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Bills Filed to Award Congressional Gold Medal to Aretha Franklin
Bipartisan sentiment in both chambers to honor ‘Queen of Soul’

Lawmakers want to honor “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin with a Congressional Gold Medal. (CQ Roll Call file photo).

A bipartisan group of four senators have introduced legislation to posthumously award Aretha Franklin the Congressional Gold Medal for her contribution to arts and culture. The “Queen of Soul” died August 16 at age 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

There are both House and Senate versions of the legislation, which is sponsored by Michigan Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow, Gary Peters and Rep. Brenda Lawrence, who represents Franklin’s adopted hometown of Detroit. The legislation is also backed by Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah and Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga. 

Democrats Pledge CRA to Kill EPA’s Clean Power Plan Replacement
Trump hopes to gut Obama-era regulations at the center of Paris climate agreement pledges

Donald Trump had made the rollback of Obama-era carbon emission regulations a central talking point at his rallies. (Justin Merriman/Getty Images file photo)

Updated 2:35 p.m. | Democrats are already promising a Congressional Review Act challenge to the Trump administration’s proposal Tuesday to replace an Obama-era regulation curbing climate-warming carbon emissions from the electric power sector.

For President Donald Trump and Capitol Hill Republicans, the draft proposal marks the culmination of a three-year battle to repeal the Clean Power Plan, a rulemaking finalized in 2015 that required states to devise plans to cut carbon emissions from existing coal-powered electricity plants and other high carbon-emitting energy sources.

Wyoming, Alaska Hold Primaries Tuesday
A member of GOP Senate leadership is facing a primary

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., has a handful of primary challengers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Voters in Wyoming and Alaska will pick their parties’ nominees on Tuesday, including in one race featuring a member of Senate Republican leadership.

The general election races are not expected to be competitive. But the primaries will set the matchups in one of the few states where Republicans are defending a Senate seat, and in a race involving the most senior House Republican.

Giffords Backing New Jersey Republican Lance’s Re-Election Bid
Former Democratic congresswoman and gun control advocate endorses Lance over stance on guns

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., center, is greeted by, from left, Reps. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at a ceremony in the Capitol in November to name the House Democratic Cloakroom in honor of Giffords and the late Rep. Leo Ryan, D-Calif., who were victims of gun violence. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords is backing Rep. Leonard Lance in his bid for for a sixth term in New Jersey.

It’s a notable endorsement because it crosses party lines: Giffords, one of the nation’s leading gun control advocates and a former Democratic congresswoman from Arizona, vacated her seat in 2012 after she was shot in 2011 in an apparent assassination attempt.

Dems Had a Lackluster Showing at the Iowa State Fair. That’s a Bad Sign for 2020
And another thing: Where were the women?

Sheep line up for judging at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2011. This year’s fair was decidedly lacking in star power on the Democratic side, Murphy writes. And that spells trouble for 2020. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — As a political reporter, it’s hard not to love the Iowa State Fair, the two-week staging ground for some of the biggest names in American politics to make their case alongside a 600-pound butter cow and an epic hog calling contest. The fair is both a thermometer and a road map that tells you how hot a party or candidate is at any given moment, as well as where they’re likely headed next.

In a midterm election year like 2018, when Democratic energy is palpable and first-time candidates are plentiful, you’d think the parade of high-profile national Democrats showing up to claim their time at the Des Moines Register’s famous Soapbox stage would be long and strong.

Trump Wants $5 Billion for Border Wall Amid Shutdown Threat
President continues to peg immigration issue as a winner for the GOP

Hundreds of women crowd the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building to protest President Trump's immigration policy on June 28. On Monday, he called for $3.4 billion more for his southern border wall than GOP and Democratic senators are proposing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump laid down a key marker for the autumn federal funding debate, saying Monday he wants around $5 billion this year for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall. The demand could increase the odds of a government shutdown.

The amount he endorsed during a White House immigration event, which he also touted last week at a fundraiser in Utica, N.Y., is the same as that proposed in a House Homeland Security funding measure for next fiscal year. But there’s a catch: the Senate’s version of that funding measure proposes only $1.6 billion for the project.

Trump Essentially Dares Brennan to Sue Over Stripped Clearance
President wants former CIA director’s ‘records, texts, emails and documents’

President Trump and his legal team are essentially daring former CIA Director John Brennan to sue the president over a terminated security clearance. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump on Monday essentially dared former CIA Director John Brennan to sue him over the security clearance the president revoked last week.

Trump ordered Brennan’s security clearance turned off after the former Barack Obama aide and Cabinet official harshly criticized the sitting president, even dubbing his performance last month alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin as “treasonous.”

6 Times Things Got Physical on the Campaign Trail
Davis campaign aide latest to cross the line

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte posted a public apology to a reporter and pledged to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists after he admitted to body-slamming him the night before a 2017 House special election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Levi Lovell, campaign field director for Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault after chasing the congressman’s Democratic opponent, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, around a local bar.

Amid all the heat and pressure of an election year, political disputes hardly ever get physical — until they do.

Aretha Franklin Gets R-E-S-P-E-C-T From Lawmakers
Members of Congress recall personal connections, dedication to civil rights

Aretha Franklin sings during the inauguration ceremony for President Barack Obama on the West Front of the Capitol on Jan. 20, 2009. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the news of the death of Aretha Franklin circulated, members of Congress recalled their personal connections to the Queen of Soul, as well as her long advocacy of civil rights. 

“What made her talent so great was her capacity to live what she sang. Her music was deepened by her connection to the struggles and the triumphs of the African American experience growing up in her father’s church, the community of Detroit, and her awareness of the turmoil of the South. She had a lifelong, unwavering commitment to civil rights and was one of the strongest supporters of the movement,” Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon in his own right, said in a statement.