House floor erupts into chaos after Nancy Pelosi remarks criticizing Trump
Cleaver sets down gavel after lamenting members just want to fight

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver III abandoned the House floor Tuesday after a parliamentary skirmish (Screenshot, C-SPAN)

Senators press census chief on cyber, outreach fears
After citizenship question abandoned, worries continue

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., arrives in the Capitol building for a vote on April 10, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Census Bureau’s chief on Tuesday pushed back on concerns about cyberattacks and outreach in rural areas in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

In the first congressional testimony by a bureau official since the Trump administration dropped a citizenship question from the 2020 census, the issue was only briefly addressed. Senators instead focused on the implementation of the count next year, which will be the first to rely primarily on online responses. That change has raised fears of cyber intrusions and technology shortfalls.

Officers who saved lives during baseball shooting get one of highest law enforcement honors
David Bailey, Crystal Griner honored with the Congressional Badge of Bravery

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., right, presents the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Award to Capitol Police Special Agent Crystal Griner on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Just over two years since a gunman opened fire on an Alexandria, Virginia, baseball diamond and turned a Republican lawmaker practice into a national tragedy, the Capitol Police officers who saved lives were honored Tuesday with the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery.

Special Agents David Bailey and Crystal Griner of the Capitol Police — both of whom are Maryland residents — were presented with one of the highest honors in law enforcement in the Capitol by the Maryland congressional delegation for their heroic roles in preventing what could have been a massacre. The award honors exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty by federal, state and local law enforcement for those who have been at risk of injury or injured. It is awarded annually by the U.S. Attorney General and is presented by the recipients’ congressional delegation.

U.S., Sweden need to move ASAP on Rocky’s detention, Espaillat says
Rapper has been held since early July, and the Harlem congressman is getting involved

A$AP Rocky has been held in Sweden since early July. (Christopher Jue/Getty Images file photo)

Rep. Adriano Espaillat is not satisfied with the U.S. government’s response to American rapper A$AP Rocky’s detention in a Swedish jail, and plans to “mobilize” ahead of the rapper’s Friday hearing.

Espaillat, who represents the Harlem neighborhood where the rapper was born, says he’s talked with officials at the State Department who have promised to monitor the situation.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar lays out 100 actions for first 100 days if she wins White House
Minnesota Democrat would undo Trump actions on environment, go further than Obama on wages

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota used an appearance at the National Press Club to  outline both “sprints” and marathon efforts her administration would undertake if she won the presidency. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Laying out 100 actions she would take in the first 100 days if she were elected president, Sen. Amy Klobuchar pledged Tuesday to reverse President Donald Trump’s rollback of environmental agreements and regulations and go further than former President Barack Obama in battling high drug prices and raising federal contractors’ wages.

“On day one, we will get back into the International Climate Change Agreement and restore the Clean Power Plan and work to bring back the gas mileage standards. Those are things you can do without passing a law,” Klobuchar said at the National Press Club.

‘I abandon the chair’: House floor in chaos over Pelosi speech on Trump tweets

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo., abandoned the chair amid the debate over a resolution condemning the president’s tweets. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid debate over whether to condemn tweets by President Donald Trump as racist on Tuesday, the House descended into parliamentary chaos, with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, who was presiding, abruptly dropping the gavel and saying, “I abandon the chair.”

It was an extraordinary moment on an extraordinary day, as the House considered a resolution condemning Trump’s tweets from the weekend that told four freshman Democrats from the House to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Grassley: ‘Cadillac’ tax repeal points way to extenders deal
PAYGO rules may no longer be a hindrance, Iowa Republican hints

Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley sees a way forward on a tax extenders deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley sees a “little bit of progress” on the tax extenders front in House Democrats’ decision to push repeal of the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health insurance plans, without offsets for the lost revenue.

The House’s pay-as-you-go rules have been a hindrance for much of the year on moving legislation to extend tax breaks that expired at the end of 2017 and 2018. The most expensive of those is a provision originally authored by Grassley in 2004 to provide a $1 per gallon biodiesel blenders tax credit which costs about $3 billion a year.

Facebook incurs wrath from both parties at Libra currency hearing
Bipartisan group asks why Americans should trust Facebook with their paychecks given its repeated data privacy scandals

David Marcus, head of Facebook's Calibra digital wallet service, prepares to testify during the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on "Examining Facebook's Proposed Digital Currency and Data Privacy Considerations" on Tuesday, July 16, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators from both parties questioned at a hearing Tuesday why Americans should trust Facebook’s new digital currency system with their paychecks given the social media giant’s repeated data privacy scandals.

