congressional-affairs

Black History Month: Librarian of Congress on her Trailblazing Role
Roll Call’s series with lawmakers and Capitol Hill figures continues

Carla Hayden speaks during her swearing-in ceremony in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress last September. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The first African-American and first woman to hold the position of librarian of Congress says she is partly in her role thanks to the inspiration of Frederick Douglass. Carla Hayden, who was sworn in last year, discusses with Roll Call the significance of Black History Month, her own place in it and how African-American culture and history is integral to American culture and history. 

Watch more interviews and the video, “Black History and America’s Capitol,” which combines all these talks, at rollcall.com/black-history-month

With No Vote in Congress, D.C. Residents Find Power in Cash
District voters are supporting Jason Chaffetz’s challenger in Utah

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz is fast becoming a target of Washington, D.C., residents, upset about his efforts to overturn local laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It was only the second political contribution Sarah Carr had made in her life. A $100 gift to an obscure politician from a distant state whose values hardly align with her own.

But Carr, a 41-year-old marine scientist who lives on Capitol Hill, had a clear goal: she wanted to support anyone who might oust Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Tennessee, Texas Stand Out for Strengthened Hill Sway
In Roll Call’s Clout Index for this Congress, California delegation’s longtime hold on top spot is threatened

Party affiliation and longevity have helped propel members of the Tennessee delegation such as Sen. Bob Corker into positions that convey authority and power, Hawkings writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

No state in this decade has seen a more meaningful boost than Tennessee in institutionalized congressional influence.

Only eight states, all with much bigger delegations because they’re much more populous, have more overt sway at the Capitol this year. That is one of several notable findings from the new Roll Call Clout Index, which the newspaper uses to take a quantifiable measurement of every state’s potential for power at the start of each new Congress.  

McMaster Needs Senate Confirmation to Keep All Three Stars
New job would entail demotion unless Senate signs off

McMaster, left, was announced as the new national security adviser by President Donald Trump on Monday at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (Jenna Johnson/Washington Post/Print Pool)

National security advisers don’t need the consent of the Senate, but the decision by President Donald Trump to tap Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster for the assignment brings up an unusual question of military rank. Why? Without the Senate confirmation, McMaster would effectively be demoted as result of the new responsibilities, since three star generals generally have their rank tied to a particular function.

A National Security Council spokesman confirmed to Roll Call that McMaster is expected to face a Senate confirmation vote to maintain his three stars as a result of his new job, with the process already getting under way.

Ruiz Gives $2,600 From Controversial Donations to Planned Parenthood
NRCC asked congressman to return contributions from two men facing criminal complaint

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., returned donations from former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet and developer Richard Meaney to Planned Parenthood. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Raul Ruiz gave money from two men facing charges to Planned Parenthood, despite the National Republican Congressional Committee’s call last week for him to return the donations.

The money was from former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet and developer Richard Meaney made to Ruiz’s campaign for past elections — $300 from Pougnet in 2012, and $2,300 from Meaney in 2014.

Former D.C. Del. Fauntroy Facing Foreclosure
Group of ministers is trying to raise $700,000 to pay off mortgage, penalties and interest

Former D.C. Del. Walter Fauntroy was arrested last year after returning to the U.S. from five years in Africa and the Middle East. (CQ Roll Call file photo).

Walter Fauntroy, who served as the first congressional delegate for the District of Columbia, is facing foreclosure of his Washington home.

Fauntroy and his wife Dorothy are receiving assistance from a group of ministers to raise $700,000 to help pay for the costs of mortgage liens, penalties and interests, WRC-TV in Washington reported.

Senators Silent After Meeting With FBI Director Comey
Friday afternoon meeting came after votes finished for recess

Senators were not in a talkative mood after meeting with FBI Director James B. Comey on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not much can get between senators and a recess. Except, perhaps, FBI Director James B. Comey. 

Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, along with ex-officio member and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, huddled for a total of more than two hours on Friday with Comey.

Photos of the Week: Puppies, Pence and Press Conferences
The week of Feb. 13 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks with reporters after the Senate policy luncheons in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As a resignation and withdrawn Cabinet nominee rocked the White House this week, Congress was at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue proceeding through consideration of several other Cabinet nominees, debating Obamacare alternatives and much more. 

On the lighter side of this Valentine's Day week, some pets up for adoption stopped by the Capitol to bring love to staffers and members alike.

Congress Caught Unaware by National Guard Report
Mitch McConnell says he will ‘take a look’ at any White House proposal

Border protection agents during a service at the Capitol in 2008. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress was caught somewhat flat-footed Friday by reports that the Trump administration is considering calling on the National Guard to round up and deport undocumented immigrants. 

“I hadn’t heard about it,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said when asked about an Associated Press report on a memo drafted by the Department of Homeland Security. The document proposed mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops across 12 states to gather immigrants who were in the country illegally. AP reported that the memo, dated Jan. 25, bore the name of DHS Secretary John Kelly, and had circulated among DHS staff.

Despite Email Flap, Scott Pruitt Confirmed to Head EPA
Court order unsealing records prompted calls to postpone vote

Scott Pruitt was confirmed Friday as the new administrator of the EPA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate continued powering through its march on Cabinet confirmations, approving on Friday the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA, despite questions surrounding the appropriateness of his contacts with the fossil fuel industry.

Senators voted 52-46 to confirm Pruitt.