2019

House gets its say as Supreme Court takes up census citizenship question
Stakes are high as decision could affect how many House seats each state gets

The House general counsel gets 10 minutes to speak to the justices Tuesday on why Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross cannot add the citizenship question to the 2020 census. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House gets a relatively rare chance to directly address the Supreme Court on Tuesday in a legal showdown about whether the Trump administration can add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The case is one of the most significant for members of Congress during the current Supreme Court term. The census results determine how many House seats each state gets and affect how states redraw congressional districts. The results are also used to distribute billions of dollars from federal programs that are based on population count to state and local governments.

Marc Veasey, are you my Uber?
Texas Democrat favors a little Brooks & Dunn behind the wheel

Texas Rep. Marc Veasey, left, took a few spins as an Uber driver on Thursday back home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Above, Veasey poses with his last drop-off of the day. (Courtesy Twitter/Rep. Marc Veasey)

If you assume that all members of Congress get from Point A to Point B by way of large black SUVs hauled by well-dressed drivers in flat caps, pump the brakes.

Marc Veasey is here to prove that he can not only drive himself, he can also drive around residents of the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area. The Democratic congressman from Texas took a few spins around the Lone Star block as an Uber driver Thursday afternoon, and his trips were anything but lone.

Mueller says messaging apps likely destroyed Trump-Russia evidence
Tech challenges prevented special counsel from establishing full picture of what happened

Some of the individuals interviewed by the special counsel’s office communicated using apps that “do not provide for long term retention of data or communication records,” according to the Mueller report. (Carl Court/Getty Images file photo)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III concluded that there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against individuals connected with President Donald Trump’s campaign for their ties to Russia, but he said the investigation faced numerous challenges, including technological ones, in establishing a full picture of what transpired in 2015 and 2016.

“While the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges,” Mueller wrote in his report made public Thursday by the Justice Department.

The Mueller report is exactly as long as Kim Kardashian’s coffee table book
The special counsel and the reality star both love the number 448. The similarities are uncanny

Kim Kardashian is studying to be a lawyer. (JP Yim/Getty Images)

With all of the heated discussion surrounding the release of today’s Mueller report (and I know what you’re thinking, “What Mueller report?”), I can’t help but notice one thing that’s been redacted (see what I did there?) from the conversation: the ungodly amount of pages in this thing.Now, I’d like to wishfully think that minimal paper has been wasted, since the report was delivered on a CD — because today is Thursday, after all, and apparently we’re throwing it back to 1997. But 448 pages? Random, right?

Not so much. It turns out Robert Mueller isn’t the only law enthusiast who’s penned a literary work (of sorts) at this length. 

And the award for most laconic Mueller tweet goes to …
Sean Duffy doesn’t have time for 280 characters, and neither does Bobby Rush

Wisconsin Rep. Sean P. Duffy kept it simple Thursday on Twitter. He’d rather be podcasting, an aide said. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If you go on Twitter today (which we know you will), you’ll drown in the same tweets highlighting the same quotes from Attorney General William Barr’s press conference ahead of the highly anticipated release of the Mueller report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

You’ll of course also find several members of Congress weighing in on said events, with wordy testimonies within multiple threads — which they are at liberty to do, given the First Amendment and the large platform to First Amendment on. Yes, we just made that into a verb.

The Mueller report gets a 9:30 Club kind of debut
Key questions as the hype around the Russian interference probe gets release

Attorney General William Barr will command the spotlight as the man who releases the heavily anticipated Mueller report. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Coming to a Justice Department near you: The most highly anticipated investigative report in at least a generation, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, gets some pre-release hype at 9:30 EDT on Thursday in Washington before its wide release later in the day. 

Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be on hand at the Justice Department to deliver the (perhaps heavily redacted) goods. So as one of the few events that could preempt “Today” and “Good Morning America” gets underway, here are some of the key questions surrounding the report. 

Trump’s warning you: The socialists are coming!
Expect to see the ‘S’ word a lot in the 2020 campaign

New lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., insist they’re not for capital “S” socialism, but for a living wage, health care for all, and affordable or free education, Patricia Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Meet “socialist,” the hardest-working word in politics in 2019. The single word has helped upstart Democrats attract young and social-curious potential voters, given the paddles of life to desperate-for-a-cause conservatives, and led President Donald Trump to an early and effective way to frame the re-election battle he wants to have with Democrats.

“Socialist” even made a usually ho-hum op-ed from a member of Congress, in this case Rep. Tom Emmer, one of Roll Call’s most read articles this week. “In their first 100 days, socialist Democrats have shown they are unable to lead.” You would read that, wouldn’t you? 

Capitol Ink | A Visit from the Easter Barr-ney

When Fritz Hollings ‘made the turn’ as a Southern politician
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 66

Ernest "Fritz" Hollings, then-governor of South Carolina, campaigns with John Kennedy during the 1960 presidential campaign and helped JFK win South Carolina and six other southern states. Before he left office, Hollings would reverse himself on segregation and call for integration. He went on to serve in the Senate from 1966 until 2005. (CQ Roll Call file photo).

Before the late Sen. Ernest “Fritz” Hollings was elected to what would become a distinguished congressional career, the South Carolina Democrat reversed himself on the defining issue in Southern politics: segregation. 

Running for governor in 1958, Hollings opposed integration, a keystone battle in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision desegregating public schools. But by the end of his term, he said it was time for the South to change, taking a step out of line with many of his Democratic colleagues in the region. 

Bernhardt’s office acknowledges meetings left off schedule
Interior also confirms secretary’s staff regularly overwrites his personal itinerary

House Democrats have said Interior Secretary David Bernhardt could be running afoul of federal records laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Interior Department has acknowledged that Secretary David Bernhardt’s staff intentionally left controversial meetings with representatives of fossil fuel, timber and water interests off his public calendar, citing “internal protocol” governing his schedules.

The department also confirmed that Bernhardt used a personal itinerary kept on a single Google document that was regularly overwritten by his scheduling staff and said he is still doing so as House Democrats probe whether the practice adheres to federal records laws.