washington-dc

Word on the Hill: JFK and Memorial Day Weekend
Logistics for Saturday’s parade and spottings this week

The Kennedy Stamps. (©2017 USPS)

Happy Memorial Day weekend, which is also President John F. Kennedy’s Centennial weekend.

Kennedy was born 100 years ago Monday. To celebrate, the United States Postal Service released a commemorative “forever” stamp to honor the late president.

Annual Capitol Insiders Survey: The Trump Effect
Tensions on the Hill from last year have carried over into 2017

Republicans staffers on Capitol Hill are still not comfortable with President Donald Trump, the latest Capitol Insiders Survey finds. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last year’s election was humbling for pollsters, and the Capitol Insiders Survey was no exception. The vast majority of congressional staffers surveyed by CQ Roll Call in the days before the election — 91 percent — predicted a Hillary Clinton win. Only 6 percent thought Donald Trump could pull it off.

Still, the results reflect how Trump’s win blindsided the Washington establishment. The majority of Republican aides said consistently during the campaign that they wouldn’t vote for Trump.

Word on the Hill: National Wine Day
Dusty Baker on the Hill and Dana Rohrabacher in a sling

Celebrate National Wine Day before the weekend. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

You may be pleasantly surprised to hear about a very special, perhaps unknown, holiday. Today is National Wine Day.

It’s nearly Friday, which means it’s almost recess, so pick up a bottle of wine on your way home from work to celebrate.

19 House Races Shift Toward Democrats
List of competitive seats grows amid shifts against president’s party

New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s race for re-election has switched from Solid Republican to Likely Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The midterm elections are still nearly a year and a half away, and the political dynamics could yet change, but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that history and the current environment are merging together for a potentially great set of elections for Democrats in November 2018. 

The president’s party has lost House seats in 18 of the last 20 midterm elections, and it’s lost an average of 33 seats in those 18 elections. Democrats need to gain 24 seats in order to take back the majority. 

Word on the Hill: Embassy Chef Competition
Wreath-laying for women in the military

Belgium is one of the countries represented in the Embassy Chef Challenge this evening. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Decide for yourself which embassy has the best cuisine.

Thirty-nine chefs from countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas are competing in Events DC’s Embassy Chef Challenge at 6 p.m. today. Last year’s winner was the chef from the Embassy of the Philippines, and in 2015, the Embassy of Barbados took home the trophy.

Supreme Court Rejects Two Black-Majority N.C. Districts
High court upholds lower court ruling on improper use of race in redistricting

The Supreme Court on Monday unanimously upheld a lower court ruling that North Carolina state lawmakers improperly used race to alter the 1st District, represented by Rep. G.K. Butterfield. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that North Carolina unconstitutionally used race to draw two congressional districts with substantial increases of black voters, in a voting rights case that could influence how states can consider race when redistricting.

The justices found that a lower court correctly decided that state lawmakers used race as the predominant factor in significantly altering the 1st and 12th congressional districts, held by Democratic Reps. G.K. Butterfield and Alma Adams, respectively, both African-Americans.

Photos of the Week: Lawmakers Reel and Run
The Week of May 15 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Arizona Sen. John McCain talks with reporters on Wednesday after a vote in the Capitol about whether a special prosecutor is needed to investigate President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY BILL CLARK AND TOM WILLIAMS

The House returned Tuesday after a one-week recess to a Washington reeling from new allegations related to the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey and revelations that the president shared classified information with Russian officials in the Oval Office. 

FCC Eyes Repeal of Net Neutrality, Dividing Internet Industry
Proposed changes have drawn more than 1.6 million public comments

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says net neutrality has adversely affected broadband investment after it took effect two years ago. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ahead of a Federal Communications Commission vote Thursday to begin the process of rolling back Obama-era net neutrality regulations that treat internet traffic equally, battle lines are being drawn between internet service providers and giants like Google and Amazon.

The agency is expected to also decide Thursday on returning online privacy oversight to the Federal Trade Commission, whose rules are less onerous than the FCC’s that require internet service providers to obtain permission in advance before selling customers’ personal data to advertisers.

How to Investigate an Administration: Breaking Down the 3 Independent Options
DOJ appoints Robert Mueller as special counsel for Russia inquiry

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, right, seen here in 2013 with Virginia Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte on Capitol Hill, has been appointed special counsel for the Justice Department’s Russia investigation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Between congressional committees and the FBI, there are at least five ongoing investigations into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. Calls from Congress for at least one form of independent review appear to have been answered Wednesday evening when the Justice Department named former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel for the probe. 

The three independent options each have advantages and drawbacks. And they are frequently not exclusive paths — from Watergate to Whitewater, major executive scandals have been investigated simultaneously by congressional select committees and a special, independent counsel working within the DOJ. 

ACLI Capital Challenge in Photos: Gallagher is First-Place Member, Cotton Close Behind
The annual three-mile run in Anacostia raises money for the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation

Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., prepares for the ACLI Capital Challenge 3 Mile Team Race in Anacostia Park on Wednesday. He was the first member to finish the overall race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The 36th annual ACLI Capital Challenge is officially in the books for 2017. The 3-mile run at Anacostia Park raises money for the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, which pairs guide dogs with people with disabilities, often war veterans. Members of Congress, staffers and press join teams to raise money for the cause.