Texas

Budget and Appropriations Members Rack Up Travel Time
Boots on the ground or paid vacation?

Staff travel makes up a significant chuck of the amounts spent on travel by the Appropriations and Budget committees. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of the Budget and Appropriations committees have spent about $2 million on foreign travel since the start of 2016, including trips to Argentina, Tanzania, Italy and the United Kingdom, according to an analysis of congressional records.

Appropriations Committee members far outpace their colleagues on the Budget Committee in the number of trips and how much they've spent on travel outside the United States. From Jan. 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017, Appropriations Committee members and staff spent $1.9 million on foreign travel and Budget Committee members and staff spent $36,000.

Murphy Walks Across Connecticut to Packed Town Halls
Health care, not Charlottesville, was the dominant topic, senator says

Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy greets a crowd at the finish line in Danbury, Ct. (Courtesy Murphy's Twitter page)

Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy completed his 110-mile August recess walk across his home state Thursday. It’s the same summer trek the Democratic lawmaker did last year though some of the topics he discussed this time around with constituents along the way were different. 

“When I was talking to apolitical people, which represent the majority of Connecticut, they were talking about kitchen-table issues,” Murphy said.

Word on the Hill: Peters’ Motorcycle Ride
Recess activities for Cárdenas, Ferguson and Hudson

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters toured the Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital in Ontonagon, Mich., on his bike ride. (Courtesy Peters via Twitter)

Motorcycle enthusiast Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., took his annual recess motorcycle tour of the Wolverine State this week.

The senator visited a rural airport to talk about President Donald Trump’s budget cuts to Essential Air Service, a government program enacted to guarantee that small communities maintain commercial airline service. 

Word on the Hill: Capitol Hill Could Save You Money
Ryan in New Hampshire, Williams at nonprofit, Murphy’s march continues

Save some money, move to Capitol Hill. Above, Tennessee’s David Kustoff arrives at the Capitol Hill Hotel for new member orientation on Nov. 14, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Here’s some good news for congressional staffers: Capitol Hill was ranked the fourth best place in D.C. to save money if you’re living off an annual salary of $50,000.

The financial planning app Rize released a list of the 14 best and worst places to live in D.C. on a $50,000 salary. Petworth, NoMa and Southwest Waterfront ranked first, second and third, respectively. Georgetown was ranked last.

Farenthold to Run for Re-Election Despite Redistricting Issues
A court ruled Tuesday that his district was illegally drawn

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said he would run for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold said Wednesday that he would run for re-election in 2018, even though his southern Texas district might need to be redrawn.

A federal panel ruled Tuesday that the boundaries for Farenthold’s 27th District and the 35th District, represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett, violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. The court ruled that the districts were drawn primarily on the basis of race. The Republican-controlled state government signaled it would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Jackie Speier, Gwen Moore Join Calls for Trump’s Impeachment
Moore asks Republicans to help with effort

California Rep. Jackie Speier invoked Voltaire in calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two Democratic lawmakers called for President Donald Trump to be removed from office after his remarks Tuesday defending some protesters at a white nationalist gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend.

Trump said there was “blame on both sides” at a news conference on Tuesday and there were some “very fine people” protesting on the same side as the white supremacists.

Word on the Hill: Volunteers for Tiniest Opioid Victims
Smucker on Israel, and Murphy’s still walking

Ohio Rep. Michael R. Turner, center, is flanked by volunteers at a local hospital. (Courtesy Turner via Premier Health)

Rep. Michael R. Turner, R-Ohio, recently visited volunteers who cuddle with infants going through opiate withdrawal in Dayton. 

The volunteer Infant Cuddle Program at Miami Valley Hospital was launched recently and Turner got to thank the cuddlers last week.

John Curtis Wins GOP Primary for Chaffetz’s Seat in Utah
Provo mayor had been attacked for his Democratic past

Utah Republican John Curtis won the 3rd District Republican primary on Tuesday. (Courtesy John Curtis Facebook page)

Provo Mayor John Curtis has won the Republican primary to replace former Rep. Jason Chaffetz in Utah’s 3rd District.

With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Curtis had 41 percent of the vote, The Associated Press reported. The other two contenders, former state Rep. Chris Herrod and businessman Tanner Ainge, trailed with 31 percent and 28 percent, respectively. 

Court Finds Two House Districts in Texas Were Illegally Drawn
27th and 35th districts were drawn on the basis of race, judges rule

A federal court found that the drawing of Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s 35th district violated federal law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal panel ruled Tuesday that the drawing of two Texas House districts violated federal law and that the state’s congressional map needs to be redrawn ahead of the 2018 midterms.

The unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel found that the 35th District, represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett, and the 27th District, represented by Republican Blake Farenthold, were drawn primarily on the basis of race, violating the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. 

Will Hurd: Trump Should Apologize for Charlottesville Remarks
Hurd and other vulnerable members speak out

Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, is a vulnerable House Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Will Hurd called on President Donald Trump to apologize for his latest remarks on recent violence sparked by a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hurd, who is African-American, is also one of the most vulnerable House Republicans.

“Nobody should doubt whether the leader of the free world is against racism, bigotry, neo-Nazis and anti-Semitism,” Hurd said in an interview on CNN Thursday evening.