Days until the 2017 election: 92
Days until the 2018 election: 456
- The House and Senate are in recess this week. Both chambers will hold pro-forma sessions, which in the Senate will prevent Trump from making recess appointments. Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Washington on Sept. 5.
- Trump left Washington on Friday for a 17-day stay at his residence at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.
- Several town hall meetings with lawmakers are scheduled for the coming days.
- In Alabama, Republicans – including Sen. Luther Strange, Rep. Mo Brooks and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore – are entering their final week of campaigning before the Aug. 15 primary for a special election.
- Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said the Republican Party is too divided to continue its efforts to pass a major health care bill. Instead, he wants lawmakers to focus on tax reform when they return next month. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) predicted that the tax debate will be easier than the health care one.
- The Trump administration had been planning to announce trade actions against China, but that announcement was delayed last week. It is not clear when the announcement will be rescheduled.
– Reps make bids for governor: POLITICO’s Heather Caygle and Kevin Robillard report that half of the 18 retiring House members are leaving Capitol Hill next year to run for governor, but their chances of winning those races may be slim. “The last time this many sitting representatives ran for governor, in 2006, twice as many lost as won. Lawmakers are motivated partly by the quest for more power – being one in a village of 435, especially in the Democratic minority, only gets you so far. They are also seeking the chance to assist or resist the Trump administration, depending on their party, in implementing new policy throughout the states,” report Caygle and Robillard. “For Democrats in particular, the choice between another term in the House minority or the chance to lead their home states can be an easy one. ‘It’s a good partnership to have folks who have federal experience, have relationships here but can be the governor of their states so they don’t execute some of these federal changes in a way that harms their citizens,’ said Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), who announced in December that she would run for governor in 2018. ‘And you would be in charge of redistricting.'”
“On the GOP side, members have watched Republican governors make political gains and pass major policy initiatives throughout the Obama administration, and they want in on the action. … Rep. Diane Black, a four-term Republican from a safe GOP seat in Tennessee, became the latest lawmaker to launch her gubernatorial campaign last week. The current House Budget chairwoman joins eight other lawmakers, as well as a handful of others who are considering runs.” Full story here.