staffers

Three Cybersecurity Bills to Hit Trump’s Desk This Year, Staffers Say
Movement on ‘Internet of things,’ intelligence and homeland security measures

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., left, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., talk before the start of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on “World Wide Threats” on Thursday, May 11, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

SAN FRANCISCO — Dozens of bills are filed in Congress relating to cybersecurity and data breaches but many if not most may never see a committee markup let alone a floor vote. But key congressional staffers speaking at the RSA Conference here predicted at least three bills are likely to get to the president’s desk this year. 

A House-passed measure that would reorganize the Department of Homeland Security and create a new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has also cleared the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and is awaiting Senate floor passage. 

Congress’ Ch-Ch-Changes
Retirements, resignations and deaths around the Capitol

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Congress is going through one of those times when everything seems to be changing, especially the personnel, and that’s not even counting the mounting pile of retirements and resignations among lawmakers. 

Arizona Man Gets Prison for Threatening McSally
Steve Martan will serve 15 months in prison, 9 years on probation

A Tuscon man was sentenced to 15 months in prison for threatening Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Tucson man was sentenced to 15 months in prison for threatening Arizona Rep. Martha McSally.

Steve Martan, 58, will serve also face nine years of probation and undergo a mental health evaluation for threatening the Republican congresswoman, Tucson News Now reported.

Arizona’s Special Election Heads to Home Stretch
Both parties watching whether 8th District race will be close

Arizona Republican Debbie Lesko has benefited from significant outside spending in the 8th District special election. (Courtesy Debbie Lesko for Congress)

Rep. Trent Franks resigned in December amid allegations that he sexually harassed female staffers. Next week, no matter which party wins the race to replace the Arizona Republican, a woman will be elected to succeed him.

The April 24 special election in the 8th District pits former GOP state Sen. Debbie Lesko against Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, a cancer research advocate and former emergency room physician. The two could also meet again in November since both intend to file to run for a full term.

Opinion: When the World of Politics Collides With the Real One
New political forces may impact midterms

The March for Our Lives rally demonstrated that millennials and young people may be a force to be reckoned with in the midterms, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It is months away from November 2018, but that doesn’t stop predictions not only for the midterms but also for President Donald Trump’s re-election chances in 2020. But while the world of politics is preoccupied with whether a blue wave is inevitable or a figment of hopeful Democrats’ imagination, events outside the bubble might shift the electorate in unpredictable ways.

My Roll Call colleague Walter Shapiro explains, with examples from recent history, how politically fraught these pre-election prognostications can be. It’s also wise to remember how life and politics can be determined by “moments,” despite what consultants who make a living steering candidates and campaigns may say. And right now, America is in the middle of moments that could challenge conventional electoral wisdom.

Federal Courts Make Changes in Response to #MeToo Movement
Judicial branch is creating more informal ways to file complaints

James Duff, left, and John Lungstrum testify before the House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday. (Courtesy Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts)

A federal court official said Wednesday that a main barrier to reporting sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct in the judicial branch is the “formality of our complaint process,” as well as employees misunderstanding confidentiality provisions in ethics rules and being unaware of protections against retaliation.

James Duff, director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the courts will create more informal ways to file complaints. The judiciary will also take extra steps to educate employees and law clerks about protections against retaliation for reporting misconduct, Duff said. The courts have already revised their confidentiality provisions, he added.

Podcast: Tending to the Congressional Mind, Body and Spirit
Political Theater, Episode 15

House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy, blesses the walnut tree during the tree planting ceremony in memory of Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. Conroy announced his retirement this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nashville Hot Chicken Flies Off Table at Hill Charity Cook-Off
Winners included Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Sen. Angus King

People were lining up to try Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s Nashville-style hot chicken Tuesday evening.

The Tennessee Republican won the People’s Choice award at the March of Dimes Gourmet Gala, an annual fundraiser where lawmakers become celebrity chefs to the delight of attendees’ tastebuds. This year’s gala included 50 members of Congress — from both chambers and both sides of the aisle — sharing samples of their favorite recipe. Many took the opportunity to showcase delicacies specific to their hometowns.

Appropriators’ Right-Hand Man Sounds Off on the Current Senate
Staff director is deeply steeped in Senate culture, history

Bruce Evans, staff director for the Senate Appropriations Committee, speaks with Roll Call on April 12. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Bruce Evans may be one of the last remaining staffers of a Senate that is slowly fading into the rearview mirror of history.

His list of influencers reads like a checklist of the chamber’s all-time most prominent Republican members. Evans learned tenacity from the late Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, tried to keep up with the intellect of former Sen. Slade Gorton of Washington, and was taught how to connect to constituents by former Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana.

Photo of the Day: Subway Problems Aren’t Just for the Red Line
Baldwin and staff evacuated the Senate's open-air subway Tuesday

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and staffers evacuate their subway train after the Dirksen/Hart Senate subway line temporarily shut down around lunch time on Tuesday. The subway system was back up and running shortly afterward. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate subway is the new Red Line.

Washingtonians across the city were stuck in Metro cars and waylaid Tuesday en route to work due to a disturbance on the subway’s Red Line (a recurring issue for disgruntled commuters on the highly trafficked route).