Joe Wilson

Is there consensus on the new House consensus calendar?
While seen as encouraging bipartisanship, some worry about unintended consequences

Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., is a supporter of the consensus calendar but does not want it to be used to get around other procedural rules like PAYGO. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Joe Wilson was the first member to take advantage of a new House rule designed to bring broadly supported bipartisan bills to the floor. The South Carolina Republican’s legislation to end the so-called widow’s tax received a vote Friday, but it was not the vote he envisioned.

Wilson’s bill, the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, would end a disparity between government payments made to surviving spouses of servicemembers who die on active duty. The “widow’s tax,” as the current complication in the law is known, requires the surviving spouses to forfeit much of their Department of Defense Survivor Benefit Plan annuity when they receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs by deducting from the former the value of the latter.

Former congressional pages: Bring back scandal-plagued program
It wasn’t always easy, but alums say the House page program deserves a second life

Former page Connie “Cricket” Kuhlman of Pennsylvania hugs Jim Oliver, a former page supervisor, in the Longworth Building office of Rep. Joe Wilson, where pages gathered to kick off their 40th-anniversary weekend on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Joint sessions. The birth of C-SPAN. Robert Byrd playing his fiddle during a filibuster. The awe they felt the first time they walked on the House floor. It all adds up to what alumni of the Capitol page program call a life-altering experience.

But many teenage political junkies won’t get that experience today, thanks to technological changes and sexual misconduct scandals. The House, which accounted for the largest share of pages, shuttered its program in August 2011.

You may see pages running wild in DC this week
When Ford Thunderbird donut tracks appear on the East Lawn, you’ll know who did it

A former Capitol page holds a photo of her class. The pages of 1978-79 are reuniting this weekend. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If you see a bunch of grown-up former Capitol pages reliving their teenage glory days all over D.C. this weekend, don’t be alarmed. It’s just the class of ’79 celebrating its 40-year anniversary.

The former students have been sharing stories in a reunion Facebook group ahead of the meet-up. Some of their memories include sneaking off to New York City and bumping into Truman Capote at the legendary Studio 54 club in Manhattan.

Ernest ‘Fritz’ Hollings, South Carolina senator and WWII veteran, has died
Longtime statesman known for his quick wit died Saturday at the age of 97

During an interview in his office in 1993, Sen. Ernest F. Hollings, D-S.C., looks at a photo of himself with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (Scott Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ernest Frederick “Fritz” Hollings, a longtime statesman with a rumbling baritone known for a quick wit and as a champion of environmental and social policy, has died at the age of 97.

The South Carolina Democrat, who ran for president in 1984 and served in the Senate for nearly 40 years — most of his tenure as the junior senator to Republican Strom Thurmond — died Saturday after a period of failing health, The (Charleston) Post and Courier reported

Democrats are tweaking Trump with their State of the Union guests
Federal contractors, mothers separated from their children at the border are on the list

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-New Jersey, will be accompanied to the State of the Union by Victorina Morales, an undocumented immigrant who worked as a housekeeper at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The floor belongs to Donald Trump for around an hour, maybe more, but the crowd can still speak volumes.

The lawmakers squeezed into the House chamber on Tuesday night probably won’t be yelling back as the president tells them that the state of the union is strong. (Joe Wilson, of “You lie” fame, already tried that with Barack Obama.)

House will vote Tuesday to condemn Steve King
Majority Whip James Clyburn introduces resolution of disapproval

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., said the House could vote as soon as this week to condemn  Rep. Steve King. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:02 p.m. | The House will vote Tuesday to disapprove of comments Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King made in a New York Times interview questioning how the terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” had become “offensive.”

The resolution of disapproval, introduced Monday by Majority Whip James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, actually only makes one specific reference to King.

Here Are All the Republicans Jockeying for Committee Leadership Positions (So Far)
Roughly half of the House committees will have new GOP leadership next year

Dozens of House Republicans are running for committee chairmanships that will be open in the next Congress, hoping to obtain gavels like the one pictured. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo.)

Roughly half of the House’s 21 committees will have new Republican leadership next year, creating several competitive races among colleagues looking to move up the ranks.

The majority of the openings come from retiring GOP chairmen, most of whom have reached the six-year limit Republicans place on their committee leaders.

How Lee Zeldin Dodged Sacha Baron Cohen
Baron Cohen’s ‘Who is America?’ show has duped a number of U.S. politicians

New York Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin’s staff smelled something fishy when he was contacted about an interview with a purported Israeli TV outlet. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Lee Zeldin can thank his staff for preventing him from being the latest victim of British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

The New York Republican’s office received a call from someone claiming to be from an Israeli television station requesting an interview with him, the New York Post reported.

Wilson Said He Was Duped Into Suggesting He Supports Arming Toddlers
Sacha Baron Cohen disguised himself as an Israeli anti-terrorism expert to get interviews with GOP lawmakers

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., says he was was targeted by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen because of his support for Israel. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Joe Wilson got the Sacha Baron Cohen treatment Sunday night in a segment on the British comedian’s new show where he tries to convince lawmakers to back a made-up lobbying effort to arm American toddlers.

During a sit-down interview with Baron Cohen, who is well-known for conducting interviews with unwitting suspects while he role-plays as foreign characters with controversial views on race, politics, and sexuality, the South Carolina Republican appeared to suggest he supported the lobbying effort to help “Kinderguardians” by arming preschoolers with guns.

Trump to See Black at SOTU Because of What He Probably Won’t Talk About
Chairwoman of the Democratic Women’s Working Group: ‘All our fears have come true’

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., takes a group photo of Democratic women wearing all white for President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic women want President Donald Trump to see a sea of black when he looks at the crowd in the House chamber during his State of the Union  address on Tuesday.

“We were very concerned about what was going to happen in the Trump administration to women, and all our fears have come true, unfortunately,” Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida, chairwoman of the Democratic Women’s Working Group. “There’s a lot of anxiety, as you can expect, among the Democrats — actually, among the country — about what’s been going on.”