Katherine Tully-McManus

Romanian Cyberattack Targeted Security Cameras Ahead of Inauguration
Eveline Cismaru pleaded guilty to wire and computer fraud

A Romanian woman pleaded guilty in connection with a cyberattack against the D.C. police department that disabled two-thirds of the outdoor surveillance cameras operated by Metropolitan Police Department, just days before the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

Eveline Cismaru, a Romanian citizen, pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges related to her role in the cyberattack.

56 Arrested Demonstrating Support for Christine Blasey Ford
Protesters rally against nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Capitol Police arrested 56 protesters Thursday who flooded Senate office buildings  to voice opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and express support for his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.

Thirty-three protesters were arrested outside of Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley’s office in the Hart Building on Thursday afternoon. The demonstrators were charged with “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding.” Earlier in the day, Capitol Police arrested 23 protesters outside the Dirksen Building office of Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker for “unlawful demonstration activities.” They faced the same charges.

Former Hill Staffers Who Were Victims of Sexual Harassment Call for Leaders to Act
Differences still being worked out between House bill passed bill in February and Senate version passed in May

Seven former congressional staffers who experienced sexual harassment or assault while working on Capitol Hill sent a letter to House and Senate leaders Thursday urging them to enact changes to harassment and discrimination policies. 

“We write to remind you, and every member of the 115th Congress, not only of the pain we suffered, but also of the shame and humiliation that current staffers must bear when they too are victimized by harmful and discriminatory actions from a member of Congress, a supervisor, or a colleague,” wrote the seven women.

Protesters to Brett Kavanaugh Nomination Descend on Senate Offices
Those objecting to SCOTUS nominee reach out to Republicans Susan Collins, Jeff Flake

Protesters occupied the office of Sen. Susan Collins on Thursday, voicing their belief in Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Protesters wore pins reading “I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford” and filed silently into the Maine Republican’s office. Once inside, a few of them implored Collins’ staff not to rush the Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings, citing how long other nominees’ confirmations took.

Public-Facing Congressional Research Reports Site Launches to Criticism
crsreports.congress.gov went live on time, but with a number of shortcomings

Congress’ in-house research division has moved to make more of its reports public, as required by law, but the new website is already drawing criticism.

Under the fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill, the Congressional Research Service had to publish all nonconfidential reports on a public website operated by the Library of Congress. The website went live Tuesday, meeting the deadline set by appropriators.

Violence Against Women Act Extension Included in Stopgap Spending Deal
Programs authorized under law set to continue through Dec. 7

The Violence Against Women Act, which was set to expire Sept. 30, will be extended through Dec. 7 under a stopgap spending bill released Thursday.

“Any program, authority or provision, including any pilot program, authorized under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 shall continue in effect through the date specified,” the bill text reads.

Secret Service Buying a Harley-Davidson, Despite Trump’s Calls for Boycott
President has supported a boycott of the company

The Secret Service is still buying Harley-Davidson motorcycles, even though President Donald Trump has supported a boycott of Harleys if the company moves some motorcycle production overseas.

The Secret Service posted their intention to purchase a single Harley-Davidson motorcycle, “brand name only, with police equipment accessories” earlier this week. The procurement solicitation paperwork was posted on a website for businesses who contract with the federal government.

Capitol Hill Might Dodge Florence Direct Hit, But Watch for Flooding
 

After days of uncertainty, it appears Hurricane Florence is steering clear of the Washington, D.C. metro area. But Roll Call reporter Katherine Tully-McManus warns lawmakers, staffers and the public to brace for rain, and perhaps flooding in the usual spots (we're looking at you, Cannon Tunnel) on Capitol Hill....
‘All Clear’ Following Capitol Police Investigation of Suspicious Vehicle
Workers heading home for the day routed away from blocked streets

Roads around the Senate side of Capitol Hill and Union Station have been re-opened following an investigation of a suspicious vehicle Wednesday that included a police robot and a bomb suit. Capitol Police announced “all clear” nearly two and a half hours after the investigation began.

The road closures and guidance for staff to avoid the area came a little before 5 p.m. Senate staff and visitors were streaming out of office buildings towards Union Station and their parked cars before being detoured around the situation.

Steny Hoyer Touts Oversight and Ethics Standards as Key to Trust in Government
Eyeing majority, Maryland Democrat and minority whip looks at transparency as winning issue

Efforts to boost transparency, ethics and oversight are among House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer’s strategies for restoring Americans’ trust in government if Democrats win the House majority for the next congress.

“Our people believe their government is rigged against them. This belief undermines trust in government and impedes our ability to govern,” the Maryland Democrat told a crowd Wednesday.

