Barbara A Mikulski

Few Retiring Lawmakers Disclose Plans to Lobby
Only 17 have filed public notices of employment negotiations since 2007

Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, continued to work on the GOP tax overhaul after he announced he would resign to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable. There are no public records on file of his job negotiations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the cusp of a potentially historic wave of congressional retirements, few public records offer clues about which lawmakers have entered negotiations for lobbying and other private-sector gigs.

“There’s not usually much interest in those,” a staffer in the House Legislative Resource Center said with a shrug.

Departing Appropriations Chairmen Set to Reap Omnibus Bounty
Fiscal 2018 spending bill a swan song for Cochran, Frelinghuysen

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s swan song as the outgoing chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee may be a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo )

The outgoing chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations committees are set up for a bountiful swan song as a sprawling $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill comes to fruition this week.

For Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran, resigning April 1, it’s a “mic drop” moment as the ailing 80-year-old Mississippi Republican will walk off the stage just after the omnibus measure is expected to become law. Cochran’s departure leaves his state with an enormous loss of clout that he will be anxious to ameliorate in his final go-round.

Bipartisan Praise, and Questions, About Thad Cochran
Omnibus spending measure, future awaits veteran Mississippi Republican

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran has bipartisan support and respect, but also faces questions about how much longer he will be in office, even as he begins the task of moving an omnibus spending bill wrapping up the current fiscal year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An omnibus bill wrapping up fiscal 2018 spending could serve as a victory lap for Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran, who continues to battle questions over his health and stamina in the role.

Rumors have swirled quietly for months about the 80-year-old Mississippi Republican’s future. Those whispers became louder last year after Cochran took a prolonged absence from the Senate due to health issues.

Lobbying After Congress Declines in Popularity
Roll Call looks at what alums of the 114th Congress are up to

Clockwise from top left: former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, former Reps. Janice Hahn of California and Candice S. Miller of Michigan, former Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland and David Vitter of Louisiana, former Rep. Steve Israel of New York, former House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and former Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina. (Bill Clark and Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photos)

By KYLE STEWART and GRIFFIN CONNOLLY

Whether it was the ascension of Donald Trump, the endless vitriol of today’s politics or other factors, former members of the 114th Congress departed Washington in droves, a marked difference from previous Congresses when the most popular destinations for former members were D.C. lobbying firms.

The Bipartisan Effort to Make Senate History
Lack of Senate retirements could be unprecedented

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein appears more likely to run for a fifth full term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For all of the moaning and groaning about Washington being dysfunctional, members of Congress aren’t exactly tripping over each other to get out of town.

So far, all of the Republican and Democratic senators up for re-election this cycle seem intent on seeking another term. And if that trend continues, it would be historic. 

Women’s History Month Update on a Women’s Museum
Advocates say they are ‘closer than ever’ to making museum a reality

Joan Wages, left, and Susan Whiting are shown at a brunch for the the National Women’s History Museum in 2015. (Courtesy National Women’s History Museum)

Here is your Women’s History Month reminder that a National Women’s History Museum for the National Mall is still in the works. 

Just more than 20 years since the organization to build the museum was founded, there is a congressional commission to study its creation and a team of people ready to follow through if it gets greenlighted.

Tennessee, Texas Stand Out for Strengthened Hill Sway
In Roll Call’s Clout Index for this Congress, California delegation’s longtime hold on top spot is threatened

Party affiliation and longevity have helped propel members of the Tennessee delegation such as Sen. Bob Corker into positions that convey authority and power, Hawkings writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

No state in this decade has seen a more meaningful boost than Tennessee in institutionalized congressional influence.

Only eight states, all with much bigger delegations because they’re much more populous, have more overt sway at the Capitol this year. That is one of several notable findings from the new Roll Call Clout Index, which the newspaper uses to take a quantifiable measurement of every state’s potential for power at the start of each new Congress.  

Kamala Harris Aims for Influence as a Check on Trump
Even as a freshman, Calif. Democrat has started Senate career with a bang

California Sen. Kamala Harris has been sharply critical of President Donald Trump’s recent actions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Donald Trump received less than a third of the votes cast for president by California voters, and that’s something the state’s new senator, Kamala Harris, is well aware of.

Harris, the former state attorney general, had already spoken up on the Senate floor against the nominations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos by the time she gave her more traditional “maiden speech” Thursday. The freshman Democrat started by recounting how her mother, an Indian immigrant, chose to marry her Jamaican father in the U.S. instead of returning to India for an arranged marriage.

Bipartisan Mood as Congress Sworn in
Hugs, greetings across the aisle as contentious issues loom

Rep.-elect Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., waves to the gallery as she arrives on the House floor to take the oath of office on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For many, their first day of work in Washington was dreary and puddle-filled, but in the Senate, there were no political parties for a brief moment.

During a full day of rain in the nation’s capital, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. returned to the Senate perhaps for the last time to swear in the 27 re-elected senators and seven newly elected ones.

Word on the Hill: Staffing Up
Cortez Masto taps Reid and Mikulski staffers

Nevada Sen.-elect Catherine Cortez Masto announced seven senior staff hires. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Newly elected senators are slowly but surely staffing their Capitol Hill offices.

Nevada Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, who is replacing retiring Sen. Harry Reid, announced seven senior staff hires this week.