Stories by David Hawkings:
March 4, 2015
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.
March 3, 2015
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.
Feb. 26, 2015
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.
Feb. 25, 2015
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.”
Feb. 24, 2015
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.
Feb. 23, 2015
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.
Feb. 18, 2015
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.
Feb. 12, 2015
It looks like a refresher course is in order on how Congress handles a veto, procedurally and politically.
Feb. 11, 2015
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.
Feb. 10, 2015
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.
Feb. 9, 2015
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.
Feb. 5, 2015
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.
Feb. 3, 2015
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.
Jan. 29, 2015
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.
Jan. 28, 2015
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.
Jan. 27, 2015
The first voting is almost a full year away, and already the presidential campaign is upsetting the regular rhythms of Congress.
Jan. 25, 2015
This is one of the most pivotal weeks in Harry Reid’s personal life, not to mention his congressional career.
Jan. 22, 2015
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.
Jan. 21, 2015
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.
Jan. 20, 2015
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.
Jan. 15, 2015
“We got magic to do, just for you, we got foibles and fables to portray as we go along our way.”
Jan. 13, 2015
It’s safe now to forget about the “red state four,” the quartet of Democrats whose defeats in conservative-leaning states last year assured the Senate GOP takeover. And the inevitable creation of the next “gang of six” (or eight, or 12, or whatever) is at least one legislative impasse in the future.
Jan. 13, 2015
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.
Jan. 12, 2015
The House Democrats undeniably remain the fourth and smallest wheel in the congressional machine. And they’re still struggling to apply enough internal political grease to get their pieces of the legislative engine out of neutral.
Jan. 7, 2015
With the House once again preoccupied by Speaker John A. Boehner’s future, the snowy hoopla of opening day looks to have been the final event that sealed Steve Scalise’s fate: He is going to survive as majority whip for the indefinite future.