Politics

Do-Nothing Amendments Give Lawmakers Bragging Opportunity About Successes
Provisions have no real-world impact

Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz., is among the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents this midterm cycle. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House adopted amendments on a two-bill spending package last week purporting to redirect sums ranging from $100,000 to study the impact of a mineral found to cause cracking in concrete home foundations, to $36 million for “public safety and justice facility construction” at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

There’s just one catch: the provisions simply give the illusion of moving money around — with no real-world impact on agency funding priorities. The net financial impact of all 14 such amendments considered during debate on the $58.7 billion Interior-Environment and Financial Services measure — out of 87 total floor amendments on the bill — was precisely zero.

Rep. Sanford: GOP Risks Succumbing to Trump’s ‘Cult of Personality’
South Carolina Republican said president is ‘autocratic in style’ in blistering remarks over weekend

Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., lost his June primary to pro-Trump candidate Katie Arrington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Rep. Mark Sanford issued a blistering rebuke of President Donald Trump over the weekend, saying the president is “autocratic in style” and that Republicans are at risk of becoming a “cult of personality” around the mercurial leader of the free world.

At a panel in New York Saturday, the former South Carolina governor, was asked to explain why he lost his primary to staunchly pro-Trump candidate Katie Arrington.

GOP Rep. Fitzpatrick Says Putin ‘Manipulated’ Trump
Former FBI agent says he was ‘sickened’ by exchange between Trump and Putin

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., said he was “sickened” by the exchange between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit between the two heads of state in Helsinki, Finland. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick had harsh words over the weekend for President Donald Trump’s comments and behavior at a joint news conference last Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a sign that the president’s performance at the Helsinki, Finland, summit could be an enduring political thorn in his side.

“The president was manipulated by Vladimir Putin,” Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican and former FBI counterintelligence agent, said Sunday on NPR. “Vladimir Putin is a master manipulator.”

Missouri Lawmakers Want Congressional Action After Duck Boat Tragedy
Comes after 17 people died, including nine from the same family

Rep. Billy Long said, “We’ve got to do whatever we can to prevent anything similar to this happening” of the duck boat sinking in his district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Billy Long wants congressional action after a duck boat sinking in his district killed 17 people.

“We’ve got to do whatever we can to prevent anything similar to this happening, if at all possible,” the Missouri Republican said.

Rep. Blum to Host Trump in Iowa
Comes as Iowa farmers are reeling from Trump’s trade policies

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, will host President Donald Trump . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Facing a competitive race for re-election, Republican Rep. Rod Blum will host President Donald Trump in Dubuque, Iowa, on Thursday.

Blum announced in a tweet that Trump would visit his hometown for a roundtable.

Will Democratic Women’s Primary Success Continue in Georgia?
Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bourdeaux could win Tuesday runoffs in 6th and 7th districts

Gun control activist Lucy McBath, here at an April event in New York city with congressional candidates, faces businessman Kevin Abel in the Democratic primary runoff in Georgia’s 6th District. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images file photo)

Democratic women have been winning primaries across the country this year, and two more female candidates have a chance Tuesday of becoming their party’s nominees in Republican-held districts.

Georgia’s 6th and 7th districts — both Democratic targets — are hosting runoffs to determine the Democratic contenders against GOP Reps. Karen Handel and Rob Woodall, respectively.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Brings Banking Panel to Boiling Point
Nomination of Kathy Kraninger strains previously buddy-buddy relationship

Senate Banking Chairman Michael D. Crapo, R-Idaho, left, and ranking member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, normally have a smooth working relationship that could be strained by debate over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Kathy Kraninger’s confirmation hearing was as politically contentious as it’s gotten in the last year and a half on what has otherwise been a very senatorial Senate Banking Committee.

The partisan fight even appeared to consume the always amiable relations between Chairman Michael D. Crapo of Idaho and ranking member Sherrod Brown of Ohio, both of whom expressed regrets at the dust-up over Kraninger’s nomination to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Campus Conundrum: For Professors, Trump Requires ‘Constant Adaptation’
‘You teach differently,’ one prof says. ‘You just get creamed,’ notes another.

