Flashback Friday: ‘BTUed’
Here’s a phrase from the past that you might not know the story behind

The term “BTUed” dates back to President Bill Clinton’s first year in office. (Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Here’s a congressional throwback — a phrase or part of Capitol Hill culture that a younger generation of Hill staffers might not know.

The term (rhymes with rude) dates back to the Clinton administration. It was coined in 1993 during a debate on legislation to reduce the deficit, which included a proposal to tax the heat content — measured in British thermal units, or BTUs — of most forms of energy. 

House Intel Republicans Say 'No Collusion' Between Trump and Russia
Release short summary of findings before sharing report with panel Democrats

Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, became the lead Republican on the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee disagree with the position of every U.S. intelligence agency that Russia wanted Donald Trump to be elected president.

The House Intelligence Committee Republicans said in a short public summary document for a more than 150 page report that they would be, concurring, “with the Intelligence Community Assessment’s judgments, except with respect to [Russian President Vladimir Putin’s] supposed preference for candidate Trump.”

Sergeant-At-Arms Prepares for New Role as Advocate for Veterans
Frank Larkin set to work with wounded warriors after he leaves current role

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank Larkin escorts President Donald Trump into the House chamber for the State of the Union address in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of Congress love to talk about how important it is to care for military veterans. But in the view of Frank Larkin, there has been a lot of talk but little action. And he wants to change that.

Larkin, who has been Senate sergeant-at-arms for the past three years, will depart his post at the end of March. His decision to leave stems from the death of his son, an emotionally taxing experience for him and his family and one that gave Larkin a new mission in life.

Bipartisan Bill Seeks to End Political ‘Burrowing’
Legislation would create cooling off period to prevent appointees from moving into career positions

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., co-sponsored legislation to end the process of political “burrowing,” in which political appointees take career positions in the federal government. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan duo’s legislation to prevent political appointees from receiving career positions in the federal government moves to the Senate after passing the House on Tuesday.

Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California and Republican Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado introduced The Political Appointee Burrowing Prevention Act, which was approved by a voice vote.

Titus Asks Justice Department to Preserve Online Gambling
Obama administration ruled in 2011 that online gambling was not illegal in states that allow it

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., sent a letter to the Department of Justice urging it not to reverse a legal ruling by the Obama Administration allowing for online gambling. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nevada Rep. Dina Titus is asking the Justice Department to keep online gambling legal.

In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Titus asked him not to reverse a 2011 ruling by the Obama administration that online gambling within states did not violate the Wire Act, which outlaws illegal gambling, The Associated Press reported.

Nebraska Democrats Ask Ethics Office to Review Rep. Bacon Tweets
Tweets violate House Ethics manual, party says

The Nebraska Democratic Party has filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., for alleged misuse of taxpayer dollars for political activity. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic party of Nebraska has asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to review Rep. Don Bacon's official Twitter account for political activity.

The request stems from two tweets the Omaha Republican published, one last November and the other in January, criticizing his predecessor, former Democratic Rep. Brad Ashford.

Graham Lies at Center of Politics He Both Embraced and Eschewed
Biographer: Nixon ‘used’ reverend, making him leery of most politicians

President Donald Trump touches the casket of the Rev. Billy Graham as he lies in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Capitol Rotunda went mostly silent late Wednesday morning, with just the precise footsteps of eight military pallbearers echoing and camera shutters fluttering. The servicemembers moved slowly but with purpose as they placed Billy Graham’s brown casket on a stand covered by a black cloth.

The towering and sometimes polarizing American religious figure — hailed for his sermons and criticized for anti-Semitic remarks once caught on tape — had arrived to lie in honor in a building that symbolizes the politics he both embraced and eschewed.

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank Larkin to Retire
Chamber figure plans to remain in the office until a successor is named

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin plans to retire. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms  Frank J. Larkin plans to retire from his post once a successor is named.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who nominated Larkin for the post when the Kentucky Republican became majority leader, made the announcement Monday.

Opinion: America Doesn’t Care How the Sausage Is Made
Both parties need to outline the outcomes of their policies first

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy at a news conference in March 2017. It was easy for Republicans to call for repealing the 2010 health care law, but defining its replacement and the outcomes it would deliver was harder, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Process rather than outcome has become the new definition of governing in D.C. and that’s not good for America.

The inside story of how a controversial bill is passed or a presidential decision is reached has historical value. But when day-to-day political discourse thrives on gossipy renditions of process as we see now rather than focusing on the outcomes these actions will deliver, a disillusioned electorate is the unfortunate consequence.

Maryland Democrats Blast FBI HQ Plan
Cardin, Hoyer concerned about effort to put new FBI building at current location

Maryland lawmakers are criticizing the GSA and FBI plan to rebuild the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building on its current site. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Trump administration’s proposal to keep the FBI headquarters adjacent to the president’s hotel complex in downtown D.C., has raised the ire of Maryland lawmakers.

“Throughout the Bush and Obama Administrations, the FBI and GSA repeatedly told Congress that the FBI needs a new, fully consolidated headquarters, going so far as to stress the need for selecting a new site because the existing location does not allow the FBI to consolidate the almost 11,000 headquarters employees into one facility,” House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer said in a statement