congressional-operations

Flashback Friday: Recess Cancellations
Other times when Senate recesses were either scrapped or interrupted

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate is working most of August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate has taken an August recess since the so-called Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 provided for it.

The legislation, which aimed to “improve the operation of the legislative branch of the Federal Government,” overhauled internal procedures for both the House and the Senate.  

Kuster Wants Investigation Into Sexual Harassment in VA
More than a quarter of women employees in agency were harassed, government watchdog agency reports

Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., called for an investigation into the VA for systemic issues with sexual harassment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ann McLane Kuster wants Congress to confront what she sees as a pervasive sexual harassment problem in the Veterans Affairs Department.

The New Hampshire Democrat called for Chairman Jack Bergman of Michigan to schedule an immediate hearing on the matter in the Veterans Affairs subcommittee on oversight and investigations, on which she is ranking member.

Senate NDAA Would Mandate Work on Missile Defenses in Space
Though it’s unclear whether the military would even recommend effort

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, says his provision “removes the legal hurdle to developing and eventually deploying” space-based interceptors. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted behind closed doors on May 23 to require the Pentagon to start developing missile-killing interceptors for deployment in space — whether or not the Pentagon agrees.

The provision, by Texas Republican Ted Cruz, has become part of the defense authorization bill being debated now and into next week on the Senate floor.

Capitol Ink | Working Recess

Democrats Offer Eagles Alternatives After Trump Uninvites Them
President falsely claims some players knelt during national anthem

Sen. Bob Casey, Jr., D-Pa., invited the Philadelphia Eagles to the Capitol after President Donald Trump pulled their invitation to visit the White House this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic lawmakers from Pennsylvania were quick to extend invitations to the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles to visit the Capitol after President Donald Trump pulled their invitation to the White House over the false notion some members of the team did not stand for the national anthem before games last season.

Contrary to the president’s statement Monday, no members of the Eagles stayed in the locker room or knelt during the national anthem before games last year, CNN anchor and Philadelphia native Jake Tapper reported.

McConnell to Senate: Don’t Book Nonrefundable Travel for August Recess
Kentucky Republican has a lengthy summer legislative agenda

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is hinting at an extended summer of Senate work. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators and staffers should enjoy the Memorial Day recess, because it might be a long summer on Capitol Hill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is far from waving off the idea that he might truncate the August recess, and doing the math on the amount of floor time needed for his current legislative agenda seems to point to one thing: extra work weeks.

Blunt Wants Senate to Pass Anti-Harassment Legislation This Week
Plans to outline bipartisan agreement with Klobuchar by the end of Tuesday

Sen. Roy Blunt is the lead Republican on the effort to combat harassment on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Roy Blunt hopes to pass a bill this week addressing harassment on Capitol Hill.

“Let’s see what the members said at lunch, but it would be great if we could get this done before the Memorial Day break,” Blunt said, telling reporters he needed to consult with his Democratic counterpart on the measure, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

House Republicans Break Record for Closed Rules in Single Congress
Ranking Democrat on Rules Committee: ‘It’s like the majority is allergic to an open process’

The House Rules Committee under Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, has broken a record for the number of closed rules reported during a single Congress. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Rules Committee broke a record Monday night for the number of closed rules — a mechanism for setting up floor debate on a bill without amendments — reported in a single Congress. 

The panel tied and then surpassed the previous record set during the Republican-controlled 113th Congress of 83 closed rules when it reported out two closed rules.

Rayburn Press Room to Close, to Be Renovated for Member of Congress
Old press office shuttering at the end of 2018

The Rayburn Press Room will close at the end of the year and re-open as office space for a member of the House. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Rayburn Press Room, one of the spaces designated as workspace for the press in the Capitol complex, will close at the end of the year and be remodeled for use by a member of Congress. 

The Standing Committee of Correspondents, the journalists elected to represent the daily press galleries in the Capitol, on Monday sent a letter to credentialed members of the press galleries to inform them that the Rayburn Press Room, located on the first floor of the Rayburn House Office Building, will change hands.

Congress Doesn’t Report Diversity Because It Doesn’t Have to
While federal agencies must report the diversity of their employees, there is no such requirement of Congress

Kemba Hendrix, director of the House Democrats’ Diversity Initiative, took on her role in November. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:30 a.m. with figures for House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s staff | If you ask a House or Senate office to break down the diversity of its staff, chances are it won’t. Because it doesn’t have to.

While the executive branch has to provide data on the racial and ethnic makeup of its staff for the public record, there is no rule mandating that congressional offices do the same.