Christopher S Murphy

House and Senate Interns Set to Receive Pay in Legislative Branch Spending Package
House to receive $8.8M, Senate $5M

An intern for House Administration Committee chairman Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., works a sign-in table outside of an Intern Lecture Series event in Russell Building on July 20, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Interns in both the House and Senate are on track to get paid as work wraps up on the fiscal 2019 Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA and Legislative Branch spending package.

The Legislative Branch portion of the package has been locked, according to an aide to Rep. Tim Ryan. The final version includes $8.8 million to pay interns in the House and $5 million for intern pay in the Senate. The Senate funding is included in the accounts that lawmakers use to pay staff salaries, official travel and office expenses. In the House the funds will exist in a newly created account for each member office, according to House Appropriations Committee staff. 

Senate Democrats Join House Counterparts in Pushing Betsy DeVos to Back Off on Guns in Schools
Letters from both chambers outline congressional prohibition of using federal funds for firearms

Sen. Patty Murray is leading the Democrats in opposition to arming teachers with public funding. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Almost all of the Senate Democrats are asking the Education Department to abandon any plans to provide public funding to give firearms to schoolteachers.

The letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from 44 members of the Democratic caucus was led by Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the both the authorizing committee and the appropriations subcommittee overseeing the department.

McCain Remembered as He Wished: One Who Served Honorably
Members of both parties praised the late Arizona senator

A slightly frayed flag flies at the Capitol in Washington fly at half staff on Sunday morning, after Sen. John McCain died on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In September 2017, Sen. John McCain was asked how he would be like to be remembered.

He said he wanted to be remembered as someone who served his country. “I hope we could add, honorably,” he told CNN at the time.

Republican Infighting Over Abortion Almost Sends Spending Bill Off the Rails
Drama unfolded as senators neared passage of a $856.9 billion funding package

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says fellow Republicans tried to block him on abortion. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:47 p.m. | Not long after their plans were nearly derailed Thursday over a dispute about Planned Parenthood funding, Senate leaders got a final vote on a $856.9 billion funding package.

Earlier in the day, Sen. Rand Paul had fumed that his fellow Republicans were blocking a long-sought amendment to keep taxpayer dollars from going to abortion providers.

Brennan Fracas Could Rip Through Senate’s Defense Spending Debate
Security clearances, abortion among amendment topics floated

Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner, here with Chairman Richard Burr, says he plans to introduce an amendment to the 2019 defense spending bill that would block the president from revoking security clearances. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate is ready to start voting on amendments to the fiscal 2019 Defense spending bill, possibly including several that could stir spirited debate.

Senators have only agreed so far to vote on two relatively uncontroversial amendments to the the two-bill package that includes both the $675 billion Defense bill and the $179.3 billion Labor-HHS-Education measure. Those first two votes are scheduled for Monday evening.

Connecticut Likely to Send Its First African-American Democrat to Congress
Jahana Hayes won the Democratic nomination for the 5th District

Jahana Hayes, whom former President Barack Obama named teacher of the year in 2016, won the Democratic nomination for Connecticut's 5th District on Tuesday night. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Teacher Jahana Hayes has won the Democratic nod in Connecticut’s 5th District, defeating the party-endorsed candidate and setting her up to be the likely new member from the safe Democratic seat next year.

With 44 percent of precincts reporting, Hayes led 2006 lieutenant governor nominee Mary Glassman 60 percent to 41 percent, when The Associated Press called the race.

2 Democratic Women Face Off in Connecticut for Esty’s Seat
Connecticut Democrat opted to retire after an office abuse scandal

Who will replace Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn.? Tuesday’s Democratic primary is likely to determine her successor in this open seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two women face off Tuesday in a competitive Democratic primary to fill Rep. Elizabeth Esty’s seat in Connecticut’s 5th District. 

Mary Glassman, a former local elected official in suburban Hartford, has the state party’s endorsement. But Jahana Hayes, a former national teacher of the year, received enough support at the party convention to qualify for the primary ballot 

With Kavanaugh, Court Could Take Aim at Gun Control Laws
New justice could be key fourth vote to take up cases and strike down laws

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s views on gun control appear to align more with the court’s conservatives. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In February, less than a week after a gunman opened fire and killed 17 students and staff in a Parkland, Florida, high school, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas complained that the court was allowing too many gun control laws to go into effect across the nation.

For the past eight years, the high court has avoided major cases addressing the extent to which Congress or state lawmakers can pass laws that restrict firearms — and Thomas and other conservative justices have noted their objections. This time, it was a challenge to a California law that required an average person to wait 10 days after buying a gun to get it.

Clarke Knows the ‘Tricks of the Trade’ From Her Internship
New York Democrat interned in the mid-1980s for her predecessor

Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, D-N.Y., got to work on trade issues affecting the Caribbean region during her Hill internship. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former New York Rep. Major R. Owens may not have known he had an intern who was going places when he assigned college student Yvette D. Clarke to work on trade legislation in the mid-1980s.

Clarke was studying government and public policy at Oberlin College and was eager to learn more about the mechanics of Congress. About two decades later, she ended up challenging Owens in a 2004 Democratic primary — and lost. When Owens retired two years later, Clarke ran again — and won.

Trump Takes Putin’s Word for it on Russian Meddling in Elections
Putin says charges against Russians wouldn’t have a ‘fighting chance’ in U.S. courts

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin answer questions about the possible Russian meddling in the 2016 elections during a joint news conference after their summit on Monday in Helsinki, Finland. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump said Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling into U.S. elections has hurt relations between the U.S. and Russia and has been a “disaster for our country.”

Taking questions from reporters, Putin denied his country had engaged in “so-called interference” and said it had no plans to do so in the future.