Louisiana

Clay: Taking Down Ferguson Painting is ‘Unconstitutional’
Missouri congressman will keep controversial painting in his office

Reps. Cedric Richmond, far left, and William Lacy Clay, center, continue to defend a Missouri student's painting. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. William Lacy Clay said the taking down of a Capitol high school art competition painting of police-community relations in Ferguson, Missouri, is unconstitutional.

After a week of hanging and unhanging, the painting was removed from the Cannon tunnel on Tuesday.

Mixed Bag of Republicans Vote Against Obamacare Repeal Vehicle
GOP defectors cite deficit, lack of replacement

Dent voted against the budget resolution because of concerns about the GOP rushing to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans on Friday passed a bare-bones fiscal 2017 budget resolution with few intraparty defections, as most GOP members saw the unbalanced and long-delayed spending plan as a necessary means to an end of repealing the 2010 health care law.

The nine Republicans who voted against the measure raised concerns about either the budget not balancing, a key priority for fiscal conservatives, or the aggressive timeline of repealing the Affordable Care Act, given that the GOP has yet to present a replacement plan. The final vote was 227-198. 

Photos of the Week: Confirmation Hearing Frenzy on Capitol Hill
The week of Jan. 9 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, and Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, prepare for Sessions’ Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Russell Building’s Kennedy Caucus Room on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A total of seven confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks kicked off on the Hill this week. Meanwhile, a back-and-forth erupted between the parties over a student painting being taken down from the Cannon House Office Building.

A Heart for Africa
Staff group wants to be part of the conversation on Africa policies

The association's president Diana Konaté is the scheduler for Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

One Capitol Hill staff group attracts members who work in Washington but come from far away. No, not California. Try Africa.

The Congressional African Staff Association is “made up of people who have a heart for Africa,” according to Diana Konaté, the group’s president.

Booker, Lewis Challenge Sessions’ Commitment to Civil Rights
Say AG nominee has no track record of championing cause

From left, Louisiana Rep. Cedric L. Richmond of Louisiana, Georgia Rep. John Lewis and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker attend the second day of Senate Judiciary confirmation hearings for Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Three black lawmakers forcefully testified against Sen. Jeff Sessions becoming attorney general on Wednesday, closing out a confirmation hearing in which Democrats aired concerns about the Alabama Republican’s civil rights record.

Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, expressed concern with Sessions’ commitment to enforcing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, passed in the wake of a violent law enforcement reaction against Lewis and others marching from Selma to Montgomery. Lewis participated in that Alabama march known as “Bloody Sunday.”

Freshmen Backed by Freedom Caucus Aren’t Committing to Joining
Caucus leaders expect some non-freshmen to help replenish their ranks

The political arm of the House Freedom Caucus backed Indiana Republican Jim Banks, but he has not yet decided to join the caucus if invited. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Freedom Caucus is currently down seven members from the 114th Congress — and possibly two more.

South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney is awaiting confirmation as President-elect Donald Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Word on the Hill: Sasse Goes Junk Food-Free
‘Wait a minute, I’m under oath’

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse accepted a challenge from his child. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

You may see Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., binging on chips and candy on Feb. 1.

He tweeted that one of his three kids challenged him to not eat junk food for the rest of January. And, he agreed.

Obamacare Markets See Growth Despite Premium Hikes
Report refutes GOP predictions of ’death spiral’ for exchanges

HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell projected that as many as 13.8 million people would sign up or renew marketplace plans during this year’s open enrollment period. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than 11.5 million people have signed up for individual health insurance coverage using the marketplaces established by the health care overhaul during the current enrollment period, an increase of 286,000 people compared to the same time last year, the Obama administration reported on Tuesday.

The total includes 8.7 million who signed up through HealthCare.gov and 2.8 million who enrolled through state-based marketplaces. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill congressional Republicans cleared last year that would have repealed the health care law would have eliminated coverage for about 22 million people who receive coverage either through the marketplaces or Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor. President Barack Obama vetoed that measure, which is now serving as a starting point in the current discussions about repealing the law.

Controversial Ferguson Painting Removed From Display for Third Time
‘We might just have to kick somebody’s a--’ to keep it from being removed again, Richmond says

From left, Reps. Cedric L. Richmond of Louisiana, Alma Adams of North Carolina, William Lacy Clay of Missouri, John Conyers Jr. of Michigan and Hank Johnson of Georgia at a news conference in front of the painting in the Cannon tunnel on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:45 p.m. | A painting by a constituent of Missouri Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay has been removed from the walls of the Cannon tunnel by Republicans three times — and replaced after each incident.

“We might just have to kick somebody’s a-- and stop them,” Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric L. Richmond said, when asked if the painting needed security personnel to protect it.

Booker Breaks Precedent by Testifying Against Sessions
Says AG designee’s record is ’concerning in a number of ways’

Booker will testify against his colleague. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Cory Booker will on Wednesday take the apparently unprecedented step of testifying against the confirmation of fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama to be attorney general, a move that could firm up Booker’s progressive bona fides ahead of a possible 2020 presidential bid.

“I do not take lightly the decision to testify against a Senate colleague,” Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, said in a statement. “But the immense powers of the attorney general, combined with the deeply troubling views of this nominee is a call to conscience.”