Amy Klobuchar

Election assistance agency pleads for more money ahead of 2020
“What we are working on is the infrastructure of our democracy”

Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt noted Wednesday that budget cuts at the Election Assistance Commission came during the Obama administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Officials from the Election Assistance Commission, a federal agency responsible for overseeing voting machines used in thousands of jurisdictions across the country and helping states adopt good election administration practices, pleaded with lawmakers for more money to do their jobs ahead of the 2020 elections.

The federal agency is working with a staff and budget that are about half what they were 10 years ago, officials said Wednesday as lawmakers grappled with how to beef up the agency.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 'Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket'
Presidential hopeful turned down network offer of televised town hall

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., torched Fox News on Twitter and in an email to supporters Tuesday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren inveighed against Fox News on Tuesday, calling the conservative network a “hate-for-profit racket.”

“Fox News invited me to do a town hall on their network. I turned them down,” Warren wrote in an email to supporters.

Tax law hits 2020 Democratic presidential contenders unevenly
Returns show that despite similar incomes, Booker paid more, Gillibrand less

Income tax paid by Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and her husband increased by more than $14,000 because of the 2017 tax overhaul, a CQ Roll Call analysis found. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — The 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who’ve released last year’s tax returns thus far are well-off enough to represent less than one-fifth of the taxpaying public, with incomes ranging from $100,000 to $2 million.

But their experiences are probably typical of many voters in similar circumstances: married couples with young children tend to do well under the 2017 tax law, though it helps to reside in lower-tax states.

Elizabeth Warren releases opioid plan ahead of Appalachian campaign stops
Legislation would authorize $100 billion over 10 years to tackle multiple aspects of the epidemic

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has unveiled legislation to address the opioid crisis, which she will address in her capacity as a presidential candidate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren rolled out Wednesday a revised version of her bill to aggressively ramp up funding to combat the opioid crisis in anticipation of a series of town halls the Democratic presidential contender plans to hold starting this week.

Life expectancy for Americans has dropped for three consecutive years, and drug overdoses are one of the top factors. Warren has been active on the addiction issue — especially speaking out against opioid manufacturers over their role in the crisis and pursuing funding increases to combat the health epidemic.

Graham, Klobuchar introduce internet ads bill to boost transparency
The bill would treat internet and social media campaign ads like current political ads on radio, TV and print

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., looks over papers before the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the "Department of Justice’s Investigation of Russian Interference with the 2016 Presidential Election" on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Attorney General Bill Barr testified during the hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan bill to boost the transparency of political and campaign ads posted on social media and the internet is expected to be reintroduced Wednesday by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Mark Warner, D-Va.

The bill, first introduced in the 115th Congress, would treat internet and social media campaign ads like current political ads on radio, television and in print, which have to disclose publicly who paid for them.

Trump’s economy is booming, and Democrats can’t handle it
The jobs report drops, and what do they do? Run all the way back to Obama

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been trashing the Republican tax cuts, but the jobs report throws a wrench in his plans, Winston writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — “There was a $2 trillion tax cut last year. Did you feel it? Did you get anything from it? Of course not. … All of it went to folks at the top and corporations.”

That was Joe Biden at a Pittsburgh union workers’ rally ten days ago.

Female candidates for president still face bias in 2020
Sexism is going strong, according to recent studies

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and other Democratic women running for president face an uphill climb, studies suggest. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The six women vying for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020 start the race with more than 1 in 10 Americans saying they’re less suited to politics, merely because of their gender.

A new report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce contends the candidates — who include four senators, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, along with Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and author Marianne Williamson — face a deficit that’s “still too substantial to ignore.”

Mental health clinics wait on Congress
If federal lawmakers don’t renew a promising program before the end of June, it will be up to the states to find the money

Sen. Debbie Stabenow is leading the charge in the Senate to renew a promising mental health program. The clock is ticking. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The promise of higher federal Medicaid payments is giving eight states the chance to show that one-stop mental health clinics with 24-hour crisis care could offer patients a better option than the de facto safety net of police departments and emergency rooms.

But the two-year experiment is drawing to a close now, leaving the program with an uncertain future if Congress doesn’t extend it.

Klobuchar plan to combat addiction draws on experience with her dad
Policy proposal comes as part of her 2020 presidential campaign platform

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., unveiled a mental health policy proposal on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s mental health plan, unveiled Friday morning, draws on proposals from several of her Senate colleagues — and it’s also a highly personal quest for the senator.

One of the early major proposals of the Minnesota Democrat’s 2020 White House campaign, it calls for aggressive investments to support mental health and treatment for addiction, including an increased focus on early intervention. It also draws on her experience with her father’s alcoholism.

2020 Democrats showcase campaign styles in Barr hearing
Three presidential contenders questioned attorney general about Mueller findings

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., looks over papers before the start of the Senate Judiciary hearing with Attorney General William Barr. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Three presidential contenders were in the national spotlight Wednesday thanks to their day jobs as senators. And the questions they directed at Attorney General William Barr highlighted how each is also approaching the race to take on President Donald Trump. 

Barr sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday for a daylong hearing. He faced questions over his conclusions about special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign, and whether the president obstructed that probe.