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Former ambassador calls Trump's efforts to investigate Bidens 'unacceptable'
Volker says he didn't realize probes into Ukraine company were actually code for a politically motivated investigation

Kurt Volker, left, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, and Timothy Morrison, former senior director for Russian affairs at the National Security Council, are sworn in at the House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, told lawmakers  Tuesday that he should have surmised President Donald Trump's calls for a Ukrainian probe were actually code for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a chief political rival. 

During the fourth public impeachment hearing into Trump's dealings with Ukraine, Volker said he knew that Biden's son Hunter was once on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma but did not think investigations into the company were essentially probes into the Biden family. 

Weepy-eyed Boehner roasted at portrait unveiling
Grab the tissues

Former Speaker of the House John Boehner wipes away tears as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks during Boehner’s portrait unveiling on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

‘I don’t know any of these people’: 3 takeaways as Trump watches impeachment saga
Williams gives VP cover after his spox noted ‘she doesn’t directly report to the vice president’

President Donald Trump talks to the media on the South Lawn upon his return to the White House via Marine One on Nov. 3. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

The third day of public impeachment hearings temporarily transformed President Donald Trump into a history professor as he and his surrogates tried to discredit government witnesses and panned House Democrats.

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who oversees European matters at the National Security Council, told the House Intelligence Committee that Trump’s talk on a July 25 call with Ukraine’s president of his government investigating U.S. Democrats was “inappropriate” and a “partisan play.” He also panned attacks on other witnesses as “callow and cowardly,” appearing to criticize his commander in chief. Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, called that telephone conversation “unusual” because Trump was focused on a domestic political matter.

Kamala Harris endorses Christy Smith in race to replace Katie Hill
Smith is consolidating support among California Democratic leaders

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is endorsing Assemblywoman Christy Smith in the 25th District race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris has taken sides in the race to replace former California Democratic Rep. Katie Hill, endorsing Assemblywoman Christy Smith in the special election.

“In the State Assembly, Christy has been an effective leader and a fearless voice for the people she represents,” Harris said in a statement shared first with CQ Roll Call. “I know Christy will do the same in Congress — working to enact tougher gun safety laws, combat the climate crisis, fully fund public schools, invest more in emergency response and public safety, lower the cost of prescription drug prices and build an economy that works for everyone.”

‘Remain in Mexico’ policy faces internal critiques at House hearing
Migration Protection Protocols spurs human rights violations, an asylum officer told Homeland Security panel

A Customs and Border Protection agent processes migrants who recently crossed the border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector of Texas in August. (Jinitzail Hernández/CQ Roll Call)

The Migrant Protection Protocols, a program that has so far forced more than 57,000 migrants to wait in Mexico while their immigration cases wind through the court, is illegal and enables human rights abuses against the vulnerable, a Department of Homeland Security employee told lawmakers Tuesday.

“These policies are illegal, they’re immoral, and they’re the basis for human rights abuses on behalf of our nation," Michael Knowles, president of a union that represents U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees and a longtime asylum officer, said in his testimony to a House Homeland Security panel.

Republicans abandon tradition of whistleblower protection at impeachment hearing
Efforts to out the Ukraine whistleblower could have a chilling effect, put U.S. security at risk, experts say

From left, Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and minority counsel Steve Castor attend the House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Trump in Longworth Building on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

On Oct. 8, Alan Souza, the lead Republican lawyer on the House Intelligence Committee, wrote an email to Mark Zaid, the attorney representing the person who first anonymously disclosed concerns that President Donald Trump was pressuring Ukraine for his own political gain.

In the email, Souza assured Zaid that the committee “always maintains the confidentiality of the whistleblower,” according to a reference to the email in a Nov. 6 letter to the committee from Zaid’s law firm that is reproduced on its website.

House votes to avoid shutdown, continue spending talks until December
The measure passed the House on a largely party-line vote, 231-192

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee arrives in the Capitol for a meeting with House and Senate appropriators in an effort to revive spending talks and avert a second shutdown on Feb. 11, 2019. Another shutdown loomed Tuesday as the House sent a continuing resolution to the Senate, which would keep the government open until December. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress moved closer to clearing another stopgap funding bill Tuesday, after the House voted to send the continuing resolution to the Senate.

The bill would stave off a funding lapse that would have begun when the current continuing resolution expires Thursday night. Once signed, it would provide lawmakers and the Trump administration another four weeks to try to reach agreement on the dozen annual spending bills that have stalled amid debate about border wall spending and how best to divide up $1.37 trillion in fiscal 2020 spending.

Blame game in standoff over Violence Against Women Act
Ernst says Democrats motivated by her 2020 race; Schumer calls her ‘afraid of NRA’

Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said talks with Democrats over renewing the Violence Against Women Act broke down because Democratic leaders did not want senators who are up for reelection next year like her to get legislation passed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said Tuesday that Democrats trying to undermine her 2020 reelection contributed to stalled talks to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

Ernst had been working with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California for months on a bipartisan reauthorization bill before both sides said the negotiations fell apart earlier this month.

Maloney gets Oversight gavel nod from Steering Committee; Connolly will challenge in full caucus vote
Dem group gives New York Democrat 35-17 edge over Connolly in recommendation to succeed Elijah E. Cummings

New York Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney on Tuesday won the recommendation of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee to lead the House Oversight and Reform Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney won the recommendation of the influential House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Tuesday to chair the Oversight and Reform Committee, one of the key panels investigating President Donald Trump.

The New York Democrat, the most senior member on the panel, got the nod over Virginia’s Gerald E. Connolly by 35 votes to 17 in a second round of voting.

New census data: About 1 million same-sex households in US
Same-sex married and unmarried couples make up about 1 percent of all homes

John Lewis, left, and Stuart Gaffney, of San Francisco, hold heart signs outside the U.S. Supreme Court before the start of oral arguments on marriage equality in 2015. The couple were plaintiffs in the 2008 court case challenging California's same-sex marriage ban. Same-sex couples now make up 1 percent of all homes, new census data shows. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Census Bureau estimates about 1 million same-sex married and unmarried couples are living together nationwide, according to new figures released Tuesday.

Same-sex households make up about 1 percent of all homes, according to data released as part of the Current Population Survey and the first time such figures were included in its main results. The estimates provide a limited glimpse into the LGBTQ population in America, which has not shown up in federal surveys for much of the nation’s history.