Wyoming

Trump EPA answer to Obama Clean Power Plan ‘does virtually nothing‘ to curb CO2
The new rule combines a Clean Power Plan repeal with new, less stringent emissions reductions guidelines

A flag hangs over an entrance to the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington on April 22, 2017. The EPA finalized a rule Wednesday that would replace the Obama administration’s signature carbon emissions plan, scrapped by President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The EPA finalized a rule Wednesday that would replace the Obama administration’s signature carbon emissions plan and give states more flexibility in emissions reduction, even as environmental advocates worry about the potential for increased pollution and threaten to sue.

The Affordable Clean Energy rule is the Trump EPA’s answer to the 2015 Clean Power Plan, which for the first time set nationwide limits on greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants across the country.

Trump — not lawmakers — set to be biggest challenge for new legislative affairs chief Ueland
No matter who runs Hill shop, president’s approach is ‘very unlikely to yield results,’ expert says

Wyoming Sen. Michael B. Enzi, right, introduces Eric Ueland at his confirmation hearing to be under secretary of State for management in September 2017. That nomination was later withdrawn, but Ueland will be President Donald Trump’s third legislative affairs director, starting Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Eric Ueland, hand-picked by President Donald Trump to be his third legislative affairs director, has decades of experience in the D.C. “swamp” his soon-to-be boss loathes. But the former senior GOP aide will quickly learn it is the president alone who is, as one official put it Thursday, “the decider.”

Ueland has been chief of staff to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and a Senate Budget Committee staff director. Experts and former officials describe him as highly qualified for the tough task of being the messenger between Trump and a Congress with a Democrat-controlled House that regularly riles up the president and a Senate where Republicans lack votes to pass most major legislation.

Sen. Rand Paul’s austere budget plan goes down in Senate
Kentucky Republican said his plan would reverse a trajectory of ever-rising deficits in coming years

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., arrives in the Capitol for the weekly Senate Republican policy lunch on May 7, 2019. The Senate blocked consideration Monday of a bill by Paul that would require trillions of dollars in spending cuts over the coming decade to bring about a balanced budget. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate blocked consideration Monday of a bill by Sen. Rand Paul that would require trillions of dollars in spending cuts over the coming decade to bring about a balanced budget.

On a procedural vote of 22-69, the Senate refused to advance a budget plan that the Kentucky Republican said would reverse a trajectory of ever-rising deficits in coming years. “Today, the U.S. Senate can vote to put a stop to it and change course,” Paul said in a statement.

GOP blew Obamacare repeal, not us, former CBO director says
Keith Hall said if anyone is to blame for Republicans’ failure to repeal the health care law, it’s Republicans themselves

Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., left, speaks with Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall in January. Enzi, who took the lead in selecting the CBO director this year, chose not to reappoint Hall. The outgoing director said in an interview that if anyone is to blame for Republicans’ failure to repeal the health care law, dubbed Obamacare, it’s Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Outgoing Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall held his fire when the agency was under attack in 2017 for estimating that a repeal of the 2010 health care law would throw millions of people off health insurance.

Now that he is leaving the agency, he can speak more freely. In an interview in his office last week, Hall said if anyone is to blame for Republicans’ failure to repeal the health care law, it’s Republicans themselves.

Trump administration lifts summer restrictions on higher-ethanol gasoline
Lifting the rule delivers a lifeline to soybean farmers hit hard by the president’s tariff war with China and by recent flooding in the Midwest

The EPA on Friday announced a proposal to ease an annual requirement for ethanol in gasoline. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

The Trump administration on Friday finalized at the 11th hour a rule that would allow expanded sales of higher ethanol gasoline, even as the oil industry prepares to challenge the change in court.

The rule opening up year-round sales of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol, or E15, would deliver a lifeline to soybean farmers hit hard by the president’s tariff war with China and by recent flooding in the Midwest that deluged farms.

DC statehood bill set for hearing with new backing from Hoyer
House majority leader’s support means Democrats united, but action in GOP-led Senate unlikely

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the House Committee on Oversight and Reform will hold a hearing on making the district a state. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The District of Columbia statehood movement is heading to Capitol Hill this summer, now backed for the first time by Marylander and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer. The chamber’s Oversight and Reform Committee has scheduled a July 24 hearing on legislation that would make the District the 51st state.

The measure is sponsored by Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington’s nonvoting representative in the House, who announced the hearing Thursday at an event at the D.C. War Memorial on the National Mall. She was joined by the District’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

Disaster bill negotiators drop divisive harbor fund provision
Senate and House negotiators hoping for a deal before Memorial Day recess

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., says it would be an “awful conclusion” if Congress fails to pass a disaster relief bill before Memorial Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:06 p.m. | Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby said he has pulled his divisive proposed change in the Harbor Maintenance Fund from consideration in the long-stalled disaster and border supplemental package after meeting with President Donald Trump.

The Alabama Republican also said Trump appeared to support the level of border funding in the package, and White House officials indicated they see the emergency legislation becoming law soon.

Swagel officially chosen for CBO director, replacing Hall
Ex-George W. Bush administration official will take over June 3

Departing CBO Director Keith Hall, right, here with Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi in 2018, has been serving in a temporary capacity since January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Phillip L. Swagel, an economist with extensive service in the George W. Bush administration, has been appointed the new director of the Congressional Budget Office.

Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi and House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth announced the appointment, which begins June 3.

Geraldo Rivera — of all people — defends Rep. Tlaib over Holocaust comments
Democratic congresswoman’s original comments have been taken out of context ‘in a grotesque way,’ Republican Fox News commentator says

Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera defended comments about the Israel-Palestine conflict made by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Fox News correspondent and liberal  commentator Geraldo Rivera on Tuesday flew to the defense of Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who said on a podcast aired last week that the notion of Palestinians providing a haven for Holocaust victims after World War II has a “calming effect” for her.

Rivera, the prominent talk show host, echoed the Michigan Democratic freshman’s assertions that she has been taken out of context by people eager to unfairly smear her as an anti-Semite.

Sources: Swagel to replace Hall as CBO director
Senate Budget Chairman Enzi expected to announce appointment later this week

CBO Director Keith Hall, right, was said to be interested in serving another term, but Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi opted to go in a different direction. He’s expected to name Phillip L. Swagel as Hall’s successor later this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate and House budget leaders have chosen Phillip L. Swagel, a University of Maryland economist and former Treasury official in the George W. Bush administration, as the next director of the Congressional Budget Office, according to several sources with knowledge of the discussions.

Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi spearheaded the selection and is expected to announce the appointment later this week.