Senate Sends 2,232-Page Omnibus Spending Bill to Trump
Passage follows House action Thursday, the day after text was unveiled

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul delayed votes on the omnibus to take time to review the legislation, but the Senate finally cleared the spending bill early Wednesday morning. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate cleared the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package early Friday, less than 24 hours ahead of what would have been a government shutdown.

Following the 65-32 vote, north of the 60 votes needed for passage, the bill now heads to President Donald Trump for his expected signature.

Ethics Committee Finds Rush, Gutiérrez in Violation
Free office space and misuse of funds at issue

Illinois Rep. Bobby L. Rush is alleged to have accepted free office space in Chicago over the course of two decades, a House Ethics inquiry found. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee released two separate findings Thursday involving Illinois Democrats implicated in separate infractions.

The panel found that Rep. Bobby L. Rush has improperly accepted free office space in a Chicago shopping center over the course of two decades, while Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez used his member’s representational allowance — his congressional office’s set budget — to pay former chief of staff, Doug Scofield, through his communications firm.

Trump Replaces McMaster With Hawkish Bolton
Three-star general will retire from Army this summer

National security adviser H.R. McMaster speaks about the situation in Syria during a discussion at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on March 15. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster is leaving the White House as President Donald Trump brings in his third national security adviser in 14 months amid signals the president is poised to execute a West Wing purge.

A White House official said Trump and McMaster mutually agreed on the resignation. 

At the Races: I Will Survive - The Dan Lipinski Story
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns


This week … general election matchups were set in Illinois, Mississippi got a new senator and California primary fields took shape.

To the Moon and Beyond! — Mission to Mars Funding in Omnibus
Goal is to put an astronaut on the red planet during Trump’s time in the White House

NASA for years has been planning long-range space exploration to the moon and Mars. Back in 2006, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, Associate Administrator Scott Horowitz, and Constellation Program Manager Jeffrey Hanley discussed the Constellation Program, the space agency’s plan for robotic and human exploration of the moon and Mars. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is hoping to land a U.S. astronaut on Mars during his tenure in the White House, and Congress is prepared to continue to back up that mission.

The fiscal 2018 spending bill would provide $1.35 billion in funding for the Orion Spacecraft at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The program, which received the same level of funding for fiscal 2017, is aimed at building a vehicle for deep-space travel, including the moon and Mars.

Waiting for an Omnibus to Arrive
Lawmakers show off their acumen for theater on the floor

The Capitol is wrapped up in trying to pass the omnibus this week, the long-delayed conclusion to the fiscal 2018 spending process. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome to Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

The slow-rolling public health disaster that is the opioid epidemic is finally getting Washington’s attention. Earlier this week, President Donald Trump trekked to New Hampshire to tout his plan to address the crisis and the omnibus spending bill slogging through Congress puts some real money into plans to help those in need. 

House Passes $1.3 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill, Starting Process to Avert Shutdown
Massive measure was released the night before the vote, so members didn’t have time to read it

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., walks through Statuary Hall on his way to his office after the House voted to proceed with the omnibus funding bill Thursday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday passed a $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill, starting the process for averting a government shutdown and ending government funding by stopgap. 

The vote was 256-167. The bill includes funding boosts for defense that Republicans sought, as well as for domestic programs on the nondefense side of the ledger that Democrats sought. 

Outside Groups See Validation of 2018 Strategy in Lipinski-Newman Race
Allies of both Newman and Lipinski celebrated this week’s close result

First-time candidate Marie Newman, center, narrowly lost a primary to Rep. Dan Lipinski. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Outside groups that spent on either side of Tuesday’s close Democratic primary in Illinois’ 3rd District are feeling energized by the results as they look ahead to the midterms and beyond.

Seven-term Rep. Daniel Lipinski narrowly defeated first-time candidate Marie Newman on Tuesday in a race that only looked competitive in the final months of the campaign. He finished with 51 percent of the vote to Newman’s 49 percent

Paul Ryan Says He’s Done ‘A Phenomenal Job’ Restoring Regular Order
Speaker blames rushed omnibus process on Democrats, deadlines and a funeral

Speaker Paul D. Ryan says Republicans have done a “phenomenal job” when it comes to restoring so-called regular order to the House. Also pictured, from left, Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan thinks he’s lived up to his promise to open up debate on legislation and restore so-called regular order in the House, blaming the rushed process of the fiscal 2018 omnibus on Democrats, deadlines and a funeral. 

“By and large, we’ve done a phenomenal job,” the Wisconsin Republican said when asked if he feels he’s delivered on the promises he made to House Republicans when taking over as speaker in 2015.

Cramer’s Son Dies at 35 After Kidney and Liver Failure
North Dakota Republican just launched his bid for Senate

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N. D., said his other son’s birthday is also on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota announced Thursday the death of his son, Isaac Cramer.

Cramer died at the Mayo Clinic Methodist Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, the congressman announced in a Facebook post. He was 35.

Trump Orders Tariffs on Chinese Goods Over ‘Economic Aggression’
Penalties could cool U.S. president‘s relations with Xi

The flags of the United States and China on a table when the countries’ military leaders met in 2014. On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced tariffs on some Chinese goods. (U.S. Army Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump intends to slap new tariffs and other penalties on Chinese goods in response to what U.S. officials contend is Beijing’s practice of stealing technology and companies’ information.

Senior White House officials described Trump as giving Chinese leaders months to alter its practices, only to conclude they have no intention of doing so. Officials said the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations “worked very hard” to improve trade relations with Beijing, but ultimately had only “failed dialogues” to show for those efforts.

House Narrowly Passes Rule to Begin Debate on Omnibus
Some Freedom Caucus members join Democrats in voting against it

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows and former chairman Jim Jordan are leading their group's charge against the omnibus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House on Thursday narrowly passed a rule to begin debate on the $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill, a more-than-2200 page measure GOP leaders had released just the previous night.

Several members of the hard-line conservative House Freedom Caucus joined Democrats in voting against the rule, which set up a single hour of debate and blocked amendments to the bill. The final tally was 211-207. 

DCCC Adds Two Black Candidates to Red to Blue
Women now make up the majority of 33 candidates in program

Texas Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones made the DCCC’s Red to Blue list. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is releasing its fourth round of Red to Blue candidates Thursday. 

The nine latest additions include two African-Americans. The DCCC had been criticized for not including any black candidates on the list so far this cycle.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Sasse’s crazy uncles, Larsen on coach-poaching and is Harris’ possible second book

Works crews clear snow from the East Plaza of the Capitol during the snow storm in Washington on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Judge Tosses Rep. Lujan Grisham’s Restraining Order Against Ex-Intern
Transgender intern claims she was discriminated against and fired

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., obtained a restraining order that was later thrown out against a former intern in her office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One day after Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham obtained a restraining order against a former intern who worked for her on Capitol Hill, another judge scrapped the order.

Lujan Grisham, who is vacating her seat in New Mexico’s 1st District to run for governor, said she was “fearful” of former intern Riley Del Rey, and said in court documents that she “believes Ms. Del Rey intends to cause her serious harm or her behavior will harm other people in public settings.”