Elijah E Cummings

‘Trump Show’ Makes Tour Stop in Capitol Basement
President calls out Mark Sanford, opts against sticking to immigration

Speaker Paul D. Ryan escorts President Donald Trump to the House Republicans’ meeting Tuesday in the Capitol basement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans might have gone into their Tuesday evening meeting with President Donald Trump expecting a discussion about immigration policy, but what they got was an episode of what might be dubbed “The Trump Show.”

The president did discuss dueling immigration bills crafted by members of the GOP conference. And he urged them to send him a bill that closes what his team dubs “loopholes” that he claims compelled his administration to institute a zero-tolerance program that prosecutes all adult migrants who try to enter the United States illegally, a misdemeanor, even if they arrive with minor children.

Analysis: Trump Repeats False Claim on Dems, Family Separation
Cummings to GOP: “We need you to stand up for these children”

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the Capitol Rotunda on Feb. 28. Despite evidence to the contrary, the president continues to repeat falsehoods about his administration’s immigration policy that separates migrant children from parents, Bennett writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday repeated his false claim that Democrats are solely responsible for his decision to separate migrant children from their parents when they attempt to illegally enter the United States.

“As a result of Democratic-supported loopholes in our federal laws, most illegal immigrant families and minors from Central America … cannot be detained together or released together, only released,” he said during remarks at a small-business conference in Washington, adding that the “crippling loopholes … cause family separation that we don’t want.”

Immigration Debate Steps on Hearing About FBI Report
‘These children are not animals, they are not bargaining chips, they are not leverage to help President Trump build his wall’

A group of mothers and their children protesting the separation of families at the southern border are escorted out of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats used a Tuesday hearing about the Justice Department’s report on the probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails amid the 2016 campaign to turn the spotlight on the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Republicans spent the joint hearing of the Justice and Oversight and Government Reform committees putting the spotlight on the findings of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report centered on Clinton including politically tinged text messages between agents. 

Trump Uses Justice IG Report to Continue Attack on Comey
Dems’ counter-narrative: Report shows FBI aided Trump’s campaign

President Trump says a Justice Department IG report is a “total disaster” for former FBI Director James B. Comey]. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday suggested a Justice Department inspector general report that faulted the FBI for its actions during the 2016 campaign shows James B. Comey is not credible as the president tries to sow doubts about the agency’s Russia probe.

The department released the IG’s final report on the FBI’s handling of a probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of State, which contained an anecdote from one senior agent involved in that case texting another about the prospect of then-businessman and reality television star Trump becoming president: “We’ll stop it.”

Congress’ Focus on Opioids Misses Larger Crisis
‘All the bills are tinkering around the edges,’ one health official says

Targeting prescription opioids puts Congress years behind the crisis, which is largely driven by illicit nonprescription drugs. Above, heroin users at a New York City park in May. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By SANDHYA RAMAN, ANDREW SIDDONS and MARY ELLEN McINTIRE

Congress faced a startling public health and political problem throughout 2016 as the number of people dying from opioid addiction climbed. The number of Americans succumbing to drug overdoses more than tripled between 1999 and 2015, affecting a whiter and more geographically diverse population than previous drug crises. Lawmakers ultimately approved some modest policies aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse and provided $1 billion to support state efforts.

Pruitt Aide Sought Apartment, Old Trump Hotel Mattress for Boss
EPA Administrator allegedly talked to hotel about purchasing old mattress

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies during a Senate Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing in Dirksen Building on the proposed FY2019 budget for the EPA on May 16, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A top EPA aide to Administrator Scott Pruitt detailed a litany of personal tasks she performed on Pruitt’s behalf over the past year, including an exhaustive Washington apartment search and an effort to procure an “old mattress” from the Trump hotel, according to excerpts of an interview released by leading House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee Democrats Monday.

In the letter the Democrats ask the Republican chairman of the committee, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, to issue a subpoena for the EPA to submit all pertinent documents to the panel for review in the latest congressional response to Pruitt’s security, spending and housing issues that have dominated headlines.

Trump Targets Drug Pricing in Trade Agreements
‘It’s unfair, it’s ridiculous and it’s not going to happen any longer’

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar testifies during a Ways and Means Committee hearing on the FY2019 budget for HHS in Longworth Building on February 14, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump has instructed trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer to grant the drug industry’s wish of making pharmaceutical prices a “top priority” in negotiations with other countries.

Trump revealed the instruction during a Friday announcement unveiling the administration’s overall strategy for lowering drug costs.

Committees Tackle Politically Powerful Issue of Opioids Legislation
Senate HELP panel advanced bipartisan package Tuesday

Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, chairs the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, which will consider over 60 bills to address the opioids crisis at a Wednesday markup. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House heads into a marathon opioid markup Wednesday, a day after the Senate health committee approved bipartisan legislation of its own addressing the crisis. Both chambers are eager to advance bills to combat the crisis under an aggressive timeline, with an eye toward demonstrating action before the midterms on an issue that affects voters representing most demographics and districts.

“Even though this epidemic is worse in some parts of the country than others, find me a congressional district where this isn’t an issue,” said Keith Humphreys, a drug policy expert at Stanford. “Absolutely, they do not want to go into an election and have their constituents mad at them.”

Three Big Hurdles for D.C. as Advocates Lobby for Statehood
Any form of Congress’ voting power would still have a few problems to overcome

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., speaks during a press conference to commemorate the renaming of the historic U.S. Post Office located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE in honor of Dr. Dorothy I. Height. Norton has been a longtime advocate of D.C. statehood. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call file photo)

Washington advocates used the leadup to Monday’s D.C. Emancipation Day celebrations to push once again for the District of Columbia to become a state.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., has been a leader in the D.C. statehood effort for decades — she’s known for asking to be referred around the Capitol as representative, despite her non-voting status. Norton spoke about D.C. statehood in Congress again Thursday night ahead of Emancipation Day.

Trey Gowdy, the Reluctant Congressman
Reclusive yet often in the limelight, retiring S.C. lawmaker is eyeing his next move

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy has been talking about leaving Congress ever since he arrived seven years ago. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Trey Gowdy has been talking about leaving Congress since he arrived seven years ago.

It’s what came to his mind when he ran into an old friend in the weeks after he was first sworn into office in 2011: “I hate this place,” he told Republican strategist Luke Byars that January. “I want to go home.”