Sheldon Whitehouse

Feinstein Recovering After Pacemaker Surgery
She’ll miss Day 2 of Sessions’ confirmation hearing, Whitehouse serves as Judiciary ranking member

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., arrives to take on the ranking member duties during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein had a pacemaker installed at George Washington University Hospital on Tuesday evening and is resting at home on Wednesday.

The senator is absent from Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing for attorney general but plans on working from home all day. She questioned Sessions on the first day of the hearing on Tuesday.

AG Pick Sessions Defends Record at Contentious Hearing
Alabama Republican argues he’s strong on civil rights

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, is sworn in on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:42 p.m. | Sen. Jeff Sessions made his case to be attorney general Tuesday, in a confirmation hearing punctuated by racially charged protesters and warnings from Democrats that minorities fear he wouldn’t protect their rights as the Justice Department leader.

The Alabama Republican decried accusations of racial insensitivity that sunk his 1986 nomination to be a federal judge as “damnably false,” and appealed to his colleagues on the Judiciary Committee to study his record of 20 years working beside them in the Senate.

Schumer Seeks Inquiry Into HHS Nominee’s Health Stock Trades
Asks whether Price’s position in the House aided him in his trades.

Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Patty Murray of Washington and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York hold a news conference to discuss the nomination of Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to be secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Thursday called for an investigation into the trading of medical industry stocks by President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. The Trump transition team responded by highlighting recent trading in pharmaceutical stocks by three Democratic senators.

Schumer, a New York Democrat, asked that the House Office of Congressional Ethics look into Price’s trading in health care stocks, an issue that Roll Call investigated in a story last month. Price last year traded shares of firms such as Gilead Sciences, Aetna and CVS Health Corp, while serving on the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee.

DSCC Names First Female Executive Director
Mindy Myers ran the organization's independent expenditure efforts

Myers is the first woman to lead the DSCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Veteran operative Mindy Myers has been named the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s new executive director, becoming the first woman to lead the organization.

Myers oversaw the DSCC’s independent expenditure efforts during the 2016 campaign cycle. She has also managed Senate campaigns and worked for Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

Word on the Hill: Busy Social Week
Hamburgers and shuffling staffer

Ben Bergstrom, from North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven’s office puts a Santa hat on a mountain lion on loan from North Dakota's Kenner Simmental Ranch while decorating for Christmas in their Russell building office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hopefully, you got some rest this weekend because the week’s social calendar is jampacked.

Since there is a lot going on and a lot of holiday parties, HOH weeded through the list to give you the best options each day.

Senate Democrats Come Out Swinging Against Trump
Reid speaks of ‘responsibility to be the voice of millions of Americans’

Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has been one of President-elect Donald Trump’s harshest critics. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats have embraced their role as the loyal opposition to Donald Trump, with several using the chamber’s first post-election session to criticize the president-elect for fomenting divisions across the country. 

Democrats have said that they are willing to work with Trump on areas of common ground. But Minority Leader Harry Reid used floor remarks on Tuesday to assail the real estate mogul, accusing him of sparking “a wave of hate crimes.”

Nuclear Industry's Next Big Ask for Next Congress: Tax Credits
Credits seen as potential ‘bridging strategy‘

Beset by low natural gas prices and tax advantages for its competitors, the nuclear power industry is seeking new tax credits to help it find its footing in an increasingly challenging marketplace.

The Nuclear Energy Institute’s newly tapped president and CEO Maria Korsnick said last week that the trade association is exploring a proposal for new production or investment tax credits to help “even the playing field” against other power sources.

Word on the Hill: Sasse Tweets Turn Into Staffer Brawl
Animal lover Bob Dole gets an award

This isn’t Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse’s first Twitter rant. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ben Sasse’s Twitter rants get even better when staffers get involved.

On Wednesday, the Nebraska Republican went off on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Are Some Special Interests Too Big for Justice?
Big oil's position on climate change is reminiscent of tobacco companies' on smoking risks

Kids play under a fabric map of the world during the Moms Clean Air Force "play-in for climate action" in Upper Senate Park in July. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Have some special interests grown so big and powerful that they can stare down the Department of Justice? You’d hope not, because once bigness and power become an excuse to operate outside the law, we will end up seeing a lot more lawless behavior by the big and powerful. In a nation built on the rule of law and the principle of equal justice before the law—that’s not good.

But once you get big enough, staring down law enforcement becomes a credible strategy. Mighty defendants who can mount “blizzard defense” strategies can put immense pressure on even government plaintiffs. When I brought suit as attorney general against the lead paint industry for poisoning thousands of Rhode Island children, the industry lawyers listed multiple dozens of trial witnesses. It would be malpractice not to depose your adversary’s trial witnesses, so all over the country we went to take depositions. At trial, the industry called exactly zero of those witnesses.   It had been a wild goose chase to exhaust our resources. And that is only one among many heavy-handed maneuvers big defendants can afford.

Children Playing for Climate Change Action on Capitol Hill
Moms Clean Air Force sit-in protest attracted hundreds of kids

Kids play under a fabric map of the world during the Moms Clean Air Force "play-in for climate action" in Upper Senate Park on Wednesday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A play-in environmental protest brought hundreds of children to Capitol Hill on Wednesday in what looked like a summer camp outside Russell.  

Organized by Moms Clean Air Force, parents and their children had fun in an effort to urge action on air pollution and climate change.