Lindsey McPherson

Extra Hurricane Relief Cash Could Wait Until After Elections
Ryan: ‘Right now FEMA has money in the pipeline’

Residents of Spring Lake, North Carolina, are evacuated from their apartments as flood waters rise. FEMA enters the recovery phase with coffers flush with cash. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has more than enough money to assist states hit by Hurricane Florence and likely won’t need Congress to pass an emergency disaster aid bill in the coming weeks, based on figures provided to lawmakers.

Due to lawmakers’ largesse when they provided more than $136 billion in late 2017 and earlier this year — mostly to respond to Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma — government disaster aid coffers are flush with cash. It’s a vastly different situation from last year, when Congress returned in September after Harvey spent five days battering Houston and surrounding areas.

Trump Orders Declassification of Carter Page FBI Documents
Action follows request from House Republicans

President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in Oxon Hill, Md., on February 23, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the immediate declassification of redacted materials in the FBI’s 2017 application to spy on Carter Page, as well as various FBI reports of interviews related to that matter including ones conducted with DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the decision in a statement Monday noting Trump’s decision comes “at the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency.”

McConnell Slams Democrats for Timing of Sexual Assault Allegation Against Kavanaugh
Asserts that accusation of misconduct brought forward in an ‘irregular manner’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accuses Democrats of leaking an allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the press and not raising it through proper channels. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed Democrats for the process and timing under which the sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been raised. But  he said he has confidence that Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley will handle the matter appropriately.

It’s been 70 days since President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh and the Senate has spent more than two months poring through his background, including hundreds of testimonials from people who know him, McConnell said.

Pelosi: Short-Term VAWA Extension ‘Abdication of Our Responsibilities to Women’
Minority leader pens letter to speaker asking for long-term reauthorization

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote a letter to Speaker Paul D. Ryan urging him to schedule a vote on a long-term re authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 2:39 p.m. | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi penned a letter to Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Monday criticizing House Republicans’ decision to only temporarily extend the soon-to-expire Violence Against Women Act. 

House Republicans plan to extend VAWA  through Dec. 7 as part of a fiscal 2019 government funding package that would provide yearlong funding for the departments of Defense; Labor, Health and Human Services; and Education and short-term funding for a handful of other agencies. The House is expected to vote on the package the week of Sept. 24. VAWA is set to expire Sept. 30.

Former Rep. John Dingell Suffers Heart Attack
Longest serving member reportedly in good spirits

Former Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., speaks at an event held by the Capitol Historical Society to honor the House Energy and Commerce Committee in Statuary Hall in the Capitol Wednesday evening May 23, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Former Michigan Rep. John Dingell suffered a heart attack Monday morning, according to his wife and congressional successor Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell.

“It appears John Dingell had a heart attack early this morning,” Debbie Dingell said in a statement. “He’s alert and in good spirits, cracking jokes like always. He’s in the process of being admitted to Henry Ford Hospital. Our sincere thanks to all the medical professionals and nurses at our sides. We’ll know more later.”

Pelosi, Dems Slam Trump Over Hurricane Response
A year after Maria and Irma, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands still need help, they say

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the Trump administration has a moral obligation to do better than it has in its response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had long been planning to convene a press conference Friday to talk about the ongoing recovery needs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands a year after two hurricanes hit the American territories. She didn’t know President Donald Trump would fire off tweets Thursday accusing Democrats of inflating the hurricane’s death toll.

But the president choosing to “add salt to the wounds,” as Pelosi described it, only underscored her message that the federal response to Hurricane Maria has been woefully inadequate.  

15 Members Pledge to Withhold Speaker Vote Without Rule Changes
8 Democrats, 7 Republicans part of bipartisan Problems Solvers Caucus

Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz., said he will not vote for a speaker who doesn’t back the Problem Solvers Caucus proposed rule changes for making the House more bipartisan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At least 15 members of the bipartisan Problems Solvers Caucus have pledged to withhold their vote for speaker if the candidate that emerges as the majority party’s nominee does not back the caucus’s proposed rule changes.

The Problem Solvers unveiled a package of rules changes in late July dubbed “Break the Gridlock.” The proposals aim to open up the legislative process in a way that prioritizes bipartisanship.

Paul Ryan Swan Song Tour Continues At Reagan Institute Launch
Retiring speaker has been giving speeches that highlight themes of his 20-year career

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., speaks at the Summer Intern Lecture Series in the Capitol Visitor Center auditorium on July 25, one of several appearances he’s made in his final months in office to highlight themes of his speakership. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s final few months in office will likely be shaped by his handling of a looming government funding battle and his party’s performance in the midterm elections, but he has a different message he’d like to send as he departs. 

“Most days, we tend to lurch from crisis to crisis, whether real or manufactured. But we need to have the ability to look around the corner, and plan for what’s ahead,” Ryan plans to say Thursday during a speech at the launch of the Reagan Institute in Washington, according to prepared remarks shared with Roll Call. 

Beating the Hurricane: Senators Pass Spending Bill and Finish Votes for the Week
Agreement allows senators to beat any Hurricane Florence delays

A high-definition video image captured from the International Space Station shows the eye of Hurricane Florence on Tuesday. (Courtesy ESA/NASA/Alexander Gerst)

Updated 7:49 P.M. | Senators finished their work on the first bundle of fiscal 2019 spending bills and headed for the exits Wednesday, after they reached a deal to effectively complete the week’s tasks just hours after arriving at the Capitol.

The agreement to allow passage of a three-bill spending package and confirmation of President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Internal Revenue Service, Charles P. Rettig, on Wednesday night will allow senators to head out before too many delays arise from Hurricane Florence’s arrival along the Carolina coast.

As Primaries End, Jayapal Launches Medicare For All PAC
Health care idea has not attracted universal support among party

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., announced the formation of a Medicare for All PAC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the day of the final primary election of the midterm cycle, Washington Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal announced she was launching a PAC focused on helping candidates who support Medicare For All, an idea that divided Democratic candidates.

The PAC will support both candidates and initiatives promoting universal health care. The announcement did not specify an initial investments.