Jeff Merkley

Climate Change Activists Flood Capitol to Lobby Lawmakers
Merkley, Whitehouse and Fitzpatrick address concerned parents

Children join in as organizers set up a play area on the Upper Senate Lawn Thursday as part of the fourth annual “play in” demonstration on the Hill organized by Moms Clean Air Force. (Griffin Connolly/CQ Roll Call)

Climate change activists from all 50 states met with more than 150 lawmakers and staffers on Capitol Hill on Thursday, armed with personal anecdotes and data booklets to persuade members to take action on environmental issues such as air pollution and global warming.

The meetings were part of the fourth annual “play in” demonstration, organized by the anti-pollution advocacy group Moms Clean Air Force, which brought parents and their children to the Hill.

Word on the Hill: Learn How to Reduce Stress
Travel advice and play-in demonstration

On Tuesday, Washington commuters received a free banana from Amazon.com crew who were handing them out at Union Station to mark the online giant’s Prime Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With Senate staffers getting a shorter August recess this year, the Senate Wellness Fair might be coming at a good time.

There will be demonstrations on stress-reducing breathing techniques, as well as posture improvement and acupuncture from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in the Senate Hart Office Building, Room 902.

Senate Republicans Reject DeVos’ Proposed Education Cuts
‘The kinds of cuts that are proposed in this budget will not occur’

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos arrives to testify on the fiscal 2018 budget request for the Education Department on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate appropriators told Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday that the Education Department’s budget request was dead on arrival in Congress, with Republicans and Democrats alike defending programs the department proposes to slash or eliminate in fiscal 2018.

At the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, DeVos also clarified remarks she made in the House last month. She pledged Tuesday to ensure that federal school choice programs would require schools to follow laws for students with disabilities. She didn’t commit to any protections not in federal law.

Oregon Delegation Speaks Out on Portland Attack, Denounces Hate
Wyden: 'My heart goes out' to families of 2 victims killed defending women believed to be Muslim

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the stabbings on a Portland train "must sound the alarm louder than ever about the violence that follows hate speech." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Rep. Earl Blumenauer denounced the fatal stabbing of two men and injury of another that occurred on a commuter train in Portland on Friday. The Two men were killed, according to news reports, after trying to calm a self-proclaimed white supremacist from directing hate speech at two women who appeared to be Muslim.

The suspect, Jeremy Joseph Christian, was booked on Saturday morning in connection to the stabbing.

At Center for American Progress, a Tryout for 2020 Ideas
D.C. gathering alternates between liberal goals, Trump reaction

California Sen. Kamala Harris took aim at the administration’s approach to drug policy at Tuesday’s Center for American Progress gathering. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Potential Democratic presidential candidates took center stage Tuesday for what might prove to be the kickoff of the 2020 campaign, but the popular characterization of the progressive policy confab as a “CPAC for liberals” might have missed the mark.

The Center for American Progress’ 2017 Ideas Conference looked like the kind of muted 2020 cattle call one would expect from a gathering in the ballroom of the Georgetown Four Seasons in Washington. Missing were the raucous crowds that overtake the sprawling gathering at National Harbor for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Post-Comey Senate Forecast Is Turbulent
Procedural roadblocks could set back legislative ambitions

Aides to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer declined to comment on what steps Democrats planned to take should none of their demands on the Russia probe be met. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BY JOE WILLIAMS AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI

A partisan standoff in the fallout of the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey could significantly stall the Senate legislative calendar, as Democrats appear ready to utilize procedural rules to coerce Republicans into acting on a number of demands.

Ellison Talks About How to Hold Officials Accountable on Health Care
Talked about recruiting new leaders

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., led a town hall with activists on how to push back against Republican efforts to repeal the 2010 health care law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison told Democratic activists on Tuesday that they can prevent a rollback of the 2010 health care law and push for single-payer health care.

Ellison, vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, took part in a town hall hosted by People’s Action as part of the advocacy group’s founding convention at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill.

Photos of the Week: Senate Goes Nuclear to Confirm Gorsuch
The week of April 3 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gives a thumbs-up on Thursday after the Senate invoked the "nuclear option" which will allow for a simple majority vote to confirm a Supreme Court justice nominee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The consideration of Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court was front and center all week on Capitol Hill. The final vote for confirmation took place Friday morning, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding over the Senate, but the lead-up had more fireworks — with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoking the “nuclear option” on Thursday to lower the threshold of cloture votes needed, effectively clearing the way for Gorsuch’s approval.