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Senate to Vote on at Least Two Cabinet Nominees Friday
Democrats are calling for more time to vet controversial nominees

Schumer said Democrats want more time to vet nominees. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate is expected to vote on at least two of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees after he is sworn in on Friday. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Thursday that he expected votes on retired Gens. John Kelly to be the next Homeland Security secretary and James Mattis to lead the Defense Department. Schumer also said debate will begin on Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo’s nomination to be the CIA director, with a vote possible on Friday or early next week.

Obama and Trump: Two Presidents, Same God
Mixing politics and religion is a longtime tradition

If some faith leaders see the hand of God in Donald Trump’s victory last November, how do they explain President Barack Obama’s two previous, more decisive wins? Mary C. Curtis asks. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

If Franklin Graham did not actually endorse Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency, he stepped right up to the line — the one separating church and state. Graham was absolutely giddy post-election, when he gave credit to a force greater than the electorate. The evangelist and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse credited the “God factor” for Trump’s poll-defying win.

You might be seeing a lot of Graham, starting at Friday’s inauguration where he is one of the faith leaders invited to offer a prayer for America’s new president. It marks a resurgence of a familiar name when it comes to mingling politics and religion, and a continuation of a tradition in a country that doesn’t have an official faith but celebrates a National Day of Prayer and seems most comfortable with leaders who praise a higher power.

Price Faces Tough Questions on Stock Trading, Health Care Law

Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., takes his seat before the start of his confirmation hearing in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Tom Price sought in a contentious hearing Wednesday to defend his purchases of medical stocks against Democratic charges of conflicts of interest.

Price told Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that held the hearing, that he bought Australian biotech Innate Immunotherapeutics shares after talking with Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., about the company. Collins serves as a director of the company. That raises questions about whether that would be a potential violation of the STOCK Act which prohibits lawmakers from benefiting from insider information or ethics rules. However, Price said he did not receive information that was not public.

Confirmation Speculation Swirls in the Senate
Leaders are negotiating whether Cabinet picks can be swiftly confirmed Friday

Defense Secretary nominee James Mattis could be one of the nominees confirmed on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

<strong>By BRIDGET BOWMAN AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI</strong><br> <strong>CQ Roll Call</strong>

Senators’ focus on President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees continued Wednesday afternoon, with some attention turning toward which nominees might be confirmed on Friday.

Gwen Moore to Attend Inauguration as 'The Resistance'
Moore's decision comes as the list of Democrats skipping the festivities grows

Rep. Gwen Moore says she is attending the Inauguration as the face of opposition to President-elect Dona'd Trump's "repugnant" policies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Many Democrats are planning to skip Friday’s inaugural activities over their objections to President-elect Donald Trump, but not Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore.

“As a proud Democrat, I want President-elect Trump to see me front and center as he’s sworn in,” Moore said in a statement Wednesday. “I want him to see exactly what his opposition looks like. When he sees me, I want him to see The Resistance.”

Disability Rights Advocates Concerned After DeVos’ Hearing
Came after cagey responses on integrated education

Disability rights advocates were concerned about DeVos' lack of understanding of law that governs education for students with disabilities (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call).

Disability rights advocates raised concerns after Education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos' confirmation hearing that she might not be committed to enforcing educational access for students with disabilities.

During the hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Department of Education, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., asked about whether schools that received federal money should have to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act.

Sparring Over Price Takes Center Stage
Has first of two confirmation hearings

Rep. Tom Price, seen here meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, faces his first confirmation hearing Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate chamber might be the quietest place in Washington this week (except for the House chamber).

The Senate’s keeping the floor lights dimmed until inauguration morning on Friday, and the Senate GOP is forgoing the usual weekly media stakeout by the Ohio Clock in the Capitol, citing extra access restrictions this week.

House Republican Women See a Boost in Authority
3 committees, other powerful posts newly under control of 21-person caucus

Texas Rep. Kay Granger is the new chairwoman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which drives the allocation of more than half a trillion dollars annually to the military. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For the past four years, Republicans endured pointed barbs about how the only woman with a House committee gavel was presiding over the fittingly sexist-sounding “housekeeping committee,” the Hill’s nickname for the panel overseeing the Capitol’s internal operations.

That’s not a fair jape anymore. Exactly a century after the arrival of the first female elected to Congress, Jeannette Rankin of Montana, her GOP successors will be wielding more titular power in the Republican-run House than ever. Women will soon be presiding over three standing committees, a record for the party, while a fourth has taken over what’s arguably the chamber’s single most consequential subcommittee, because it takes the lead in apportioning more than half of all discretionary federal spending.

House Freshmen to Watch
115th Congress provides a platform for ambitious new members

Kihuen, left, comes to Congress with a record of success in Nevada, and the blessing of former Sen. Harry Reid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not all freshmen are created equal.

While there is always a learning curve for new members of the House, some of the newly elected come to the institution with an enhanced profile. This could be because they are former statewide officeholders, or perhaps scored a big one for the team by knocking off a longtime incumbent. Maybe they are natural leaders or their ambitions are such that they are already looking at other federal offices. 

Trump vs. Lewis: A Question of Character
The difference between being a character — and having it

Georgia Rep. John Lewis stands on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., on Feb. 14, 2015. Lewis was beaten by police on the bridge on "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965, during an attempted march for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When we think of Rep. John Lewis on a bus, it is as a teenage “Freedom Rider,” putting his own life at risk in order to form a more perfect union. When we think of Donald Trump on a bus, it is as a boorish billionaire, musing about sexually assaulting women.

When we think of Lewis and racial politics, it is in the context of waking America’s conscience to the civil, voting and housing rights denied to citizens because of the color of their skin. When we think of Trump and racial politics, it is in the context of denying housing to citizens based on the color of their skin, fomenting white nationalism and seeking ways to discriminate against Muslims without running afoul of the First Amendment.