policy

Rep. Meng: Amend Constitution to Lower Voting Age to 16
The last constitutional amendment was passed in 1992

Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., announced Wednesday that she’s interested in lowering the voting age to 16. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Democratic Rep. Grace Meng introduced an amendment to the Constitution to lower the nationwide voting age to 16 years old.

The 26th Amendment — passed in 1971 — guarantees the right to vote to eligible citizens who are 18 years old or older, which shifted the voting age down from 21. Meng’s legislation would rewrite the amendment to include 16- and 17-year-olds in federal, state and local elections.

Space Force: Trump Drives New Partisan Split Over Old Issue
Democrats and Republicans divided on proposal, new poll says

President Donald Trump’s public embrace of the Space Force has driven a deep partisan divide on the effort, a new poll found. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Its cool science-fiction title alone practically oozes nostalgia for the starbound adventures of American astronauts, the spirit of Cold War competition and pride for American dominance in space. So why are most Democrats not on board with the Space Force?

Sixty-nine percent of them disapproved of the White House’s effort to establish a sixth branch of the military focused on defending U.S. interests in space, according to a new poll released Wednesday. And only 12 percent supported it. The reaction from Republicans was almost exactly flipped: 68 percent of Republicans supported the proposal, while only 14 percent opposed it. 

A Year After Charlottesville, Trump Faces New Questions About Racism
Racism charges resurface in light of feud with ex-aide Omarosa Manigault Newman

President Donald Trump has attacked his former aide Omarosa Maginault Newman as a “lowlife” and a “dog.” (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A year has passed since President Donald Trump was accused of racism after he failed to quickly and unequivocally condemn racially motivated violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. But recent claims made by and against his former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman have given new life to those accusations

On Saturday, the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville violence, Trump tweeted that the riots “resulted in senseless death and division” and called for the nation to come together.

Trump’s Turkey Spat Could Rouse Army of Well-Paid, Connected Lobbyists
Turkey has spent millions to promote its interests in Washington

Former Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La., shown here in October 2005 with House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is one of numerous retired lawmakers who have signed lucrative agreements to lobby on behalf of Turkey. (Ian Hurley/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Whatever the result of President Donald Trump’s tariff fight with Turkey, it is almost certainly going to rouse a well-financed and deeply entrenched influence-peddling operation in Washington.

The Republic of Turkey spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on well-connected D.C. lobbyists to promote its interests in Washington. It makes major gifts to American think tanks that do not have to be reported under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

House GOP Appropriators Facing Steep Turnover in 116th Congress
Both parties have endured upheaval in wave elections in the past

Two senior House GOP appropriators,  John Culberson, R-Texas, left, and Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., personify the challenged facing the Appropriations panel heading into the 2018 midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Democratic “wave” this November, should one materialize, could result in the departure of as many as five senior House Republican appropriators, which would mark the biggest wipeout of major players from one side of the dais in 26 years.

Three subcommittee “cardinals” are facing tough re-election fights this November: Commerce-Justice-Science Chairman John Culberson and Military Construction-VA Chairman John Carter, both of Texas, and Homeland Security Chairman Kevin Yoder of Kansas.

California Wildfires Headed to Capitol Hill
Funding fire suppression a looming issue

A firefighting helicopter drops water as the Holy Fire burns near homes on Friday in Lake Elsinore, California. Wildfires continue to burn in the state. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Lawmakers thought they fixed the U.S. Forest Service’s “fire borrowing” problem earlier this year. But the breadth and intensity of fires scorching the West this year is likely to prompt the agency to raid other accounts one last time before budgetary changes go into effect in fiscal 2020.

The issue could come to a head once again on Capitol Hill in the coming weeks and months, as lawmakers and the administration weigh the need for another infusion of taxpayer dollars ahead of the midterm elections — and California’s devastating fires have already become a campaign issue.

Road Ahead: Senate Returning to DC for the Ides of August
Floor agenda will look familiar: judicial nominations and appropriation bills

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.,left, jokes with Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, as he walks down the Senate steps on Aug. 1 after the chamber’s last vote of the week. Risch was posing for photos with interns on the steps. Senators return Wednesday from their truncated district work period. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Thank goodness the Senate has “manufactured weather.”

That’s what Carrier called the system that was first installed to cool the chamber in the early 20th century. The modern air conditioning will be in full use this week as the Senate returns for a rare mid-August session.

Space Farce? The Challenges of Creating a New Military Department in Just 2 Years: Podcast
CQ on Congress, Episode 115

On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence announced the Trump administration's plan to create a U.S. Space Force by 2020. ( Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Space is the “next battlefield,” Vice President Mike Pence said this week. CQ editor Patrick B. Pexton talks with reporter Andrew Clevenger about all the steps needed to create the Space Force. The biggest challenge? A just-passed, two-year defense authorization bill that’s on the president’s desk awaiting his signature. That bill has no extra funds for such an ambitious enterprise that critics say isn’t even necessary to protect the U.S. from space-based threats.

Pot Business Expected to Boom, Lighting Up Pressure on Lawmakers
More that a dozen states expected to expand legalization by 2025, report says

Secret Service block pro-marijuana protesters from carrying their 51-foot inflated marijuana joint down Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With marijuana legalization measures expected to pass in 13 more states by 2025, the legal pot market would reach more than $30 billion, according to an industry report released Thursday. 

The trend is bound to increase pressure on lawmakers to stake positions on one of the country’s most rapidly evolving social issues — the legalization of pot and cannabis — according to the report from New Frontier Data, a nonpartisan market research firm. 

Bill Nelson Says Florida Election Systems Compromised by Russians
Senate Intelligence Committee avoids confirming or denying Democratic senator’s statement

Sen. Bill Nelson, right said he and fellow Florida Sen. Marco Rubio were made aware of Russian penetration of Florida election systems. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee told Sen. Bill Nelson to alert Florida election officials about Russian interference in their systems, they aren’t saying.

Nelson, a Florida Democrat on the ballot in 2018, was quoted by the Tampa Bay Times Wednesday saying that, “We were requested by the chairman and vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee to let the supervisors of election in Florida know that the Russians are in their records.”