Texas

Celebrating the Inauguration
Many began planning before November, while for others, it was more recent

Singer Katy Perry at President Barack Obama's second inauguration in 2013. What celebrities will be in D.C. this year? (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Long before the election results were in, state societies and organizations in Washington were planning their ways to celebrate the inauguration.

And with inauguration 2017 drawing people from around the country — and the world — groups are putting on events that bring them all together.

HealthCare.Gov Enrollment Tops 8.8 Million

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell testifies during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing in Longworth on the HHS Fiscal Year 2017 budget request, February 10, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

More than 8.8 million Americans signed up for 2017 insurance coverage through HealthCare.gov as of Jan. 14, 2017, about 100,000 more than over a similar time frame last year.

The enrollment snapshot provided Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the final one of President Barack Obama’s administration. The numbers do not include people in the 12 state-based marketplaces that use their own websites. About 2.8 million people in these states were enrolled as of Dec. 24.

Perry, Mnuchin Round Out Senate Hearings Before Inauguration
Democrats will try to keep the focus on health care

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of Energy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump’s nominees to run the Energy and Treasury departments are the last to face Senate committees before the incoming president is sworn in on Friday. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is acknowledging the Senate may only confirm a few nominees right away. 

The Senate is on track to confirm just three of Trump’s Cabinet nominees on Jan. 20, McConnell told USA Today on Wednesday. He blamed Democrats for slowing down the process, though Democrats say they need more time to properly vet Trump’s nominees.

Patience and Perspective: Inauguration Memories and Advice
This inauguration will be the first for nearly one quarter of Congress.

Vermont Sen Patrick J. Leahy, right, takes photos of the media camped out in the Rotunda for President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony in 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The inauguration festivities that will take over the Capitol on Friday will be a new experience for nearly a quarter of Congress.

Roughly a dozen senators and nearly 120 House members will be attending their first presidential inauguration as a member of Congress when President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in. But luckily, they can defer to more senior members for advice on how to navigate the chaotic day.

Rick Perry Can Help Launch the Next Great Era in American Energy
Trump‘s Energy secretary pick cuts through bureaucracy

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, President-elect Trump's nominee for Energy secretary, meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during a photo op in the Capitol on Jan. 4. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Texas and energy are synonymous with one another. Most Americans probably think of the Lone Star State as an oil and gas economy with a lot of heft, and for good reason. The industry supports tens of thousands of jobs in the state and helps power one-third of the country.

But what many don’t know is that my state’s energy dominance isn’t confined to oil and gas alone — in recent years, Texas has become a leader in renewables, thanks in large part to former Gov. Rick Perry.  

Former President George H.W. Bush Hospitalized

Former President George H. W. Bush, shown here with President Barack Obama in 2013 celebrating the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award winner, is expected to be discharged from the hospital in the next few days. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush were admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital.

Bush’s Chief of Staff Jean Becker said doctors have a few theories about his condition but he is responding to treatment, the Houston Chronicle reported.

44 Sitting Members of Congress Have Accepted Donations From Trump
Group includes prominent lawmakers from both parties

Arizona Sen. John McCain, whom President-elect Donald Trump once criticized, has received the most donations of any current lawmaker from Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Much has been said about how Vice President-elect Mike Pence, with his 12 years as a congressman, could be incoming President Donald Trump’s bridge to Congress. But Trump has his own ties to the Hill, in the form of nearly two decades worth of political contributions to sitting members of the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle.

Trump has donated to the campaigns of 44 current members of Congress, according to a Roll Call review of Federal Election Commission electronic records that are available since 1997. Nineteen of those members are in the Senate, and 25 are in the House.

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.

House GOP Working Groups Sort Through Key Tax Issues
Ideas expected soon that could be included in tax legislation

Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., is pushing for tax measures to help small producers of oil and gas (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady is trying to avoid potential hurdles on the House GOP’s tax overhaul with the help of about five informal working groups of Republican tax writers, who are weighing whether to retain or reshape a number of items important to businesses and investors.

Brady, R-Texas, said he wants the working groups to deliver ideas soon that could be included in tax legislation. They are sorting through issues related to retirement savings, financial products, energy, education and pass-through businesses, such as S corporations and partnerships, whose owners pay individual tax rates on profits.

Texas Republican Compares Mexican Singers to Russian Interference
Says actors and singers who performed at Clinton rally tried to influence election, too

Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, wants “the whole story.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, said the Mexican singers and soap opera stars who appeared at Hillary Clinton events influenced the election as much as Russian hackers did.

“Those are foreign actors, foreign people, influencing the vote in Nevada. You don’t hear the Democrats screaming and saying one word about that,” Conaway told the Dallas Morning News.