Politics

Trump Administration Tries to Reassure Key Senators About ZTE Enforcement
Cornyn said administration is making clear national security and trade are in separate buckets

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said the defense authorization is expected to address ZTE. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration is trying to reassure Senate Republicans that it won’t go light on sanctions enforcement against Chinese communications equipment firm ZTE.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross huddled with a group of key GOP senators Wednesday evening.

Discharge Petition Signatures Held Back Amid Immigration Negotiation Progress
Denham says talks between GOP leaders and conservatives are positive

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., says that negotiations between GOP leaders and conservatives on immigration issues are headed in a positive direction. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Jeff Denham said Wednesday he plans to hold back the final signatures needed to activate a discharge petition that would force a vote on four immigration measures affecting so-called “Dreamers” — saying that negotiations between GOP leaders and conservatives are headed in a positive direction.

Earlier in the week California Republican expected to have 218 signatures on the petition by the end of the week.

Virginia’s Tom Garrett Says He’s Not Resigning
Freshman Republican plans to address reports about possible retirement

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett says he has no plans to resign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Asked about Wednesday reports that he would not be running for re-election, Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett would only say he has no plans to leave Congress before the end of the session.

“I’m not resigning. I can tell you that definitively,” Garrett told Roll Call.

New York Visit Drops Trump Into Contested GOP Primary
Long Island event provides president with chance to talk MS-13 again

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents serve an employment audit notice at a 7-Eleven convenience store Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Flanked by a trio of Republican congressmen, President Donald Trump ventured to his native New York on Wednesday to accuse Democrats of coddling violent gangs and being soft on immigration and provided one of the members with a photo-op as he fends off a tough primary foe. 

One week after a White House event led to an extensive back and forth of the president's use of the term “animals” to describe, depending on whom was interpreting, MS-13 gang members or undocumented immigrants writ large, the trio of New York House Republicans — Peter T. King, Dan Donovan, and Lee Zeldin — showed no reluctance to being seen with Trump as they participated in the Bethpage, N.Y., roundtable.

Capitol Police Officer Indicted on Rape, Child Abuse, Assault Charges
Department places accused on ‘non-duty status’

A U.S. Capitol Police line erected while officers investigate a suspicious package. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:06 p.m. | A United States Capitol Police officer has been indicted on 11 charges including rape, child abuse, and assault.

The officer, William Wright, 46, his 67-year-old father, Joshua Wright, and his 40-year-old brother-in-law, Donald Jackson, sexually abused four females between the ages of 15 and 18 from 2001 to 2008 who were involved in an at-risk youth program the men ran at a church in Fort Washington, Maryland, police have said.

Voters Challenge Ohio Congressional Map as Partisan Gerrymander
Supreme Court expected to rule on similar cases before term ends in June

Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty represents the 3rd District, which the lawsuit says is “shaped like a snowflake.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Civil rights groups and Ohio voters filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the state’s congressional districts as unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court readies decisions in similar cases about whether maps can be rejected if they entrench an advantage for one party.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, seeks a new congressional map for Ohio. But it almost certainly comes too late in the 2018 election cycle to affect districts ahead of the November vote. Ohio already held its primary election under the current map on May 8.

Memorial Day Means a Gas Price Event at Congressional Exxon
Schumer-led effort calls on Trump to push OPEC, oil executives to slash prices

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Sen. Maria Cantwell were among the Democrats at an Exxon station at Massachusetts Avenue and Second Street Northeast on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With Memorial Day weekend and summer driving season approaching, it was time once again for lawmakers to descend on a familiar Capitol Hill landmark.

This time, it was Senate Democrats making the pilgrimage to the Exxon station at the corner of Second Street and Massachusetts Avenue Northeast to decry policies behind rising gas prices.

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.

Poll: Half of Country Not Happy With Ryan but Don’t Recognize Possible Successors
Respondents divided on whether Democrats will win back Congress

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., left, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have had to answer tough questions about the future of the House leadership situation and reports of McCarthy's role in pushing Ryan aside. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

A new poll found most Americans don’t like what Congress has been doing the past few years, even if they don’t know the major players in office.

Over 59 percent of respondents to this week’s Economist/YouGov poll said they disapproved of Congress’ performance, placing the blame on both parties.

Arpaio: ‘I Am Not a Yes Man’ to Trump
Arizona GOP Senate hopeful dodges questions on details of Trump policies he says he supports

Former Phoenix-area sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks during a Donald Trump campaign rally at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arizona GOP Senate candidate Joe Arpaio, who has expressed undying support for President Donald Trump, pushed back Tuesday on the notion that he is blindly following the president’s policies without knowing the details.

At a news conference Tuesday to deliver the signatures necessary to get on the ballot, reporters repeatedly challenged Arpaio to elaborate on those policies and how they would affect Arizonans.

Mo Brooks Sues Census Bureau Over Counting Undocumented Immigrants
Congressman, state attorney general say practice could cost Alabama a seat in the House

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., joined a lawsuit with the Alabama state attorney general challenging a Census Bureau rule that would count undocumented immigrants to determine state population. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Mo Brooks and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Census Bureau over a rule that would count undocumented immigrants to determine state population.

In the suit, Marshall said Alabama would lose one seat in the House of Representatives and a seat in the Electoral College if the rule proceeds, AL.com reported.

Poll: Hunter Maintains Wide Lead Despite Federal Investigation
Next closest challenger, Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, more than 30 points behind

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., still leads in a poll despite being under federal investigation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite facing a federal investigation into questionable campaign spending, a new poll shows Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter holds a significant lead ahead of California’s 50th District June 5 primary.

The San Diego Union-Tribune and 10News poll showed 43 percent of respondents support Hunter. The closest competitor, former Obama administration staffer Ammar Campa-Najjar, had the support of 10 percent.

House GOP Immigration and Leadership Battles Entwined
Results of June attempt to pass immigration legislation will affect current GOP leaders, future candidates

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks alongside Speaker Paul Ryan at the House Republican Leadership Press Conference on Tuesday morning. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans are on the precipice of a major win or an embarrassing loss on immigration. Either outcome will have lasting impacts for the current leadership team and future contenders for those jobs.

But the prospect of an immediate backlash against Paul D. Ryan’s speakership over anything that could be perceived as an immigration failure appears minimal at best. The House is preparing to take up sweeping immigration legislation the third week of June for the first time since Republicans took control of the chamber eight years ago.

Bipartisan Breakout Gives Vulnerable Senators Wins Ahead of Recess
VA and banking bills headline measures heading to President Donald Trump

Sen. Jon Tester is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents will be scoring big legislative victories just in time for the Memorial Day parades.

The most timely outbreak of bipartisanship will come with passage, expected Wednesday afternoon, of a bill designed to improve health care access and options for veterans, known as the VA MISSION Act.

The Blue Dogs Are Barking Again
Moderate Democrats, nearly wiped out in 2010, have hopes for a comeback this year

Current Blue Dog Democrats include, from left, Reps. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, Mike Thompson, D-Calif., Jim Costa, D-Calif., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and  Brad Schneider, D-Ill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Brendan Kelly is running in a district in southern Illinois that went for Donald Trump by nearly 15 points in 2016, so his message shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“We see a system that is rigged for a powerful few,” he said in a voice full of gravel. He rails against “elites on the coasts” and understands why many are “frustrated” and “angry” over low-paying jobs and high health care costs.