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 2nd Street, NE, 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 2nd Street and Massachusetts Avenue NE to decry policies behind rising gas prices.

Senate Anti-Harassment Bill Could See Fast Action
Lawmakers would be held personally liable for misconduct

Sen. 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)

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 Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, signaling that the Senate could pass it soon. 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.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Nunes billboards, CAPASA awards and STAR Act passage

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to the media after the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

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.

End of an Era on Senate Finance as Longtime Staffer Departs
Mark Prater was figure in major tax debates dating to the 1990s

Mark Prater, chief tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee and a veteran of major tax debates for decades, is retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mark Prater, a fixture in GOP tax policymaking on Capitol Hill, is leaving his post as chief tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee.

“Mark has played a vital role in every major tax debate in the last quarter century,” Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch announced Tuesday in a statement, noting Prater’s work on last year’s tax code overhaul, the Bush-era tax cuts and more. He joined the Finance Committee in January 1990. Tuesday was his last day with the panel.

Opinion: Is the Democrats’ Pivot to a ‘Scandal Strategy’ a Wrong Turn?
Voters may not bite and there’s potential for blowback

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., didn’t “drain the swamp” as promised in 2006, and a Democratic pivot to an anti-corruption strategy may not get much traction with voters, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In 2006, Nancy Pelosi told The Associated Press that after 10-plus years of Republican control of the House, she would begin to “drain the swamp” in her first 100 hours as speaker and also “break the link between lobbyists and legislation.”

Yes. She really said “drain the swamp.”

Take Five: Tom Garrett
Virginia Republican on missing a vote because of the wrong glasses

Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Va., says all bills should get a hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Virginia Republican Rep. Tom Garrett, 46, boasts about his peanut sauce, his college ties and a budding hip-hop battle with Sen. Marco Rubio. 

Q: What has surprised you so far about being in Congress?

Opinion: A Letter to Republicans About Watergate, Trump and the Judgment of History
Excuses by lawmakers won’t hold up in the end

The Watergate hearings focused on the conduct of President Richard M. Nixon more than 40 years ago. The events that led to Nixon’s downfall seem vivid and contemporary, Walter Shapiro writes. (Courtesy the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and Museum)

Dear Congressional Republicans,

As you spend time with your families over the recess, I suggest that you might invest a few hours reflecting on the Nixon era in Washington.