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Federal Courts Make Changes in Response to #MeToo Movement
Judicial branch is creating more informal ways to file complaints

James Duff, left, and John Lungstrum testify before the House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday. (Courtesy Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts)

A federal court official said Wednesday that a main barrier to reporting sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct in the judicial branch is the “formality of our complaint process,” as well as employees misunderstanding confidentiality provisions in ethics rules and being unaware of protections against retaliation.

James Duff, director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the courts will create more informal ways to file complaints. The judiciary will also take extra steps to educate employees and law clerks about protections against retaliation for reporting misconduct, Duff said. The courts have already revised their confidentiality provisions, he added.

Appropriators’ Right-Hand Man Sounds Off on the Current Senate
Staff director is deeply steeped in Senate culture, history

Bruce Evans, staff director for the Senate Appropriations Committee, speaks with Roll Call on April 12. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Bruce Evans may be one of the last remaining staffers of a Senate that is slowly fading into the rearview mirror of history.

His list of influencers reads like a checklist of the chamber’s all-time most prominent Republican members. Evans learned tenacity from the late Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, tried to keep up with the intellect of former Sen. Slade Gorton of Washington, and was taught how to connect to constituents by former Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana.

Roy Blunt: Playing the Inside Game and Scoring
Missouri’s GOP senator is proof the popular outsider play isn’t the only winning route

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., regained the chairmanship of the Rules and Administration Committee last week.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a political world where running against Washington has become one of the easiest paths to getting there, and where the ultimate outsider neophyte is president, Roy Blunt stands out as proof that the opposite approach sometimes still works.

Few in today’s Congress have succeeded as well, and for as long, at the inside game — where influence is cultivated and sustained by combining broad political and policy expertise along with deep interpersonal skill.

Senate Republicans View White House Rescissions Package as Non-Starter
Senators skeptical of going back on the bipartisan spending deal

Asked Monday about a proposal to rescind omnibus funds, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said “It’s going nowhere.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Republicans on Monday threw cold water on a forthcoming proposal from the White House that will ask Congress to cut previously enacted spending, including from the $1.3 trillion spending bill that President Donald Trump signed last month.

Republican lawmakers are concerned about how moving forward with a “rescissions” package would affect future bipartisan negotiations over spending bills.

Hoyer Pushes Back on Trump Plans on Omnibus, Border, Trade
Rep. Ron Kind, who Hoyer visited in Wisconsin, also critical of administration moves

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., has been traveling around the country with Democrats’ political messaging. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — While House Minority Whip Steny  H. Hoyer and other lawmakers were outside of Washington the past two weeks, President Donald Trump and his administration prepared policy pushes for Congress’ return that will certainly spark Democratic backlash — and perhaps some from Republicans too.

Hoyer, in an interview here Thursday during a stop on his Make It In America listening tour, panned Trump’s plans to rescind funds from the recently passed omnibus, send the National Guard to defend the southern border and impose additional tariffs on China that would have a negative impact on the U.S. economy.

Republicans Mulling Budget Gambit to Avoid Spending Some Omnibus Funds
McCarthy, White House discussing rarely used impound procedure in 1974 budget law

President Donald Trump and his administration are discussing a process with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy that could allow Republicans to rescind some funds they recently approved in the bipartisan omnibus spending bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump and congressional Republican leaders, frustrated they had to work with Democrats to pass a fiscal 2018 omnibus spending measure, are mulling a way for their party to effectively cut some of the funds they just approved. 

The idea would be to deploy lesser-used provisions of the 1974 budget law to roll back spending by impounding some of the appropriated funds.

Trump Threatens to Cut Off Aid to Honduras Over ‘Big Caravan’
President to Mexico: Group of immigrants ‘had better be stopped’

President Trump contends a "big caravan" of immigrants seeking illegal entry into the United States is in Mexcio after leaving Honduras. (Courtesy CIA’s World Factbook/Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump warned Honduras and Mexico he will retaliate if an alleged “caravan” of immigrants from the Central American country enters the United States.

The president for several days has appeared fixated on what he contends is a large group of immigrants that plans to try to enter the United States illegally. If they do, Trump says he might cut off U.S. aid to Honduras and terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he says has benefited Mexico. But Congress might object to the former, since lawmakers control federal funding.

SKorea Trade Pact Is Leverage in Kim Jong Un Talks, Trump Says
President expects Congress will delay infrastructure bill until after midterms

President Donald Trump delivers remarks during the Lation Coalition’s Legislative Summit in Washington on March 7. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump said Thursday he will likely use a South Korea trade pact as leverage in talks with its northern neighbor, and predicted Congress will not take up an infrastructure bill until after November’s midterms.

“Because it’s a very strong card,” he said in Ohio about the revised trade agreement with Seoul, adding he likely will withhold final approval until talks with Pyongyang had played out. 

No Word From White House on Military Funding Border Wall, Hill Sources Say
White House hasn’t offered any plan, sources say, even if legal and political hurdles could be cleared

President Donald Trump talks with reporters as he inspects border wall prototypes on March in San Diego. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump’s notion of shifting money from the military to pay for his southern border wall appears stalled and likely dead, with congressional sources saying they haven’t heard a thing from the president’s aides.

Senior congressional aides and experts point to several legal hurdles Trump’s out-of-the-blue idea would have to clear. And even if they got over those, Democrats would have to sign off in a midterm election year. Both make the prospects of the president’s idea becoming reality very unlikely, aides and experts say.

Overview: Where the Omnibus Money Is Going
Congress last week passed a $1.3 trillion government spending bill

Last week Congress passed, and the president signed, a 12-bill omnibus spending package that funds the government through September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ignoring President Donald Trump’s budget request in some cases, lawmakers last week passed a fiscal 2018 omnibus spending package with a discretionary funding level of $1.29 trillion — 10 percent higher than fiscal 2017 thanks to the budget agreement reached last month.

Here’s a look at how the enacted omnibus, previously proposed spending levels by the House and Senate, and the president’s FY18 request stack up: