rhode island

Word on the Hill: Earth Day Celebrations
Smoothies and staffer shuffles

Tomorrow is the annual day to celebrate nature. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Happy Friday and last day of recess.

Tomorrow is the 47th annual Earth Day and here are ways you can celebrate Mother Nature.

Udall: Congress Should Compel White House to Release Visitor Logs
New Mexico Democrat hits Trump over decision to keep records secret

New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall is the sponsor of the MAR-A-LAGO Act. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One Democratic senator says Congress should require the White House to release its visitor records, after the administration announced Friday the logs would be kept secret.

The Trump administration cited security and privacy concerns in its decision to not publicly release its visitor logs. The decision, first reported by Time magazine, differs from the Obama administration, which publicly released its visitor records — though those logs were subject to redaction.

Pelosi: Fire Sean Spicer Over Holocaust Statements
White House press secretary faces blow back for denying chemical weapons used in WWII

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer answers reporters’ questions during the daily news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House April 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. Spicer said that different from Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, Nazi leader Adolph Hitler did not use chemical weapons, saying, “I think when you come to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.” (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Updated at 7:13 p.m. | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is calling on President Donald Trump to fire his press secretary Sean Spicer for remarks he made Tuesday that suggested Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons during World War II.

Spicer was responding to a question during the daily White House briefing about Russia’s relationship to Bashar Assad’s Syrian regime and the support it has gotten from President Vladimir Putin.

Photos of the Week: Senate Goes Nuclear to Confirm Gorsuch
The week of April 3 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gives a thumbs-up on Thursday after the Senate invoked the "nuclear option" which will allow for a simple majority vote to confirm a Supreme Court justice nominee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The consideration of Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court was front and center all week on Capitol Hill. The final vote for confirmation took place Friday morning, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding over the Senate, but the lead-up had more fireworks — with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoking the “nuclear option” on Thursday to lower the threshold of cloture votes needed, effectively clearing the way for Gorsuch’s approval. 

Wynonna Judd Rips Her Backup Singers During Grammys on the Hill
But Trump was ripped the most over proposed art funding cuts

Wynonna Judd was joined on stage by members of Congress. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)

Just when you thought the American public was the hardest on politicians, country singer Wynonna Judd took the cake.

“Loosen up your ties,” the singer said. “Come on, big babies.”

Photos of the Week: Cherry Blossoms and Intelligence Chaos as Gorsuch Awaits Vote
The week of March 27 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, takes a photo with his phone during the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Russian intelligence activities on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the cherry blossoms reached full bloom in Washington this week, so did the congressional investigations into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. After the House investigation faced obstacles, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s query began to ramp up, with the leaders conducting a bipartisan news conference and the entire panel holding its first full hearing on the matter. 

Next week, Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch is expected to receive a vote on the Senate floor. Demonstrators both for and against the nominee made appearances in the capital this week.

DCCC Chairman: ‘We Will Pick Up Seats in 2018’
Luján is optimistic about Jon Ossoff’s chances in Georgia

DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján is confident his party will make gains in the House next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The chairman of the House Democrats’ campaign arm is confident his party will gain seats in the chamber next year and that the Republicans’ health care debacle will help Democrats get there. 

“It’s too early to know what’s going to happen in November of 2018, but I can tell you Democrats in the House are on offensive, and there’s no question that we will pick up seats in 2018,” Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in an interview for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” that will air this weekend.

Word on the Hill: Ready to Run
Make reservations to dine out for a good cause next week

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run is an annual race that passes monuments, such as the World War II Memorial, and runs along the Tidal Basin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Capitol Hill Competition is fast approaching.

Part of the larger Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run on April 2, it awards the fastest House or Senate congressional office with the Capitol Cup to display for a year.

Trump Defense Boost Would Mean Big Gains for Some States
Democrats likely to hold line for parity with nondefense programs

Brian Schatz, whose state of Hawaii is the No. 3 recipient of per-capita defense spending, says there must be parity in domestic spending to go with any boost to national security programs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A request from the Trump administration for a double-digit increase in defense spending could be largely decided by lawmakers whose states are far from equal players when it comes to the benefits of a bigger military budget.

That’s long been the case, as geographic, historic and strategic differences across the country result in more of an economic boost in certain states. But the differences are even more starkly displayed in a new Pew Charitable Trusts analysis that shows the funding split across all 50 states and the District of Columbia on a per-capita basis.

Yesterday’s US Attorneys May Be Tomorrow’s Congressional Candidates
Abrupt ouster by Trump administration provides incentive

Dana Boente could be a plausible challenger to Republican Scott Taylor in Virginia’s 2nd District. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump’s abrupt ouster of almost half the country’s U.S. attorneys has done more than create yet another tempest for his nascent administration. It’s also created a new and potentially potent Democratic political class.

Campaign consultants in both parties have long identified prosecutors — especially those confirmed by the Senate to act as the chief federal law enforcement officers in the nation’s 93 judicial districts — as top-flight congressional recruiting opportunities. But, for reasons that aren’t all that obvious, the Republicans have propelled many more crime busters onto Capitol Hill than the Democrats in recent years.