Massachusetts

Perry, Mnuchin Round Out Senate Hearings Before Inauguration
Democrats will try to keep the focus on health care

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of Energy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump’s nominees to run the Energy and Treasury departments are the last to face Senate committees before the incoming president is sworn in on Friday. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is acknowledging the Senate may only confirm a few nominees right away. 

The Senate is on track to confirm just three of Trump’s Cabinet nominees on Jan. 20, McConnell told USA Today on Wednesday. He blamed Democrats for slowing down the process, though Democrats say they need more time to properly vet Trump’s nominees.

Word on the Hill: The Day Before
Details about getting around D.C.

Workers put the finishing touches on the platform at the Capitol on Tuesday for Donald Trump's inauguration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Tomorrow is Donald Trump’s big day and the bulk of state society parties take place tonight.

Check out our list of this evening’s balls and galas and tips for making the most of the next couple of days.

Inauguration Superlatives: The High Highs and Low Lows
Rhetoric, flubs, health and even conspirators can steal the spotlight

President Barack Obama’s first inaugural address was marred by a flub over the oath and a health scare at the lunch afterward. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Under the best circumstances, a presidential inauguration can inspire a nation. Under the worst, it can lead to a do-over. And sometimes, not to be melodramatic, but dark forces conspire around it.

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations,” Abraham Lincoln said at his second inauguration, delivered to a country ripped apart by the Civil War. 

Schedule of Inaugural Events
Official events planned for D.C. area for Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Joe Dick, of Providence, R.I., pushes a cart filled with flags along a side street filled with security barricades the day before the opening ceremony of President Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Before and after the inaugural ceremony on Friday, there are a number of official events throughout Washington, D.C.

3:30-4 p.m. Wreath-Laying Ceremony — Arlington National Cemetery 

Price Faces Tough Questions on Stock Trading, Health Care Law

Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., takes his seat before the start of his confirmation hearing in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Tom Price sought in a contentious hearing Wednesday to defend his purchases of medical stocks against Democratic charges of conflicts of interest.

Price told Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that held the hearing, that he bought Australian biotech Innate Immunotherapeutics shares after talking with Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., about the company. Collins serves as a director of the company. That raises questions about whether that would be a potential violation of the STOCK Act which prohibits lawmakers from benefiting from insider information or ethics rules. However, Price said he did not receive information that was not public.

The House Version of ‘Law and Order’
A sentencing, some commutations and other House news

Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson speaks with New York Rep. Louise M. Slaughter during a press conference by House Democrats in November 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Bennie Thompson’s chief of staff was sentenced Tuesday to four months in prison for failing to file income tax returns.

Issac Lanier Avant was also ordered to pay $149,962 to the IRS for failing to file tax returns from 2009 to 2013 after he had assumed the role of Democratic director for the House Homeland Security Committee, earning more than $165,000, the Justice Department said in a statement.

House Freshmen to Watch
115th Congress provides a platform for ambitious new members

Kihuen, left, comes to Congress with a record of success in Nevada, and the blessing of former Sen. Harry Reid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not all freshmen are created equal.

While there is always a learning curve for new members of the House, some of the newly elected come to the institution with an enhanced profile. This could be because they are former statewide officeholders, or perhaps scored a big one for the team by knocking off a longtime incumbent. Maybe they are natural leaders or their ambitions are such that they are already looking at other federal offices. 

Republican Members Hear from Obamacare Supporters
Democrats hold rallies to defend Obama’s signature law

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., called a swarm of Obamacare supporters at a constituent event "partisan activists." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican members of Congress heard from constituents supportive of the Affordable Care Act over the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend as they take steps to repeal the law.

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., saw hundreds of people at a constituent meeting event at a library in Aurora, according to one eyewitness account to 9News.

Here Are the Democrats Skipping Trump’s Inauguration
More than 65 Democratic House members won’t attend Friday’s swearing-in

Virginia Rep. Gerald E. Connolly is one of the latest Democratic House members to say that he won’t attend Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even before President-elect Donald Trump attacked Georgia Rep. John Lewis on Twitter over the weekend, a handful of Democratic lawmakers had planned to boycott Trump's inauguration on Friday.

But by the end of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday night, that group had ballooned. As of Wednesday, more than 60 Democrats in the House have now said they will not attend. No Democratic senators have announced similar intentions.

Crisis Averted but Future Is Still Unclear for House Watchdog
Republicans promise bipartisan review of Office of Congressional Ethics

Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano, who chaired the committee that recommended the creation of the Office of Congressional Ethics, says he would welcome looking at potential revisions to the office. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans might have ditched a plan to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. But the future of Congress’ only outside ethics review board is far from guaranteed.

The Office of Congressional Ethics, or OCE, has been under fire from both parties since it was created eight years ago. Now the House GOP majority is promising to revisit a potential overhaul before the end of this session, possibly as early as August.