congressional-operations

Senators Ask White House: Where Are the Nominees?
Vice President assures GOP lawmakers names are coming

Rod Rosenstein, nominee for deputy attorney general, and Rachel L. Brand, nominee for associate attorney general, faced the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican senators are eager to continue pushing through President Donald Trump’s executive branch nominees, but they are increasingly concerned about the slow pace of nominations being sent to the Capitol for the people who will be tasked with much of the nitty-gritty work of government. 

“I continue to ask for additional names to come forward, and I’m assured that they will be soon,” Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso said Tuesday.

Trump Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple’s Police Budget
President’s New York protection costs estimated at $300,000 a day

New York Rep. Dan Donovan wants to see New York City law enforcement reimbursed for extra expenses when President Donald Trump is in the Big Apple. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A New York Republican is adding his name to the growing list of lawmakers who want to see local law enforcement reimbursed for the costs associated with protecting President Donald Trump when he isn’t at the White House. 

Rep. Dan Donovan on Tuesday asked the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee to allocate additional money for the city of New York in the subcommittee’s fiscal 2018 spending bill. Donovan said the $7 million added to a continuing resolution in December does not come close to the actual costs incurred by the city to protect Trump and his family.

Nadler Faces Uphill Battle in Seeking Trump Financial Data
Judiciary Republicans set to block New York Democrat’s resolution

New York Rep. Jerrod Nadler says his resolution seeks to explore President Donald Trump’s “business entanglements and ties to Russia.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A partisan showdown over President Donald Trump’s potential conflicts of interest is set for the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, as Democrats led by Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York push for a vote on his resolution that would require the Justice Department to release documents about Trump’s financial practices. 

The measure set for markup, known as a resolution of inquiry, is likely to be blocked by Republicans, given their 23-17 advantage on the committee, and to be passed over for a floor vote. But it would again put lawmakers on record about Trump in the same way that Ways and Means Democrats pushed unsuccessfully to get the president’s tax returns released.

Ep. 42: D.C. Establishment Anxiously Awaits Trump’s First Address to Congress
The Week Ahead

President Donald Trump will address a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28 and no one knows what to expect from this most unpredictable of presidents. It’s another episode in the Washington reality show that is Trump’s presidency and representatives and senators are extras, perhaps against their will, in the drama. CQ Roll Call’s White House reporter John T. Bennett went to Capitol Hill to take their temperature.

Show notes:

For the GOP, a Dangerous Gamble on the All-Important Town Hall
Old-school constituent connections work best, but the anger is proving tough to withstand

Police escort California Rep. Tom McClintock through a town-hall audience in Roseville, California, last Saturday. (Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee via AP)

Consider 10 and 19 as two more figures that help illustrate the risky congressional Republican strategies of passivity, defensiveness and avoidance during the first month of the Trump administration.

Ten is the total number of GOP lawmakers who have town hall meetings scheduled next week, the longest period Congress will be back home since the inauguration.  

A Case of the Mondays: Recent Senate Session Third-Longest Since 1915
Chamber didn't adjourn from noon Monday until Wednesday at 9:07 p.m.

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If this week felt a little long, that’s because it was. When the Senate gaveled out at 9:07 p.m. on Wednesday, it adjourned a session that began Monday at noon. That made it the third-longest legislative session in Senate history since 1915. In the world of arcane Senate procedure, that means the chamber never moved off the legislative business day of Monday, leaving Capitol Hill watchers with that tired, cranky feeling they never could quite shake.

The Senate debated for those 57 hours and 7 minutes several of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees, including the senators’ colleague Jeff Sessions of Alabama for attorney general, and the contentious Education secretary pick, Betsy DeVos, which ended with a history-making tiebreaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence.

Cybersecurity a Top Priority for the Capitol
‘There is no doubt we are a target,’ says House CAO Philip Kiko

Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa and other officials say that cybersecurity is a top priority at the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House officers, the Capitol Police, the Library of Congress and the Architect of the Capitol have all made cybersecurity a top priority for fiscal 2018, officials told a House committee at hearings through Tuesday on their Legislative Branch spending bill budget goals. 

“The increased amount of state-sponsored activity waged against the United States underscores the serious threat posed by malicious actors, constantly attempting to exploit IT vulnerabilities,” House Chief Administrative Officer Philip G. Kiko told the House Administration Committee. “There is no doubt that we are a target.”

Staffer Book List: Read About How to Do Your Job
Five books for congressional staffers

Learn about your job the old-fashioned way. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

You had to read books in school to study. Why not study for your job?

There are only so many things you can do to prepare yourself to be a congressional staffer. And reading is one of them.

CQ Roll Call Staff Survey Finds GOP Doubts on Border Wall
Aides confident of GOP’s chances for enacting contentious policy overhauls

President Donald Trump gets a standing ovation after speaking at the Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia on Jan. 26. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At their retreat in Philadelphia last week, Republican congressional leaders painted a picture of unity with President Donald Trump. Their aides aren’t sure about that. 

Only 49 percent of the GOP staffers who responded to CQ Roll Call’s January Capitol Insiders Survey thought Congress would enact a law to construct a wall along the Mexican border, while just 44 percent see the $1 trillion infrastructure package Trump has promised becoming law.

Trump Immigration Order Aggravates Nomination Wars
Democrats might focus particularly on Jeff Sessions

Passengers from a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight from Jeddah are greeted by protesters as they arrive at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Sunday. The furor over President Trump’s executive order restricting travel from several Islamic countries is likely to spill over onto the Senate floor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Pool)

The Senate should buckle up for a rough week.

The bipartisan concern and outrage over President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting access of immigrants from seven countries has likely ended any chance there will be smooth confirmation of additional members of the president’s national security team.