staffers

Statuary Lunch Hall a Model of Make-Nice Decorum
After fiery campaign and inaugural speech

A U.S. Capitol Police officer takes a photo as a Marine helicopter carrying former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama lifts off from the East Plaza of the U.S. Capitol following the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After former President Barack Obama took off on a military chopper from the East Front of the Capitol, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence joined congressional leaders and other dignitaries for one of Inauguration Day’s more intimate moments, far from the crowds.

At the traditional luncheon in Statuary Hall honoring the new president, attendees at the event — one of the hottest tickets in town — feasted on lobster and steak, with pairings of California wines.

Counter Parties in D.C. Surrounding the Inauguration
What to do this week if you’re not fired up about Trump’s election

Capitol staffers cheered from balconies as hundreds of Washington, D.C.,-area high school students march to protest the election of Donald Trump in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As workers toil to return the National Mall and its surroundings to its pre-inaugural state, a crowd estimated in the hundreds of thousands is expected to gather on Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington.

And that’s not the only event around Washington this week for venting negative feelings toward the Trump presidency.

The House Version of ‘Law and Order’
A sentencing, some commutations and other House news

Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson speaks with New York Rep. Louise M. Slaughter during a press conference by House Democrats in November 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Bennie Thompson’s chief of staff was sentenced Tuesday to four months in prison for failing to file income tax returns.

Issac Lanier Avant was also ordered to pay $149,962 to the IRS for failing to file tax returns from 2009 to 2013 after he had assumed the role of Democratic director for the House Homeland Security Committee, earning more than $165,000, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Word on the Hill: Inauguration Planning
Wi-Fi and portable potties

Spectators on the National Mall watch an address by President Barack Obama during his second inauguration in 2013. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

What’s your plan for the inauguration? There are plenty of galas and balls to try and get into mainly on Thursday and Friday.

Thanks to Comcast, you can look up something to do at the last minute or contact your friends easily. Through Jan. 26, the internet provider has more than 6,800 Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots outdoors around Washington for the public to connect for free.

Mike Pence Tells Mayors Infrastructure Bill Will Be ‘Big’
Obama commutations draw a crowd

Vice President-elect Mike Pence, pictured here with House GOP leaders, on Tuesday let a group of U.S. mayors know the incoming Trump administration plans to push a “big” infrastucture bill. How to pay for the measure, however, will be a major hurdle. (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President-elect Donald Trump wanted a group of U.S. mayors gathered in Washington to know his administration will be a “friend” starting Friday, when he will be sworn in.

So he instructed his vice president-in-waiting, Mike Pence, to deliver a message to them on Tuesday when he addressed their conference: “Tell ‘em we’re going to do an infrastructure bill, and it’s going to be big,” the Republican president-elect said during a phone conversation with Pence.

Staff Mourns Loss of Veteran Democratic Staffer Tim Mitchell
Mitchell served as a Senate staffer for 25 years

Reid said Mitchell was "an institution" and key to passing major legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate staffers are mourning the loss of longtime Democratic staffer Tim Mitchell, who passed away Saturday night after a battle with brain cancer.

“My dear friend Tim Mitchell was an institution,” former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wrote in a Facebook post. “He helped make the Senate function appropriately, and he was integral in helping us pass many pieces of legislation. He was fair and was never pushed around. I will always remember all the good he did for me and the country.”

Word on the Hill: Inauguration Week
Other events going on this week

More confirmation hearings are scheduled for this week. Last week, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, nominee to be the ambassador to the United Nations got a hug from Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., on the Senate subway. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s the week of Donald Trump’s inauguration, which means parties, crowds and traffic in the nation’s capital.

Check out our list of balls and galas going on this week. If you have more to add, email AlexGangitano@cqrollcall.com.

Crisis Averted but Future Is Still Unclear for House Watchdog
Republicans promise bipartisan review of Office of Congressional Ethics

Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano, who chaired the committee that recommended the creation of the Office of Congressional Ethics, says he would welcome looking at potential revisions to the office. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans might have ditched a plan to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. But the future of Congress’ only outside ethics review board is far from guaranteed.

The Office of Congressional Ethics, or OCE, has been under fire from both parties since it was created eight years ago. Now the House GOP majority is promising to revisit a potential overhaul before the end of this session, possibly as early as August.

Obama Doubts Trump Can Govern Via Twitter, Admits Some Missteps
Outgoing president: Bitter partisanship means ‘we’re weakening ourselves’

President Obama, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrive in the Capitol Visitor Center on Jan. 4 for the meeting of House and Senate Democrats to discuss Obamacare. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama used his final national television interview to express doubts that Donald Trump will be able to effectively govern by firing off tweets and offered some advice about the president-elect’s feud with the intelligence community.

In a lengthy interview that aired Sunday evening on CBS’s “60 Minutes” news program, Obama also acknowledged some mistakes — a rarity for the outgoing chief executive. Among them were missteps he made in dealing with Congress.

House Leaders Emphasize Executive Branch's Power Over Obamacare

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., holds his weekly press conference in the Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans on Thursday emphasized that their efforts to repeal and replace the health care law will rely heavily on revised interpretations of the law that they can make administratively, a sign of the challenges in writing replacement legislation that can overcome the Senate’s 60-vote threshold.

“Let’s not forget, we now have an HHS, an administration, that is ready to work with us to fix this problem,” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., said at his weekly press conference. “What I think people are beginning to appreciate is we have lots of tools in front of us. It’s not just a one-and-done bill kind of a thing. That is what we’ve been walking our members through — all the options available to us to get this done.”