What Congress Wants to Study and ‘Explore’ About Itself
Dunkin’ Donuts, horse mounted police and leaky Cannon tunnel all will get consideration

What to do with some basement ambience, Horse-mounted police and Dunkin’ Donuts are but a few questions appropriators want answered as they look to fund Congress and its agencies to the tune of $4.8 billion.The fiscal year 2019 appropriations conference committee report released Monday includes reporting requirements and requests for studies and explorations. Here are just a few: 

Conferees had some real talk about the tunnel that connects the Cannon House Office Building to the Capitol:“The current condition of the Cannon tunnel is that of a basement ambience,” said the report, “Furthermore the tunnel is subject to leaks which have recently caused the tunnel to be closed.”The report directs the Architect of the Capitol and the  Clerk of the House to develop a comprehensive plan to “enhance the tunnel,” including cost estimates, timeline, and renderings.

46 Republicans Call on Ryan, McCarthy to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act
Time is short on legislative calendar before Sept. 30 expiration

Nearly 50 House Republicans are calling on Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to bring a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to the floor before it expires Sept. 30.

“Since being signed into law in 1994, VAWA has helped to protect and support millions of Americans who have faced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking,” the group, led by New Yorkers John Katko and Elise Stefanik, wrote in a letter.

Electronic Campaign Filing and McCain Gratuity Included in Spending Package
First-time pay for interns, boost for Capitol Police are also included

Appropriators are making a move to boost transparency for the historically opaque Senate with a provision to require candidates to file their campaign disclosures electronically.

House and Senate appropriators came to an agreement Monday on a roughly $147.4 billion fiscal 2019 three-bill spending package that includes a $4.8 billion Legislative Branch title to fund Congress, the Capitol Police and other Capitol Hill agencies. The package also includes the Energy-Water and Military Construction-VA titles.

Cybersecurity Background Key for New Information Officer at GPO
Sam Musa comes at a time of heightened scrutiny across government for cybersecurity

The Government Publishing Office, the agency that processes and publishes information from the federal government, has named a new chief information officer. Sam Musa, a longtime federal IT and cybersecurity expert, will be the new CIO for the agency.

“Sam brings a wealth of experience working in Federal Government IT and cybersecurity to GPO,” said acting GPO Deputy Director Herbert H. Jackson, Jr. “I look forward to his ideas of strengthening the agency’s IT operations, which will enhance our service to Congress, Federal agencies and the public.”

Accountability Groups Back Boards Ban for Lawmakers
Chris Collins indictment on securities fraud provides some impetus

Government accountability groups are backing a resolution, to prohibit members of Congress from serving on the boards of publicly held companies.

Thirteen groups sent a letter this week to House lawmakers in support of a resolution introduced in August by GOP Rep. Tom Reed and Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice.

69 Protesters Arrested on Day 3 of Kavanaugh Hearing
“The system is corrupt, and that’s why we disrupt,” some called out

Sixty-nine people were charged Thursday in connection with protests and demonstrations focused on the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Capitol Police reported.

Of the total, 37 people were removed from the Senate Judiciary hearing room. The protesters, who stood and shouted at lawmakers before being forced out of the room by Capitol Police officers, were charged with disorderly conduct.

House Ethics Committee Takes Action on Hunter, Collins
Justice Department requested Ethics panel defer action on both indicted members

The House Ethics Committee voted Thursday to impanel investigative subcommittees to examine Reps. Duncan Hunter of California and Chris Collins of New York. But neither panel plans to conduct work on the investigation at this time, deferring to the Justice Department for now.

The Republican congressmen were both indicted on separate charges in August — Hunter for misuse of campaign funds and Collins for insider trading.

What If Senators Actually Tried to Expel Cory Booker?
To start, it would be a case for the Ethics Committee

The threat of expulsion that hung over the Judiciary Committee on Thursday jolted the proceedings, but it is highly unlikely that Cory Booker — or any other lawmaker — is actually going to be expelled from the Senate for the unauthorized disclosure of documents about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Booker dared Majority Whip John Cornyn to try to expel him Thursday, when he announced he had ordered his staff to release “committee confidential” documents relating to the New Jersey Democrat’s line of questioning at the Kavanaugh hearings.

73 Demonstrators Arrested During Second of Kavanaugh Hearing
70 people were arrested on Tuesday on the first day of Supreme Court nominee’s hearing

Sixty-six people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct during the second day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday, Capitol Police reported.

Protesters stood in the hearing room and shouted at senators and the nominee during the nearly 12-hour hearing.

Summer Renovations Yield New House Voting System
While chamber was away, new voting infrastructure went up

House lawmakers had new hardware to try out Tuesday night — new voting cards and voting machines.

Over the August recess the Office of the House Clerk installed new voting machines in the House chamber for tallying roll call votes. Members descended on the Speaker’s Lobby  to pick up their new cards.