Sheila Jackson Lee

Opinion: In a Culture War, American Values Lose
Nation’s top leaders have already picked a side

Vice President Mike Pence’s staged walkout at a Colts-49ers NFL game in Indianapolis was a political stunt that disrespected several players’ support of equality, justice and police accountability, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

Over the weekend, a group of white nationalists returned to Charlottesville, Virginia, faces proudly uncovered and tiki torches in hand, with a message of division.

White supremacist leader Richard Spencer said to applause, “You are going to have to get used to white identity” — and warned of more to come.

Word on the Hill: Spelling vs. Basketball
O’Rourke’s birthday surprise, Moulton’s wedding, and Jackson Lee’s partnership

Reps. Derek Kilmer of Washington, left, and Ted Deutch of Florida talk to the co-champions of the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee, Jairam Hathwar, second from left, and Nihar Janga, before last year’s National Press Club Spelling Bee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two longtime congressional competitions are taking place this evening: the National Press Club Spelling Bee, and the Member of Congress Charity Basketball Game. Which one will you attend?

The spelling bee, which pits members of the media against lawmakers, is at 7:15 p.m. at the National Press Club (529 14th St. NW). Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., is a late addition to the members’ team. Meanwhile, lawmakers take on lobbyists in the basketball game, starting at 7:30 p.m. at George Washington University’s Smith Center (600 22nd St. NW). The game follows a matchup between congressional staffers and lobbyists.

White House Could Send $5.9B Harvey Request to Hill Friday
GOP aide: Leadership expects initial emergency plan could arrive soon

People take shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center after flood waters from Hurricane Harvey inundated the city on Aug. 29 in Houston. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Updated at 11:43 a.m. Trump administration officials have informed congressional Republican leaders to expect an initial Hurricane Harvey emergency spending request perhaps as soon as Friday, according to administration and congressional sources.

The White House expects to ask Congress for about $6 billion dollars in its first disaster supplemental request for Hurricane Harvey recovery, an administration official told CQ Roll Call.

Harvey Aid, Seen Topping Katrina and Sandy, May Be in Batches
Early projections estimate $150 billion

The city of Houston is still experiencing severe flooding in some areas due to the accumulation of historic levels of rainfall, though the storm has moved to the north and east. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The rebuilding of parts of Texas and potentially Louisiana after Hurricane Harvey may be the most expensive disaster relief effort ever, with early projections of federal aid soaring to $150 billion and raising the prospect of several congressional actions to pay for it.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, said Wednesday he thinks federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Harvey should top what was provided after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast in 2012. 

White House on Harvey Relief Bill Talk: Pump the Brakes
Trump official does not dismiss Rep. Jackson Lee’s call for $150B in federal help

People take shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center after floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey inundated the city. The evacuation center is over capacity with more evacuees arriving. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The White House has a message for those speculating on how much hurricane-ravaged Texas might need from the federal government and how a relief package might move through Congress: Pump the brakes.

Just how much Texas and Louisiana will need from Washington in Hurricane Harvey’s wake is still being determined by local, state and federal authorities, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday evening.

Texas Members Respond to Hurricane Harvey
Others send best wishes and prayers to those in the path of the storm

Water churns from approaching Hurricane Harvey in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Friday. The storm has the potential to drop up to 3 feet of rain with 125 mph winds. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

While Texans stocked up on food and water, filled their gas tanks, boarded up their homes, and left the area ahead of Hurricane Harvey, their members of Congress were passing along the latest news and advice.

Some said they would ride out the storm in their districts.

Sewell Staffer Says Ways and Means Void Has Been Filled
Sashrina Thomas also worked for Stephanie Tubbs Jones, last African-American woman on panel

Shashrina Thomas has worked for Rep. Terri A. Sewell since 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Shashrina Thomas is the bridge between the first and second African-American women to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee.

It had been nine years since an African-American woman served on the panel until Alabama Democrat Terri A. Sewell joined this year with the help of Thomas, her chief of staff.