Katherine Tully-McManus

Ocasio-Cortez Joins Protesters at Pelosi’s Office
Environment groups want commitment from Democratic to take urgent action on climate change

Protesters, joined by Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, took over Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office Tuesday and staged a sit-in calling for her to commit to urgent action on climate change.

The group of more than 100 people was organized by the environmental group Sunrise and Justice Democrats.

New Members of Congress Hit the Books in DC
It’s just like college, but with more catering

Freshly elected faces will descend on Washington on Tuesday for the start of their congressional orientation, including a new session on workplace rights on Capitol Hill. If past years are any indication, they’ll be eating tens of thousands of dollars of food.

Lunches, tours and briefings will pack the agenda, and winners from around the country will mix and mingle like freshmen on a college campus. It will be their first taste of life as a member of Congress, from interacting with media to forging relationships with their future colleagues.

Former Arizona Rep. Ron Barber Returns to District Director Roots
Democrat accepted position with Rep.-elect Ann Kirkpatrick

Former Rep. Ron Barber will return to service as district director for the seat he once represented in Congress, starting in January, according to an announcement from 2nd District Rep.-elect Ann Kirkpatrick

“I asked Ron if he would serve as District Director because no one knows Southern Arizona better than him,” the incoming congresswoman said in a statement. “There’s no one who loves Tucson and Cochise County more than Ron. He is one of my top advisors, and I’m thrilled that he and Nancy are willing to step back into the arena to serve the people of Southern Arizona.”

Congressional Ethics Office Refers Four Cases to House Committee
With members leaving or feds investigating, most cases likely to not proceed

The Office of Congressional Ethics sent four referrals to the House Ethics committee for further review in the third quarter of 2018, according to a report released Thursday.

Although the report did not name names associated with the referrals, the Ethics Committee has announced actions on OCE referrals concerning current members between July and September.

Here’s How a House Democratic Majority Might Protect Mueller If Trump Fires Him
With power to investigate and subpoena, Democrats have options to protect special counsel

House Democrats, with their new majority, will have an expansive new toolkit once they take control of the chamber on Jan. 3 to protect special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation — even if acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker decides to shut it down.

If President Donald Trump, through Whitaker or his full-time replacement, does indeed order Mueller to shutter his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election, that would trigger a quick response from Democrats. In two months, they will wield the all-important power of subpoenaing officials.

Ex-Rep. Steve Stockman Sentenced to 120 Months in Prison
Texas Republican was found guilty of 23 fraud charges

Former Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman was sentenced Wednesday to 120 months in prison after a federal jury convicted him of 23 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission.

The Texas Republican was first elected in the 1994 GOP revolution, only to be unseated two years later. He returned to the House in 2013, but left after a term following an unsuccessful bid to knock off Sen. John Cornyn in the following year’s Republican primary.

Tim Kaine’s Policy Agenda For a Divided Congress
Former governor, veep candidate sees opportunities for cooperation

One day after the election, Virginia’s newly re-election Sen. Tim Kaine was ready to talk policy and where he thinks that Republicans and Democrats could rally to move forward in a divided Congress.

He said that for the first time in a while, there could be common ground on health care, and he singled our for praise the bipartisan opioids bill that was signed into law last month.

Indictment Caucus: Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins Win Re-Election
Republicans facing federal charges win over their voters

Two House Republicans under federal indictments are heading back to Congress. Voters in California and New York are sending Reps. Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins back to Capitol Hill even as they face federal charges.

Hunter and his wife, Margaret, were indicted by a federal grand jury in late August for allegedly using $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses and covering their tracks in campaign finance filings to the Federal Election Commission. The couple is facing 60 federal charges.

Women Elected at Historic Levels, But No Surprise Here: White Men Dominate 116th Congress
Number of veterans down

The 116th Congress is on track to be one of the most diverse in history, but the legislature will still be overwhelmingly white and male compared to the overall U.S. population. Historic numbers of women won seats in the midterm contests, but the number of veterans is likely to fall or stay flat. 

At least 96 women running for the House have won their races, shattering the previous record of 84 women in the House. Eighty-three of the women who won were Democrats.

‘I Haven’t Seen Any Russians,’ Arizona Candidate Says in Sputnik Interview
GOP candidate Wendy Rogers under fire for interview with Russian outlet seen as Putin propaganda tool

The midterm election news blitz will come to a close soon, but one Arizona Republican candidate’s interview with a Russian government-owned news agency is drawing criticism on Election Day. 

Wendy Rogers did an interview earlier this month with Sputnik News, which NATO officials have accused of being part of a “Kremlin propaganda machine” distributing biased articles and “misinformation” to influence political opinion around the world.

