This week: Rosenstein set to meet with House GOP
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Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinConservative rep slams Rosenstein's 'conflicts of interest' The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Trump, Obama head to swing states with Senate majority in balance Rosenstein to appear for House interview next week 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 MeadowsConservative rep slams Rosenstein's 'conflicts of interest' The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Trump, Obama head to swing states with Senate majority in balance Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate MORE (R-N.C.) told Hill.TV’s “Rising” last week.

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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 TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation 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 KavanaughPoll: Palin unpopular in Alaska following jab at Murkowski Fox News's Chris Wallace: ‘Preposterous’ to say Dems behind migrant caravan New York man arrested for threatening to kill senators who supported Kavanaugh 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.

Kavanaugh

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 EshooHeritage: Repealing GOP tax law would raise taxes in every district This week: Rosenstein set to meet with House GOP Timeline: Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court MORE (D-Calif.), who gave the letter to Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSen. Walter Huddleston was a reminder that immigration used to be a bipartisan issue GOP plays hardball in race to confirm Trump's court picks Feinstein would 'absolutely' reopen Kavanaugh investigation if Dems win Senate MORE (D-Calif.).

“I think it will be investigated,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMeghan McCain calls Russian attacks against her father the 'highest compliment' to her family Schumer: Fight for Senate is 'neck and neck' Nikki Haley powerfully rebuts Trump MORE (R-Ky.) told Fox News late last week.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP plays hardball in race to confirm Trump's court picks Trump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight Dems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October 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 HironoKavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight Chris Cuomo: Presumption of innocence didn't apply to Kavanaugh because it wasn't a court case Lindsey Graham hits Dem senator: 'The Hirono standard is horrific' 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 CornynFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke debate showdown Live coverage: Cruz faces O'Rourke in Texas debate showdown Trump, Feinstein feud intensifies over appeals court nominees MORE (R-Texas), McConnell’s No. 2, and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation Trump calls Saudi explanation for journalist's death credible, arrests 'good first step' 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 SchatzDem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation Graham: Saudi’s findings on slain journalist not 'credible' Overnight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Democrats, McConnell spar over entitlements | Minnesota AG sues drugmakers over insulin price hikes | CDC investigates polio-like illness 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.

Nominations

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 SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns McConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers 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.