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Senior Editor David Hawkings writes the “Hawkings Here” blog and column for Roll Call.
His aim is to provide penetrating, non-partisan and forward-looking analysis of policies being formed on Capitol Hill – and the people and politics driving the debates.
Hawkings has been a passionate Congress-watcher at CQ Roll Call for two decades.
Before his current assignment, he spent two years as founding editor of the company’s Daily Briefing and six years as managing editor of CQ Weekly.
He’s also been senior editor for legislative affairs; the magazine’s economics editor and its congressional affairs editor; and co-editor of “Politics in America,” the signature reference work on members of Congress.
He offers analysis every Monday and Friday on NPR’s Washington affiliate, WAMU, and is a regular guest analyst on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.
Before joining the company, he was a correspondent in the Washington Bureau of Thomson Newspapers and a reporter, columnist and editor at the San Antonio Light.
He’s a native of New York and a graduate of Bucknell University.
The most amazing thing about the Loretta Lynch story is that the congressional community no longer views it as amazing.
Republicans may not realistically smell another Senate seat about to become available, but they’re moving quickly on the very real scent of political blood. And their nose for scandal has them salivating at more than the fate of Sen. Robert Menendez, who may be only weeks from facing federal corruption charges.
One of these House members is not like the others. One of these members doesn’t hope to belong — in the Senate.
It’s arguably the most important single hour of federal policymaking this year, and it’s happening Wednesday morning inside a government building on Capitol Hill. But except for clusters of reporters and attorneys, joined by a few dozen citizens who’ve waited hours in a long queue for a glimpse, the event will remain invisible forever.
The most obvious distinction Barbara A. Mikulski will take into retirement is that she’s spent more time in Congress than any other woman, and that’s a record worthy of significant recognition. But, especially at a Capitol so deeply mired in dysfunction and partisanship, the meaning of her service is deeper than mere longevity.
He’s looking a little tan, sounding rested and signaling he’s ready. He’s a former senator from a big swing state who was a senior member of the congressional leadership. He was even the runner-up for his party’s presidential nomination last cycle.
There are 27 states where the attorney general is a Republican, and 22 of them have signed on to the lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s effort to limit deportations. But only one of them is being ushered under the national spotlight Wednesday morning as the single elected official asked to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on “the unconstitutionality of President Obama’s executive overreach.”
There’s always at least of whiff of politics at the Oscars, but the speeches this year touched on as many different hot-button issues in Congress as ever.
The firing of Atlanta’s fire chief has already become a flashpoint in the debate over how to balance the religious beliefs of public officials against the civil rights of their constituents. Now the argument has spread to the Capitol — prompting questions about proper congressional roles in local controversies, especially when statewide electoral and legislative consequences lie just below the surface.
Taxpayer dollars have been used to pay chaplains of the House and Senate since the spring of 1789, when the first of 106 different ordained Christian ministers were elected to those jobs.
It looks like a refresher course is in order on how Congress handles a veto, procedurally and politically.
If you believe the two most conservative justices, then the Supreme Court can nearly be counted on to declare that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to get married. And if their expectation proves true, that decision may well go down as the most significant nationwide expansion of civil rights where Congress was on the sidelines.
Not often do a congressman and an anchorman see their careers simultaneously lurching onto parallel and perilous tracks. But that’s one way of looking at what’s happening with Aaron Schock and Brian Williams.
Even at the center of the Beltway’s echo chamber, the preoccupation with a presidential election almost two years away is starting to sound a bit crazy. So maybe the best antidote is to start talking about an important political occasion more than five years in the future.
Rand Paul is looking to run the most serious presidential campaign ever by a physician, but in the early going his medical degree is proving more of a complication than a benefit.
In divided government, it’s nothing special for a presidential budget to be immediately dismissed as dead on arrival in Congress. It’s much rarer for the president himself to whack an important piece of his budget a full week before delivery.
Yet another measurement of the current congressional polarization, and yet another reminder that nothing happens on the Hill without suspicion of political motive, arrived Wednesday on the op-ed page of the Akron Beacon Journal.
You have to read to the 128th page of the 131-page rulebook governing the public’s movements and behavior on Capitol Hill. But there it is in Section 16.2.90, tucked between admonitions against flying a kite or taking a nap in the shadow of the Dome.
The first voting is almost a full year away, and already the presidential campaign is upsetting the regular rhythms of Congress.
This is one of the most pivotal weeks in Harry Reid’s personal life, not to mention his congressional career.
On the topic of authorizing the use of military force against the Islamic State, the state of play between Congress and President Barack Obama is reminiscent of some famous cartoon humor from a century ago.
Hours before he took the podium, whatever President Barack Obama said Tuesday night was getting eclipsed on the Hill by all the excited chatter about the next person likely to speak before a joint meeting of Congress.
This year there are more defensible rationales than ever for members of Congress to miss the State of the Union address. But there doesn’t seem to be any groundswell of absenteeism in the works.
“We got magic to do, just for you, we got foibles and fables to portray as we go along our way.”
The dead giveaway, if it wasn’t a total head fake, was when Paul D. Ryan showed up to begin his ninth term in the House sporting a blossoming beard.