uncategorized

Proposal Restricting National Mall Access a ‘Game Changer’ for Hill Athletes
Senate and House softball league commissioners say they’re already squeezed for space

Congressional staffers practice their softball game on the National Mall in April 2009. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Park Service has pitched a curveball to congressional aides who use the National Mall for recreational sports.

The park service held meetings last week with leagues from across the city — including the House softball league — informing them that it planned to permanently close access on the Mall, from Third Street to 17th Street, to “organized sports.”

Plan to Boost Coal and Nuclear Could Cost Consumers
Should consumers pay more so coal and nuclear plants can survive?

Energy Secretary Rick Perry testifies during the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Oct. 12. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For years, federal regulation of the electric grid has focused on keeping prices low and competition stiff. But that could change with a recent proposal from the Trump administration to put more emphasis on what it calls resiliency.

According to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the electric grid is more resilient — able to bounce back from disasters of the natural and man-made variety — when it has plenty of so-called baseload power that can run 24/7, with or without sunshine or wind and regardless of supply snags.

Texas Democrats on Pelosi’s Help: Meh
Senate and House hopefuls unite in calls for new party leadership

Support from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is an afterthought for the Democratic hopefuls in Texas' 23rd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When it comes to support from their party’s House leader, Texas Democratic hopefuls can take it or leave it.

In Texas’ 23rd District, all four Democrats running against Republican Rep. Will Hurd were at best lukewarm in their enthusiasm for a potential endorsement from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — with some suggesting they would not welcome the California Democrat’s help.

Congress’ Gun Massacre Caucus
Dealing with mass shootings is becoming all too familiar for many members

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, center left, with Rep. Mark Sanford to his right and then-Gov. Nikki Haley, second from right, attend a memorial service commemorating the anniversary of the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

On Dec. 14, 2012, Elizabeth Esty was attending a social media workshop for new members of Congress at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She had been elected to represent Connecticut’s 5th District a month earlier.

“I raised my hand and I said, ‘Here’s an example right now — I’m getting texts and alerts that there’s been a shooting and we don’t know what happened,’” she said.

Breitbart Mocked for Trying to Discredit Washington Post’s Roy Moore Exposé
Story on conservative site appears to confirm original report

GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore has been accused of sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32. It is yet unclear what effect the report will have on his election odds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The popular alt-right website Breitbart News Network was the object of ridicule Sunday after it published a story ostensibly to discredit the Washington Post’s exposé on U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama.

The Breitbart story’s critics said it actually appeared to bolster the meticulous journalism the Post reporters used to secure on-the-record interviews with four women who say they were teenagers when Moore tried to date or had sexual contact with them when he was in his mid-30s.

From Asia, Trump Presses Tax Writers on Individual Mandate
Neither House nor Senate GOP overhaul bill includes repeal language

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., speaks with President Donald Trump as they arrive for the Senate Republicans’ policy lunch in the Capitol on Oct. 24. Trump tweeted Monday from Asia that he wants tax legislation to repeal the individual health insurance mandate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Monday again pressed House and Senate Republican lawmakers to use tax overhaul legislation to end the 2010 health care law’s individual insurance mandate, something neither chamber’s plan includes.

Tweeting just before midnight in Manila, Philippines, Trump laid down a marker for House and Senate Republicans as they continue work on their separate bills. The president wrote that he is “proud of the Rep. House & Senate for working so hard on cutting taxes {& reform.} We’re getting close!”

Podcast: What Businesses Have to Gain From the Tax Overhaul
The Week Ahead, Episode 78

Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, left, and Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., ranking member, conduct a House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republicans' tax reform plan titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in Longworth Building on November 9, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rachelle Bernstein of the National Retail Federation and a long time voice on tax policy around Capitol Hill explains what businesses, large and small, are looking for in the tax overhaul and the lessons learned from the Bush-era tax cuts.

Show Notes:

Lobbyists Miffed at House Tax Bill Turn Attention to Senate
Some hope for different answers on mortgage interest deduction, SALT

Chairman Kevin Brady, left, and Rep. Richard Neal, ranking member, arrive for a House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republicans’ tax reform plan Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House Ways and Means Committee hasn’t yet approved its version of the tax overhaul, but already some lobbyists, miffed by how the legislation is shaping up, say they’re turning to the Senate. 

The Senate’s overhaul measure, which is expected to become public as soon as Thursday, may be wildly different from the House bill. It is likely to include more temporary tax breaks than the House product and may also delay corporate rate cuts

Summer of Storms Tests Energy Resilience
Lawmakers, administration battle over what it means to rebuild

A downed electric pole sits in mud in Jayuya, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 9, more than two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the island. Puerto Rico experienced widespread damage including most of the electrical, gas and water grid. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

While the Trump administration proposes to make the nation’s electric grid more “resilient” by propping up nuclear and coal-fired power plants, a wide range of energy advocates say there are better — and greener — ways to achieve the same goal.

And they are urging leaders to heed the lessons provided by the massive storms that took down electricity lines in parts of Texas and Florida and left U.S. island territories in the Caribbean in the dark for weeks.

One Year Out: The 10 Most Vulnerable House Incumbents in 2018
Eight Republicans and two Democrats are most likely not to return next cycle

California Rep. Darrell Issa is among the ten most vulnerable House incumbents in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A year out from Election Day, eight of the top 10 most vulnerable House incumbents are Republicans. These are the members least likely to return to Congress in 2019.

Twenty-three Republicans sit in districts Hillary Clinton won last fall, but only four of them make the top 10. Two Democrats, both in districts President Donald Trump won, take two spots near the bottom. GOP strategists admit that if they can’t pass a tax overhaul, more Republicans will be in trouble because the party risks lower turnout from a disappointed base.