Amy Klobuchar

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Around the Capitol?
Constructive criticism for Ryan, shithole vs. shithouse, and McSally belts it out

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is seen during a Senate Judiciary Committee markup last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Photos of the Week: Ice Cold to 60s, a Happy Alabama Fan and More as Full Congress Returns
The week of Jan. 8 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

A visitor from Vietnam poses for a picture on the frozen Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool on Monday. A member of the National Park Service subsequently told people to leave the ice and said that 12 people had recently fallen through. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House returned to Washington this week (after the Senate gaveled in last week), officially kicking off the second session of the 115th Congress. Temperatures were frigid as the week began, but the city thawed out by Friday, when highs hit around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Tina Smith Has Just 10 Months to Keep Her New Job
New Minnesota senator will face voters in November special election

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith, appointed to replace Sen. Al Franken, will face voters in a special election in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Tina Smith just got here. And now she has 10 months to try to keep her new job as Minnesota’s junior senator.

She’ll face voters in a November special election to fill out former Democratic-Farmer-Labor Sen. Al Franken’s term. It’s an incredibly condensed timeline for what could be a competitive race in a state Hillary Clinton won by less than 2 points in 2016.

Three VPs, Football Boasts and a Relief Baseball Pitcher: Not Your Normal Swearing-In Day
With Democrats Smith and Jones, GOP Senate edge now down to 51-49

Sen. Tina Smith, center, walks with fellow Minnesota Democrats, former Vice President Walter Mondale and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, from the Senate floor to the Old Senate Chamber for her ceremonial swearing-in. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The start of the second session of a Congress lacks most of the pageantry of the first, but Wednesday’s arrival of two new senators prompted some pomp and circumstance, including the rare sight of three vice presidents on the Senate floor at the same time.

Democratic Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama and Tina Smith of Minnesota took the oath of office from Vice President Mike Pence shortly after noon, each escorted down the chamber’s aisle by a former vice president.

New Sen. Smith to Prioritize Rural Broadband, Child Care and Paid Leave
Replacement for Franken to be sworn in on Wednesday

Former Vice President Walter Mondale, center, will swear-in Lt. Gov Tina Smith, D-Minn., left, as she replaces Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who announced his resignation last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As she replaces retiring Sen. Al Franken, Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith said she plans on prioritizing expanding rural broadband, paid family leave, and child care.

Smith, a member of the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune she will also look for opportunities to work with Republican colleagues.

Senate Republicans Withholding OOC Settlements Data
Info could include settlements for cases with sexual harassment allegations

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., has not publicly released Senate office settlements data his Appropriations Committee received from the Office of Compliance. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Republican chairmen of the Senate Rules and Appropriations Committees are not releasing data from the Congressional Office of Compliance that give a statistical breakdown of workplace settlements involving Senate offices dating back two decades.

These settlements could include — but would not be limited to — cases involving claims of sexual harassment or discrimination, a flashpoint issue on Capitol Hill over the last two months.

Al Franken's Departure Date: Jan. 2

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., arrives in the Capitol to deliver his resignation speech on the floor of the Senate on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Al Franken plans to leave the Senate on Jan. 2, ending his tenure in the chamber with nearly three years left in his term and after he started 2017 being regarded as a possible presidential contender.

Last week, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said he would appoint the state’s lieutenant governor, Tina Smith, to fill Franken’s seat until a 2018 special election. 

Congress Mandated Harassment Training; Now They Have to Pay for It
Costs, details of the popular resolution still up in the air

Lawmakers, with Gretchen Carlson, unveil sexual harassment legislation earlier this month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 

The House and Senate each adopted resolutions mandating harassment and discrimination training for employees of Congress and legislative agencies. Yet it’s not clear how much the training will cost and what it will include.

No-Alias: Smith & Jones Will Alter the Senate in ’18
Two newest Democrats will join as powerful a minority as possible, whether they skew left or to the center

The Senate will be a very different place after the arrival of two new Democratic senators: Doug Jones, the winner of Tuesday’s stunning upset in Alabama, and Tina Smith, who was tapped on Wednesday to fill the pending vacancy in Minnesota. (CQ Roll Call file photos)

Turns out, the Senate is going to be quite a different place next year even without Roy Moore — and that’s not only because senators named Smith and Jones will be serving together for the first time in 86 years.

The chamber will have its closest partisan split in a decade, and the narrowest divide in favor of the Republicans since the spring of 2001. The roster of women will expand to a record 22, and for the first time a pair of women will comprise the Senate delegations of four states. The Deep South will be represented by a Democrat for the first time in four years.

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith Picked to Replace Al Franken in Senate
Says she will run for election in 2018 in Likely Democratic race

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, seen here with former Vice President Walter F. Mondale, will fill the Senate seat vacated by DFL Sen. Al Franken. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday said he would appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to fill the Senate seat being vacated by outgoing Sen. Al Franken, who has yet to announce his resignation date. 

Smith said Wednesday she will run for the remainder of Franken’s term, which is up in 2020. The special election will be held concurrently with next year’s midterms, when Democratic-Farmer-Labor Sen. Amy Klobuchar also faces voters.