Gerald E Connolly

Members of Congress are rich with student debt
Reauthorization of Higher Education Act could affect repayment, affordability

68 members, or 13 percent of Congress, reported that either they or their family members have student loan debt. (Illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

As lawmakers look to reshape the federal loan process in the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a cohort knows firsthand the pain of rising college costs — 68 members, or 13 percent of Congress, reported that either they or their family members are mired in student debt.

Collectively, the 44 Democrats and 24 Republicans have higher education liabilities of $2.5 million, according to recent financial disclosures. The median student loan debt is $15,000, while average debt is $37,000.

Some House Oversight Democrats pumping the brakes on interviews with Trump family members
Some members feel a public spectacle might not be the best place for following threads from Michael Cohen’s testimony

President Donald Trump points to the crowd after accepting the GOP nomination for president at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Behind him are, from left, daughter Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner, daughter in law Vanessa Trump, and son Donald Trump Jr. The president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, implicated three of Trump’s children and Kushner in possible criminal activity Wednesday in a House Oversight Committee hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After Chairman Elijah Cummings suggested earlier this week that his House Committee on Oversight and Reform could try to schedule interviews with members of the Trump family, including the president’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric and daughter Ivanka, some Democrats urged caution about making such moves.

The president’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen implicated Trump’s family members in multiple crimes in his public testimony on Wednesday. Specifically, Cohen described Donald Jr. and Eric’s involvement in an illegal hush money scheme to buy the silence of two of the president’s former mistresses, onetime Playboy model Karen McDougal and pornographic film actress Stephanie Clifford, better known by her stage name Stormy Daniels.

Michael Cohen draws intricate picture of how Trump operated his business, personal empire
“Everybody’s job at the Trump Organization was to protect Trump”

Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Donald Trump, testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, described in intimate detail Wednesday how his onetime boss ran his real estate empire and conducted his personal business — from the intense loyalty he demanded of his top advisers, to deploying Trump Organization employees to physically intimidate his enemies, to fudging his financial statements whenever it suited his interests.

Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee warned their Democratic counterparts that Cohen is someone whose testimony could not be trusted — Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the panel’s top Republican, called him an “admitted liar.” Cohen will report to prison in May for a three-year sentence after pleading guilty last year to one count of lying to Congress and multiple counts of financial fraud.

Cohen implicates Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, in mistress hush money scheme
Trump’s former lawyer and fixer was asked if he is aware of any other illegal acts that haven’t come to light

Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Donald Trump, testifies to the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

This is a developing story. Follow this page for updates on the latest from the Cohen hearing.

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, said Wednesday that Trump’s business operation is being investigated for illegal acts that haven’t yet been publicly disclosed.

Michael Cohen testimony: 5 things to watch for as Trump fixer spills to Congress
Former Trump lawyer will tell Oversight Committee Trump knew Roger Stone was dealing with WikiLeaks for DNC documents

House Oversight Chairman Elijah E. Cummings has said the testimony of former Donald Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen “may very well be a turning point in our country’s history.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, will testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday that his old boss is a “racist,” a “conman” and a “cheat.”

In what Chairman Elijah E. Cummings has told reporters “may very well be a turning point in our country’s history,” the president’s former fixer is expected to provide unprecedented insight into how Trump ran his business empire for more than a decade, details about two potentially illegal hush-money payouts to a Playboy model and an adult film actress during the 2016 presidential campaign, and the psyche and operational quirks of the most powerful man on earth.

Most Democrats from Virginia delegation call on Fairfax to resign
Only Scott and Warner did not call for immediate resignation

Freshman Rep. Elaine Luria was of six Virginia Democrats in the House to call for Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to step aside Friday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The majority of Virginia’s Democratic delegation on Friday night called for the resignation of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who’s facing allegations of sexual assault from two women. 

Only Robert C. Scott, the dean of the House delegation, and Sen. Mark Warner did not call for Fairfax's resignation immediately.

Former Rep. Moran has Northam’s back, even as Democrats ditch him
Former Virginia Democrat has said Northam should be given opportunity for ‘redemption’

Former Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., pictured here in his last term in 2013 in the Rayburn House Office Building, has gone to bat for Gov. Ralph Northam after images appeared allegedly showing Northam in either blackface or a Ku Klux Klan outfit when he was in medical school. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Virginia Rep. Jim Moran is sticking by commonwealth Gov. Ralph Northam after a photo in Northam’s medical school yearbook surfaced showing a man wearing blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

Northam has cast doubt that he appears in the photo, even though it’s on his individual page in the yearbook.

Virginia Democrats raise pressure on Northam after he says he’s staying
Kaine, Warner and Scott call governor and ask him to step down

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam speaks with reporters at a news conference in Richmond on Saturday. Northam said that he isn’t the person in a photo on his page in his medical school yearbook after apologizing for the photo on Friday. (Alex Edelman/Getty Images)

After a Saturday press conference at which Virginia Gov. Ralph S. Northam refused to step down, Democratic members of Virginia’s congressional delegation intensified their calls for the governor to resign.

Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and the dean of the House delegation, Rep. Robert C. Scott, issued a joint statement Saturday night explicitly calling for the governor to step aside after being more subtle in their initial statements Friday night. 

House Democrats drop Pence, cabinet pay freeze from federal worker raise bill
The bill’s lead sponsor said continuing the executive-level pay freeze would have jeopardized the broader bill

House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., is interviewed by CQ Roll Call in the Capitol on Jan. 7, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are primed to remove a provision of federal worker pay legislation set for a floor vote Wednesday that would have continued a pay freeze for Vice President Mike Pence and other senior Trump administration officials.

The Rules Committee adopted the changes as part of a self-executing rule for floor debate on the underlying bill, which would give the roughly 2 million federal civilian employees a 2.6 percent pay raise this year. That would put civilian workers on par with military servicemembers, who got the same raise in the fiscal 2019 Defense appropriations bill enacted last year.

Congressional scandals ain’t what they used to be
The modern playbook for surviving scandal was created by a Democrat

Activists at a Sept. 26 rally sponsored by the conservative group FreedomWorks urge Jim Jordan to run for speaker, past scandals or no. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Jim Jordan has a reputation.

He is a pit bull: Video clips of the Ohio Republican tearing into witnesses in committee is like sweet nectar to many conservatives.