rules-and-procedure

The Senate lacks protections for LGBTQ staff. One group is demanding change
Existing laws for legislative branch workers don’t explicitly protect LGBTQ employees

A Senate staffer group is urging offices to adopt policy manuals that include protections for LGBTQ employees from discrimination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Congress considers expanding civil rights to encompass LGBTQ Americans, Senate staffers want their bosses to shore up such protections for the congressional workforce itself. 

In a letter sent April 8, the bipartisan Senate GLASS Caucus urged chamber offices to adopt policy manuals that include protections for LGBTQ employees from discrimination.

Fliers beware: House Ethics issues a refresher on private plane travel
Ethics Committee says it has received ‘numerous inquiries’ on the topic

The House Ethics Committee released a memo Wednesday reminding lawmakers and staff of rules for travel on private planes. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Back by popular demand: House Ethics rules on private plane usage.

The House Ethics Committee released a memo Wednesday reminding lawmakers and staff of rules for travel on private planes.

Elizabeth Warren: Eliminate Senate filibusters if a future GOP minority stops the Democratic agenda
2020 presidential hopeful says Mitch McConnell should not be allowed to block legislation

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., center, listens to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in February, seated behind, from left,  Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan, Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh. (Doug Mills/The New York Times/pool file photo)

Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren is ready to say that if a future Republican Senate minority were to try to thwart her agenda, it will be time to get rid of the filibuster.

“I’m not running for president just to talk about making real, structural change. I’m serious about getting it done. And part of getting it done means waking up to the reality of the United States Senate,” the Massachusetts Democratic senator is expected to say Friday.

Democrats pound Trump with subpoenas, capping most aggressive week of oversight yet
Democrats formally demand president’s tax returns, authorize subpoenas for full Mueller report and 9 administration officials

Chairman Elijah Cummings, right, speaks as ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, listens during the House Oversight and Reform Committee markup of a resolution authorizing issuance of subpoenas related to security clearances and the 2020 Census on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As President Donald Trump tried to move on this week from the special counsel’s Russia investigation, Democratic investigators mashed the gas pedal on their various oversight probes, authorizing subpoenas for the full Mueller report and for nine current and former Trump administration officials.

And on Wednesday afternoon, the House Ways and Means Committee formally kicked off its pursuit of the president’s tax returns, capping what has been the most aggressive week of this Congress’ oversight of the administration to date.

‘Nuclear’ fallout in Senate might take some time to register
Democrats show no immediate signs they are contemplating retaliation

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., decried the erosion of senators’ influence and ability to serve as advocates for their states in the latest move to alter the rules of Senate debate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate’s Geiger counters hardly registered Wednesday afternoon after the most recent deployments of the “nuclear option” to speed up confirmation of President Donald Trump’s nominees, although the long-term effects on the institution may very well be significant. 

The first nominee considered, Jeffrey Kessler to be an assistant secretary of Commerce, was ultimately confirmed by voice vote after the two hours of post-cloture debate allowed under the new process was declared expired.

Why we should care that the Senate will debate less
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 64

The Senate changed its rules, again, and the result will be less debate on judicial and executive nominees. The result could have ramifications for civil discourse. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate goes nuclear again, speeding up Donald Trump’s nominations
GOP senators voted Wednesday to effectively change the rules by setting a new precedent on debate time

Wednesday’s procedural moves by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, right, drastically cut the amount of debate time for many judicial and executive nominees. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans moved ahead with deploying the “nuclear option” again Wednesday, this time following through on an effort to cut down on debate time for most of President Donald Trump’s nominees.

In an exercise that had far less suspense than when then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, made the move back in 2013, the Senate voted, 48-51, overturning the ruling of the presiding officer and setting a new precedent declaring that the remaining debate time for Jeffrey Kessler to be an assistant secretary of Commerce was two hours. A “no” vote was to overturn the presiding officer and establish the two-hour limit. 

In prelude to nuclear option, Senate rejects speeding up confirmation of nominees
McConnell now expected to move forward with only Republican support

President Donald Trump alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate inched closer Tuesday to Republicans using the “nuclear option” to slash the time for debate on the vast majority of judicial and executive nominations.

Senators blocked, 51-48, an effort by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring up a resolution that would have set a new standing order. The support of 60 senators would have been needed to advance the debate.

Road ahead: Changing Senate rules, reupping Violence Against Women Act
McConnell heads into cloture clash with nothing much to lose

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has set up votes to make it easier to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominees. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators are gearing up for a much-anticipated standoff over the debate time for confirming President Donald Trump’s nominees, as the House turns its attention to reviving and updating the Violence Against Women Act.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will address a joint meeting on Wednesday, following an invitation extended by the bipartisan congressional leadership to highlight the importance of the alliance.

House Republicans dig out another procedural tool to pressure Democrats
GOP is planning to file discharge petitions on a late-term abortion bill and the Green New Deal

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., is planning to file a discharge petition next week in an effort to force a vote on a bill to provide protections for newborns who survive abortions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans, boosted by some early procedural wins this Congress, are planning to try out another tool available to the minority to put pressure on Democrats — the discharge petition.

Discharge petitions can be filed by any member but are most commonly used by the minority party to highlight legislation the majority refuses to bring to the floor. If a discharge petition gets 218 signatures, the underlying measure can then be brought up for a vote over the objections of leadership.