ENVI

Momentum on marijuana moves to statehouses
With Congress stalled and state ballot initiatives scarce, legislatures will become main arena for debates

A bill in the House to legalize marijuana faces an uncertain future, the Senate has not moved legislation that would allow marijuana businesses to bank and opportunities to legalize marijuana through state ballot initiatives have winnowed. The result is state legislatures will be the main arena for legalization debates. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Marijuana legalization campaigns will increasingly run through state capitols as Congress remains stalled, advocates say.

A bill in the House to legalize marijuana faces an uncertain future, and the Senate has not moved legislation that would allow marijuana businesses to bank. Meanwhile, opportunities to legalize marijuana through state ballot initiatives have winnowed; while nine other states and the District of Columbia approved commercial sales through ballot initiatives, just 23 states and the district allow such initiatives.

Watch: Roll Call is tired of Congress’ weak sports bets
Clyde McGrady has had enough

LSU and New Orleans Saints helmets on display in the Hart Building office of former Sen. David Vitter on September 6, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Some senators from trade-heavy states opposed US-Mexico-Canada pact
Most opponents put environmental concerns ahead of economic benefits

California Sen. Kamala Harris cited environmental concerns for her opposition to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats felt comfortable supporting President Donald Trump’s renegotiated trade agreement with Canada and Mexico because labor unions, mostly, did.

The unions said the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement would be an improvement over its predecessor, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Congressional ‘gambling’ is out of control
These friendly wagers have gotten stale and could use some new energy

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exchange gifts in June as they settle a wager over an NBA basketball championship game between her Golden State Warriors and his victorious Toronto Raptors. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Politicians have a gambling problem.

Mayors do it. So do governors and even prime ministers. But members of Congress are the worst offenders, and they’re getting out of control.

Trump trial enters the question-and-answer phase
Senators on both sides draft questions aimed at bolstering their cases for or against conviction

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer tells reporters to ask questions one at a time at a news conference during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Jan. 27. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Senators will finally get to actually participate — at least by proxy — in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Wednesday after long days and nights of just listening to presentations from House impeachment managers and the president’s own attorneys.

The Senate will spend up to eight hours each on Wednesday and Thursday on written questions submitted by senators and read aloud by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., alternating the questioning between the minority and majority. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that during the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, senators were “thoughtful and brief in their questions” and that House managers and the president's counsel were “succinct in their answers.”

DeFazio readies 'transformative' infrastructure bill
Zero-emission vehicles, new transit options to be included in plan. Republicans say they have their own ideas

DeFazio says he has big ideas for infrastructure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter A. DeFazio said Tuesday he will push for a “transformative” infrastructure bill that will aim to eliminate carbon emissions from transportation, encourage the government to build carbon-neutral buildings, make renewable fuels more available to airlines and increase transit options, including rail.

DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat, will present what he characterizes as a framework to House Democrats on Wednesday morning, with tentative plans to publicly roll out that framework later in the day.

‘Love of the game’: Congress honors Kobe
Moment of silence lasts 33 seconds

Reps. Harley Rouda and Maxine Waters stand next to each other during Tuesday’s House floor tribute to Kobe Bryant. (Screenshot/House Recording Studio)

The House paused briefly Tuesday to honor NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash Sunday alongside his daughter and seven others. California Reps. Maxine Waters and Harley Rouda were joined in the well of the House by 16 other members for the moment of silence, which lasted 33 seconds.

Before the remembrance, Rouda read the names of all nine people who died in a crash he called “horrific.” Those who lost their lives “were all connected by the love of the game,” he said.

View from the gallery: Lots of cross-party talk — and cross-contamination — at Senate trial
Mitt Romney finds a loophole in the beverage rule

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, talks with reporters in the Senate subway before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York sat still at his desk as President Donald Trump’s defense team played a montage of decades-old statements from Democrats regarding Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

It ended with a clip of Schumer, then a House member, warning against the dangers of partisan impeachment. 

Coronavirus transmission: Scientists need basic answers

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar arrives for the start of a Senate Finance Committee hearing on March 14, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Our current assessment is that the immediate health risk of this new virus to the general public is low in our nation,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield told a group of reporters about the coronavirus at a news conference Tuesday.

House Democrats offer plan for zero carbon emissions by 2050
Republicans promise a plan of their own, but it's unlikely to reach zero-carbon goal

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., talks with reporters after a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Energy and Commerce Democratic leaders unveiled a draft climate bill aimed at decarbonizing the U.S. economy by 2050, even as House Republicans expect to release their own plan in coming weeks.

The draft measure reflects prescriptions in a blueprint the Democrats released earlier this month, led by committee leaders Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., and Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., and Bobby L. Rush, D-Ill., to remove carbon emissions from the economy by 2050.