North Carolina

Word on the Hill: Drawing a Line on Good Taste
Opioid discussion, one week until the Press Club’s spelling bee

From left, Steve Hendrickson as Frank Butley, Jacqueline Correa as Tania Del Valle, Dan Domingues as Pablo Del Valle, and Sally Wingert as Virginia Butley in “Native Gardens,” running through Oct. 22 at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. (Courtesy Dan Norman/Guthrie Theater)

Native Gardens” opened at the Mead Center for American Theater on Friday. The play runs until Oct. 22 at the center’s Arena Stage.

The comedy features actors Jacqueline Correa and Dan Domingues as Tania and Pablo Del Valle, a couple who move to Washington, D.C., next door to Frank and Virginia Butley, played by Steve Hendrickson and Sally Wingert. Pablo is a young lawyer and Tania is a pregnant Ph.D. candidate while the Butleys are a deeply rooted D.C. couple.

Pence Gets New Communications Team From the Capitol
Farah, Mandreucci start at the beginning of October

Vice President Mike Pence is bringing on communications staffers with experience on both sides of the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vice President Mike Pence has poached the Capitol for a new communications team.

The departure of Pence’s longtime spokesman Marc Lotter from the White House, which was announced last week, created an opening for two communicators from Capitol Hill to move in.

Record Gains by Latinos Contradict Narrative
Trump’s 2016 victory overshadowed congressional victories

From left, Reps. Adriano Espaillat of New York and Ruben Kihuen of Nevada are the first formerly undocumented members of Congress. Also seen, Reps. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, right, and Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, second from left. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s victory last year was widely understood to challenge predictions of a coming surge in Democratic-leaning Latino voters that would forever alter the American electorate. 

But as Latino political leaders kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month this week, some are pointing to Congress to argue that Trump’s win was an anomaly. 

Word on the Hill: POW/MIA Recognition Day
Bottomless rosé wines, and the future of health care

Arizona Sen. John McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five and a half years. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Today is National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which honors missing service members and their families.

Currently in Congress, there are two lawmakers who endured time as prisoners of war during the Vietnam War: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas.

How the Calendar Puts Pressure on GOP’s Tax Effort
Party wants to avoid health care-style debacle, Ryan says

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady talks with reporters in the Capitol on Wednesday after a meeting of the House Republican Conference. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican lawmakers for months have been talking about a tax overhaul with a sense of urgency, but those words have yet to translate into action.

President Donald Trump seems to want to kick-start the legislative process and took to Twitter on Wednesday with some encouragement. “Move fast Congress!” he tweeted, followed by: “Go Congress, go!”

Take Five: Mike Johnson
Louisiana Republican designed his own campaign logo

Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson says he has no idea how his children got their musical talent. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Freshman Rep. Mike Johnson, 45, a Louisiana Republican, talks about civility in his class, graphic design, and his children’s musical talents.

Q: What has surprised you about Congress so far?

Meadows: Freedom Caucus ‘Asked’ to Develop Conservative Solution to DACA
Group ‘trying to find a multifaceted approach,’ North Carolina Republican says

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., right, and member Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, are among members expected to weigh in on a conservative solution to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows told reporters Tuesday a Trump administration official asked his caucus to put together a conservative immigration plan that would provide a legislative solution to replace to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“Administration officials don’t want to be caught flat footed with no proposals,” the North Carolina Republican said. “On the debt ceiling there were no conservative solutions. ... And it’s incumbent upon us to put some conservative and compassionate solutions out there to address it. So we’re taking that task as a real challenge. I was asked to do it. That’s what we’re doing.”

White House Nudge for Long-Shot Repeal Bill
Trump Hill boss seeks boost on Graham-Cassidy legislation

Marc Short, White House legislative affairs director, signaled Tuesday that the administration is interested in a long-shot health care repeal bill. (Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor)

Updated at 2:28 p.m. The White House gave a subtle nudge to a long-shot bill from two Republican senators that would overhaul the 2010 health care law as a Sept. 30 deadline to take up the measure quickly approaches.

Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana have been working on legislation that would incorporate much of the Senate GOP leadership-crafted health care measure that failed to pass the chamber earlier this year.

Moulton Raises $600,000 for Veteran Candidates He Endorsed
Massachusetts Democrat says Congress needs the ‘fresh perspective’ that his fellow veterans bring

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., is backing 11 fellow military veterans in their bids to unseat Republican members in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton raised $600,000 for the Democratic candidates he endorsed in his attempt to recruit more veterans to run for Congress.

The announcement came after a forum at Harvard University, Moulton’s alma mater, with four of the candidates he has endorsed: Dan Feehan in Minnesota’s 1st District, Roger Dean Huffstelter in Virginia’s 5th District, Amy McGrath in Kentucky’s 6th District, and Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey’s 11th District.

Taxes, Immigration Bigger Tests for Ryan Speakership Than Fiscal Deal
Conservatives concerned about how speaker will handle DACA

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s leadership will be tested in upcoming debates over taxes and immigration, potentially determining whether he remains the House’s top Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s leadership capabilities are back in the spotlight after September’s fiscal crises were quickly resolved last week without any wins for conservative policies. But that deal is unlikely to define his speakership the way upcoming legislative battles on taxes and immigration will.

Whether the 10-term Wisconsin Republican remains speaker — either by his or the House GOP’s choosing — may depend on his ability to deliver legislation in those areas that can both appease his largely conservative conference and get through the more moderate Senate to President Donald Trump’s desk.