Congress

Congressional scandals ain’t what they used to be
The modern playbook for surviving scandal was created by a Democrat

Activists at a Sept. 26 rally sponsored by the conservative group FreedomWorks urge Jim Jordan to run for speaker, past scandals or no. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Jim Jordan has a reputation.

He is a pit bull: Video clips of the Ohio Republican tearing into witnesses in committee is like sweet nectar to many conservatives.

Kamala Harris announces on MLK Day she’ll run for president
Former California AG is second black woman to serve in the Senate

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., announced she is running for president on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. She is the second black woman to serve in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Sen. Kamala Harris announced on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that she is running for president, adding her name to a growing list of Democrats who are positioning themselves to run against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Harris, who was twice elected as California’s attorney general, is only the second black woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.

March for Life activists get anti-abortion boost from Trump
President: ‘I will veto any legislation that weakens pro-life federal polices’

The March for LIfe draws abortion opponents to Washington each year. Above, Jennifer Crowther of Alexandria, and her daughters Natalie and Cassidy, rally at 2017’s event. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers and anti-abortion advocates who gathered Friday for the nation’s largest annual anti-abortion rally say they are pivoting to a defensive strategy in Congress, with a focus on confirming conservative judges as legislation stalls.

Thousands of advocates gathered to protest the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that guaranteed a woman’s right to an abortion. The event featured a surprise appearance by Vice President Mike Pence with second lady Karen Pence, and a video message from President Donald Trump.

Trump: ‘Major announcement’ on border security coming Saturday
Focus to be on ‘humanitarian crisis’ and the government shutdown

President Donald Trump is tweeting that a “major announcement” on border security is coming on Saturday. Here he is  flanked from left by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.., and Vice President Mike Pence . (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump will make a “major announcement” Saturday about border security on what by then will be the 29th day of the partial government shutdown.

Three minutes after the White House call a “lid” Friday night and reporters headed for the gate, the president fired off a tweet, saying his remarks will focus on “the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse.”

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

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, is undergoing radiation treatments for “residual prostate cancer,” he announced Friday. (Sarah Silibiger/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

Democrats propose legal status for undocumented immigrant farmworkers
Legislation would protect workers from deportation, ease labor shortages, proponents say

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., says the legislation “would ensure that hardworking immigrants don’t live in fear and that California’s agriculture industry has the workforce it needs to succeed.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two California Democrats filed legislation Thursday that would give undocumented immigrant farmworkers and their families a path to legal resident status and possibly U.S. citizenship.

The legislation by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Zoe Lofgren is designed to ease agricultural worker shortages and protect undocumented workers already in the United States from deportation. The bills come as the nation grapples with an extended partial government shutdown fueled by an impasse between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats over funding for a border wall and broader differences over immigration policies.

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 (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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.”

CFPB asks Congress for authority to sniff out predatory military lenders
Previous director piqued Democrats when he said the bureau doesn’t yet have legal standing to audit firms

Kathy Kraninger, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, submitted a legislative proposal to “clarify” the bureau’s authority to supervise compliance with a military lending law. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

The leader of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is asking Congress to give the agency explicit authority to examine financial services companies for compliance with a law that caps how much a creditor can charge military servicemembers for loans.

In letters sent Thursday to Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger submitted a legislative proposal to “clarify” the bureau’s authority to supervise compliance with a military lending law designed to protect servicemembers from certain lending practices that may be considered predatory.

Sen. Bob Casey not running for president
Casey announced his decision in a statement excoriating Republicans and Trump

Sen. Bob Casey, D-PA., is interviewed for TV in the Russell Rotunda on March 20, 2013. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Bob Casey announced Friday that he won’t make a bid for the White House in 2020.

In a statement, the Pennsylvania Democrat said that 2020 is “not the time.”

Pelosi spokesman says White House leaked commercial travel plans to Afghanistan
Alternate plan was canceled after State Department warned against it

A bus is seen of the East Front of the Capitol after members of the House disembarked, after an overseas CODEL was postponed by President Trump on Thursday, January 17, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The shutdown feud between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump escalated Friday after the California Democrat’s office revealed it had made commercial travel arrangements to continue an Afghanistan trip the president tried to cancel — but the administration leaked their plans.

There was already a security risk with the speaker and her congressional delegation continuing the overseas troop visit after Trump announced Thursday where they’d be going. But the heightened threat from Trump leaking the commercial travel plans led the delegation to call off the trip for now, a Pelosi spokesman said.

Rep. Steve King blames ‘unhinged left’ in new fundraising email
Amid backlash over racist comments, the Iowa Republican asked supporters for donations

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, sent a fundraising email to supporters this week in which he claims the recent controversy can be attributed to the “unhinged left.” (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite growing calls for Steve King to resign after making racist comments, the Iowa Republican sent an email Thursday urging supporters for new donations. 

“The unhinged left has teamed up with Republican ‘NeverTrumpers’ and is pulling out all the stops to destroy me,” King said in the email, the Des Moines Register reported.

House Democrats will investigate Trump for allegedly directing Michael Cohen to lie to Congress
Some on Intelligence and Judiciary Committees hint at impeachment

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff indicated his committee will probe a report that President Donald Trump directed former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:02 p.m. | The top Democrats on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees said they will investigate the allegations that President Donald Trump directed his former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations in 2016 to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, as BuzzFeed News reported late Thursday.

 

When life gives you shutdowns
But hey, at least the U.S. isn’t hurtling toward Brexit

Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is seen on a bus Thursday, before being dropped at the Rayburn Building after President Donald Trump canceled military support for an overseas congressional trip Engel and other lawmakers were scheduled to take. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s Week Four of the partial government shutdown. About 800,000 people have missed paychecks, and a lot of them are working for free at the behest of the executive branch. There is no end in sight. The State of the Union is canceled, kind of. The president tells you to cancel your military flight, but you can go ahead and fly commercial — after all, TSA is working for no money. And the only silver lining seems to be: At least we’re not Britain! 

You’re on the bus. You’re headed to the airport — and the president of the United States puts the kibosh on your trip to Afghanistan. Who hasn’t had that happen? When the commander in chief yanks military support for a dangerous trip to a war zone by someone in the presidential line of succession. 

Government shutdown pushing Metro off the rails to the tune of $400K every weekday
Issues could get worse if benefits are not transferred after January 21

Metro is facing $400,000 in lost revenue each business day that the government is partially shut down . (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Metro, which operates trains buses and parking garages in and around Washington, D.C., is losing roughly $400,000 from its receipts for every business day that the partial government shutdown persists.

That revelation from WMATA General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld came in a letter to the Democratic senators from Maryland and Virginia who represent many users of the Metro system, including federal employees.

GOP congressman apologizes to Democratic rep for ‘Go back to Puerto Rico’ outburst
Rep. Jason Smith said he was referring to trip House and Senate Democrats took to Puerto Rico during shutdown

Missouri Republican Rep. Jason Smith said he was referring to a trip that House and Senate Democrats took when he shouted “Go back to Puerto Rico” on the House floor on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Jason Smith called Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas and apologized Thursday for blurting out “Go back to Puerto Rico” while Cárdenas was waiting to speak on the House floor.

Cárdenas, a descendant of Mexican immigrants, accepted the Missouri Republican’s apology, said in a statement to Roll Call.