congressional-operations

Pompeo Confirmation Debate Highlights Another Week of Senate Nomination Feuds
Rules and Administration panel also debating changes to nomination floor procedures

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, left, President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State, arrives for his confirmation hearing April 12 accompanied by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

CIA Director Mike Pompeo seems all but assured to be confirmed as secretary of State this week. The question is how much pain will senators go through along the way.

The way forward should become clear after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee convenes late Monday afternoon to formally vote on advancing Pompeo’s nomination — probably without a favorable review.

Opinion: Congress Needs to Hold On to Its Power of the Purse
Any rescission proposal from the White House should be acted upon quickly

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul D. Ryan at the Capitol in February. Congress should act quickly on any rescission proposal from the Trump administration to avoid relinquishing more control over the appropriations process to the executive branch, Hoagland writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sixteen words in the U.S. Constitution have governed the federal government’s budget process for over 230 years: “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law.” Presidents of all parties over the country’s long history, nonetheless, have sought to wrest from Congress more control over the Treasury than those 16 words allow.

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln spent millions of dollars without congressional approval. While this was otherwise an unconstitutional act, Lincoln felt his actions were guided by the greater responsibility of his oath to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

New Push for Senators to Pay Their Interns
Advocates say the time is right for offices to stop relying on free labor

A majority of Senate offices do not offer paid internships, according to data from nonprofit advocacy group Pay Our Interns. (Illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Ideas to boost diversity on the Hill have been thrown around, and the numbers are slowly improving. But what if the solution was right in front of everyone, sitting at tiny shared desks in congressional offices?

Paid interns.

House Chaplain Patrick Conroy to Step Down In May
Jesuit priest has served in the role since 2011

House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy, right, attends a swearing-in ceremony for the new Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in 2016 with Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., center, and Roy Blunt, R-Mo. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The in-house chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives is stepping down next month after seven years in the post.

Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, 67, a Catholic priest of the Jesuit order, has served in the post since 2011, when then-Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pegged him for the post.

Senate Might Vote on Duckworth Resolution to Allow Infants on the Floor
Rules change pushed by Illinois senator following birth of her second child

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., submitted a resolution that would permit infants on the Senate floor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate is known for resisting change, but senators might quickly and quietly update one of the most entrenched rules of who can be on the chamber floor.

Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth became the first sitting senator to give birth and submitted a resolution last week that would allow senators to bring a child under 1 year old onto the Senate floor during votes.

Don’t Expect a Dramatic Finish as Ryan Runs to the Tape
Retiring speaker unlikely to rock the boat during the midterms

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is not running for re-election. But that may not give him any more freedom to do what he wants. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With Speaker Paul D. Ryan retiring after this Congress ends in January, he seemingly has newfound freedom to either make a stronger push for conservative policy priorities or strike bipartisan grand bargains with Democrats.

In reality, the Wisconsin Republican has little room to do either — at least not until after November.

Meet the New Senate Sergeant-at-Arms
Mitch McConnell announces SAA chief of staff Michael Stenger will take over

The incoming Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael C. Stenger, center, has been chief of staff to outgoing SAA Frank J. Larkin, left, since 2015. Also pictured, Deputy SAA James W. Morhard. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The next Senate sergeant-at-arms and doorkeeper is a familiar face with a distinguished law enforcement background.

Michael C. Stenger, who has most recently served as chief of staff to outgoing Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin, will be taking over the office.

Man to Plead Guilty to Threatening Maxine Waters
Andrew Scott Lloyd faces 10 years in federal prison

A man in San Pedro, Calif., is expected to plead guilty to threatening to kill Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A man charged with threatening to kill California Rep. Maxine Waters is expected to plead guilty next week.

Andrew Scott Lloyd is expected to plead guilty to one count of threatening a public official, according to the Daily Breeze.

Meet Tracy K. Smith, the Nation’s Poet Laureate
Director of Princeton’s creative writing program is focused on outreach to rural communities

Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith will be in Washington on April 19 for a reading event. (Photo by Princeton University, Office of Communications, Denise Applewhite 2017)

Tracy K. Smith, the nation’s 22nd poet laureate, was just granted a second term in the coveted position by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

So how does one become the poet laureate?

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.