rhode island

When the Budget Resolution Isn’t About the Budget
Senators acknowledge budget is all about taxes

Georgia GOP Sen. David Perdue is teaming up with a Democratic colleague, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, on amendments to the budget resolution that declare the process is basically absurd. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

When Sen. John McCain removed the suspense by announcing he would vote for the budget resolution moving through the Senate, the Arizona Republican made clear the ridiculousness of the exercise.

“At the end of the day, we all know that the Senate budget resolution will not impact final appropriations,” he said in a statement. “To do that, Congress and the White House must negotiate a budget agreement that will lift the caps on defense spending and enable us to adequately fund the military.”

Cicilline Pledges to Donate Brain to CTE Research
Nearly all NFL players studied after their deaths had concussion-related brain damage

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., played Pop Warner football in his youth. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As President Donald Trump publicly decries football for going soft and over-penalizing vicious helmet-to-helmet hits, Rep. David Cicilline pledged last week to donate his brain to head trauma research.

The Rhode Island Democrat and five of his colleagues hosted a panel of Boston University researchers and a former NFL player to hear about the correlation between playing football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Word on the Hill: Scientist Turned Politician Takes the Stage
Things to do this weekend

California Rep. Jerry McNerney is a scientist turned congressman. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., wrapped up the week with some laughs in the service of science. 

Taking the stage at a science comedy night show at DC Improv on Thursday night, the congressman talked about his background and what it’s like to be a scientist in Congress. McNerney is a former wind-turbine engineer and holds a doctorate in mathematics.

Lawmakers Join the Battle Over NFL Protests
Some Republicans are boycotting the league, while some Democrats laud it

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, in jacket, and head coach Jason Garrett, right, kneel with their team in a show of solidarity before the national anthem during a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday. (James D. Smith via AP)

 

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have joined the battle for patriotic superiority that heated up in NFL stadiums over the weekend.

On North Korea, Some Lawmakers See Scattershot Trump Approach
‘It’s hard to figure out what the consistent message or the priority is’

People at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, watch a television showing President Donald Trump on Aug. 9. (JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

One day, aggressively enforcing sanctions is the key to solving the North Korea issue. The next, President Donald Trump threatens to “totally destroy” the country. And some senior lawmakers are troubled by what they see as a lack of consistency from the commander in chief.

As the president vacillates between a sanctions-based approach that presses North Korea’s allies to do more and threats to take down the Kim Jong Un government along with its nuclear and missile programs, some top Democrats want Trump and his team to settle on a consistent strategy. But it appears there is little they can do to bring that about.

Military Groups Join Democrats’ Defense of Arbitration Rule
‘We will not accept a future where our military veterans’ financial protections are chipped away’

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed in the Senate subway before a lunch in the Capitol on July 27. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Service member and veterans groups on Wednesday criticized a Republican effort to overturn the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rule barring mandatory arbitration in many consumer contracts. 

The groups joined Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a member of the Senate Banking Committee, to oppose Senate Republicans’ plan to pass a measure that would repeal the CFPB rule. The rule took effect Monday, but the agency is giving companies until March 2018 to comply.

Word on the Hill: Let’s Talk Washington Dysfunction
First historical society lecture

Former Indiana Sen. Richard G. Lugar is participating in a discussion with Issue One and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former lawmakers are taking a stab at figuring out the dysfunction in Washington.

Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus and the Center for Strategic and International Studies are hosting a news conference today that is scheduled to feature former Reps. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., Constance A. Morella, R-Md., Porter J. Goss, R-Fla., and Lee H. Hamilton, R-Ind., along with former Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind.

Senate Set to Pass Defense Authorization Measure

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, left, seen here with Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, expressed regret the chamber could not agree on how to bring up all the amendments senators wanted to vote on. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the Senate’s 2018 defense authorization bill passing a procedural hurdle Thursday, the chamber is expected to vote on final passage of the massive military policy bill Monday.

The Senate voted 84-9 to invoke cloture and limit debate on a substitute version of the bill that includes 104 amendments.

Word on the Hill: Clinton’s Book Tour Hits D.C.
Your social calendar for the week

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is in Washington on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is in D.C. tonight for her book tour.

The former secretary of State, senator and first lady is traveling the country to talk about “What Happened,” her account of the 2016 election.

LGBTQ Women Balance Opportunity, Possible Extinction in Congress
Close calls, impossible races, and evolving bench contribute to low numbers

If Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema vacates her 9th District seat to run for Senate, there could be no LGBTQ women in the House in the next Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s been almost 20 years since Tammy Baldwin’s historic election, yet just one woman has followed her through the LGBTQ glass ceiling. And if both women lose competitive races in 2018, the next Congress could be without any LGBTQ women.

While the lack of LGBTQ women in Congress is inextricably linked to the dearth of women on Capitol Hill, the story of lesbian candidates includes some close calls, quixotic races, and a movement still evolving to position more qualified LGBTQ women to run for higher office.