Nicole Puglise

Hatch Calls ADA One of His Most Important Achievements

Lawmakers across the political spectrum have celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act over the past week — none more than Sen. Orrin G. Hatch.  

The Utah Republican is one of the few who can offer a first-hand account of the tumultuous path the law took through Congress. Hatch commemorated the act at a July 27 news conference with former Sens. Tom Harkin and Bob Dole, former Rep. Steve Bartlett, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer and Equal Opportunities Commission Commissioner Chai Feldblum, who all worked to get the ADA signed in 1990.  

Take Five: Rep. Bruce Westerman

It's time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.  

This week, Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., talks about good Southern cooking and all things Arkansas. Q: You were an engineer and also have a master's degree in forestry from Yale. Do you have a favorite National Park? A: Absolutely. Hot Springs National Park — that’s where I’m from.  

Hill Climbers: From Hacks to Flacks

“I’ll just sort of talk. I know what it’s like. I’m not going to make you pull teeth, because I’m not a politician,” Richard Piatt, communications director for Utah Rep. Mia Love, said jokingly.  

Piatt is used to interviews, but he's spent most of his career on the other side of the table: He worked as a broadcast journalist for 27 years before arriving on Capitol Hill in January. Sixteen of those years were spent working for a Utah TV station, which is where he met Love. He's not the only former reporter now working on the Hill, or even for a freshman House Republican. One other is Ryan Saylor, press secretary for freshman Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., who worked as a print journalist before joining Westerman's team in December.  

Republicans Reach Planned Parenthood Deal (Video) (Updated)

Updated 7:32 p.m. | A working group of Republican senators has reached a deal on the details of a bill to stop funding Planned Parenthood that will get a vote before the August recess.  

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell began the procedural gears to bring that bill directly to the floor just before the Senate adjourned Wednesday.  

Republicans Reach Planned Parenthood Deal (Video) (Updated)

Updated 7:32 p.m. | A working group of Republican senators has reached a deal on the details of a bill to stop funding Planned Parenthood that will get a vote before the August recess.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell began the procedural gears to bring that bill directly to the floor just before the Senate adjourned Wednesday.

Take Five: Rep. Linda Sánchez

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH  talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.  

This week, Rep. Linda T. Sánchez talks about her family, baseball and her favorite movie.  

Ted Cruz Promises to Bring Pork to White House

It seems Sen. Ted Cruz has achieved Hollywood status.  

A man with a handheld video camera, who identified himself as working for celebrity gossip outlet TMZ, approached the presidential candidate Thursday at an anti-Iran deal event just outside the White House. The cameraman prefaced his question by saying it would be "on a lighter note" — presumably because Cruz was walking away from a chaotic scene that included an impromptu debate with CodePink protesters .  

Ted Cruz Debates Protesters at Anti-Iran Deal Event

As Secretary of State John Kerry testified Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, protesters gathered in the shade of Lafayette Square, just north of the White House, to voice their opinions on President Barack Obama's Iran deal.  

The event, slated to feature presidential hopeful Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, was hosted by the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee. Before either was scheduled to arrive, the situation had already devolved into mayhem.  Members of CWALAC were joined by opposing protesters from CodePink, a woman-led organization that supports the Iran Deal. Protesters jostled for space, jockeying for best positions to hold their signs behind the two expected guests as they spoke. One protester from CWALAC even tore up the sign of a Code Pink protester.  

Cruz 'Friends' With Trump, Graham
 

Ted Cruz just wants to be friends.

The Texas firebrand known for throwing Republican leadership under the bus on a regular basis dismissed the feud between Lindsey Graham and Donald Trump in a scrum with reporters Wednesday, which have included Graham's charge of Trump being a "jackass" and Trump's retaliation of giving out the phone number for Graham's old-fashioned flip-phone.

Ted Cruz Debates Protesters at Anti-Iran Deal Event

As Secretary of State John Kerry testified Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, protesters gathered in the shade of Lafayette Square, just north of the White House, to voice their opinions on President Barack Obama’s Iran deal.

The event, slated to feature presidential hopeful Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, was hosted by the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee. Before either was scheduled to arrive, the situation had already devolved into mayhem.

Amid Skepticism on Hill, Obama Steps Up Iran Deal Lobbying

With the United Nations Security Council officially backing the Iran deal earlier this week, the Obama administration is picking up its congressional outreach efforts in order to quell a potential August mutiny over the nuclear agreement.  

While it would take a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate to stop the deal, Republican opposition has been immediate and steadfast — and Democratic support seems shaky, at best. On Wednesday, Republicans and Democrats reported there were plenty of questions still to be answered on the deal — and many minds had not been made up.  

Take Five: Rep. Gary Palmer

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH  talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.  

This week, Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., talks about living in the Capitol, baseball and Led Zeppelin. Q: What’s your favorite song? And you can’t say "Sweet Home Alabama." A: I’ve got a bunch of 'em. "Hotel California" has got one of the greatest guitar runs in music. One of the greatest albums ever. I like Led Zeppelin’s "Stairway to Heaven." That’s one of my favorite songs.  

Politics Is a Family Affair for New Lankford Staffers

When Chloe Pickle was a little kid, she helped her family put up yard signs for then-Sen. Christopher S. Bond, R-Mo. She volunteered on campaigns with them in high school and college before embarking on her own career in politics.  

Now the administrative director in Sen. James Lankford’s Washington, D.C., office, the 29-year-old is one of two recent staff changes to the Oklahoma Republican's team. Patti Liles, who began working with Lankford in 2010, was recently promoted to office manager for his Sooner State offices. A lifelong resident of Missouri, Pickle was raised in a political family. Although he left office in 1977 — well before Pickle was born — her uncle was Rep. William J. Randall, D-Mo. Her parents and grandfather were active in campaigning for all of Bond’s campaigns.  

Just How Long Is the Senate's Highway Roadmap?

The Senate might actually try to follow-up a long overdue education reauthorization with a real highway bill.  

Just how long the Senate's surface transportation bill will run remains a mystery, but Republicans and Democrats want to go much further than the House's latest patch job.  

Senators Moving Closer to Deal on Criminal Justice Bills

President Barack Obama's stepped-up push for a criminal justice overhaul is in some ways playing catchup to congressional efforts already well underway.  

While Obama pushed for a broad overhaul bill to reach his desk this year in a Tuesday speech to the NAACP in Philadelphia, a working group of senators has been toiling away trying to agree on language — with various House pushes in progress.  

Senators Moving Closer to Deal on Criminal Justice Bills

President Barack Obama’s stepped-up push for a criminal justice overhaul is in some ways playing catchup to congressional efforts already well underway.

While Obama pushed for a broad overhaul bill to reach his desk this year in a Tuesday speech to the NAACP in Philadelphia, a working group of senators has been toiling away trying to agree on language — with various House pushes in progress.

Zack Space in a Better Space | Life After Congress

Even though he left Congress in 2011, not much has changed for former Rep. Zack Space, D-Ohio. He still lives in the Buckeye State. He still regularly travels to Washington. He still works on the issues he was involved in when in office.  

There’s one major difference, though. “I find what I do now very rewarding without having to deal with the hassles of asking all of my friends for money or dealing with politics and business as usual,” Space said with a laugh in a recent phone interview.  

Rick Santorum Undeterred by Debate Format

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is at risk of being excluded when the presidential primary debates kick off next month, but that doesn't mean he's worried about his chances in 2016.  

“I don’t really pay a whole lot of attention to things that go on this far ahead of a national vote,” the Republican White House hopeful told reporters Monday at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. The source of his optimism was his past performance, which he cited frequently while fielding questions: Santorum defeated two incumbents in congressional elections, once in a 1990 House race and again for Senate in 1994; he said he is “the only person in the field that has any real experience having gone toe-to-toe with the Clinton Machine” during his time in the Senate; and he carried nearly a dozen states in the 2012 GOP presidential nomination fight before dropping out in mid-April, ahead of the primary in his home state.  

Without Gas in the Tank, Senate Stays Course on Highways

Senate Republicans are confident they’ll take up a highway extension this week — though the bill's duration and pay-for are still up in the air.  

Senators from both parties are mulling suggestions that range from a kick-the-can plan to fund the highway account through the 2016 elections to a more ambitious proposal that would include a short-term patch linked to a major tax overhaul designed to fund a full six-year extension.