Libra, a cryptocurrency under construction by a Facebook subsidiary called Calibra, was announced in May to a blast of bipartisan incredulity by lawmakers and the Trump administration. Critics asked how the company could ensure that Libra, which is designed to be anonymous, could be prevented from being used by money launderers, traffickers or terrorists.

House condemns Trump ‘racist’ remarks, but some Dems want to go further
Leadership pushes back against censure, impeachment suggestions

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, is set to push for impeaching President Donald Trump, saying the House condemnation of the president is not enough. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats were unanimous in condemning President Donald Trump for his “racist” remarks attacking four of their freshman members, but some caucus members want to do more to fight back.

The House voted Tuesday evening, 240-187, on a nonbinding resolution that affirms support for immigrants and condemns Trump’s comments from Sunday, when he said Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” (Only Omar, a refugee from Somalia, was born outside the United States.) 

Esper on path for quick confirmation despite Raytheon ties
The former lobbyist stressed Tuesday that his undivided loyalties are to serving the country and the military

Chairman Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., left, shakes hands with Secretary of Defense nominee Mark Esper before the start of Esper’s confirmation hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, July 16, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Mark Esper, President Donald Trump’s pick to be the next Defense secretary, defended his work as a lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon during his confirmation hearing Tuesday, stressing that his undivided loyalties are to serving the country and the military.

During an otherwise uncontentious hearing, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, sparred with Esper on his ties to the Massachusetts-based defense giant and implored the nominee to recuse himself from any decisions affecting the firm, which he declined to do.

With no evidence, Nunes warns that Democrats are colluding with Mueller to create ‘narrative’
It’s common for committee staff to be in touch with witnesses to schedule hearings, negotiate time limits, set parameters of questioning

Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, claimed without evidence that Democrats were working with former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to create a “narrative” about his investigation into 2016 Russian election interference and whether President Donald Trump obstructed that probe. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Devin Nunes is raising concerns that Democrats are conspiring with former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to create a “narrative” about his 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections that paints President Donald Trump and his associates in a bad light.

Nunes, the top Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that will interview Mueller on July 24, did not provide any evidence to support his claim.

McCarthy pitches monthlong debt ceiling stopgap, if deal can’t be reached
He suggested a 30-day extension to avoid default in early September, if a compromise on discretionary spending caps can’t be reached

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is floating a fallback plan to pass a 30-day extension of the debt limit in the absence of a broader deal before the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House’s top Republican suggested that lawmakers pass a 30-day extension of the debt ceiling to avoid default in early September, if Democrats and the White House can’t agree on compromise discretionary spending caps before leaving for the summer break.

“We should not leave for August without dealing with that. And I would say if we can’t get this done, we should do a 30-day [stopgap],” McCarthy told reporters Tuesday. He also said lawmakers ought to stay in town a few days past July 26, when House lawmakers are currently scheduled to leave town, if necessary. The Senate is slated to be in session for an extra week.

House bill targets Qatar-linked ‘flag of convenience’ Italian airline
Targets ‘flag of convenience’ airlines from undermining labor standards

House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., joined a bill targeting low-cost foreign airlines seeking to fly to the United States. (File photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A House bill that would limit access of foreign airlines to the U.S. based on substandard labor conditions for their workers is the latest round in a long — and mostly successful — fight by U.S. airlines and aviation unions to keep low-cost foreign competition out of the U.S. market.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio was joined by other committee leaders, including Republicans, in sponsoring the bill introduced last week and aimed at preventing “flag of convenience” airlines from undermining labor standards.

Mark Sanford considering primary challenge to Donald Trump
Sanford lost his primary in 2018 after Trump came out against him

Former Rep. Mark Sanford is considering a run for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford, who lost in a 2018 Republican primary after President Donald Trump endorsed his opponent, is contemplating challenging the president.

Sanford will make his decision about running for president over the next month, he told the Charleston Post and Courier Tuesday. He said his goal is to drive a conversation about the national debt and government spending. 

Senate appropriations markups likely off until September
Congressional leaders and Trump administration have to agree on spending caps in next few weeks

Senate Appropriations Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is holding off on assembling the fiscal 2020 spending bills (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Appropriations Committee likely won’t mark up any of its fiscal 2020 spending bills before leaving town for the August recess — the first time in more than three decades the panel hasn’t debated any of the annual spending bills before the customary summer break.

The decision to hold back Senate appropriations bills in the absence of a spending caps agreement has set a markedly different pace for the committee than last year, when it sent all 12 of its bills to the floor before the break began.