Author: PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN

Schumer's letter kicks off negotiations for Senate impeachment trial

The Senate impeachment trial is starting to get real. After weeks of senators seemingly ducking or dodging the Mack truck headed the chamber's way, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer kicked the preparations for next year's trial into gear Sunday night by laying out Democratic demands for how that trial should actually look. Let the negotiations begin.

Congressional negotiators reach deal on spending levels

The top two appropriators in Congress clinched a deal on topline spending levels that should clear the way for at least some of the 12 spending bills to be passed and signed into law before the December 20 deadline, according to two aides with direct knowledge.

Negotiating an end to the government shutdown: What's plan B?

Lawmakers and aides are looking at the looming failure Thursday of competing proposals to reopen the government as the most positive thing to happen in 34 days of government shutdown morass. Yes, that's an indication of how bad things still are between the two sides, but as one GOP official put it to CNN: "We're all desperate to be optimistic about anything at this point, so I'll take it."

Little progress seen on shutdown as talks continue

A bipartisan Senate "gang" entered Wednesday hoping to pull together a proposal that could garner the votes (and presidential support) to re-open the government, while the White House will take a second swing at convincing rank-and-file Democrats to peel away from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Five days to go to fund the government

The federal government faces a partial shutdown in five days and nobody on Capitol Hill -- Republican allies of President Donald Trump or Democratic opponents -- has any idea what the President will or won't accept in terms of a deal. Congressional Democrats laid out their government funding proposals last week and haven't moved from them. Congressional Republicans have been waiting since then for guidance from the White House on next steps -- a counter proposal? A short-term punt? S

How Kavanaugh explains baseball ticket debt

Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee who has drawn scrutiny from Democrats for the thousands of dollars of credit card debt incurred by purchasing baseball tickets, says he was paid by friends for the cost of the tickets "to the dollar."

Schumer requests Kavanaugh's records from Bush White House

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer escalated on Friday the ongoing partisan fight over documents related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's career, sending a letter to President George W. Bush asking him to authorize and make public the release of all documents related to Kavanaugh's time in the Bush White House -- including in the position of staff secretary.

Supreme Court state-of-play on Capitol Hill

President Donald Trump will announce his Supreme Court nominee at 9 p.m. As of this moment, nobody on Capitol Hill knows the selection, according to several senior aides (which, of course, makes sense given the president himself said he hadn't finalized the selection as of Sunday evening).

Senate may deal Trump trade defeat on ZTE

The Senate is on the verge of directly undercutting a key piece of President Donald Trump's trade negotiations with China, as a bipartisan group of lawmakers successfully pushed for the inclusion of a bill to undo a deal to save Chinese telecom ZTE.