Mississippi

Word on the Hill: Eclipse Day
A new general in the House, lawmakers cover some ground over recess

Solar eclipse viewing glasses are going fast in advance of Monday’s solar eclipse across the United States. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The main event of the week comes early.

The peak time to view today’s solar eclipse in Washington, D.C., is 2:42 p.m. But the fun starts around 1 p.m. From our vantage point, the moon will block part of the sun from about 1:17 p.m. to around 4:01 p.m.

Budget and Appropriations Members Rack Up Travel Time
Boots on the ground or paid vacation?

Staff travel makes up a significant chuck of the amounts spent on travel by the Appropriations and Budget committees. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of the Budget and Appropriations committees have spent about $2 million on foreign travel since the start of 2016, including trips to Argentina, Tanzania, Italy and the United Kingdom, according to an analysis of congressional records.

Appropriations Committee members far outpace their colleagues on the Budget Committee in the number of trips and how much they've spent on travel outside the United States. From Jan. 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017, Appropriations Committee members and staff spent $1.9 million on foreign travel and Budget Committee members and staff spent $36,000.

Pelosi Joins Call for Removal of Confederate Statues From Capitol
Trump says country is being ‘ripped apart’ by removal of ‘beautiful’ monuments

Democrats are calling for the removal from the Capitol of Confederate statues, like this one of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Statuary Hall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12:32 p.m. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday joined a drumbeat from other Democrats, calling for the removal of Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol.

“The halls of Congress are the very heart of our democracy. The statues in the Capitol should embody our highest ideals as Americans, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation,” the California Democrat said in a statement

Pence Tamps Down Trump’s Military-in-Venezuela Talk
In region, VP talks up American economic and diplomatic tools

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivers a joint press conference with Argentina's President Mauricio Macri (out of frame) after a meeting at the Olivos Presidential residence in Olivos, Buenos Aires on August 15, 2017. (JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence continued his attempts to cool fears in South America that President Donald Trump will plunge the U.S. military into Venezuela’s ongoing political unrest.

At just about every turn since Pence landed on the continent Sunday evening, the vice president has been quick to deploy two very different words: economic and diplomatic.

Wicker Renews Call to Remove Confederate Emblem From Mississippi Flag
GOP senator condemns use of state flag as a ‘symbol of white supremacy’

Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker has reiterated his call to remove the Confederate battle emblem from his state’s flag. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the wake of racial violence over the weekend in Virginia, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi renewed his call Monday to remove the Confederate battle emblem from his state’s flag.

The Republican senator advocated the change in light of the fact that an altered version of the Mississippi flag was displayed Saturday during the neo-Nazi rally in the central Virginia city of Charlottesville, The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger reported.

Enzi Plans September Budget Markup as McConnell Urges Speed

Chairman Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., takes his seat for the Senate Budget Committee to order for the hearing with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the President’s budget proposals on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi told Republicans Thursday he intends to mark up a fiscal 2018 budget resolution in September.

In addition, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., met with Republicans on the Budget Committee late Thursday morning and charged them with producing a budget resolution after the recess.

Word on the Hill: From Little League World Series to Congress
Solar talk and Stevie Wonder tickets

Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis bats during a Little League baseball game in 1991. (Courtesy DeSantis’ office)

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., passed along some veteran advice for a Florida Little League baseball team, which is competing for a regional title this weekend and a chance to play in the Little League World Series.

The Palm Beach Post asked DeSantis, who played in the Little League World Series in 1991, for his thoughts. 

Democratic Senators Rethink Bill Criminalizing Support for Israel Boycott
Israel Anti-Boycott Act could impose $1 million in penalties and 20 years in prison

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said he thinks the ACLU has misrepresented the original legislation, but he was willing to “make it clearer.” (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic senators are thinking twice about the proposed Israel Anti-Boycott Act after an outcry by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which considers it a “serious threat to free speech.”

While Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, the bill’s lead author, said that the ACLU had misinterpreted the piece of legislation, he expressed his intention to “make it clearer.”

Rodney Davis Loses One Democratic Challenger, Gains Another
State legislator Carroll Ammons passed on running

Erik Jones worked as counsel for the House Oversight Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee before moving back to Illinois. (Erik Jones for Congress via Facebook)

One Illinois Democrat passed on running to challenge Republican Rep. Rodney Davis on Monday while another jumped into the race.

State Rep. Caroll Ammons announced she would not run to challenge the Republican congressman in Illinois 13th Congressional District.

Analysis: Senators Writing Placeholder Defense Money Bill
Figure will be lower than House, in prelude to likely deal

Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran predicts Congress and the administration will eventually make a deal on raising the budget caps on defense accounts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate appropriators’ forthcoming Pentagon spending bill for fiscal 2018, which will contain tens of billions of dollars less than the House’s measure, should be taken seriously, but not literally.

The Senate spending panel’s defense funding proposal is likely to grow, assuming — as is likely — that an agreement to slightly raise the budget caps is reached, as it has been for every year since the caps called for by the sequester were enacted in 2011.