Science

Word on the Hill: Trailblazer Awards
Astronaut is testifying in the House

Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings will receive a Trailblazer Award from the Congressional Black Associates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This Black History Month, the Congressional Black Associates will honor five people for their contributions to the community in their annual Trailblazer Awards ceremony.

This year’s awardees are Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., and Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black, and Hill veterans Michael McQuerry, Jaqueline Ellis (posthumously) and Jennifer DeCasper.

NRA: Confirmation of Ryan Zinke a Sound Move
Gun rights group predicts an ‘end of an era of hostility’ towards hunters

Secretary of the Interior nominee Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., returns to his seat after greeting chairwoman Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, before the start of his confirmation hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Jan. 17, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The five million men and women of the National Rifle Association are eager to see Rep. Ryan Zinke confirmed as the 52nd secretary of the Interior. His confirmation will mark the end of an era of hostility toward hunters and sportsmen at the Interior Department.

As a native Montanan, Zinke has a deep appreciation for wildlife and conservation. In addition, he understands the importance of public land access for all hunters and outdoorsmen.

What’s in a Strange Name?
There’s been another Strange in Congress, and a couple of other Luthers

New Alabama Sen. Luther Strange is the second Sen. Strange in history. (Courtesy Luther Strange Facebook page)

Luther Strange of Alabama, who is replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Senate, is the second Sen. Strange in history.

Robert Strange of North Carolina served from 1836 to 1840. He was a Jacksonian Democrat and was the chairman of the Committee on Patents and Patent Office.

Meet Alabama’s New Senator: Luther Strange
Alabama governor appoints state attorney general to fill Sessions’ seat

Alabama’s Luther Strange, seen here testifying on Capitol Hill in 2014 on gun control proposals, replaces Jeff Sessions in the Senate. (Molly Riley/AP file photo)

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed state Attorney General Luther Strange to fill the Senate seat of Jeff Sessions, whom the Senate confirmed as U.S. attorney general Wednesday night. 

“Alabama has surely been well represented by Sen. Sessions, and I am confident Sen. Strange will serve as a fine representative for our people,” the governor said in a Thursday morning statement.

Lobbyists, Corporate Clients Open Wallets for Trump
K Streeters disclosed $5.3 million in donations to Trump from July through December of last year

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K Street has entered the Trump era.

Lobbyists and organizations that seek to influence Washington mostly neglected the presidential campaign of Donald Trump early last year, but by the end of 2016, the sector had begun to embrace him, new lobbying disclosures show.

Pentagon Panel Urges Trump Team to Expand Nuclear Options
Report suggests ‘tailored nuclear option for limited use’

From left, First lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, Vice President Mike Pence, and his wife Karen Pence prepare to review the troops on Inauguration Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A blue-ribbon Pentagon panel has urged the Trump administration to make the U.S. arsenal more capable of “limited” atomic war.

The Defense Science Board, in an unpublished December report obtained by CQ Roll Call, urges the president to consider altering existing and planned U.S. armaments to achieve a greater number of lower-yield weapons that could provide a “tailored nuclear option for limited use.”

Take Five: Mitch McConnell
Senate majority leader ponders inviting president to the Kentucky Derby

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he might think about inviting President Donald Trump to the Kentucky Derby, even though it would be hard to make it “great again” because it’s already great. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky talked to Roll Call’s Senate reporters about college basketball, owning a baseball team, and life with his wife, newly sworn-in Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Q: If you could have any other job, what would it be?

Travel Ban Fuels Slowdown of Trump Nominees
Democrats call on Cabinet picks to take positions on executive order

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer attempted to delay a vote on Rex Tillerson’s nomination to be secretary of State over President Donald Trump’s executive order. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats are willing to drag out Senate consideration of Cabinet nominees over President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order, and they wasted no time doing so as the week began. 

On Monday afternoon, Democrats objected to a request for committees to meet two hours after the Senate convened, a routine unanimous request that typically sails through with nary a whisper of dissent. Blocking the daily procedure showed Democrats were stepping up their slowdown efforts.

Government Scientists Go Rogue on Twitter
Anonymous employees create accounts to share science they say is being squelched

Multiple Twitter accounts have been set up in response to concerns President Donald Trump will censor scientific research. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Scientists at various government agencies are using a network of Twitter accounts to push back against what they see as the Trump administration’s attempts to squelch federal science research.

Scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, the National Park Service and elsewhere set up the rogue Twitter accounts after internal orders at agencies involved in environmental research have curbed dissemination of information, Reuters reported.