Capitol Worker Strike: More People, New Target One Year Later

Roughly 100 Capitol workers went on strike Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Last November, seven Capitol workers walked off their jobs to push for higher wages and a union. A year later, more than 10 times as many workers went on strike with the same mission, but a different target.  

The seven original strikers from the Capitol Visitor Center marked the first time workers from the U.S. Capitol joined the push for higher wages. On Tuesday morning, roughly 100 workers from the CVC, the Senate and the Capitol went on strike, joining workers from other areas of the federal government to push for $15-an-hour wages and a union. "It has grown, and we got more progressive … stronger, more demanding and more sensitive toward our needs," CVC worker Reginald Lewis, 52, who was at the first strike, told CQ Roll Call. He later added, "It’s like a family.”  

Donnelly: 'Heartbreaking' Military Suicide 'Has to End'

Donnelly spoke at the panel Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Maj. Gen. Mark Graham stood in front of the handful of people gathered in a Senate office building Tuesday and recited a phone number.  

"855-838-8255. Don't wait. Don't wait. Call," Graham said. He was listing the number of Vets4Warriors, a 24/7 call center where veterans provide support to service members and their families. In 2003, Graham's his son, Kevin, who had planned on becoming an Army doctor, committed suicide. Fewer than nine months later, his other son, Jeff, was killed by an improvised explosive device while serving in Iraq.  

Capitol Workers to Strike Ahead of GOP Debate

Sanders will once again join the workers at a strike on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hours before a Republican primary debate, workers in the U.S. Capitol are going on strike and calling on the GOP senators running for president to help the workers who serve them.  

Senate food-service workers and some cleaning staff are set to walk off their jobs Tuesday morning to call for higher wages and a union. The event is set for Tuesday to highlight GOP presidential contenders who, in the opinion of the striking workers, have been silent on the Capitol workers' low wages. With the presidential hopefuls set to take the stage in Milwaukee, Wis., for the Fox Business Network debate, the strike organizers have specifically called out Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas.  

What a Paul Ryan Speakership Means for D.C.

Ryan became speaker on Oct. 29. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., adjusts to his new role in the House, he also takes on a little-recognized responsibility: oversight of the District of Columbia.  

Ryan has not served on any of the spending or oversight committees with jurisdiction over D.C., so it is tough to gauge his record. But he has spent nearly half his life as a professional in Washington, and he goes to great pains to distance himself from the capital city. On ABC's "This Week" Sunday, he told Martha Raddatz: "I don't live in Washington, D.C. I never really wanted to live here. I just — I just work here," a talking point he reiterated throughout the day's media blitz.  

Library of Congress Case Highlights Questions of Oversight

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The case of a fired Library of Congress staffer is prompting questions about whether the institution is being properly overseen by Congress and whether library employees have a fair process to appeal personnel decisions — including from members of Congress. Suzanne Hogan, 58, who worked as a special assistant to former Librarian of Congress James H. Billington for 11 years, was officially terminated in August. She is in the process of appealing her decision via a discrimination complaint, but is calling on Congress' own independent agency, the Office of Compliance, to intervene, alleging she does not have an avenue for due process.

"There is no pathway for me to have a fair and just hearing.” Hogan said in an Oct. 23 interview.

Carper Hit With Ethics Complaint Over Clinton Endorsement

Carper endorsed Clinton after Joe Biden announced he would not run for president. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Endorsing Hillary Rodham Clinton for president has landed Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., in the crosshairs of a conservative watchdog group.  

A complaint filed Wednesday with the Senate Ethics Committee pertains not to whom Carper endorsed on Oct. 26 , but how he did it. Alleging a misuse of taxpayer-funded resources, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust has asked Ethics Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and ranking member Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to investigate the senator for posting his Clinton endorsement as a press release on his official "" Web page.  

Hoyer, McCarthy Host 2nd Congressional Hackathon

Hoyer, McCarthy and Cantor worked to put on the hackathons. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional staffers, information technology specialists, Web developers and activists gathered in the Capitol Visitor Center Friday for the second congressional hackathon.  

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., hosted the event to brainstorm and develop ways to use technology to help Congress function more effectively and efficiently. “Most important, greater efficiency through technology has the potential to help rebuild Americans’ trust in government, something that is at an historic low," Hoyer told the group gathered in the CVC hearing room. "And all of us ought to be concerned about it."  

DOJ Clears Lois Lerner, Closes IRS Investigation

Lerner in a House Oversight Committee hearing in in 2013. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress wanted to jail her , but the Justice Department closed its investigation Friday into the IRS's handling of tax-exemption applications from political groups without pursuing criminal charges against Lois Lerner.  

In a letter to congressional committees probing the allegations that Lerner knowingly presided over the improper targeting of conservative organizations, Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Kadzik said the DOJ "found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.” The investigation, launched in May 2013, uncovered substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgement and institutional inertia, Kadzik stated. No IRS employee interviewed by the DOJ reported having any information suggesting actions were taken "with the purpose of harming or harassing applicants affiliated with the Tea Party or similar groups," he stated. Even politically conservative employees who were critical of Lerner's leadership and management style did not suspect their boss acted with political, discriminatory or corrupt purposes.  

Congress' Selfish Reason for Not Sharing CRS Reports

"I could see Hannity having fun with this," Shays said. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of Congress are selfish.  

That's one reason Capitol Hill continues to resist bipartisan prodding to make Congressional Research Service reports public, speculated former Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., during an Oct. 22 panel on transparency. "Members of Congress like getting access to information that wouldn't potentially be shared with their opponents. So if they sound brilliant from some well-written report, they're not eager that some candidate can get all this information and come to debates sounding just as articulate," Shays said. "That's a big reason."  

GPO Goes Under Congressional Microscope

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Government Publishing Office faced congressional scrutiny Wednesday for its process for producing secure credentials for government agencies, and lawmakers appeared open to re-examining the agency's statute.  

"GPO certainly knows how to print, but do they have the capacity to innovate and provide reliably secure credentials?" House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked at a hearing. Chaffetz's panel  held  a full committee hearing to delve into how agencies select the GPO to issue secure credentials process. The GPO is tasked with printing secure documents, including U.S. passports and border crossing cards, but private sector vendors argued they are not able to compete with the GPO to secure contracts to create those documents. And after the nearly two-hour hearing, Chaffetz and the highest ranking Democrat at the hearing, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., said they were open to re-examining the statute that some agencies use to justify selecting GPO to print those documents, known as Title 44.