This week: Rosenstein set to meet with House GOP
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Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinMueller’s real challenge Graham vows to push Trump’s AG pick through Judiciary Committee House GOP set to grill Comey MORE is set to meet with House Republicans this week as part of the lingering fallout from a bombshell New York Times report.

The interview with the joint House Oversight and Judiciary Committees comes after The Times reported last month that Rosenstein had discussed wearing a wire to record Trump as part of a possible effort to seek his removal from office under the 25th Amendment.

“The 11th is the date that we're shooting for. The leadership and Chairman [Bob] Goodlatte [(R-Va.)], and a number of the conservative members said it should be a transcribed interview in a closed-door setting,” Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Memo: Ayers decision casts harsh light on Trump Meadows looks to make his move Fractious GOP vows to unify in House minority MORE (R-N.C.) told Hill.TV’s “Rising” last week.


Rosenstein, a frequent target of the president’s frustration, has denied the report, but it’s raised fresh questions about how long he’ll be in the No. 2 Justice Department role as well as potential implications for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s probe into the 2016 election.

It is unclear in what format Rosenstein would meet with the lawmakers, whether as a transcribed interview as part of the investigation into the FBI and Department of Justice headed by the GOP-controlled Judiciary and Oversight Committees or as something less formal.

But the interview follows repeated calls by House Republicans for Rosenstein to answer questions about the Times report, which other outlets reported were made in jest.

“You can’t have the head of the Justice Department, (even if it’s sarcasm) talking to subordinates about recording the Commander in Chief,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus and a close ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Ayers decision casts harsh light on Trump NASA offers to show Stephen Curry evidence from moon landings Freedom Caucus calls on leadership to include wall funding, end to 'catch and release' in funding bill MORE, said last month.

The sit-down with House lawmakers comes after Trump and Rosenstein met aboard Air Force One on Monday.

"I’m not making any changes. You’d be the first to know," Trump told reporters at the White House when asked if he plans to fire the top Justice Department official.

"We actually get along," Trump said of his relationship with Rosenstein.

Trump said he had a "very nice talk" with Rosenstein aboard Air Force One, a meeting he called to discuss the deputy attorney general's future in the administration.

The highly anticipated meeting between Trump and Rosenstein had been repeatedly delayed because of Trump’s traveling and the Senate’s consideration of Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by Amgen — Supreme Court sides with Planned Parenthood, declines to take funding case | NIH to fund research into fetal tissue alternatives | Oklahoma seeks Trump approval for Medicaid work requirements Time fumbles another 'Person of the Year' by excluding Kavanaugh Trump, Mueller both make Time 'Person of the Year' shortlist MORE’s Supreme Court nomination.

"I don't want to interrupt what's happening with Judge Kavanaugh,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn last week.

Trump said at the time that he had already spoken with Rosenstein. Trump signaled last last month that he was inclined to keep Rosenstein on at the DOJ.


The Senate confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court over the weekend, but some Republicans are pushing for an investigation into how a letter from Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s first accuser, was leaked.

Republicans have questioned how the letter from Ford, which details her sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh, was made public. Ford gave the letter to Rep. Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooRepresenting patients’ voices Dem lawmaker: 'There's plenty of competent females' that can be Speaker instead of Pelosi Heritage: Repealing GOP tax law would raise taxes in every district MORE (D-Calif.), who gave the letter to Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinTime fumbles another 'Person of the Year' by excluding Kavanaugh Bottom Line Focus on Yemen, not the Saudi crown prince MORE (D-Calif.).

“I think it will be investigated,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCornyn opens door to including criminal justice bill in government funding measure The Hill's Morning Report — Trump shakes up staff with eye on 2020, Mueller probe Judd Gregg: The government goes geriatric MORE (R-Ky.) told Fox News late last week.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyBrady releases revised version of year-end tax package Overnight Health Care: House set to vote on bill targeting drug companies for overcharging Medicaid | Dems press Trump officials on pre-existing conditions | Tobacco giant invests .8B in Canadian marijuana grower House set to vote on bill cracking down on drug companies overcharging Medicaid MORE (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has asked lawyers for Ford to turn over any communications with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, or her staff, as well as any talks with Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoRubio: ‘I don’t know’ if Nauert has 'detailed knowledge' to succeed as UN ambassador Overnight Defense: Nauert tapped for UN envoy | Trump teases changes to Joint Chiefs of Staff | Trump knocks Tillerson as 'dumb as a rock' | Scathing report details Air Force failures before Texas shooting Dem senator slams Nauert's lack of 'qualifications' for UN ambassador MORE (D-Hawaii) or her staff.

