Thomas McKinless

Kids, Flags, Bizarro World and the Excremental Product of a Bull: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of May 21, 2018

Kids always get bored watching adults at work, even if that workplace happens to the U.S. House of Representatives, as Rep. Greg Walden and his pint-sized guests learned on Tuesday. See this week’s Congressional Hits and Misses for that plus flag-waving, a Superman reference and a euphemistic way of swearing during a news conference.

What’s a Senate Blue Slip and Why Is It Losing Power?
 Roll Call Decoder with David Hawkings, wonky explainers from a Capitol Hill expert

It’s a literal blue slip of paper that for decades meant a senator could block a president’s nominee to a federal judgeship in their home state. These days, however, the Senate’s blue slip might be becoming defunct. Senior editor David Hawkings explains.

Below is a transcript of the video:

McConnell and Klobuchar High-Five After Passage of Sexual Harassment Bill
 

The Senate passed a bipartisan bill to address sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. Written by Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Roy Blunt, the bill would eliminate mandatory counseling and mediation for accusers and would require that members of Congress pay for settlements to victims if they are the alleged harasser.

Ryan, McCarthy Say Reports of Leadership Coup ‘Not True’
 

Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday morning addressed a Weekly Standard report that said McCarthy was gunning for Ryan to leave the speakership early....
Lawmakers Address Santa Fe Shooting on the Senate Floor
 

Senate leaders Mitch McConnell, Charles E. Schumer and John Cornyn on Monday addressed the mass shooting at a Santa Fe, Texas high school last week....
Democratic Leaders Promote ‘Better Deal’ Agenda
 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer discussed the Democratic Party’s “A Better Deal for Our Democracy” agenda at a news briefing Monday afternoon....
FBI Director: Trump Didn’t Seek Advice Before Tweeting on ZTE
 

When asked about President Donald Trump’s tweet about Chinese telecommunications company ZTE, FBI director Christopher Wray said he could not "speak to what anybody else was thinking,” and that he’s “not really a Twitter guy.”...
Ryan Weighs In on Laurel vs. Yanny Debate
 

In the divisive atmosphere of Capitol Hill, Speaker Paul D. Ryan is standing his ground: it’s laurel, not yanny. 

“It’s the craziest thing,” Ryan said at a news briefing on Wednesday of the viral audio clip where some people hear the word laurel and others, the word yanny.

Ryan: Gambit to Bring Immigration Bills to Floor Is ‘Big Mistake’
 

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday that the discharge petition led by some Republicans to bring four immigration bills hurts the GOP majority....
Smokey Robinson Testifies to Senate in Support of Closing Music Royalties Loophole
 

Singer Smokey Robinson testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of a bill to protect music creators, specifically a provision that would close a loophole that denies music copyright holders from being paid for songs from before 1972....
Mispronounced Names, Mother’s Day and a Kid in Committee: Congressional Hits and Misses
 Week of May 7, 2018

Is it Rep. Steve Cha-bot or Rep. Steve Chab-bit? If you’re presiding over the House you can pronounce it any way you want, according to the Ohio Republican. Watch this week’s video for more name mispronunciation, a Mother’s Day reminder from Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Sen. Angus King’s best “19th century senator voice.”...
What You Need to Know About Voter Registration and Turnout This Midterm Season
Roll Call Decoder with David Hawkings — Wonky explainers from a Capitol Hill expert

Who votes, and who doesn’t, will effectively decide control of the next Congress — and turnout has recently been weak in midterm elections. In part that’s because millions who could vote never get registered. But for 2018 there is still time to register nationwide.

Registration deadlines are about a month before the election in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Which House Races Are the Parties Targeting? Look to the Money, the TV Ad Money
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales, an authoritative look at where things stand for 2018

While both parties may talk a big game in terms of their targeted House races, our Roll Call elections analyst has one thing to say: Show me the money. Gonzales breaks down the various campaign groups that are making pricey ad reservations in some media markets and not others, which can provide insight about the seats the parties really see as most flippable.

Below is a transcript of the video.

Tillis Wants to Set the Record Straight on His 2017 ACLI Mishap
 

Like a scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” Sen. Thom Tillis wants everyone to know he’s not dead yet. During the 2017 ACLI Capitol Challenge, Tillis was taken to the hospital after passing out beside the race course. The GOP senator is going to run the race again this year, but won’t eat the same thing the night before the run as he did last year.

What to Watch as Supreme Court Prepares Major Decisions
 

The Supreme Court will decide on several big issues before the end of its current session. CQ legal affairs reporter Todd Ruger breaks down what to watch from the high court, including a ruling on President Donald Trump’s travel ban and decisions on partisan political gerrymandering....
Freshman 15 Is Real, Even in Senate, Tillis Says
At the Table, where lawmakers show Roll Call their favorite place for a meal on the Hill

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis joined Roll Call’s Alex Gangitano for breakfast at his favorite local spot, The Market Lunch in Eastern Market. Eating a low-carb breakfast of eggs and sausage, Tillis talked about using diet and exercise to move past the freshman 15 weight-gain he said afflicted him and some of his Senate colleagues. Below is a transcript of the video.