Arizona’s Next Senator Won’t Be Wealthy, Whomever Voters Choose
Both Sinema and McSally rank among the bottom of Roll Call’s Wealth of Congress

Arizona’s first woman Senator won’t have much in the bank, regardless of whom voters choose Tuesday. Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema both rank toward the bottom of Roll Call’s Wealth of Congress index, both lacking the big bucks common among many of their Capitol Hill colleagues.

Both Arizonans had already served the public in some way before running for public office. McSally served decades in the Air Force and Sinema was a social worker and lawyer for a public school district. Neither got rich.

Free, Quick and Convenient: Flu Shots at the Capitol
Office of the Attending Physician administers vaccines throughout the campus

Election Day is just around the corner, but flu season is already here. Anyone with a congressional ID can get a free flu shot — and mostly without a wait — right in the Capitol.

The Office of the Attending Physician administers flu shots at 10 locations across the Capitol complex each fall. The internal website for the OAP showed that all locations still had the vaccine in stock as of Thursday, but staffers told Roll Call they have been encouraged to get theirs soon because the OAP has limited supplies of the immunization. 

Hill Staffers Receive All-Clear After Another Suspicious Package Investigation
Capitol Police explosive ordnance team wrap up probe in Hill parking lot

Capitol Hill staffers received an all-clear message Wednesday afternoon following a Capitol Police investigation of a suspicious package in a parking lot on the Senate side of the Hill. 

Staffers had earlier been warned to stay away from the area around 2:15 p.m. as officials dispatched an explosive ordnance team to the parking lot across from the building that houses Fox News, NBC News and C-SPAN.

Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers Stepping Down
Search for replacement to oversee Capitol infrastructure could take a while

The man with the biggest portfolio on Capitol Hill will be stepping down at the end of November. Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers will be leaving his post after ascending to the top job over a 20-year career with the agency.

The architect of the Capitol oversees the upkeep and preservation of more than 17.4 million square feet of facilities and 580 acres of grounds on the Capitol campus. That includes the historic House and Senate office buildings, the Capitol itself, thousands of works of art and even the trees that dot the campus.

FBI: Mail Bombs Were ‘Not Hoax Devices’
Devices sent to prominent Democrats may have looked like TV props, but they weren’t, FBI director says

Updated 3:56 p.m. | Justice Department and law enforcement officials announced Friday afternoon that a fingerprint and possible DNA evidence led to the arrest of Cesar Sayoc Jr. in the investigation of package bombs mailed to prominent Democrats.

A “latent fingerprint” on an envelope sent to California Rep. Maxine Waters was key to cracking the case, FBI Director Christopher Wray said. The 13 bombs found so far were not “hoax devices,” he said, calling them “IEDs,” or improvised explosive devices. 

Trump Confirms Arrest in Package Bomb Case as Targets Mount
“We will prosecute … whoever it may be to the furthest extent of the law,” president says

Updated 12:53 p.m. | Federal authorities have arrested a man in Florida in connection with a string of suspicious devices that were mailed to prominent Democrats and CNN.

Trump confirmed the arrest Friday, saying he was “committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop” politically motivated violent acts.  

Suspect Arrested in Mail Bomb Case
Authorities have man in custody in Florida after string of suspicious packages sent to prominent Democrats

Federal authorities have arrested a man in Florida in connection with a string of explosive packages, according to the Department of Justice.

The FBI confirmed Friday morning that a dangerous package addressed to Sen. Cory Booker had been recovered in Florida.

‘Congress Too’ Founders Launch Fundraising Effort for Fired Pregnant Staffer
Kristie Small says she was fired from Cueller’s office over pregnancy

The leaders of a group dedicated to fighting harassment and discrimination on Capitol Hill are raising funds for a woman who says she was wrongfully fired from her congressional job for being pregnant.

Kristie Small says that she was fired last week from a senior position in Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar’s office after revealing that she was pregnant.

Former Henry Cuellar Aide Files Discrimination Complaint for Being Fired Over Pregnancy
Texas Democrat’s office defends firing without addressing claims

A former acting chief of staff to Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar has filed a complaint claiming that she was fired for being pregnant, a violation of federal law.

“After serving as staff in the House of Representatives for 13.5 years I had the opportunity to become the acting Chief of Staff for a different Congressman. After finding out and communicating I was pregnant, I was fired,” Katie Small wrote in a Facebook post Thursday evening.

Cannon House Office Building Reopened Following Evacuation
Chamber in recess, most lawmakers away

Updated 1:04 p.m. | Shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday a loud bell rang followed by a loudspeaker announcement reopening the Cannon House Office building after an evacuation order that lasted more than an hour.

Cannon was evacuated Thursday morning when alarms sounded.