Christopher S Murphy

Child Care Woes and Waitlists Continue for Capitol Hill Parents
Even with expanding facilities, demand continues to grow among staff

A new study on child care options for children of Capitol Hill staff shows that many kids face long waitlists. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new study about child care on Capitol Hill calls the existing options for legislative branch staff “woefully inadequate to meet demand” and says child care challenges could be a factor in pushing Hill staffers to leave.

The House, Senate, Library of Congress, and Government Accountability Office have affiliated day care services, each within walking distance of the Capitol and the larger congressional office buildings. But there are many more congressional kids than seats at the pint-sized tables.

3 Ways Congress Can Punish Saudi Arabia
Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged murder prompts bipartisan calls for action

Saudi officials arrive at the White House on March 20 ahead of a visit by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill from Republicans and Democrats alike to impose stiff penalties on Saudi Arabia for its suspected murder of a prominent dissident journalist, as new gruesome details were leaked by Turkish intelligence on Wednesday.

The growing congressional outrage over the reported torture, beheading and dismemberment two weeks ago of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul is diametrically opposed to the signals coming from President Donald Trump, who has criticized the rush to judge the kingdom. A columnist for The Washington Post, Khashoggi was a resident of Virginia.

Saudi Lobbyists in D.C. Caught in Pompeo Pickle
Some bail, while others wait to see what comes of Mike Pompeo’s trip

President Donald Trump meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia at the White House in March 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Washington lobbyists still on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s payroll amid fallout from the presumed death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi are awaiting the outcome of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to the region this week before making any further moves.

Pompeo met Tuesday in Riyadh with Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the brash young second-in-command of the royal government, and planned to head Wednesday to Turkey where Khashoggi was last seen.

Democrats Pan Trump’s Deference to Saudi King on Journalist’s Disappearance
President again siding with authoritarian leaders over U.S. intelligence officials, lawmakers say

Sens. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., left, and Tim Kaine, D-Va., criticized President Donald Trump for seeming to agree with Saudi King Salman’s denial of his government’s involvement in journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers criticized President Donald Trump on Monday for seeming to siding with Saudi King Salman, who denied during a phone call with the president that his government was involved in the disappearance of a Washington Post journalist. 

Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was born in Saudi Arabia, has been critical of Salman in his writings. He has not been seen or heard from since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Senators Trigger Investigation Into Missing Saudi Journalist Who May Have Been Murdered
Jamal Khashoggi went missing after visiting Saudi consulate in Turkey

Protesters hold posters of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi  at the entrance to Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday. Fears are growing over his fate after Turkish officials said they believe he was murdered. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Senators on Wednesday triggered a U.S. government investigation into what happened to a prominent missing Saudi journalist, who is suspected to have been murdered last week in Turkey.

The lawmakers said they expect the investigation to look into the actions of the “highest-ranking officials in the government of Saudi Arabia,” a move that signals lawmakers on both sides of aisle are willing to confront the staunch ally.

Senate Clears Big Aviation, Opioid Legislation Under Shadow of Brett Kavanaugh and FBI
Pending water resources deal could be last major legislative item before Election Day

A reauthorization of the FAA will be among the final pieces of big-ticket legislation to pass before Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate’s never-ending Supreme Court drama continued to overshadow a pair of bipartisan legislative wins — with at least one more expected before Election Day.

As senators awaited a supplemental report from the FBI about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, they cleared for President Donald Trump a big bipartisan bundle of bills to combat the opioid scourge and a long-awaited reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.

House and Senate Interns Set to Receive Pay in Legislative Branch Spending Package
House to receive $8.8M, Senate $5M

An intern for House Administration Committee chairman Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., works a sign-in table outside of an Intern Lecture Series event in Russell Building on July 20, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Interns in both the House and Senate are on track to get paid as work wraps up on the fiscal 2019 Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA and Legislative Branch spending package.

The Legislative Branch portion of the package has been locked, according to an aide to Rep. Tim Ryan. The final version includes $8.8 million to pay interns in the House and $5 million for intern pay in the Senate. The Senate funding is included in the accounts that lawmakers use to pay staff salaries, official travel and office expenses. In the House the funds will exist in a newly created account for each member office, according to House Appropriations Committee staff. 

Senate Democrats Join House Counterparts in Pushing Betsy DeVos to Back Off on Guns in Schools
Letters from both chambers outline congressional prohibition of using federal funds for firearms

Sen. Patty Murray is leading the Democrats in opposition to arming teachers with public funding. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Almost all of the Senate Democrats are asking the Education Department to abandon any plans to provide public funding to give firearms to schoolteachers.

The letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from 44 members of the Democratic caucus was led by Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the both the authorizing committee and the appropriations subcommittee overseeing the department.

McCain Remembered as He Wished: One Who Served Honorably
Members of both parties praised the late Arizona senator

A slightly frayed flag flies at the Capitol in Washington fly at half staff on Sunday morning, after Sen. John McCain died on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In September 2017, Sen. John McCain was asked how he would be like to be remembered.

He said he wanted to be remembered as someone who served his country. “I hope we could add, honorably,” he told CNN at the time.

Republican Infighting Over Abortion Almost Sends Spending Bill Off the Rails
Drama unfolded as senators neared passage of a $856.9 billion funding package

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says fellow Republicans tried to block him on abortion. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:47 p.m. | Not long after their plans were nearly derailed Thursday over a dispute about Planned Parenthood funding, Senate leaders got a final vote on a $856.9 billion funding package.

Earlier in the day, Sen. Rand Paul had fumed that his fellow Republicans were blocking a long-sought amendment to keep taxpayer dollars from going to abortion providers.