Illinois

Senate Changes Rules to Allow Babies on the Floor
Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth made Senate history when she gave birth last week

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., made Senate history last week when she gave birth to a daughter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate took a leap forward into modernity Wednesday, changing the rules to allow mothers to bring their infants onto the Senate floor.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the ranking Democrat on the Rules and Administration Committee, was among the lawmakers hailing the change, which was adopted by unanimous consent.

Flake Flip on NASA Nominee Followed Senate Tumult
Vote to break filibuster of Bridenstine briefly deadlocked

The nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., to lead NASA faced a brief hiccup on the Senate floor Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A confluence of events put President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead NASA on the verge of an unexpected blockade Wednesday afternoon.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona had initially voted against limiting debate on the nomination of GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, but after almost an hour, he switched his vote.

NRCC Chairman Urges Members to Keep Talking Taxes
Republicans view the tax overhaul as a salient campaign issue

NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers wants House Republicans to keep talking about the tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers had a message for House Republicans on Tuesday morning: keep talking about the tax overhaul.

The Ohio Republican presented attendees at a GOP conference meeting with polling that showed voters have not heard from them lately about the tax overhaul, according to a source with knowledge of the discussion. Stivers “implored them to continue to sell it,” the source said.

Senate Might Vote on Duckworth Resolution to Allow Infants on the Floor
Rules change pushed by Illinois senator following birth of her second child

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., submitted a resolution that would permit infants on the Senate floor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate is known for resisting change, but senators might quickly and quietly update one of the most entrenched rules of who can be on the chamber floor.

Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth became the first sitting senator to give birth and submitted a resolution last week that would allow senators to bring a child under 1 year old onto the Senate floor during votes.

Congressional Gridlock Plays Central Role in Internet Tax Case
Supreme Court could reshape online commerce nationwide this term

Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced a bill on the online sales taxation issue last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a major internet sales tax case, and it won’t be the first or last time the justices will try to figure out whether gridlock in Congress plays a role in their decision.

But usually the gridlock is not quite on this scale. The Supreme Court could reshape online commerce nationwide when it decides this term whether to overturn its 1992 ruling that bars states from collecting sales tax from out-of-state vendors.

Comey ‘Lied in Congress,’ Trump Charges After Interview Airs
Fired FBI director calls Trump ‘morally unfit’ for presidency

A school group from Illinois touring the Newseum in Washington pauses to watch former FBI Director Jame Comey testify before a Senate panel last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Monday continued his effort to discredit James Comey, the morning after a nationally televised interview during which the former FBI director lambasted him.

Trump spent several hours Sunday morning ripping Comey ahead of a hour-long primetime interview Sunday night on ABC in which Comey said Trump is “morally unfit” for his office, lies constantly, should be voted out in 2020, and might have obstructed justice.

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.

Gregg Harper Hopes Disability Internship Program Expands After His Departure
Retiring House Administration chairman cites his son as an inspiration

Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., right, poses with his son Livingston and Vice President Mike Pence last year. Harper said Livingston was the impetus for his internship program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. (Courtesy Rep. Gregg Harper’s office)

As Rep. Gregg Harper prepares to leave Congress, he has high hopes the internship program he created for individuals with intellectual disabilities will grow and lead to more alumni getting hired.

Helping the disabled has been a priority for the Mississippi Republican since his election to the House in 2008. He has sponsored multiple pieces of legislation to help people with disabilities transition into adulthood, including his Transition toward Excellence, Achievement, and Mobility, or TEAM, Act in 2013, which stalled in committee.

Mueller Protection Bill Faces Political, Procedural Headwinds
Judiciary Committee looks at consideration of bill in two weeks

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley is preparing his committee for a vote on a bill to protect Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Judiciary Committee appears poised to vote in two weeks on a bill that would give job protections to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III, even as President Donald Trump asserted again Thursday that he has the authority to fire the man investigating connections between Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives.

Thursday’s discussion revealed how the bill still faces potential political hazards at the Judiciary Committee. Democrats have raised concerns about a yet-to-be-seen amendment that Republicans want to add to the measure. Some Republicans have concerns about the constitutionality of a bill that would limit a president’s ability to make personnel decisions in the executive branch.

Why All the Speakers Left, 1935-2018
Ryan will be the first speaker to finish out his term in decades

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., during his press conference to announce his retirement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“I know most speakers don’t go out on their own terms,” Speaker Paul D. Ryan said at the press conference announcing his retirement. He will be the first speaker to not resign before finishing out his term in over three decades.

Here’s how past speakers left office: