Katherine Tully-McManus

Does the Capitol Dome have a leak? Not quite
Yellow buckets in Rotunda collect dripping water

On day 32 of the longest government shutdown in modern history, it looked like an iconic symbol of American democracy had sprung a leak.

The Capitol Dome, which reaches 287 feet tall, recently underwent a $60 million restoration. But something was amiss Tuesday morning. 

Sen. Angus King begins radiation treatment for ‘residual prostate cancer’
This is Maine independent’s third cancer diagnosis overall

Sen. Angus King is undergoing radiation treatments for residual prostate cancer, the Maine independent announced Friday.

This is King’s second bout with prostate cancer and his third diagnosis overall. He had skin cancer decades ago.

Jeff Merkley requests FBI perjury investigation into Kirstjen Nielsen
At issue is testimony before Congress about family separations at border

Sen. Jeff Merkley is requesting that the FBI open a perjury investigation into Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, based on testimony she gave to Congress in December on family separations at the southern border.

Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in December, Nielsen stated “I’m not a liar, we’ve never had a policy for family separation.”

Former staffer sues Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee for firing her after rape allegation
In court filings, the staffer alleges a former intern coordinator raped her in October 2015

A former staffer for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee claims in a new lawsuit that the Texas Democrat fired her after she planned to pursue legal action over an alleged rape by a former Congressional Black Caucus Foundation employee.

According to the court filings, the staffer alleges that Damien Jones, a former intern coordinator for the CBCF, raped her at his D.C.-area home in October 2015. The staffer, identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, was a 19-year-old intern for the CBCF when the alleged assault happened.

House effort on Steve King censure fizzles
Matter referred to Ethics Committee as some Democrats express disappointment

An effort to further punish Rep. Steve King for racist comments fizzled Wednesday when the chamber voted to instead refer the Iowa Republican’s case to the House Ethics Committee.

On a voice vote, the House referred a censure resolution from Illinois Democrat Bobby L. Rush to the Ethics panel, instead of censuring him directly.

New Inspector General named for Capitol Police
Michael A. Bolton has been serving as acting IG since last March

The Capitol Police Board announced Wednesday the selection of Michael A. Bolton to be the department’s inspector general. Bolton has been serving in the role in an acting capacity since March of last year and previously served as assistant IG for investigations.

“Mr. Bolton’s more than 30 years of law enforcement and auditing experience, and 16 years in the OIG community have been an asset to the USCP Office of Inspector General and the Department. I look forward to our continued partnership in ensuring that the USCP continues to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of its programs and operations,” Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa said in a statement.

Protesters disrupt EPA confirmation hearing, held despite shutdown
The group objected to the activating of furloughed staff to help the acting administrator prepare for the hearing

Two demonstrators were removed Wednesday morning from the confirmation hearing of Andrew Wheeler —President Trump’s pick to lead the EPA.

Protesters in the hallway and hearing room objected to the business in front of the Environment and Public Works Committee, because the EPA remains closed as part of the partial government shutdown. The group of over a dozen protesters included people representing Code Pink and The Moms Clean Air Force, some with strollers and their children in tow.

For Steve King, colleagues continue calls for censure, resignation
Pelosi to rule Wednesday on two censure proposals

Rep. Steve King has already faced two reprimands this week from his colleagues for his racist comments, but there could be tougher punishment ahead. Some Democrats are calling for an official censure, and a few fellow Republicans are calling for King’s resignation.

The clock is ticking down on two measures to officially censure King, offered Monday by Democratic Reps. Bobby L. Rush of Illinois and Tim Ryan of Ohio.

Disapproval resolution on Steve King passes, but will not likely be the last word
Iowa Republican disputes racist remarks, but urges chamber to disavow them anyway

Steve King voted “yes” on a resolution meant to rebuke him for making racist comments, a strange turn of events as the House voted, 424-1 to disapprove of the Iowa Republican.

“I’m putting up a ‘yes’ on the board here because what you say is true, is right and is just,” King said on the House floor before the vote.

House moves to protect federal interns from harassment and discrimination

The House took action Tuesday to protect the youngest members of the federal workforce, interns, from workplace harassment and discrimination.

