After a long, heated summer, both houses of Congress have now left town for recess. Here’s your recap of the past week.
This week’s new focus: Tax time on the Hill
With last week’s health care failure in the history books, the GOP turns its efforts to your tax bill. So, IF they can get it together, we might be paying a little less to Uncle Sam next spring … even though the biggest obstacle to economic growth right now is still Obamacare … and the White House no longer has a communications director to sell the idea. There are three guarantees in life: death, taxes, and Republican messaging fumbles.
Meanwhile, the House Freedom Caucus is sanding down some of its budget demands.
I asked one congressman what the most important part of tax reform is, and gave him 30 seconds to answer.
The most important part of tax reform in 30 seconds
What’s the most important tax reform? Nate Madden gave conservative Rep. Dave Brat 30 seconds to cut through the swampy spin and tell you which tax reform Republicans NEED to pass and why YOU should care.Posted by CRTV on Wednesday, August 2, 2017
This week's immigration:
Tom Cotton and David Perdue appeared with Trump at the White House to push the RAISE Act, which would limit low-skilled immigration and focus U.S. immigration policy toward a more merit-based system.
Meanwhile, as the rate of illegal immigrant deportations increases, Congress wants more immigration judges to handle the backlog of cases.
Liberal media types are freaking out about the Trump-backed RAISE Act. But what does it do? (Hint to Jim Acosta: It has nothing to do with changing “ethnic demographics.”)
This week’s controversy: Flake takes flak for book
Nevertheless, the saga has persisted, with some apparently trying to make support of the senator the new battle line in a Republican civil war.
And despite all the newfound attention, his poll numbers don’t look that good back home.
This week’s nomination watch
Before closing shop Thursday, the Senate confirmed a whopping 65 Trump nominees to administration positions.
Earlier in the week, the Senate also approved another Trump nominee, putting Chris Wray in charge of the FBI.
Congress is also helping President Trump outpace his predecessors on confirming federal judges. But keep in mind, some of those other open slots are going to be harder to fill than you might think.
With Gen. John Kelly now in as WH chief of staff, the Senate will have to confirm a new pick to run DHS. CR’s Jordan Schachtel has a breakdown of the frontrunners.
This week’s election watch
GOP Rep. Diane Black is running for governor of Tennessee. If she wins the governorship, the powerful House Budget Committee chairmanship becomes an open seat.
Down south, McConnell tries to handpick Jeff Sessions’ Senate replacement in Alabama, while a Democrat challenger has appeared for GOP Congressman Carlos Curbelo in FL-26.
Meanwhile, Dems appear to be giving breathing room to candidates who don’t follow the party’s pro-abortion orthodoxy, and the sword of Damocles is still hovering over Nancy Pelosi’s leadership role in the party.
This week’s Russia news: Mueller assembles grand jury amid calls for resignation
Earlier in the week, GOP Congressman Trent Franks said special counsel Bob Mueller is breaking the law by investigating President Trump, and is calling on him to resign.
This week’s “duh” moments
Paul Ryan says Republican voters will not turn out in 2018 if “we don’t do our job.”
A new poll finds that the GOP ticked off a lot of its voters by fumbling health care. Go figure.
This week’s insight
This week’s health care headaches
Susan Collins is reveling in her vote to keep Obamacare last week. The Republican governor of her home state isn’t.
Claire McCaskill says she’s “open” to a socialized health care system that could cost an estimated $32 trillion.
Meanwhile, insurers in Idaho are asking to hike up premiums by as much as 81 percent.
This week’s big idea
This week’s feet to the fire
This week’s black-robed legislature
Off the Hill:
A lot of people want to ditch the 17th Amendment, and you should, too.