Trent Franks

Why Katie Hill had to go
California Democrat couldn’t stay on in a chamber that had promised to change its ways

With the new rules in place regarding relationships between lawmakers and their staff, California Rep. Katie Hill had no choice but to resign, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — There is nothing worse than watching a person you’re rooting for make a mistake. In the case of former Rep. Katie Hill, the talented newcomer made a major mistake when she engaged in a relationship with a campaign staffer leading up to the 2018 midterm elections. She was right to resign her seat last week because of it.

Hill’s mistake was not simply having an affair, especially in this case when the relationship seems to have been consensual and even something her husband was aware of and participated in. But the California Democrat’s choice to start and continue a relationship with a young staffer on her congressional campaign happened at the very time that other women on Capitol Hill were fighting to protect staffers long subjected to sexual harassment by their bosses there.

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s affairs with congressional staff raise sexual harassment concerns
California Republican denies groping another staffer at a 2014 event

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., allegedly entered into affairs with two congressional staffers, according to a court filing by the Department of Justice. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Party leaders have demurred on whether Rep. Duncan Hunter should resign in light of revelations that he pursued relationships with two congressional staffers, including one of his own aides.

But that does not mean allegations that the California Republican had “intimate relationships” — as U.S. attorneys described them in a recent court filing — with two staffers, including a direct subordinate, will not trigger consequences on Capitol Hill.

Mother’s Day can be tough. Here’s how one woman copes
‘I never want to be bitter or jealous of what another friend has,’ says former Hill staffer Chelsea Patterson Sobolik

Chelsea Patterson Sobolik poses with her book “Longing for Motherhood” on Friday. Mother’s Day isn’t always easy, but this policy director has hope. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While a lot of us will spend Mother’s Day scrolling through Instagram and double-tapping our friends’ “First Mother’s Day! #blessed” posts, Chelsea Patterson Sobolik, a former Hill staffer, will avoid it all.

“I never want to be bitter or jealous of what another friend has,” she says.

3 Things to Watch: Kim lets Trump know their ‘mysteriously wonderful’ chemistry isn’t enough
‘There is no sign he’s stopped producing missiles,’ analyst says of North Korean strongman

South Koreans watch coverage of President Donald Trump meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, before talks collapsed. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images file photo)

ANALYSIS President Donald Trump once claimed he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “fell in love.” But the dictator he once called “Little Rocket Man” let him know on Friday that their “mysteriously wonderful” relationship might not be enough to strike a disarmament pact.

As recently as Wednesday, the U.S. commander in chief signaled he continues to believe the unlikely warm relationship with Kim could drive a deal under which Kim would give up his nuclear arms.

Spotlight Faded but the Race for Arizona’s 8th District Never Ended
Tipirneni came up short in special election, but will November be any different?

Hiral Tipirneni speaks during a meeting with supporters Monday at the Rio Vista Recreation Center in Peoria, Ariz. The Arizona Democrat is challenging Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., in the 8th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

PEORIA, Ariz. — Hiral Tipirneni asked how many people gathered at the Rio Vista Recreation Center here Monday night had a pre-existing health condition. Almost everyone raised their hand.

“All of these great provisions of the [2010 health care law] are being eroded away,” she told the town hall audience, referring to a White House proposal announced earlier that day to allow states to waive some of the law’s requirements. “That is why I am running. Because I refuse — I refuse to see this happen to our country.”  

Lobbying Groups Join Fight Against Sexual Harassment
‘We just have not had anyone come out and report it just yet, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t or isn’t happening.’

K Street sign at 15th and K Streets in Washington, D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Major advocacy and government affairs groups are joining the fight against workplace sexual harassment in Washington.

Groups announced Wednesday the formation of a task force to develop a plan to protect professionals from harassment, with the goal of creating guidelines, standards and programs to support harassment victims.

Negotiations Over Sexual Harassment Bills Continue, but No Timetable Yet
Lawmakers report progress on reconciling House, Senate approaches

House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper, R-Miss., says he and his colleagues are making progress on reconciling sexual harassment legislation from the two chambers, but a time frame for enactment is unclear. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even as lawmakers and staff work to reconcile legislation passed by the House and Senate to curb sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, a timeline for enacting the bills is unclear, months after they were fast-tracked for floor votes.

“We’re confident we are going to get there at some point. We’re not quite there,” House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper of Mississippi said.

What Lawmakers Do When They Leave After Harassment Allegations
Six have left so far this Congress

Former Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., here at a news conference in December 2016, resigned his seat last October amid revelations of an extramarital affair. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Six members of Congress have left office in the past few months after allegations ranging from firing female staffers who rejected sexual advances to pressuring a lover to get an abortion.

While their resignations mean they no longer have a vote in Congress, that doesn’t mean their careers are over. Former lawmakers are moving forward by flying under the radar, grabbing the sides of a lectern or sticking with politics.

Senate Anti-Harassment Bill Could See Fast Action
Lawmakers would be held personally liable for misconduct

Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo., says that victims of workplace harassment in the Senate are confronted by a process that is “stacked against them.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 6:34 p.m. | The Senate is moving to combat sexual harassment on Capitol Hill with a bill aimed at overhauling the process for reporting and resolving claims of harassment and discrimination, in addition to holding lawmakers personally liable for misconduct settlement payments.

The proposal, unveiled Wednesday, has the backing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer. And the chamber could pass it as early as Thursday. The House passed a sweeping overhaul of harassment procedures in February.

Meehan Contributes to Pennsylvania Republicans Following Harassment News
State party says it will use funds from disgraced former congressman to recruit women candidates

Former Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., contributed to a number of Republican groups in Pennsylvania. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Disgraced former Rep. Pat Meehan donated funds to a number of Republican groups in Pennsylvania after revelations he settled a sexual harassment claim against him.

Meehan announced he would not seek re-election in January after the New York Times revealed he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim against him by a former staffer.