Delaware

EPA Watchdog to Step Down as Scott Pruitt Probes Continue
Arthur Elkins had contradicted the former administrator’s account of his security detail

Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies during a hearing in May. The inspector general who led multiple investigations of his spending habits is retiring this fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The EPA’s inspector general, who led multiple investigations into former Administrator Scott Pruitt’s spending and management practices at the agency, will leave in October, his office announced Tuesday.

Arthur A. Elkins Jr., who has been EPA inspector general since 2010, said in a news release that he will retire on Oct. 12, but did not indicate whether his departure is related to issues at the agency. Before becoming inspector general, Elkins worked as associate general counsel in the EPA’s Office of General Counsel.

Chuck Schumer Navigates the Resistance
The Senate’s Democratic leader wants to get along with everyone. Now he finds himself between Scylla and Charybdis

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Charles Schumer waves an American flag after unveiling the Democrats’ ‘Better Deal for Our Democracy’ platform in May. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Back when he was policy director for Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Jim Kessler had a conversation with his boss about working with a high-profile Republican. This is how it went, according to Kessler.

Schumer: I can call Newt, he likes me.

‘All Clear’ Following Capitol Police Investigation of Suspicious Vehicle
Workers heading home for the day routed away from blocked streets

An officer in a bomb suit sifts through luggage on Louisiana Ave. near the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. Capitol Police and other law enforcement were investigating an incident in which a suspect abandoned a suspicious vehicle on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roads around the Senate side of Capitol Hill and Union Station have been re-opened following an investigation of a suspicious vehicle Wednesday that included a police robot and a bomb suit. Capitol Police announced “all clear” nearly two and a half hours after the investigation began.

The road closures and guidance for staff to avoid the area came a little before 5 p.m. Senate staff and visitors were streaming out of office buildings towards Union Station and their parked cars before being detoured around the situation.

Coons Wants Info on Kavanaugh’s Knowledge of ‘Sexually Explicit’ Emails
Democratic senator asks nominee if former judge ‘treated women inappropriately’

Brett Kavanaugh adjusts his nameplate as he takes his seat for day three of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A Democratic senator wants to know if Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh ever received email from an alleged “sexually explicit email list” run by a former federal appellate judge who resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations.

Alex Kozinski served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, for over 30 years until he retired in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Kavanaugh clerked for Kozinski in 1991, and Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware wants to know if the high court nominee was part of the illicit email list.

Stivers Thinks House GOP Can Grow Number of Women but That’s Unlikely
Six GOP women aren’t running for re-election to the House

Republican Diane Harkey is running in California’s 49th District to succeed GOP Rep. Darrell Issa. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Despite a quarter of the women in the House Republican Conference not running for re-election, the head of the House GOP’s campaign arm said he is “very confident” the party can increase its female members in the chamber next year. 

But looking at the number of female GOP lawmakers leaving the House and how few Republican women won nominations in open seats this year, just breaking even might be hard for House Republicans. 

3 Takeaways From Brett Kavanaugh’s Testimony
Americans ‘rightly’ will have ‘dimmer view of the Senate,’ Graham says

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies Wednesday before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh spent two days jousting with Senate Democrats over his views on executive power and abortion rights. But he appeared mindful that his top job was to keep all 51 Republican senators firmly in his corner.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee rarely flustered the 12-year veteran of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and by midday Thursday several complimented his knowledge of the law and character. Republican Judiciary members began Thursday in a huddle called by Chairman Charles E. Grassley and spent the second day of questioning refuting Democrats’ criticisms of the nominee and defending him.

Sen. Tom Carper Beats Back Primary Challenge in Delaware
Carper was the latest incumbent facing a progressive challenger

Delaware Sen. Thomas R. Carper won his primary Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Delaware Sen. Thomas R. Carper comfortably won his Democratic primary Tuesday night, fending off a challenge from his left that had drawn some national attention in recent days. 

With 72 percent of precincts reporting, Carper led Air Force veteran and community activist Kerri Evelyn Harris 64 percent to 36 percent when The Associated Press called the race. 

At the Races: Who's in Trouble Two Months Out
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin

Senators Get Informal as FAA Deadline Nears
Reauthorization didn’t make the summer cut. Now senators are looking for a pre-conference shortcut

Sen. John Thune says negotiating with the House before Senate passage is the best option to avoid a lapse of authorization Sept. 30, even if process questions remain. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Staff members on both sides of the Capitol are trying to work around obstacles in the Senate by negotiating “pre-conference” versions of Federal Aviation Administration authorization and water infrastructure bills, according to lawmakers.

Despite the stated goals of the bills’ sponsors, the Senate did not consider either the FAA or water infrastructure measure over the summer, preventing a true conference committee from hashing out differences with the House-passed versions of the FAA and water infrastructure bills.

What If Senators Actually Tried to Expel Cory Booker?
To start, it would be a case for the Ethics Committee

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, responds to a threat by Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., to release committee confidential documents during the start of day three of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The threat of expulsion that hung over the Judiciary Committee on Thursday jolted the proceedings, but it is highly unlikely that Cory Booker — or any other lawmaker — is actually going to be expelled from the Senate for the unauthorized disclosure of documents about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Booker dared Majority Whip John Cornyn to try to expel him Thursday, when he announced he had ordered his staff to release “committee confidential” documents relating to the New Jersey Democrat’s line of questioning at the Kavanaugh hearings.