Katherine Tully-McManus

Rep. Trone calls for Naloxone training for House members and staff 

Rep. David Trone is calling on Congress’ Office of the Attending Physician to provide information and training about carrying and administering the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone.

“I urge you, in your capacity as Attending Physician, to provide naloxone information and training to interested congressional offices,” he wrote in a letter Wednesday to Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician.

Rayburn evacuated after alarms sound throughout building
The exact cause of the alarm and evacuation is not yet known

Lawmakers, staff and visitors were evacuated for almost two hours on Tuesday afternoon after fire alarms sounded throughout the Rayburn House Office Building.

Capitol Police and Architect of the Capitol staff were on the scene, including a fire marshal and emergency management personnel. Staff was evacuated at about 1:30 p.m. and allowed to return after 3:15 p.m. 

Activists urging Congress to impeach Trump arrested in Cannon
About 20 protesters were arrested as they attempted to “occupy” the Cannon rotunda

A group of activists attempted to “occupy” the Cannon rotunda Tuesday morning before approximately 20 people were arrested by Capitol Police.

The protesters were calling for the House to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

House Democrats telegraph policy priorities in Capitol Hill funding
Comparison of previous GOP, current Dem spending choices show differences

Empowered by their control of the House, Democrats are telegraphing their policy priorities in how they plan to spend taxpayer dollars on Capitol Hill, including exploring student debt relief options and employing Dreamers in Congress.

The fiscal 2020 House Legislative Branch Appropriations bill is signaling what types of issues Democrats want to be talking about and working on, both for their constituents back home and right here on Capitol Hill.

House spending panel advances measure boosting congressional funding

The House Appropriations Committee advanced a $3.97 billion fiscal 2020 Legislative Branch spending measure Thursday, following tension over total funding levels and the absence of a final budget agreement.

The panel voted 28-22 to report the draft bill to the floor, which would provide $164 million more than enacted fiscal 2019 levels.

Just where is this secret House jail located?
A Capitol basement investigation yielded some answers

Speaker Nancy Pelosi resurfaced one of the Capitol’s most enduring mysteries when answering a question about whether Democrats might imprison Trump administration officials who defy Congress: the House jail. But where is this mysterious cell?

“We do have a little jail down in the basement of the Capitol, but if we were arresting all of the people in the administration, we would have an overcrowded jail situation. And I’m not for that,” Pelosi said Wednesday at a Washington Post live event.

Lawmakers explore House-wide paid family leave policy
Appropriators request study of cost and feasibility

House lawmakers are interested in what a chamber-wide paid family leave policy would look like and how much it would cost. And staffers are likely  curious, too. Currently, paid maternity and paternity leave for congressional staff remains entirely at the whim of individual members.

“There is interest among Members of Congress to investigate the feasibility of implementing a standard House-wide paid family leave policy,” reads the committee report to accompany the fiscal 2020 House Legislative Branch Appropriations bill.

Native American representation on Capitol Hill concerns House lawmakers
Appropriators take aim at what they call offensive art and disrespectful tours

House lawmakers are raising issues about Native American representation in and around the Capitol — and they aren’t talking about the record number of Native American women in the 116th Congress.

A House Appropriations Committee report released Wednesday highlights disrespectful descriptions of Native Americans on Capitol tours and depictions in artwork around the Capitol campus, which “do not portray Native Americans as equals or Indian nations as independent sovereigns.” 

Sen. Mike Enzi announces he will retire rather than seek a fifth term
Wyoming Republican has served in the Senate for more that two decades

Wyoming Republican Michael B. Enzi announced Saturday that he will not run for re-election in 2020 after more than two decades in the Senate.

Enzi’s decision — which he announced at a press conference in Wyoming, according to the Casper Star-Tribune — opens up a seat in the strongly Republican state.

House committee renews ethics inquiries into Collins, Hunter and Schweikert
Probes of Hunter and Collins, who are under indictment, put on hold at Justice Department request

House Ethics Committee investigations into Republicans Chris Collins of New York, Duncan Hunter of California and David Schweikert of Arizona were reauthorized for the 116th Congress this week.

The Ethics Committee voted unanimously to reauthorize investigative subcommittees looking into the three lawmakers, but the panel agreed to a Justice Department request to put its probes into Collins and Hunter on hold as they battle criminal indictments.

House Ethics launches new system for fundraising exemption requests
Memo also reminds lawmakers of existing fundraising rules

The House Ethics Committee issued a memo Thursday, informing lawmakers of a new simplified way to request a waiver from fundraising rules and reminding them of exactly what those rules are.

“Please note, the circumstances under which Members, officers, and employees may engage in fundraising activities are very fact specific,” reads the memo from Chairman Ted Deutch of Florida and ranking member Kenny Marchant of Texas.

Calling all reporters to Rayburn! New press space unveiled
Revamped space replaces old home base for covering hearings and markup action

After a long process of moving and renovation, the Capitol Hill press corps is working in a dedicated space in the Rayburn House Office Building, replacing one that served as both time capsule and workspace.

The press area, located on the basement level across from the Rayburn cafeteria, is available to all credentialed journalists. It provides reporters with desks, wifi, power outlets and other essential elements of modern news coverage, much closer to the hearings and markups that happen in the House office buildings.

Scooter commuters of Capitol Hill, take note
Electric scooters have become a ‘safety and security concern’ for Capitol Police

Electric scooters have been on the scene in Washington for more than a year, but they’re starting to raise safety and security concerns on Capitol Hill.

The two-wheelers have grown in popularity as a commuting option for congressional staffers, tourists and other visitors, especially as the weather warms up. Rep. Vicky Hartzler tweeted out her observation that scooters may be rivaling bikes in terms of two-wheeled transport.

Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa to retire May 31
Top cop exits after a 34-year career in law enforcement

Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa announced Wednesday that he will retire from the force on May 31, after a 34-year career in law enforcement and three years leading the force.

“One of the proudest days of my life was when I was sworn-in as Chief of Police. I want to thank the Capitol Police Board for giving me the opportunity to lead the employees of the United States Capitol Police. Leading the Department has been the capstone of my career. It has been an honor to serve the Congress and the Department since September 12, 1986,” he wrote in a letter to the Capitol Police Board.

Legislative Branch spending bill opens door for employing Dreamers on Capitol Hill
$3.9 billion measure would boost funding for interns, revive defunct technology office

Democrats touted the revival of the defunct Office of Technology Assessment and the legal employment of so-called Dreamers in the $3.94 billion House Legislative Branch Appropriations bill they released Tuesday.

The fiscal 2020 proposal includes an overall proposed increase of $135 million, or 3.6 percent more than the current funding level, according to a summary. The Legislative Branch subcommittee is set to take up the bill at a markup on Wednesday.

$15 an hour ‘living wage’ for interns in district offices and Capitol Hill introduced in House
The bill would permanently authorize funding, which could also be used in district offices

Forty House lawmakers are calling for a “living wage” for House interns, and an expansion of where funds set aside to pay interns can be used — including in district offices.

The proposal was introduced last week by Washington Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith. It would permanently authorize funding to pay interns an allowance, and it would permit offices to use intern compensation funds to pay them in district offices.

Former Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, foreign policy giant, dies
Lugar sat for decades on the Senate Relations Committee, which he led twice as chairman

Former Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, a Republican foreign policy leader, died Sunday. He was 87.

Lugar’s career focused on foreign policy and national security issues, including efforts to secure and dismantle nuclear arsenals of former Soviet states following the Cold War.

Office of Congressional Ethics starts year with a whisper, not a bang
OCE board appointees not announced until first quarter was nearly over

The Office of Congressional Ethics took no actions in the first quarter of the 116th Congress, due in part to its board not being filled until mid-March.

On March 18, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced appointees for the 116th Congress, including former Reps. David Skaggs, D-Colo., who now chairs OCE; Karan English, D-Ariz.; Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga.; and Mike Barnes, D-Md., who serves as an alternate. Allison Hayward, a conservative law professor and McCarthy pick, is the newly appointed co-chair.

IG Report: Some members of Congress sexually harassed night-shift custodians
Architect of the Capitol officials accused of creating ‘culture of permissibility’

Members of Congress allegedly sexually harassed night shift custodial staff while they cleaned their offices. Sexual harassment prevention training went off the rails. And the Architect of the Capitol has no unified system for effectively tracking complaints and resolutions of sexual harassment cases.

These are just some of the findings in a recent inspector general’s report on sexual harassment within the AOC in the last decade.

The bells of Congress, they are a-changin’
Architect of the Capitol eyes replacement ‘legislative call system’ of bells and clocks

There’s a new tempo coming to Capitol Hill, as plans move forward to replace the bells and clocks of the legislative call system. That means the familiar buzzes and blinking lights that have ruled the corridors for years could be changing.

The Architect of the Capitol is looking to commission the development, design and installation of a revamped system. It will work alongside the existing network used to alert members of Congress and staff to action on the floor.