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Lankford Joins League of Waste Watchers

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., released his first annual "Federal Fumbles" report on government "waste."(Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. James Lankford released his first book of "wasteful" federal programs and regulations on Monday, joining a group of Republican senators with similar reports.  

But instead of trying to outdo his colleagues, the Oklahoma Republican called on all members of Congress to come up with their own list and look for common ground to cut spending. "This is not just us and what we're trying to do, we're encouraging every other office to take this on as well," Lankford said.  

Ties to Coats Bind Top Leadership Staffers in Congress

McConnell walks with Soderstrom. (Bill Clark, CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Dan Coats wishes he had been able to do more with the all-star staff he assembled more than two decades ago, given the sphere of influence two of them now occupy in the top echelons of Congress.  

The Indiana Republican's staff leader in the early '90s was Dave Hoppe, who just returned to the Capitol as chief of staff to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis. Hoppe in turn hired Sharon Soderstrom for Coats' team. She’s now chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.  

Coats, Isakson Deny Ku Klux Klan Ties

Coats denied having KKK ties on Monday, along with Isakson. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two senators on Monday denied claims they had any involvement with the Ku Klux Klan.  

Responding to an anonymous and unsubstantiated blog post, Sens. Dan Coats, R-Ind., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., denied claims they "are associated with either kkk or racist related," as the post on pastebin.com by someone named Amped Attacks suggested. Coats responded  to questions via Twitter: