capitol-hill

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s defense could be a ‘loser,’ legal experts say
Wife’s plea agreement is a blow to congressman’s campaign finance case

Rep. Duncan Hunter faces felony charges of misappropriating campaign funds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Duncan D. Hunter will rely on what experts called a shaky legal defense as he battles charges of illegally using campaign money to subsidize overseas vacations, expensive dinners and extramarital “personal relationships.”

Hunter’s legal case was dealt a blow last week when his wife, Margaret Hunter, pleaded guilty to one count of corruption in the couple’s pending case.

Another Democratic challenger announces bid to unseat Sen. Thom Tillis
Cal Cunningham drops out of North Carolina lieutenant governor race for Senate run

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., arrives in the Capitol for the Senate policy luncheons on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Thom Tillis will face a Democratic opponent with some name recognition next year in the battleground state of North Carolina.

Former state senator and Army Reserve counsel Calvin Cunningham III will challenge the first-term Republican, The Associated Press reported Monday. Tillis was already one of the more vulnerable Republicans facing re-election next year. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilts Republican.

Steven A. Sund named US Capitol Police chief
New chief, who has been with agency since 2017, previously directed special operations for D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department

Capitol Police Assistant Chief Steven A. Sund, left, and Chief Matthew R. Verderosa place flowers in honor of fallen police officers during the Washington Area Law Enforcement Memorial Service on May 6. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Steven A. Sund is the new chief of the U.S. Capitol Police.

The Capitol Police Board, which oversees the force that provides law enforcement for the Capitol and members of Congress, made the announcement Friday, elevating Sund from his previous role as the department’s assistant chief.

Her antidote to Trump: A greeting card company
Veteran operative Jill Rulli left politics to get into the card business. Hallmark it is not

(Courtesy The Thought)

All you need is ribs: Isakson barbecue brings hungry senators together
Leadership may have hated it at first, but the lunch is now a big hit

South 40 Smokehouse from Marietta, Ga., serves up brisket, pulled pork and ribs Thursday in the office of Sen. Johnny Isakson for his annual barbecue lunch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The smell of pulled pork, Texas beef brisket, Saint Louis pork ribs, baked beans, and creamy mac and cheese wafting through the halls of the Russell Senate Office Building can mean only one thing: Johnny Isakson’s annual barbecue lunch.

Every year, for more than a decade, the senior senator from Georgia feeds his colleagues from both sides of the aisle a BBQ lunch prepared by a pitmaster from his home state. Despite being met with initial pushback from party leaders, the get-together has grown into a highly anticipated event.

Women senators ‘shame the guys to hurry up and vote’
Female lawmakers push their male colleagues to pick up the pace

Her female colleagues said it was Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s idea to shame their male colleagues into getting their business done in the time allotted. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The women of the United States Senate took their colleagues to task Wednesday for taking too long to vote.

In the middle of a vote series that typically would have appeared mundane— with members frequently leaving the floor during one vote and returning during the next, or sitting in the cloakroom on their cell phones — most of the women were seated at desks, calling for regular order in an attempt to speed up what have become increasingly long series.

Trump signs bill restoring retirement benefits for Senate dining workers
Law would remedy worker retirement benefits that have been flat since 2008

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, sponsored the legislation to grant Senate dining employees full benefits, which President Donald Trump signed into law on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Veteran Senate dining employees are getting their full retirement benefits restored after President Donald Trump signed into law a bill that lifts a freeze that had kept them stagnant since 2008.

Trump signed the bill on Wednesday, which makes technical corrections to the computation of average pay regarding the benefits for the dining workers in the Senate, a move that allows cafeteria workers to fully collect their due retirement.

On congressional pay raise, maximum political pain and no gain
Hoyer optimistic, but McCarthy cool on member cost-of-living update

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., says the congressional pay raise issue will be addressed, but it is unclear what the path forward is now. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democratic leaders are learning the hard way that when it comes to the politically dicey issue of raising lawmaker pay, there is maximum risk with a minimum chance of gain. 

Amid the fallout from Democrats in the chamber abruptly pulling a legislative spending bill from a broader package, leaders on Tuesday were left to state an easy to articulate but difficult to achieve goal: that the only path to bigger paychecks was through bipartisan, bicameral negotiations.

Reps. Jason Crow and Michael Waltz re-enact D-Day parachute drop into Normandy
The bipartisan parachuters’ 75th anniversary commemoration was next level

Reps. Michael Waltz, left, and Jason Crow pose together after their D-Day re-enactment jumps into Normandy on Sunday. (Courtesy Rep. Jason Crow’s office)

Why fly to France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and stay within the safe and comfortable barriers of the plane, when you can instead jump out of a plane and re-enact the original mission completed by allied paratroopers into Normandy in 1944?

That’s likely what Reps. Jason Crow and Michael Waltz would say. The bipartisan pair were the only members of Congress who, this past Sunday, took the same leap that troops from the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions took 75 years ago. You could barely even tell decades have passed by the looks of the near-identical World War II uniforms donned by the fearless 21st century parachuters aboard “That’s All Brother,” the original C-47 that carried the 101st Airborne into Normandy.

Rep. Ilhan Omar to reimburse $3,500 in misspent campaign funds
Omar pledged the money to organizations that train rookie political candidates

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., attends a news conference at the House Triangle, on legislation to create special immigrant visas for Iraqi and Afghan wartime translators on Thursday, May 16, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Minnesota regulators say Rep. Ilhan Omar violated state campaign finance rules and must reimburse $3,469.23 in campaign funds that were improperly directed to accounting expenses and out-of-state travel. 

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ordered Omar to reimburse her campaign committee for the payments Thursday. She must also pay a $500 civil fine.