Joanna Anderson

Felicia Marcus: Controlling the Spigot in California
She directs a crucial policy intersection in a state battling drought

Someone who likes to make enemies would be hard-pressed to find a more perfect job than running the agency that tells folks in parched California that they can’t water their lawns.  

But Felicia Marcus, who has that job, says she doesn’t like to make enemies. She says she likes to listen.  

Madeleine Albright to Guest Star on ‘Madam Secretary’

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will share the small-screen with her fictional counterpart this fall on the CBS drama "Madam Secretary. "  

The one-time secretary of State will appear as herself to advise the show’s top diplomat — Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord — on “a sticky situation … threatening to fracture her relationship with [faux] President Conrad Dalton,” CBS said in a statement.  

Al Franken: Still a Jokester

Minnesota Democrat Al Franken reminded his fellow senators of his comedic roots on Thursday, taking a pointed jab at the Judiciary Committee’s new GOP majority.  

The “Saturday Night Live” alum, who joined the Senate in 2009, called Republicans chronically lazy for skipping the panel’s routine markup sessions, now and in the last Congress. Roughly 25 minutes into Thursday’s meeting, senators had finished debate but were still lacking the attendance level needed to officially advance legislation on child pornography victims and public access to government information. Then, Franken arrived to push attendance over the tipping point.  

White House Body-Camera Grant Modeled on Lapsed DOJ Program

The White House proposal for new grants to help police buy body-worn cameras is modeled on an existing bulletproof-vest grant program, a senior administration official said when the community-policing plan was unveiled in December.

Democrats Plan Police Body-Camera Legislation

Two similar Democratic proposals to equip more police officers with body-worn cameras should come into better focus within days, as details emerge on a White House initiative as well as a prominent African-American lawmaker’s legislation in the House.

Clinton Library Papers Show Kagan Dropping an F-Bomb

Papers from the Clinton White House released Friday detail much of the behind-the-scenes legal work of the White House as President Bill Clinton dealt with multiple scandals and controversies in his second term.

C-J-S Bill Advances After Democratic Gun Provisions Turned Aside

House appropriators advanced a measure Thursday to fund the Justice and Commerce departments, along with science agencies, after endorsing a GOP gun proposal and sidelining a series of Democratic firearm policy amendments.

Immigration Prospects Brighter for Young DREAMers

Young backers of a sweeping immigration overhaul brought a palpable optimism with them to Washington on Tuesday. It was a far cry from the scene almost three years ago when the long-sought DREAM Act fell short in a lame-duck Senate session....
Spotlight Turns to Reid in Gun Control Debate

All eyes now shift to Harry Reid. With the Senate Judiciary Committee completing its work on a series of gun measures Thursday, the majority leader must determine his strategy for how the full chamber will move forward in response to last year’s Connecticut school shooting.

Reid told reporters Thursday that he has conferred with Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt. “He and I are going to sit down, find out now what has been reported out of the committee and what we need to put together as a base bill to start legislating on the Senate floor,” the Nevada Democrat said.

Senate Panel Advances Gun-Trafficking Bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed legislation Thursday to crack down on gun traffickers, casting the first congressional vote to tighten gun laws following the December mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

The panel approved, 11-7, an amended bill (S 54) designed to stop “straw purchasing” of firearms — the act of buying guns for those not legally allowed to have them. That effort has emerged as the proposal most likely to garner bipartisan support in the ongoing gun violence debate on Capitol Hill.

Senate Republicans Block Obama Court Nominee

Senators on Wednesday again blocked President Barack Obama’s pick of Caitlin J. Halligan to serve on an influential District of Columbia court amid accusations she supports an anti-gun agenda.

The target of a GOP filibuster in 2011, Halligan had already drawn objections over Second Amendment issues, and the mercurial congressional climate on gun rights that has prevailed since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings served only to heighten the controversy.

House Clears Renewal of Domestic Violence Law

The House cleared an update of the Violence Against Women Act on Thursday, sending the measure to President Barack Obama after a protracted yearlong push to extend the law.

House lawmakers voted 286-138 to endorse a bipartisan reauthorization (S 47) of the law that the Senate passed earlier this month. The final vote to clear the measure came after the House rejected a Republican alternative that fell flat with many in the GOP caucus.

House Expected to Pass Senate Version of VAWA

The House is expected to give in to Democratic pressure Thursday and pass the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act after failing to find a substitute that can garner the support of a majority of its members.

The Senate passed its bill (S 47) earlier this month with broad bipartisan support. But it includes language unpalatable to many Republicans, including opening domestic violence protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims and allowing tribal authorities to try non-tribal offenders if they commit a crime on an Indian reservation.

Senate Queues Up Passage of Domestic Violence Law Renewal

Senators are poised to pass a domestic violence law rewrite next week without a clear endgame on tribal court provisions, the central sticking point in negotiations with the House.

On Thursday, the Senate rejected a GOP alternative to the bipartisan bill (S 47) that would renew and update the 1994 law known as the Violence Against Women Act. Senators will vote early next week on a half-dozen amendments and final passage of the five-year renewal of the law (PL 103-322), which combats domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Kerry Nomination Backed by Senate

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry won the overwhelming endorsement of his colleagues Tuesday to be the next secretary of State, and he will head across town to Foggy Bottom in days.

The Senate voted 94-3 to confirm President Barack Obama’s pick to take over for Hillary Rodham Clinton, with Republicans Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas and James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma voting against the nomination.

Leahy Sets Guns, Immigration and Domestic Violence as Judiciary Committee Priorities

Gun control, immigration and a push to update domestic-violence laws will headline an aggressive Senate Judiciary agenda this year, the panel’s chairman said Wednesday.

In two weeks, the committee will “begin examining possible remedies to tragedies like last month’s shootings in Newtown,” Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., told an audience at Georgetown University Law Center.

McConnell, GOP Senators Side With Democrats on Spending Limits

The top Senate Republican agreed today to stick with a spending cap set in the August debt limit law, putting him at odds with House GOP leaders.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) joined Democrats and all but two GOP appropriators in setting total discretionary spending for fiscal 2013 at $1.047 trillion, the limit established under the Budget Control Act.