Delaware

Joe Biden Returns to Defend His BFD
Former vice president rallies with fellow Democrats at Capitol to preserve 2010 health law

Biden rallied with fellow Democrats at the Capitol to oppose GOP leaders’ health care plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. returned to the Capitol Wednesday to save what once he famously described as a “big f***ing deal.”

Appearing with fellow Democrats and supporters of the 2010 health care law on the Capitol steps, the man from Delaware who spent virtually his entire adult life in the Senate or White House said “I ain’t going anywhere. This is not going to pass,” Biden said of the House Republican legislation to gut his former boss Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

Word on the Hill: Lawmakers Ball Up
The ‘Egyptian Jon Stewart’ and staffer shuffle

Indiana Rep. André Carson greets California Rep. Jeff Denham before the 2013 Home Court charity basketball game at Trinity Washington University. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Home Court charity basketball game when the Hill’s Angels, made up of members of Congress, take on Georgetown Law faculty and staff, a.k.a. the Hoya Lawyas, is tonight.

It’s the 30th annual matchup, which raises money for The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Tickets are $15.

Word on the Hill: Mid-Women’s History Month
Congressional basketball lineup is out

From left, Reps. Grace F. Napolitano, Jackie Speier, and Nancy Pelosi of California, Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Barbara Lee and Nanette Barragán of California, Nydia M. Velázquez of New York, Katherine M. Clark of Massachusetts, and Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico wear red as they descend the House steps to support “A Day Without Women” on March 8. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s the middle of Women’s History Month and we want to hear about your experiences so far this March.

We covered International Women’s Day last week. Do you have another story to share or plans coming up?

Tough Choices for Democrats: Obstruct or Govern
Angry constituents want members of Congress to step up

Police escort Republican Rep. Tom McClintock through a town hall audience from the Tower Theatre in Roseville, California, on Feb. 4. (Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee via AP file photo)

It’s now well known in Washington that on Feb. 4, police escorted GOP Rep. Tom McClintock, a fifth-term libertarian whose district stretches from the Sacramento suburbs to Yosemite National Park, out of a town hall meeting full of angry constituents in Roseville, Calif., 30 miles northeast of the state capital. The calls of activists opposed to President Donald Trump rained down: “This is what democracy looks like!”

Less than a week later, activists ambushed another Republican representative also starting his ninth year in Congress, Jason Chaffetz, at a town hall in a high school auditorium in suburban Salt Lake City. “Do your job!” they yelled at the Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, demanding that he investigate Trump’s conflicts of interest.

Senators Ask White House: Where Are the Nominees?
Vice President assures GOP lawmakers names are coming

Rod Rosenstein, nominee for deputy attorney general, and Rachel L. Brand, nominee for associate attorney general, faced the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican senators are eager to continue pushing through President Donald Trump’s executive branch nominees, but they are increasingly concerned about the slow pace of nominations being sent to the Capitol for the people who will be tasked with much of the nitty-gritty work of government. 

“I continue to ask for additional names to come forward, and I’m assured that they will be soon,” Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso said Tuesday.

Democrats Ask Secret Service About Background Checks at Mar-a-Lago
Also want president to release White House visitor logs

Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and seven other Senate Democrats say President Donald Trump’s conduct of official business at his private properties “appears to be unprecedented in recent times.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Several Senate Democrats want to know if the Secret Service is running background checks on visitors to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

The eight Democrats led by Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island are asking Secret Service Deputy Director William J. Callahan about the procedures in place at Trump properties when the president is there and apparently conducting business.

Democrats Delight in Delaware Special Election
Party hopes turnout boost in legislative race marks beginning of a trend

Democrat Stephanie Hansen’s victory in Delaware last week kept the state Senate in Democratic hands. (Courtesy Hansen for Senate)

From the women’s marches to town hall protests, Democrats are starting to feel emboldened about their prospects in the midterms. A recent special election for the state Senate in Delaware only added to Democratic optimism, but the realities surrounding the race are more sobering.

Democrat Stephanie Hansen, a former New Castle County Council president, scored a 58 percent to 41 percent victory over Republican realtor John Marino last weekend. The win was described as “critical” by Daily Kos Elections, considering control of the Delaware state Senate was hanging in the balance. Democrats were specifically encouraged by a boost in turnout, particularly for a special election in February. 

Trump Joint Address Spotlights Deep Partisan Divide
Lawmakers left to interpret president's statements on pet issues

President Donald Trump greets mostly Republican members after addressing a joint session of Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When President Donald Trump exited the House chamber after his first address to a joint session of Congress, one half of the floor was almost completely empty.

Democrats headed for the exits after Trump wrapped up his Tuesday night speech, while Republicans stayed to applaud. The floor became the embodiment of partisan divisions that persist in Congress, especially when it comes to Democrats’ willingness to work with the bombastic new president. 

Nevada’s Hill Sway Sinks While Other Small States Surge
New Roll Call Clout Index reveals big disconnects between population and Capitol influence

With the retirement of former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada congressional delegation has lost much of its legislative leverage, Hawkings writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Harry Reid may have masterminded one of 2016’s biggest statewide Democratic sweeps as he headed toward retirement, but the Nevada congressional delegation he left behind has lost much of its legislative leverage as a result. 

In fact, only two delegations have less collective influence at the Capitol this year than the six lawmakers from the Silver State, the newest Roll Call Clout Index reveals.

Getting Metro Safety Back on Track
New commission will be empowered to adopt tough safety rules

Democratic lawmakers from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia are calling for Congress to approve the Metro Safety Commission promptly. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Washington Metro system has its good days and its bad ones. On its best, it carries hundreds of thousands of commuters and visitors around our metro area. On its worst, maintenance and safety issues have caused enraging delays and even heartbreaking accidents. The people living in our region and those visiting our nation’s capital deserve to know that when they get on Metro they will arrive at their destinations safely.

That’s why we introduced legislation last week to establish a new Metro Safety Commission, putting Metro on a path to safer operations. And today, we are sending a letter to the Government Accountability Office, asking them to analyze the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s funding and governance structure and issue recommendations for changes. WMATA is distinct among transit agencies in that it is governed by four separate entities, creating unique challenges for collective action on fundamental questions such as how to fund the system. A GAO deep-dive on these questions could yield valuable and objective insight.