Edward J Markey

Senate Democrats Doubt Validity of Puerto Rico Death Toll
Reports of full morgues may signal incomplete official count, senators say

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined 12 of her Democratic colleagues in signing a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke raising questions about the official death count in Puerto Rico. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

As Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló travels to Washington to meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday, a group of Senate Democrats is asking the administration about the accuracy of the island territory’s death toll.

Thirteen senators, led by Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have written a new letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke expressing concern that reports about morgues at Puerto Rican hospitals being full may signal that the official tally of 48 fatalities may be incomplete.

Congressional Democrats Call for More Gun Violence Research
Report, House bill draw attention to lack of federal funding

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy sponsored a bill that could lead to more federal funding for gun violence research. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Congressional Democrats have launched renewed calls for federal research into gun violence prevention in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting.

Senate Democrats on Wednesday presented a report from the Government Accountability Office highlighting the limitations lawmakers have imposed on researchers attempting to understand gun violence, which they called a “public health crisis.”

Democratic Young Guns Take Different Approach to Rebuilding Party
In trip to early voting Iowa, Bustos rebuilds from the bottom, while Ryan and Moulton want to topple the top

Democratic Reps. Cheri Bustos of Illinois, center, and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, left, get instructions before working the grill during the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry in Des Moines on Sept. 30. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Before the Polk County Democratic Party’s steak fry, Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos was trying to give potential candidates the secret sauce for Democrats to win in rural areas.

Drama Awaits Senate Debate on Pentagon Policy
No lack of substantive, high-profile issues for defense authorization measure

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and ranking member Jack Reed, D-R.I., will manage a sprawling floor debate on the Pentagon policy bill starting this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate will take up the massive Pentagon policy bill this week, providing a stage for high-profile debate on simmering national security issues ranging from transgender troops to the growing North Korea nuclear threat.

Senators have already filed hundreds of amendments to the defense bill, among them language to allow transgender people to serve openly in the military, establish a North Korea strategy, limit arms sales to U.S. allies, define U.S. objectives in Afghanistan and block the creation of a new military service.

Airlines Cap Ticket Prices for Irma Evacuees After Criticism, Including From the Senate
Blumenthal and Markey had asked Chao for an investigation

Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao was asked to investigate airline ticket prices ahead of Hurricane Irma (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Airlines are responding to criticism, including from Senate Democrats, about spikes in ticket prices ahead of Hurricane Irma, with $99 caps on flights from Miami.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao requested a Department of Transportation probe of price hikes.

Word on the Hill: Flake Honored for Courage Under Fire
Staffer recognized by HBCUs, and CODEL news

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., walks away from the scene of the shooting at the Republican baseball team’s practice in Alexandria, Va., in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the same day that President Donald Trump was bashing him at a rally in Phoenix, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was honored Tuesday in Tucson by Arizona sheriffs for his actions during the shooting at the Republicans’ Congressional Baseball Game practice in June.

Flake was recognized by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and the Arizona Sheriffs Association for running from cover to help House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who was seriously wounded, and for calling Scalise’s wife to inform her about what happened.

Why Five Democrats Voted Against Confirming the New FBI Director
Reasons include Trump, ‘Bridgegate’ and warrantless surveillance

Sen. Elizabeth Warren was one of five Democrats to oppose confirmation of Christopher Wray as FBI director. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Five Senate Democrats who voted against Christopher Wray’s confirmation as FBI director had all offered reasons why by Wednesday afternoon.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren focused on questions about Wray’s independence from President Donald Trump.

White House Opioid Panel Pushes Access to Treatment

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, whose state of West Virginia has been ravaged by opiods, says more needs to be done to address the crisis. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

An advisory commission is urging President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency with regard to opioid abuse and addiction, among other recommendations to address a crisis that is claiming upward of 30,000 lives every year.

An emergency declaration “would empower your Cabinet to take bold steps and would force Congress to focus on funding,” said a new draft report from the White House circulated on Monday.

Word on the Hill: Free Bananas
McCain’s reading list, Gosar issues Facebook warning

In 2014, New York Rep. Charles B. Rangel was spotted shopping on Amazon.com while waiting for President Barack Obama to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s Amazon Prime Day, which means staffers can get some free fruit for breakfast.

Amazon’s D.C. banana stand is giving out free bananas from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. outside Union Station, so staffers can grab one on their commute.

Meet the Dogs of the Senate, Round II
Canine friends in Tillis, Wyden, Perdue, and Markey’s offices

Holland, a Pembroke Welsh corgi in Georgia Sen. David Perdue‘s office, keeps the senator’s couch warm. (Courtesy Perdue’s office)

A few friendly dogs roaming around can help make today’s tough political climate a bit easier to deal with.

In May, we featured some dogs who hang out regularly in Senate offices, either as official “office dogs,” or because they belong to staffers who like to bring them in.