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Trump seeks Supreme Court help on building border wall quickly
Trump administration officials want Supreme Court help to build border barrier before Congress thwarts them Oct. 1

A border fence is seen near the Rio Grande which marks the boundary between Mexico and the United States on February 09, 2019 in Eagle Pass, Texas. The border has become a point of contention as the U.S. President Donald Trump wants to build a wall and the Democrats in Congress are asking for other border security measures. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Trump administration officials want the Supreme Court to help them hurry up and spend up to $2.5 billion to construct a barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border before Congress thwarts them with new spending legislation on Oct. 1.

The administration argues it needs a ruling from the Supreme Court by July 26 so it can spend money on border wall construction before the fiscal 2019 spending law lapses on Sept. 30.

California board diversity mandate spreads to other states, Washington

Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., has expressed reservations about requiring diversity on corporate boards via federal legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

SACRAMENTO, Calif., — California’s mandate that boards of directors overseeing public companies include women is catching fire as states including Illinois, New York and New Jersey, as well as lawmakers in Washington, consider similar rules to promote diversity, government officials told CQ Roll Call.

But efforts to establish requirements for other underrepresented groups such as African Americans and Latinos or Latinas, however, are encountering opposition from business groups and skeptics who say the measures either aren’t needed or aren’t inclusive enough.

Marco Rubio aims to boost small biz, counter China, with SBA reauthorization
Florida GOP senator is chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Even if you follow Congress, you might not realize that Sen. Marco Rubio is the chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

But the Florida Republican has been active with that part of his portfolio too, this week unveiling a chairman’s mark for what would be the first full reauthorization and overhaul of the Small Business Administration in almost 20 years, and holding a field hearing on the role of small businesses in the Sunshine State’s space industry.

Did the Pentagon weaponize ticks?
CQ on Congress, Episode 162

The House has asked that the Pentagon's inspector general "conduct a review of whether the Department of Defense experimented with ticks and other insects regarding use as a biological weapon between the years 1950 and 1975." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Omar’s office facade gets covered with notes of support
Notes offer messages of support after a Trump rally crowd chanted ‘send her back!’

Visitors write inspiring notes outside of the office of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., after attacks from President Trump days before at the Longworth Building at the Capitol on Friday, July 19, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s congressional office facade grew more colorful as people walked by her office Friday and posted blue, purple, pink and yellow notes of encouragement in the form of a heart. It’s a show of support after a long week of back-and-forth with President Donald Trump and his supporters, who chanted “send her back” at a rally earlier this week.

As a response to the rally chants and rhetoric from the president widely seen as racist, the anti-war group Code Pink organized a day of solidarity outside the Minnesota Democrat’s office. The group’s organizers were outside the office asking people to sign a note for Omar and gathering notes from those in the House office building cafeterias.

Dark spirits were at play in Congress this week: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of July 15, 2019

A thunderstorm passes over the U.S. Capitol building on Thursday, July 11, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“This has been a difficult and contentious week, in which darker spirits seem to have been at play,” said House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy during a long and stressful week on the Hill, which saw controversial tweets, members fearing Facebook and a House member straight up ditching his post on the House floor.

Photos of the Week: We’re howling at the moon
The week of July 19 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar responds to the media scrum as she leaves the Capitol after the last votes of the week in the Capitol on Thursday. Rep. Omar was the target of derogatory comments made by President Trump about her and other freshmen members. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Derek Kilmer: Disputes among Democrats amount to ‘false divisions’
On health care, campaign finance, immigration and gun control, Democrats are more unified than divided, congressman says

Democratic Rep Derek Kilmer, right, seen here with GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse, also of Washington, says Democrats are more united than divided. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Derek Kilmer, a Washington Democrat who chairs the moderate, business-friendly New Democrat Coalition, sought to downplay disputes within his own party, calling them “false divisions within the caucus.”   

On health care, campaign finance, immigration and gun control matters, Democrats are more unified than divided, Kilmer told C-SPAN “Newsmakers” in an interview that airs on July 28, despite recent intraparty conflicts on such matters as the border crisis and legislation to raise the minimum wage, leading to heated rhetoric, particularly between progressives and moderates.

Drawing new congressional lines won’t be easy for Democrats
Maps must withstand shifts in attitudes, and parties should not assume Trump era patterns continue

In redrawing district maps after the 2020 Census, Democrats need to be careful not to expect results during the Trump era to continue all decade. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The next round of redistricting shouldn’t sneak up on anyone. After coverage of the recent Supreme Court decisions and renewed interest in state-level races because of their role in selecting who draws district lines, parties and political observers are tuned in to the mapmaking process. But there’s one aspect that hasn’t been discussed enough.

In short, too much success can be a bad thing when it comes to drawing the next set of political maps.

Anti-vaxxer allegedly threatened to kill Rep. Frederica Wilson
Suspect is a Pentagon contractor who had access to sensitive information

Reps. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., right, was reportedly the target of a death threat by a man angry about a bill she introduced requiring vaccinations. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A grand jury in Maryland has indicted a Department of Defense contractor on one felony count of threatening a member of Congress.

Darryl Albert Varnum, who works out of the headquarters of the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency, allegedly left a threatening voicemail for a lawmaker one evening in late June, according to court records.