Jim Sensenbrenner

The King of Town Halls Reflects on Face Time
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner talks about the mood of constituents, the most interesting questions and his smallest crowd

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner talks with some of his constituents in Watertown in February. (Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner via Instagram)

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is the king of town halls.

The Wisconsin Republican, who was first elected to the House in 1978, held the most of any member of Congress last year, when he racked up 115. Since 2011, he has held more than 500 meetings with constituents.

For Some in Congress, the Opioid Crisis Is Personal
Lawmakers share the stories behind their efforts to combat the epidemic

Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson lost his grandson to an opioid overdose. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As drug overdoses climb — rising 12 percent between October 2016 and October 2017 — Congress has floated dozens of proposals to combat opioid abuse.

Some lawmakers have deeply personal connections to the epidemic of addiction in America. These are their stories.

Wisconsin’s Nicholson Questions ‘Cognitive Thought Process’ of Democratic Veterans
The former Democrat seeks GOP Senate nomination

Kevin Nicholson gives a speech at the 2000 Democratic National Convention. (Courtesy C-SPAN)

Wisconsin Republican Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson said he questioned the “cognitive thought process” of military veterans in the Democratic Party.

Speaking in an interview on WTMJ-AM, Nicholson, who is running to challenge Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, defended his claim that his service in the Marines is a conservative value.

Randy Bryce to Face Paul Ryan Tuesday Night (Kind of)
Bryce was invited to the State of the Union by Rep. Mark Pocan

Randy Bryce, Democratic candidate for Wisconsin’’s 1st Congressional District, will attend the State of the Union. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

On Tuesday night, Speaker Paul D. Ryan will be seated directly behind President Donald Trump for Trump’s first State of the Union. And somewhere above the House floor, Randy Bryce will be sitting in the House gallery with his work boots on.

“The whole campaign has been, ‘Just be you,’” Bryce said, explaining his decision to dress casually. “That’s what I’ve been told: ‘Just be you.’ And that’s me. They’re comfortable.”

FISA Fight Marks Win for Intelligence Committee Over Judiciary

House Intelligence ranking member Adam B. Schiff, left and Chairman Devin Nunes largely got their way in the FISA fight. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Jan. 19 signing of legislation to reauthorize a government surveillance authority that has, in some cases, given intelligence and law enforcement agents access to Americans’ correspondence without a warrant, was a victory for security hawks over civil libertarians.

It also marked a win for the House Intelligence Committee over its counterpart, House Judiciary, and a shift in the balance of power on government surveillance from three years ago.

Supreme Court to Revisit Internet Sales Tax Ruling
Bipartisan group of lawmakers want previous decision overruled

From left, Sens. Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois want the Supreme Court to overrule a decision that prevented states from collecting sales tax on internet purchases. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court will decide whether businesses must collect sales tax on online transactions in states where they don’t have a physical presence, in a case closely watched by lawmakers, states and online retailers.

The case gives the justices a chance to reshape internet commerce, something Congress hasn’t done since the high court last ruled on the issue in 1992. Back then, the court barred states from collecting sales tax from vendors that were out of state.

With House Passage of FISA Measure, Action Moves to Senate
GOP leaders in chamber move to restrict amendments to reauthorization

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is part of a bipartisan group that has problems with the FISA reauthorization measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday approved 256-164 a bill to reauthorize provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for another six years, putting the measure in the Senate’s hands.

The bill, backed by the Trump administration and all the U.S. intelligence agencies, would preserve the FBI and the intelligence agencies’ ability to search a surveillance database for information on Americans with minimal warrant requirements.

Word on the Hill: Happy Halloween
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Rene T., who declined to provide his full last name, wears a “Bill on Capitol Hill” costume as he jumps in the air while a friend takes photos on the U.S. Senate steps on Halloween last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Celebrate Halloween bipawtisan style.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., is hosting a Senate Halloween dog costume celebration, where dogs from various Senate offices will parade around in their hopefully politics-related outfits.

Word on the Hill: King of the Hill
Senate Democrats celebrating birthdays

Team photograph of The RBIs of Texas after winning the King of the Hill softball championship game. (Courtesy Bill Christian)

The Senate is the King of the Hill. Well, at least in staffer softball.

The annual King of the Hill softball championship game was Thursday and the RBIs of Texas, the Senate team, beat the Texas Republic, the House team, 16-12.

Word on the Hill: Welcome, Wharf
Sensenbrenner’s town halls, Boyle on soccer, and Hatch is Cosmo

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton will help open up the newly renovated area in Southwest D.C. (Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call File Photo)

$2.5 billion later, the mile-long stretch on the Southwest D.C. waterfront — The Wharf — will officially open today. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and Mayor Muriel Bowser will participate in the opening ceremony at 11 a.m.

That’s followed by a day of live music, including a Bacon Brothers concert at 5 p.m., muralists, magicians, face painters, stilt walkers and daytime fireworks. Watch for HOH’s coverage of the opening.