The House passed by voice vote a measure from Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, that would extend certain federal employee protections to unpaid interns in the federal government. Cummings is the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and a version of his measure also passed in the 115th Congress.

Sledders cheer up Capitol Hill while shutdown stalemate continues

When up to a foot of snow walloped Washington over the weekend, it gave joyful kids a reason to play, sledding down Capitol Hill and cutting the rancorous mood over the partial government shutdown. 

Furloughed federal workers have been stuck at home for weeks, and those required to work are going without paychecks. But many found that sledding down the massive slope on the West Front under the Capitol Dome is a great way to blow off steam. And it doesn’t cost a thing.

How the House rebuke of Steve King would work
Whether reprimand or censure, a formal ding from the chamber comes with few consequences

House Democratic leaders are planning to hold a vote Tuesday on a resolution of disapproval against Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King for racist comments, while two rank-and-file members are pushing for a stronger rebuke.

Democratic Reps. Bobby L. Rush of Illinois and Tim Ryan of Ohio introduced separate measures on Monday to censure King, setting into motion votes on one of Congress’ formal means of punishing members.

Rep. Alcee Hastings undergoing cancer treatment
‘I feel hopeful about survival and about my ability to continue serving my constituents,’ Florida congressman says

Rep. Alcee L. Hastings has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is undergoing treatment in Washington.

The Florida Democrat said in a statement released Monday that he is being treated at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. He has served in the House since 1993.

Amid shutdown and snow, DMV lawmakers reach out to federal workers

Lawmakers across the Washington region spent the weekend touching base with federal workers affected by the government shutdown at roundtables, town halls and potlucks.

Rep. Anthony Brown held a town hall meeting in Largo, Maryland, on Saturday, where he took questions from constituents about the government shutdown.

The many ways members of Congress can make a stink
Yes, they can donate pay, but they can also get arrested or wear hoodies

No ethics issues for federal workers shutdown deals
Restaurants, bars and more offering help for feds not getting paid

Federal workers must adhere to strict ethical guidelines for accepting meals and favors, but the deals and discounts popping up around the D.C. region during the shutdown aren’t risking violations.

As the partial government shutdown stretches toward being the longest in modern history, dozens of restaurants are offering free and discounted meals to federal workers, many of whom are either furloughed or working without pay. Bars are offering drink discounts and happy hour specials. 

Fake Rep. Tom Malinowski account suspended, but House website still links to it
Capitol Police are searching for the impersonator

A fake Twitter account claiming to be New Jersey Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski is under investigation by Capitol Police. But the account, which was set up as recently as Wednesday, is featured on the freshman congressman’s official House website.

The @CongMalinowski account sparked confusion, because it popped up right when other newly sworn-in lawmakers were creating their official House accounts, which clearly identify their position in Congress and must adhere to official rules.

Ready to manage a world-famous building and grapple with a billion-dollar backlog? This job’s for you
Hunt for new Architect of the Capitol underway

Do you like historic buildings? Are you undaunted by the prospect of working with tenants who are also your bosses and can’t seem to agree on much of anything? 

Then this job is for you.

Cindy Hyde-Smith to lead Senate Legislative Branch spending panel
Mississippi Republican takes over from Montana’s Steve Daines

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith will take the gavel of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee for the new Congress. The Mississippi Republican is a relative newcomer to the panel, which she joined in April of last year, taking the slot left open by her predecessor Thad Cochran’s resignation.

The subcommittee’s previous chairman, Montana’s Steve Daines, received a waiver to join the Senate Finance Committee, becoming among the first senators to serve on Appropriations and Finance since 1944. (Oklahoma’s James Lankford was given a similar waiver.)

Florida’s Ted Deutch to lead House Ethics Committee
Panel has taken on high-profile investigations of members in recent years

Florida’s Ted Deutch will be the new chairman of the House Ethics Committee, which has taken on high-profile investigations of members in recent years.

“House Democrats are thrilled to welcome Congressman Ted Deutch as Chair of the Ethics Committee, where his towering integrity and firm commitment to fairness and justice will be invaluable to our mission to restore transparency, ethics and accountability to the Congress,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday. As leader of her party, Pelosi appoints the chair of the Ethics panel, along with other committees such as House Administration and Rules.