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock is imploring Democratic voters to recognize the importance of flipping the Senate, especially because of its role in confirming Supreme Court justices.

If President Trump wins reelection in 2020 and Republicans maintain control of the Senate, Schriock predicted a “massive fight” over the next Supreme Court vacancy.  A vacancy could further shift the ideological balance of the court, which has influence over issues including abortion, a core issue for EMILY’s List. 

House votes to curb Trump's power to attack Iran
11 Republicans join Democrats to limit presidential actions

Rep. Barbara Lee sponsored the amendment to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday passed, on bipartisan votes, two related measures designed to prevent President Donald Trump from launching military attacks on Iran.

The two votes were the latest sign of lawmakers’ growing willingness in recent years to exercise their war powers muscles after decades of disuse.

House Republicans sound fundraising alarm. What now?
Two kinds of candidates: ‘Those who raise money and losers’

Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn, shown at his 2018 campaign office in Mankato, Minn., says he raised $1 million last year for his 2020 reelection. Republican leaders are urging members to step up fundraising to keep pace with Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jim Hagedorn, a freshman Republican from Minnesota who says he raised $1 million last year, isn’t worried about fundraising.

“That’s pretty good for a rural district,” he said Tuesday outside the House chamber.

First day of Trump trial Q&A yields some questions lawyers simply can’t answer
Whistleblower questions pose challenges for both sides

House managers Adam Schiff, D-Calif., center, Jason Crow, D-Colo., left, and counsel Daniel Goldman, are seen in the Capitol Rotunda before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The first day of questions and answers in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump raised some questions that each side either couldn’t, or wouldn’t, answer. 

While many of the questions centered on well-trodden topics, some highlighted the boundaries that the House impeachment managers and the Trump defense team would not cross.

Congressional ‘gambling’ is out of control
These friendly wagers have gotten stale and could use some new energy

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exchange gifts in June as they settle a wager over an NBA basketball championship game between her Golden State Warriors and his victorious Toronto Raptors. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Politicians have a gambling problem.

Mayors do it. So do governors and even prime ministers. But members of Congress are the worst offenders, and they’re getting out of control.