Bradley Byrne

Lawmakers Watch Eclipse From Back Home
With Congress on recess, members watched the show with friends, family, and constituents

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas,  watches Monday’s eclipse from San Antonio, where he was visiting the Chamber of Commerce. (Sen. Ted Cruz via Twitter)

Unlike President Donald Trump, many lawmakers listened to the warnings and wore solar eclipse glasses to look at the sun on Monday.

The president briefly looked skyward before putting on his protective glasses when he and first lady Melania Trump joined millions of Americans to view the solar eclipse.

House Passes $658 Billion Defense Spending Bill

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., and colleague Barbara Lee, D-Calif. proposed an amendment that prohibits money being spent on uniforms for the Afghan National Army. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday passed the so-called security minibus appropriations package on a 235-192 vote, allocating nearly $790 billion across four separate spending bills, including $658 billion for defense.

The measure designates $584 billion in regular defense appropriations and $73.9 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations accounts.

House Readies Debate on Defense Amendments

Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, followed here by Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, sponsored the language to provide money for a border wall with Mexico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Rules Committee on Wednesday approved a structured rule governing floor debate for amendments to the fiscal 2018 defense appropriations bill, the final piece of the four-bill minibus spending package on the House floor.

Legislators will work through 54 amendments in the defense measure (HR 3219) during debate Thursday, including language to restrict spending defense funds on certain projects in Afghanistan and Yemen and efforts to add funds for missile defense and other weapons programs.

Congress Still Grappling With Cybersecurity Concerns
Experts say networks on Capitol Hill lag in basic protections

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, seen here at a 2015 #Hack4Congress event at Google’s offices in Washington, is one of several lawmakers who have pushed for improved security for congressional computer networks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers and their staffs have been aware for years that their internet communications could be prime targets for both foreign and domestic spies.

But after last year’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee by Russian operatives, many are reassessing security protocols that once seemed sufficient — even overbearing — and finding them lacking.

Rare Bipartisan Internship Exists for North Carolina HBCU Students
Alma Adams and Mark Walker run a paid summer internship program

From left: North Carolina Rep. Alma Adams, Nasya Blackwell, Dariana Reid and North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker. (Courtesy Adams’ office)

Twenty-year-old political science majors Dariana Reid, a rising senior at Johnson C. Smith University, and Nasya Blackwell, a rising junior at North Carolina A&T State University, are interning in both a Democratic and a Republican office on the Hill this summer.

They are interns in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship Program, which was established last year. The universities are located in the districts of two North Carolina lawmakers, Democrat Alma Adams and Republican Mark Walker, who teamed up to create the experience.

Brooks ‘Very Much’ Weighing Challenge to Strange
Alabama congressman

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., said the time he’d have to spend away from family is a “big factor” in his consideration of running for the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks said he is “very much” considering a challenge to Sen. Luther Strange in the state’s Republican primary.

"We are very much exploring it as a possibility," Brooks told the Montgomery Advertiser.

Byrne and Aderholt Pass on Alabama Senate Race
Join Alabama Republican House colleagues in not challenging Luther Strange

Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., said he would focus on protecting his district’s priorities in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alabama Reps. Bradley Byrne and Robert B. Aderholt both announced they will not challenge Sen. Luther Strange in a Republican senate primary this year.

Byrne said Monday he will be focused on protecting district priorities like the Littoral Combat Ship program and securing money for the Interstate 10 bridge project, AL.com reported.

Trump Warns GOP Members of Political, Policy Pitfalls of Killing Health Bill
President calls out Freedom Caucus Chairman Meadows in closed-door meeting

President Donald Trump and HHS Secretary Tom Price arrive in the Capitol to meet with the House Republican Conference on Tuesday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By LINDSEY MCPHERSON, JOHN T. BENNETT AND REMA RAHMAN, CQ ROLL CALL

President Donald Trump came to the Capitol Tuesday morning to make a closing pitch to House Republicans preparing to vote on health care legislation that will define the beginning of his presidency. And he did it with the confidence, jest and bravado that only he can deliver.

Key Conservatives Come Around on GOP Health Plan
Republican Study Committee leaders sign off, but Freedom Caucus still wary

Walker and several members of the Republican Study Committee voiced their support for the GOP health plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By JOHN T. BENNETT And LINDSEY McPHERSON, CQ ROLL CALL

Several key Republicans on Friday endorsed the health care overhaul bill crafted by GOP leaders and the White House, saying President Donald Trump had agreed to changes they favored minutes earlier during an Oval Office meeting. With a vote on the so-called American Health Care Act scheduled for this coming Thursday in the House, the news was welcomed by supporters of repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law.

Reps. Hurd and O’Rourke Make Bipartisan Buddy Movie
“The longest cross-country livestream town hall in the history of the world’

Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, left, and Republican Rep. Will Hurd left San Antonio at 7 a.m. CDT Tuesday. (Courtesy Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s Facebook page)

With a major winter storm on the East Coast canceling flights across the country, two congressmen decided to have a bipartisan adventure on their way back to Washington.

Democrat Beto O’Rourke and Republican Will Hurd rented a car and left San Antonio at 7 a.m. CDT on the road to D.C.