Christopher S Murphy

New Push for Senators to Pay Their Interns
Advocates say the time is right for offices to stop relying on free labor

A majority of Senate offices do not offer paid internships, according to data from nonprofit advocacy group Pay Our Interns. (Illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Ideas to boost diversity on the Hill have been thrown around, and the numbers are slowly improving. But what if the solution was right in front of everyone, sitting at tiny shared desks in congressional offices?

Paid interns.

Rating Update: Race for Esty’s Seat Remains Solid Democratic for Now
Connecticut Democrat’s exit may improve party’s chances of holding district

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., has announced she won’t run for re-election amid reports she recommended her former chief of staff for a job after he was accused of harassing a subordinate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo.)

Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty announced Monday she won’t run for re-election following reports that she waited three months before dismissing her chief of staff, who was accused of physically and verbally harassing another staffer, and then recommended him for a job 

“Too many women have been harmed by harassment in the workplace,” Esty said in a statement. “In the terrible situation in my office, I could have and should have done better. To the survivor, I want to express my strongest apology for letting you down.”

Rep. Elizabeth Esty Won’t Seek Re-Election in Wake of Abusive Staffer Disclosures
Connecticut Democrat’s decision opens up potentially competitive seat

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., says she will retire at the end of this term amid reports of her questionable handling of a former chief of staff who battered, threatened, and sexually harassed a subordinate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Embattled Rep. Elizabeth Esty has decided not to run for re-election, she announced via Facebook on Monday.

The Connecticut Democrat faced bipartisan criticism over the weekend after multiple news outlets reported her questionable handling of a former top aide who battered, threatened, and sexually harassed a female employee in her office.

Esty Asks Ethics Committee to Investigate Her Handling of Abusive Top Staffer
Connecticut Democrat has no plans to resign over incident

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., is not resigning over her handling of abuse and harassment allegations against her former chief of staff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Connecticut Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty on Monday asked the House Ethics Committee to open an inquiry into how she handled abuse, battery, and sexual harassment allegations against her former chief of staff.

“Although we worked with the House Employment Counsel to investigate and ultimately dismiss this employee for his outrageous behavior with a former staffer, I believe it is important for the House Ethics Committee to conduct its own inquiry into this matter,” she said in a statement. “It certainly was far from a perfect process — and I would appreciate their advice, counsel, and review."

Blumenthal ‘Deeply Disappointed’ in How Esty Handled Abuse Allegations
Connecticut Democrat kept chief of staff in her office for three months after accusations of striking, harassing another staffer

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., waited for three months before cutting ties with her former chief of staff after discovering he had allegedly punched, berated, sexually harassed and delivered death threats to another employee in her office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he was “deeply disappointed” in the way Rep. Elizabeth Esty, a fellow Connecticut Democrat, handled abuse and harassment allegations by her former chief of staff.

“I’m just learning the facts. I need to know more. There should be clearly, unquestionably no tolerance for harassment or assault in the workplace, and this story should be a reminder of how we need to support and encourage survivors and victims to come forward.”

March for Our Lives in Washington: What You Need to Know
Congress passed its first gun measure in years as part of omnibus, but Democrats want more

The March For Our Lives crowd fills Pensylvania Avenue in Washington on Saturday morning. The protest held in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting in February called for an end gun violence and mass shootings in schools. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Millions of demonstrators across the U.S. will take to the streets Saturday to call for action from Congress to prevent gun violence.

City officials in Washington, D.C., where the main March For Our Lives event kicks off at noon, estimate the rally will attract roughly 500,000 visitors to Pennsylvania Avenue.

Senate Opts Against Limiting Trump’s War Powers
Measure to cease most military actions in Yemen shot down

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, here at a rally at the Capitol last year, pushed a resolution to end most U.S. military operations in Yemen. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid a whirlwind day of White House news, President Donald Trump on Tuesday retained the expanded war powers he inherited from his post-9/11 predecessors, as the Senate shot down a measure that would have ordered him to cease most U.S. military operations in Yemen.

Trump scored a victory on behalf of the executive branch’s ability to launch and sustain military operations in new countries without first getting authorization from Congress. Amid pressure from Republican leaders, the White House and the Pentagon, the chamber killed a resolution, 55-44, offered by a bipartisan group of senators that would have required Trump to cease all U.S. military action against groups other than al-Qaida in Yemen.

One-Tenth of Congress Lists Student Loan Liabilities
‘I don’t understand how young people can become teachers or work in the public service arena’

California Rep. Mark Takano, a House Education member, is still paying back student loans for a 2010 master’s degree from UC Riverside. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The 115th Congress scored as one of the richest ever, but one in 10 lawmakers still holds student loan debt, either personally or for a family member. 

Fifty-three members listed a combined $1.8 million in student loans on their financial disclosures. Twenty-eight of them posted a positive net worth while 25 showed negative net worth in Roll Call’s comprehensive Wealth of Congress project.

Lawmakers Seek Quick Action on Consensus School Safety Measures
‘There are things we agree on, we should pass those things’

Demonstrators cheer for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., while attending a rally on the West Front of the Capitol to call on Congress to act on gun violence prevention during a national walkout by students on March 14, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators from both parties expressed their desire Wednesday to quickly pass school safety legislation that has bipartisan support as students nationwide walked out of high schools and rallied on Capitol Hill to call for federal gun laws to stop school shootings.

“There are things we agree on, we should pass those things,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during an oversight hearing in the aftermath of the Feb. 14 shooting at Parkland, Fla., that left 17 students dead.

Senators Will Vote on Pulling Troops Out of Yemen, But When
Resolution could reach the floor this week, if there’s time

Sen. Mike Lee is said to be eager to get a vote on the Yemen resolution this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A resolution that would direct the withdrawal of U.S. forces from ongoing hostilities in Yemen is ripe for Senate action, but the clogged calendar means supporters might not immediately get it to the floor.

The question may be how to shoehorn the measure on to the schedule before the next recess.