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Interior head: ‘I Haven't Lost Any Sleep’ over record carbon levels
David Bernhardt’s comment came during what was supposed to be a hearing about the department’s fiscal 2020 budget request

David Bernhardt, nominee to be Secretary of the Interior, testifies during his Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee confirmation hearing in Dirksen Building on March 28, 2019. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt told a House committee Wednesday that he hasn’t “lost any sleep” over record levels of global emissions that cause climate change. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt told a House committee Wednesday that he hasn’t “lost any sleep” over record levels of global emissions of climate-changing carbon emissions.

His comment came during what was supposed to be a hearing about the department’s fiscal 2020 budget request. But some of the questions from Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee focused on his handling of climate issues. Bernhardt, a former oil and gas lobbyist, was pressed to explain how climate could factor into future land management decisions.

Oval Office obsessions from a crew with little experience, much ambition
Large Democratic field sends a message that only the presidency matters

When John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson ran for the presidency in 1960, the Democratic field was large but consisted of several power brokers. The same goes for the GOP field in 1968. The large Democratic field for 2020, much like the GOP field in 2016, consists of several candidates short on experience but long on ambition, Rothenberg writes. Above, Kennedy and Johnson with Speaker Sam Rayburn in 1961. (CQ Roll Call file photo).

OPINION — In the 1960 Democratic presidential race, there were a handful of contenders, including Sens. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and Stuart Symington of Missouri. Others, including Florida Sen. George Smathers and California Gov. Pat Brown, ran as “favorite sons.”

The 1968 Republican presidential field included former Vice President Richard Nixon, and Govs. George Romney of Michigan, Ronald Reagan of California and Nelson Rockefeller of New York. The GOP contest also featured favorite sons, including Govs. Jim Rhodes of Ohio and John Volpe of Massachusetts.

House passes plus-upped disaster aid package

Relief for Puerto Rico after deadly hurricanes is among the issues hanging up a broader disaster aid package in Congress. (Angel Valentin/Getty Images)

The House passed a $19.1 billion disaster aid package to help victims of recent storms and flooding rebuild, with the price tag growing by about $1.8 billion on the floor through amendments to add funds for repairing damaged military facilities, highways, levees, dams and more.

The vote was 257-150, with 34 Republicans crossing the aisle to support the bill drafted by the Democratic majority. President Donald Trump and GOP leaders tried to tamp down defections on the bill, which they oppose because it would pump more money into Puerto Rico, which hasn’t yet been able to spend much of the $20 billion previously appropriated after 2017′s Hurricane Maria.

Female candidates for president still face bias in 2020
Sexism is going strong, according to recent studies

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and other Democratic women running for president face an uphill climb, studies suggest. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The six women vying for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020 start the race with more than 1 in 10 Americans saying they’re less suited to politics, merely because of their gender.

A new report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce contends the candidates — who include four senators, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, along with Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and author Marianne Williamson — face a deficit that’s “still too substantial to ignore.”

Biden, unions and the politics of 2020
Democrats will run into trouble if they spend their time chasing the coalition they relied on before Trump

Former Vice President Joe Biden has made appealing to unions a big part of his campaign, but that strategy might have its limitations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Shortly after former Vice President Joe Biden announced his candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, he received his first union endorsement. “I couldn’t be more proud to have the International Association of Fire Fighters on my team,” Biden tweeted in response. “Unions built the middle class in this country — and as President, I’ll fight to strengthen them and grow the backbone of this country.”

As CNN noted, “Biden has long enjoyed close ties to labor groups and often attributes his political ascent to unions, referring to them as the ones who ‘brung me to the dance.’” But while Biden’s strength among working-class voters is one reason some observers see him as potentially able to win back Democrats who defected to Donald Trump in 2016, his initial comments about the IAFF endorsement at least raise a question about priorities and strategy.

In crowded field, 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls turn to podcasts
Medium growing in popularity puts candidates ‘between your ears’

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, records an episode of the “Cape Up” podcast with host Jonathan Capehart. (Courtesy Pete for America)

As he strove to boost recognition of his hard-to-pronounce name in the crowded field of 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, Pete Buttigieg appeared on at least 30 different podcasts.

And more are planned for the future.

White House Asks for $4.5 Billion Border Aid; Democrats Balk
The supplemental request doesn’t seek wall money, but Democrats may push for immigration policy changes they called harsh

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, named chairman of the Special Committee On Climate Change, participates in the press conference in the Capitol on the formation of the committee on March 27, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration on Wednesday requested an extra $4.5 billion to address the surge of migrants at the U.S. southern border, in a move that could trigger a fresh round of criticism over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

The supplemental request stops short of seeking additional money for a border wall, which Democrats have staunchly opposed. But Democrats are sure to press for changes to immigration policy they consider too harsh.

Navy brass gets grilling on defective ships, idle subs, other spending priorities
At a hearing with Navy leaders, Rep. Visclosky hinted he may rearrange the service’s budget plan to address concerns

Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., testifies before a House Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing in Rayburn Building on April 18, 2018. Visclosky hinted he may rearrange the Navy's budget plan to address concerns including warship defects and idle submarines. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Indiana Democrat Peter J. Visclosky, the son of an ironworker and an ardent shipbuilding advocate, is signaling that his first bill as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense may not actually go so easy on the Navy.

The 18-term lawmaker has long championed construction of Navy ships, perhaps partly because so many of them are made with Indiana steel. But the longtime leader of the Congressional Steel Caucus is worried about warship defects and idle submarines, and he’s not pleased with a dearth of daycare at Navy bases.

Barr will be a no-show at House Judiciary Committee
AG objects to staff asking questions about special counsel probe

Attorney General Bill Barr testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the “Department of Justice’s Investigation of Russian Interference with the 2016 Presidential Election” on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Attorney General William Barr will not appear as scheduled before the House Judiciary Committee about the special counsel probe Thursday, as he objects to a format that would allow committee staff to ask questions, the Justice Department announced.

Earlier Wednesday, the House panel approved a plan to allow an extra hour of time — divided into equal 30-minute, unbroken segments for each party — for either lawmakers or committee staff to ask questions.

Will 2020 Democrats condemn the Armenian genocide?
Only four lawmakers running for president have signed on to remembrance resolutions

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is one of four Democratic presidential candidates who have co-sponsored resolutions recognizing the Armenian genocide. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Whether the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 amounted to a genocide is still a fraught political question for U.S. presidential candidates more than a century later.

The question for now is how many of the growing field of candidates might weigh in on Wednesday for the annual commemoration. April 24, 1915 is generally considered to mark the start of actions that led to the Armenian genocide.