Gerald E Connolly

Trump aide sees room for talks on Democrats’ opioid bill
Trump’s top drug control official left the door open to a bipartisan deal on a bill authorizing billions to address opioid crisis

From left, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Reps. Peter Welch, D-Vt., Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., conduct a news conference in the Capitol on January 10, 2019. Cummings and Elizabeth Warren released a draft bill Wednesday that would authorize $100 billion over a decade to address the opioid crisis. Trump’s aide left the door open Thursday for a bipartisan solution with the bill’s sponsors. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats got a surprising compliment from the Trump administration’s top drug control official at a Thursday hearing as they discussed boosting opioid addiction treatment funding, while Republicans promoted efforts to stem illegal drugs through securing the southern border.

House Oversight and Reform Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., who presided at the full committee hearing, touted a draft bill that Chairman Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland released with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday that would authorize $100 billion over 10 years to address the crisis. The bill, which is supported by all of the committee’s Democrats, faces a tough path to becoming law without Republican support.

Fines? Jail time? Democrats leave all options on the table for enforcing subpoenas
As administration stonewalls Congress, Democrats consider using historical ‘inherent contempt’ power

House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings says Democrats should consider all tools available them to force administration compliance with congressional subpoenas and oversight requests, including fines or jail time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Administration officials could face fines or jail time for ignoring congressional subpoenas, as House Democrats say they’re seriously considering reviving a congressional power that has not been used since the 1930s.

President Donald Trump has publicly urged administration officials not to comply with congressional subpoenas, and some have started heeding the advice. House Democrats have made no formal decisions about how to respond to the Trump administration’s stonewalling of their oversight investigations, but one option on the table is the historical process of “inherent contempt.”

Trump slams Puerto Rican officials, calls Nadler a hypocrite
Rep. Beyer alleges that Trump is ‘lying’ about how much aid has gone to island

Hurricane survivors receive food and water being given out by volunteers and municipal police as they deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017 in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump continued his attacks Tuesday morning on Puerto Rican leaders over hurricane aid and blasted a top House Democrat over what he described as hypocrisy over special Justice Department investigations.

Trump fired off a number of tweets Monday night blasting Senate Democrats for shooting down a disaster relief bill over their concerns it provided too little for the hurricane-torn U.S. commonwealth. In one of those evening tweets, the president made the claim — yet another without support — that Puerto Rico was set before that measure was even crafted “to receive more hurricane relief funding than any ‘place’ in history.”

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.