Protesters hold up illuminated letters spelling "treason" in front of the White House during a rally Wednesday following President Donald Trump’s much-maligned summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For Donald Trump, last week was perhaps the worst of his presidency. For some Republican lawmakers, his antics struck a nerve. And for political science professors, it will only make things tougher in the classroom.

The U.S. president started his rockiest week yet by referring to Vladimir Putin as a “good competitor,” appearing to agree with the Russian leader over his spy agencies on 2016 election meddling. Trump ended it by advising Putin to “make a deal” or else, warning he could quickly become the Russian strongman’s “worst enemy.”

Road Ahead: House Ready for Recess. Senate? Not So Much
Defense authorization, more spending bills among the week's highlights

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy hopes to get the defense authorization wrapped up this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

This is the last week the House is in session before members depart for the August recess — expect senators to be grumbling about that.

But the House does have a fairly sizable legislative agenda before heading home through Labor Day. The highlighted legislation includes Republican-led efforts to expand and update health savings accounts and to roll back some of the taxes levied under the 2010 health care law.

What You Should Know About Bob Dole at 95
Combat veteran, longtime lawmaker and former presidential candidate

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., right, and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., introduce CIA Director Mike Pompeo, nominee for secretary of State, during his Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing in April. Dole turned 95 Sunday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Sen. Bob Dole turned 95 Sunday. The Kansas Republican — a decorated veteran who was grievously wounded in World War II —  served in Congress for more than 35 years and was his party’s presidential nominee in 1996.

Here are a few facts about one of the nation’s legendary lawmakers:

With Eye on 2019 Majority, Hoyer Unveils Priority Economic Proposals
Entrepreneurship, education and infrastructure are on minority whip’s ‘Make It In America’ agenda

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., after a listening tour stopping in different parts of the country, is unveiling new proposals in his Make It In America agenda. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Listen. Learn. Legislate. Those are the goals of House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer’s “Make It In America” agenda. 

The Maryland Democrat has been traveling the country to talk to business owners, workers, economic leaders and students about what Congress can do to help them succeed. 

Feeling Dissed, Puerto Rico Governor May Skip House Hearing
Governor is ‘demanding’ an ‘explicit, public apology’ from Natural Resources chairman over tweet

House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop is facing pushback from the governor of Puerto Rico over a tweet. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The governor of Puerto Rico is threatening to withdraw from a scheduled appearance before the House Natural Resources Committee after the panel posted a tweet his office said was “shameful,” “hostile” and “condescending.”

The committee deleted a tweet from its Twitter account July 19 about its invitation for Gov. Ricardo Rossello to testify at a July 25 hearing, following a request from the governor to have it removed. Rossello is a member of both the New Progressive Party and the Democratic Party.

VoteVets Launches TV Ad Knocking Cramer on Veterans Issues
Will start airing on broadcast and cable in North Dakota starting Saturday

VoteVets is targeting GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N. D., in a new television ad. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A liberal veterans group is launching a television ad in North Dakota, criticizing GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer for comments about the military and for votes relating to pay raises for the military and Veterans Affairs funding.

VoteVets Action Fund is launching a $270,000 ad buy on both broadcast and cable networks throughout the state, starting Saturday and running through Aug. 3.

Senate Democrats Likely to Oppose Push to Block Health Insurance Mandate
Desire to keep contentious amendments off spending bills might prevail

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., chairs the Appropriations subcommittee where any amendment on the D.C. health insurance mandate might come up first in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A Republican amendment to a House-passed spending package that would ban the District of Columbia from implementing an individual health insurance coverage requirement is unlikely to gain steam as the Senate prepares to take up a similar measure.

It’s not clear yet if any Senate Republicans will introduce a similar amendment when the Financial Services and Interior-Environment package reaches the Senate floor, but it would likely face fierce minority opposition in the chamber, where Democrats are defending the 2010 health care law at every opportunity.

Tim Ryan Announces Support for Legalizing Marijuana Nationwide
Ohio Democrat writes, ‘I find the social and economic injustices of our marijuana policy too big to ignore’

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, announced his support for legalizing marijuana nationwide in an op-ed for CNN. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan announced his support for legalizing marijuana nationwide.

The Ohio Democrat wrote in an op-ed for CNN that as co-chairman of the House Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus, he was reluctant to support legalization.