science

House offices on timeline to implement anti-harassment policies
The House took steps to further codify protections following last year’s dispute over how Congress should prevent harassment and discrimination

House offices have 60 days to implement an anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House took steps Thursday to further codify a more appropriate culture on Capitol Hill, following last year’s prolonged dispute over how Congress should protect its own staff from harassment and discrimination.

The House Administration Committee voted to approve regulations for mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies for House offices. 

Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismisses Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on climate change
White House press secretary says they’ll listen to ‘a much, much higher authority’ than freshman congresswoman

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders answers a question during the daily briefing at the White House December 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Regarding man-made climate change, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that the White House would rather listen to “a much, much higher authority” than Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Fox New host Sean Hannity asked Sanders on Tuesday night to respond to a statement by Ocasio-Cortez that greenhouse gas emissions have to be dramatically curbed the next twelve years to avoid catastrophe.

Grijalva’s moment arrives as he takes Natural Resources gavel
New chairman brings progressive focus to often contentious committee

The new House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., has served on the panel since he first came to Congress in 2003. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As climate change and immigration lead priorities for the new House Democratic majority, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva may just be the man for the moment.

The question however is: Did Grijalva find this moment or did the moment finally find him?

Even at Farm Bill Signing, For Trump It’s All About the Wall
President signs five-year reauthorization at White House, but talks about border standoff

Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee, helped shepherd the farm bill to passage. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump signed the 2018 farm bill after entering the ceremony to the theme from the “Green Acres” sitcom of the 1960s about a city slicker and his society wife who move to the country to become hobby farmers. But before praising farmers, Trump renewed his demand for $5 billion in border wall funding, making much of the ceremony about the ongoing fight over the border wall and an ensuing government shutdown. 

Trump called securing the U.S.-Mexico border an “absolute duty,” saying “any measure that funds the government has to include border security — has to.”

Zinke Circles Back to Familiar Scapegoat for California Fires
Cost of combating blazes will be ‘well into the billions,’ Interior secretary says

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, right, seen here in Paradise, Calif., earlier this month with California Gov. Jerry Brown and FEMA Administrator Brock Long, center, is blaming the Golden State’s devastating forest fires on environmental groups. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

As the dead and damage continue to be tabulated from California’s Camp Fire, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday continued the administration drumbeat that environmental groups are to blame for the devastation, saying they have prevented officials from forestry practices that reduce the risk of deadly blazes.

Forest experts, scientists and resource managers say a combination of factors, including drought exacerbated by climate change and urban and rural development patterns, have helped lead to the current situation. But Zinke on several occasions during fire season has put the blame squarely on environmental groups that are frequently at odds with Republican politicians. 

League of Conservation Voters’ Political Arm Shows Some Midterm Muscle
Super PAC expands into 14 more House races, will spend record $80 million this cycle

Environmental activists protest in front of the White House after President Donald Trump announced he is withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The campaign arm of the League of Conservation Voters says it will spend $80 million before Election Day — a record for the super PAC.

Rollbacks to environmental protections by President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress have created a sense of urgency heading into Election Day, LCV Victory Fund said in a news release.

Rohrabacher Says Trump Will Liberalize Marijuana Policy After Midterms
Administration to leave recreational use up to states, legalize medical marijuana at federal level

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., said he has received assurances from the White House that “the president intends on keeping his campaign promise” to legalize medical marijuana at the national level. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s administration will work to relax federal marijuana laws and regulations after the midterms, according to one of his staunchest Republican defenders in the House.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California told Fox Business on Thursday he has worked to secure a “solid commitment” from administration officials to legalize medical marijuana across the federal level and leave recreational use of the drug up to the states.

Despite New Tariffs, China Still Not Budging on Trade Tactics, White House Says
Senior official indicates Canada no closer to joining Mexico trade deal than it was when talks started

U.S. and Chinese flags on a table where military leaders from the two countries met in 2014. Four year later, the economic giants are in the midst of a bitter trade dispute. Depsite President Trump’s tariff's little progress has been made, an official said Friday. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle)

The Trump administration is not aiming to “cleve off” the U.S. economy from China’s, but it intends to continue pressuring the Asian giant even though tough moves like repeated rounds of tariffs have yet to bring the fundamental changes President Donald Trump is demanding.

“Our goal is not to totally divorce our economies from each other,” said a senior official who briefed reporters Friday at the White House about trade matters. “Our goal is for China to stop behaving unfairly.”

Trump Again Defends Puerto Rico Response as Hurricane Florence Nears
President blames ‘totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan’ for problems after Maria

Hurricane Florence rainfall predictions as the storm heads for the Carolinas and Virginia, according to the National Hurricane Center. (NOAA)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday warned Hurricane Florence could prove “bigger than anticipated” as it barrels toward the Carolinas and sharply blamed a Puerto Rican mayor for the widely panned federal response to a storm there last year.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long on Tuesday warned Florence has “an opportunity of being a very devastating storm,” adding “the power is going to be off for weeks.” He predicts the storm will be a Category 3 or Category 4 hurricane when it makes landfall this weekend. And Trump told reporters after being briefed by Long and Homeland Security officials that Florence will be “tremendously big and tremendously wet” with “tremendous amounts of water.”

Here Are All the Republicans Jockeying for Committee Leadership Positions (So Far)
Roughly half of the House committees will have new GOP leadership next year

Dozens of House Republicans are running for committee chairmanships that will be open in the next Congress, hoping to obtain gavels like the one pictured. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo.)

Roughly half of the House’s 21 committees will have new Republican leadership next year, creating several competitive races among colleagues looking to move up the ranks.

The majority of the openings come from retiring GOP chairmen, most of whom have reached the six-year limit Republicans place on their committee leaders.