Feinstein has repeatedly denied that she or her staff leaked the letter, and has noted that one of the reasons she kept it private for weeks was in an effort to respect Ford’s request for confidentiality.

But Grassley hasn’t publicly backed having an investigation into how the letter was leaked.

“You ask a legitimate question, but I’m trying to maintain the best relationship I can with Dianne Feinstein,” he told The New York Times last week. “I consider her a friend.”

Some members of the committee have backed a probe, including Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCornyn opens door to including criminal justice bill in government funding measure This week: Trump, Dems set to meet amid funding fight GOP tensions running high on criminal justice bill MORE (R-Texas), McConnell’s No. 2, and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCorker to introduce resolution holding Saudi crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi's death Cornyn opens door to including criminal justice bill in government funding measure The Hill's Morning Report — Trump shakes up staff with eye on 2020, Mueller probe MORE (R-S.C.), who could be the next committee chairman if Republicans keep the Senate and Grassley takes over the Finance Committee.

"We're going to do a wholesale, full-scale investigation of what I think was a despicable process, to deter it from happening again,” Graham told ABC News late last month.

Health insurance

Democrats are expected to force a vote on overturning a Trump administration rule expanding non-ObamaCare insurance plans.

The resolution would overturn a rule finalized in August that expanded the availability of short-term health insurance plans.

Democrats consider the plans to be “junk” insurance because they does not need to cover pre-existing conditions or follow other ObamaCare rules.

"On Wednesday we are voting to overturn these junks plans. I am eager to see whether Republicans want to support these junk plans and stick w Trump or do they want to support their constituents. I think they stick w Trump," Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzGiuliani attack on Twitter prompts backlash Bipartisan lawmakers call for investigation into VA amid issues with GI Bill benefit payments A Senate vote for Kraninger is a vote against Main Street MORE (D-Hawaii) said in a tweet on Monday. 

But Republicans argue the plans provide a cheaper option alongside ObamaCare plans.

The resolution would need to pick up Republican support to clear the Senate. GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine), who broke with their party on health care last year, have not publicly said how they will vote.


McConnell wrapped up the Senate’s rare Saturday session by filing cloture on three Trump nominees: Jeffrey Bossert Clark and Eric Dreiband to be assistant attorneys general and James Stewart to be an assistant secretary of Defense.

The move tees up the Senate to start voting on the nominations as soon as this week.

Senators are also expected to need to make a deal on nominations if the Senate wants to adjourn before the end of the month. The chamber is currently scheduled to be in session through Oct. 26.

McConnell has indicated that Democrats will need to make a deal if they want to let several vulnerable senators spend the final weeks in the lead up to the election campaigning in their home states.

“Our friends on the other side who have a number of incumbents running for reelection this year are going to want to ... recess," McConnell said at last month’s Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of conservatives in Washington.

"It won’t surprise you that I’m making my list and checking it twice," McConnell said. "That, my friends, is how we’re dealing with obstruction.”

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerFreedom Caucus calls on leadership to include wall funding, end to 'catch and release' in funding bill Push to pay congressional interns an hour gains traction with progressives House approves two-week spending measure to avert shutdown MORE (D-N.Y.) came under fire by progressive outside groups after he made a deal on nominations that let the Senate reclaim part of its August recess.

Water resources

The Senate is poised to take up the America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. McConnell has set up a vote to end debate on the legislation for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

If the bill overcomes the hurdle, senators have up to an additional 30 hours before they could take a final vote on the bill. 

House and Senate negotiators announced last month that they had gotten an agreement on what should be included in the bill, which authorizes funding for water infrastructure projects. 

“America needs comprehensive water infrastructure legislation that will cut Washington red tape, create jobs, and keep communities safe,” GOP Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.) said at the time.