2013

Justice Department Issues Indictment for 2013 Congressional Trip to Azerbaijan
Feds allege nonprofit concealed that trip was funded by foreign government

A 2013 congressional delegation trip to Azerbaijan has resulted in an indictment being handed down to the head of the nonprofit, whom the government alleges concealed the source of funding for the journey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Justice Department has issued an indictment of former non-profit head Kevin Oksuz for his role in a plot to hide the fact that a 2013 congressional delegation trip to Azerbaijan was funded by that country’s government.

According to the indictment, which was unsealed Monday, Kevin, also known as Kemal, Oksuz allegedly lied on disclosure forms filed with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics prior to, and following, a privately sponsored congressional trip to Azerbaijan. Oksuz ran a Houston based nonprofit that he is accused of using to funnel money to fund the congressional trip from an oil company controlled by the Azerbaijan government.

46 Republicans Call on Ryan, McCarthy to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act
Time is short on legislative calendar before Sept. 30 expiration

A group of House Republicans are calling for action on the Violence Against Women Act before it expires at the end of the month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly 50 House Republicans are calling on Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to bring a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to the floor before it expires Sept. 30.

“Since being signed into law in 1994, VAWA has helped to protect and support millions of Americans who have faced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking,” the group, led by New Yorkers John Katko and Elise Stefanik, wrote in a letter.

#Flashback Friday: The Heard on the Hill ‘Blotto Files’
Five years ago, a time to reflect on drunken misdeeds

The August 6, 2013 Heard on the Hill went through “The Blotto Files” of congressional staffers who hit the sauce a little too hard. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

“Sometimes Hill staffers hit the sauce a little too hard,” Heard on the Hill reminded readers during the first full week of August recess five years ago. 

Followed, as outlined by HOH columnist Warren Rojas, was a rundown of “The Blotto Files” of congressional staffer misdeeds, including Rep. Rick Larsen’s “December to Remember” crew, and Rep. Steven Palazzo’s party-time Annapolis staff. 

Amazon’s Bezos Contributed Over $20,000 to Members of Congress
Recipients: Washington’s two Democratic senators, Jason Chaffetz and Orrin Hatch

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is among four lawmakers who received campaign contributions from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos since he bought the Washington Post. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jeff Bezos has given more than $20,000 split between four lawmakers — two Democrats and two Republicans — since he bought The Washington Post in October 2013, a review of the billionaire’s Federal Elections Commission files revealed.

In the last three election cycles, Bezos has donated the maximum amount allowed by election laws to two Washington Democrats and two Utah Republicans.

White House Has Tepid Response to Corker-Kaine AUMF
NSC official: ‘Existing authorities are sufficient’

U.S. Army soldiers walk as a NATO helicopter flies overhead at Forward Operating Base Connelly in the Khogyani District in the eastern province of Nangarhar, Afghanistan, in 2015. (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Updated 11:56 a.m. | The Trump administration is taking a tepid line on an authorization for the use of military force, or AUMF, measure introduced Monday evening by Republican and Democratic senators, with a National Security Council official saying the president’s existing war powers are “sufficient.”

“Our position hasn’t changed,” the official said Tuesday. The 2001 AUMF, provisions in the U.S. Constitution and the force-authorization measure Congress passed and President George W. Bush made law before the 2003 Iraq war are “sufficient,” the NSC official added.