ethics

LGBTQ Equality Act passes House, pushing back on Trump’s religious freedom policies
Democrats and advocacy groups are attempting to counteract these policies through the courts and legislation

Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., poses with a rainbow flag at the House steps after the vote to pass the Equality Act on Friday, May 17, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Growing tensions over the Trump administration’s policies that aim to strengthen religious freedom protections for health care workers have led to a partisan tug-of-war playing out in the House.

The Trump administration has tried to strengthen religious liberty protections through numerous policies over the past several months. Those include providing federal funds to religiously affiliated foster agencies who don’t allow LGBT people to adopt children and broadening religious and moral exemptions for employers who do not want to cover birth control.

Complaint says Rep. TJ Cox’s disclosures misled voters. He says it’s a GOP attack
Constituents say NRCC helped draft their complaint, but GOP group denies writing it

Rep. TJ Cox, D-Calif., is fending off accusations from constituents and the NRCC that he intentionally misled voters on his financial disclosure forms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group of constituents from California’s 21st District are asking the Office of Congressional Ethics to review allegations that Rep. TJ Cox intentionally misled voters about his personal finances by failing to list certain business interests on his personal financial disclosure.

Cox, a Democrat, has dismissed the complaint as a partisan smear orchestrated by the National Republican Congressional Committee and a former staffer of David Valadao, the Republican he unseated last fall.

Trump is Twitter-bashing 2020 hopeful and NY Mayor de Blasio. That puts him in a rare group
President has saved social media attacks for a handful of Democratic candidates

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio holds up a copy of “One NYC 2050” as he speaks about the city’s response to climate change at Hunters Point South Park on April 22. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump used insults to welcome New York Mayor Bill de Blasio into the 2020 presidential race, a strategy he has reserved for only a few Democratic candidates.

Trump wasted little time in slamming candidates like now-front-runner and former Vice President Joe Biden, former Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the 2016 Democratic runner-up. He has said very little about South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and California Sen. Kamala Harris, even though she drew a large crowd at her Oakland campaign kickoff event — noteworthy because the president often remarks on his rally crowds and those drawn by his rivals, which he typically claims are much smaller.

Legal battle heats up as more states test strict abortion bans
Other states are already pursuing and defending laws to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy

Pro-choice protesters shout at pro-life protesters outside of the Supreme Court June 26, 2018. Alabama’s new abortion law, which would essentially ban abortion in most cases, could open the door to restrictions in other states — even though they will all likely be challenged in court. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Advocates are preparing for a legal battle after Alabama passed the strictest abortion bill in the country late Tuesday, part of a growing national push by abortion opponents to test whether the courts will curb constitutional protections for the procedure.

Alabama’s move, which would essentially ban abortion in most cases, could open the door to restrictions in other states — even though they will all likely be challenged in court. Other states are already pursuing and defending laws to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

White House to Judiciary Chairman Nadler: ‘How about you pass a bill?’
‘We will subpoena whoever we have to subpoena,’ Nadler vows as legal war escalates

The White House and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler are at war over his requests for information from and testimony by Trump administration officials past and present. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House has a message for House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler: Pass a bill — any bill — rather than trying to “replicate” Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s Russia election meddling probe.

In a letter to Nadler and a subsequent call with reporters, White House officials charged the New York Democrat with “political theater” by continuing to investigate the Russian interference campaign and possible connections to the 2016 Trump-Pence campaign, as well as whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice — a crime — since taking office.

Capitol Ink | Balancing Act

These Senate Democrats want to ban stock trading by members of Congress
Sens. Brown and Merkley introduce legislation last week to prohibit trading in most cases

Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., left, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, want to ban stock trading by members of Congress in most cases. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two Democratic senators want to prevent a recurrence of ethically dubious stock trades by members of Congress by banning them altogether.

Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Sherrod Brown of Ohio want to bar lawmakers and senior aides from buying and selling individual securities. The reality is that many members of the House and Senate do own and trade stock in publicly-traded companies.

Capitol Ink | The Coming Storm

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig subpoenaed over Trump tax returns
House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal makes announcement Friday

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., issued subpoenas Friday to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal issued subpoenas Friday for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to provide President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

The action takes to the next level a five-week-long dispute between the administration and Neal, D-Mass., who first asked on April 3 for six years of Trump’s personal tax returns, the returns for eight Trump companies and other tax information.

For Trump, little gained this week from all-or-nothing negotiating style
‘You just can’t do things this way if you want to succeed,’ former U.S. official says

President Donald Trump, here in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in January, is refusing to budge on a range of issues. And he'll head into the weekend with little ground gained on any one of them. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

ANALYSIS — Donald Trump’s my-way-or-the-highway negotiating style was on full display this week. But the president is set to end the week with little gained on some big campaign promises.

From stalled trade talks with China to a new immigration reform plan to his legal battle with House Democrats over the special counsel’s Russia election meddling report and their desire to hear from his advisers, the president and his team again showed how they often take a position and hunker down. The message is clear: Adhere to the Trump way or prepare for war — be it one of the global trade variety or one over the Constitution.