Michigan

NIH Probe by House Panel Expands
Energy and Commerce asks for documents related to 2015 scandal

Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, is under fire from House Republicans, upset over a scandal at the agency, as well as Collins’ views on research issues. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Institutes of Health is in hot water again with the House Energy and Commerce Committee over a scandal that occurred nearly two years ago at one of the agency’s main research institutions.

On Thursday, the panel broadened its probe into safety and compliance issues at the NIH Clinical Center, a research hospital located on the agency’s campus in Bethesda, Maryland. In a letter sent to Director Francis Collins and obtained by Roll Call, the committee requested a larger swath of documents not yet provided by the agency.

Political Gerrymandering: Is There a Math Test for That?
Supreme Court may consider whether practice is unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in a North Carolina racial gerrymandering case and may take on a Wisconsin case this fall that involves partisan gerrymanders. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Racial gerrymanders have been undone many times, most recently when the Supreme Court ruled against a pair of North Carolina congressional districts this week. But another case from that same state, heading into federal court next month, has a shot at eventually persuading the justices to do what they’ve never done before: strike down an election map as an unconstitutionally partisan gerrymander.

The high court ruled three decades ago that it may be unconstitutional to draw political boundaries so that one party was sure to win a disproportionate number of elections, but it’s never come up with a means for deciding when such mapmaking has become too extreme.

Foster Youth Rub Shoulders With Lawmakers, Bring Change
More than 100 come to the Hill for annual congressional shadow day

California Rep. Karen Bass talks with Doniesha Thomas from Los Angeles on the Rayburn subway on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Michael Rogalski spent five years living in foster care. Rep. Karen Bass has been trying to improve the system longer than he has been alive.

So when Rogalski, 27, arrived at Bass’s office Wednesday morning — among more than 100 former foster youth to shadow members of Congress that day — he told her he just wanted to watch and learn.

19 House Races Shift Toward Democrats
List of competitive seats grows amid shifts against president’s party

New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s race for re-election has switched from Solid Republican to Likely Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The midterm elections are still nearly a year and a half away, and the political dynamics could yet change, but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that history and the current environment are merging together for a potentially great set of elections for Democrats in November 2018. 

The president’s party has lost House seats in 18 of the last 20 midterm elections, and it’s lost an average of 33 seats in those 18 elections. Democrats need to gain 24 seats in order to take back the majority. 

Word on the Hill: Embassy Chef Competition
Wreath-laying for women in the military

Belgium is one of the countries represented in the Embassy Chef Challenge this evening. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Decide for yourself which embassy has the best cuisine.

Thirty-nine chefs from countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas are competing in Events DC’s Embassy Chef Challenge at 6 p.m. today. Last year’s winner was the chef from the Embassy of the Philippines, and in 2015, the Embassy of Barbados took home the trophy.

Michigan Businesswoman to Challenge Stabenow
Served as Co-chair of Donald Trump's presidential campaign

Lena Esptein, who announced her intent to run against Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, said Michigan needs an outsider candidate with a business background. (Lena for Senate via YouTube)

Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow received her first Republican challenger as businesswoman Lena Epstein announced her candidacy for Michigan's Senate race.

Epstein is a third-generation co-owner of Vesco Oil Corp., which distributes automotive and industrial lubricants.

‘Law and Order’ President Meets Ultimate Lawman
Should Trump be concerned? ‘Absolutely,’ GOP strategist says

Sources and lawmakers describe former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a “superstar” and highly qualified to head the Russia investigation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Donald Trump is fond of describing himself as a “law-and-order” president. Suddenly, however, the fate of his presidency could be decided by a man who embodies that characterization: Robert Mueller, a true lawman’s lawman.

The irony is thicker than a column on the White House’s North Portico. And for Trump, his party and the republic, the stakes could not be higher.

Report: Trump Told Russians Comey Firing Relieved ‘Great Pressure’
Close WH aide to president allegedly a person of interest to FBI

President Donald Trump walks toward Marine One before departing from the White House on April 28. Two reports out Friday allege he told Russian officials firing FBI Director James Comey helped him, and that a close aide is a person of interest in a FBI probe of the 2016 election. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Trump reportedly told senior Russian officials that firing FBI Director James Comey relieved “great pressure” on him because of allegations of nefarious ties between his campaign and Russia. And another report places a senior White House official as a “person of interest” in the bureau’s ongoing investigation.

“I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” the New York Times reported Friday, citing a document that summarizes his Oval Office meeting earlier this month with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Moscow’s ambassador to Washington.

Photos of the Week: Lawmakers Reel and Run
The Week of May 15 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Arizona Sen. John McCain talks with reporters on Wednesday after a vote in the Capitol about whether a special prosecutor is needed to investigate President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY BILL CLARK AND TOM WILLIAMS

The House returned Tuesday after a one-week recess to a Washington reeling from new allegations related to the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey and revelations that the president shared classified information with Russian officials in the Oval Office. 

Democrats Grill Interior Nominee Over Energy Industry Ties
David Bernhardt wouldn't say whether he believes in climate change

Sen. Maria Cantwell said she was concerned whether David Bernhardt could avoid potential conflicts of interest with the energy industry in his new position as deputy Interior secretary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump’s deputy Interior secretary nominee David Bernhardt sidestepped questions during his Thursday confirmation hearing about whether he believes in climate change, saying instead that regardless of what the science says, he will follow the president’s the policy positions.

At the hearing by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Republicans praised Bernhardt as “uniquely qualified” and Democrats raised objections to his long history as a lobbyist for oil, gas and mineral firms that could benefit from his appointment.