Eleanor Holmes Norton

D.C. gets its ‘voting card back’ (well, sort of)
Now that Democrats are in charge, the rules have changed

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton hasn’t voted in the House chamber in a while. That changed this week. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Now that Democrats are in charge again, Eleanor Holmes Norton got her “voting card back finally,” she joked.

It was a big week in Congress for the delegate from D.C. Her perennial bid to win statehood for the District pulled in a record number of co-sponsors. And for the first time in more than eight years, she got to vote in the House chamber.

New Democrats hand D.C. statehood a milestone
‘Painstaking’ process may finally be paying off, says Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, here with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in 2017, has been pushing for statehood since 1991. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Since coming to the House in 1991, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton has tried time and time again to make the District of Columbia the 51st state. It’s been an uphill climb.

In her first term, her statehood bill got zero co-sponsors. In the next Congress, it got 81 co-sponsors — but ultimately flopped, 153-277, when it came to the floor in 1993. 

This time House Democrats might support D.C. statehood
Attitudes have changed since the chamber last voted on the issue in 1993

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D- D.C., has introduced a bill that would make the District of Columbia the 51st state. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia’s delegate to Congress, is hoping attitudes have changed in her own Democratic caucus about making Washington, D.C., a state.

She introduced a bill on Jan. 3 that would make the District the 51st state, entitled to a representative and two senators, and she now has 178 co-sponsors. But back in 1993, the last time the House voted on such a proposal — also put forward by Norton — 105 Democrats voted no, along with almost every Republican. The bill failed 153-277.

Shutdown ripples hit K Street; businesses and unions anxious
Even seemingly unrelated interests say the impasse is starting to upend their policy agenda in Washington

K Street groups are pushing for an end to the partial government shutdown. Already this week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s biggest business lobby, sent a letter to lawmakers and the White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lobbying groups and unions are stepping up their campaigns aimed at ending the partial government shutdown, making clear their mounting frustration as the financial pressures hit businesses and furloughed workers alike.

Some sectors, such as those in travel and tourism, are coping with direct disruptions to their businesses, with top destinations such as national parks shuttered. Even seemingly unrelated interests say the shutdown has begun to upend their policy agenda in Washington because the impasse is consuming the time of lawmakers and the administration.

Racial Concerns Fuel Opposition to Judicial Nominee
Thomas Farr under scrutiny for issues traced back to North Carolina politics

Sens. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., right, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., support the nomination of Thomas Farr to the federal bench, but Farr’s work in the Tar Heel State on voting issues has attracted opposition. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

To grasp how the long partisan war over the Senate’s judicial confirmation process shapes the nation’s legal landscape, look no further than this week’s floor vote on Thomas Farr to sit on a federal district court in North Carolina.

If confirmed — something that appears uncertain in a narrowly divided Senate — Farr would fill the oldest judicial vacancy in the country in a part of North Carolina with a significant black population. The Eastern District of North Carolina seat has been open for nearly 13 years — and three presidents — because of the Tar Heel State’s contentious politics and the way senators have used traditions to block nominees.

Stanley Cup Finally Gets Its D.C. Day in the Capitol
Washington hockey fans make the most of their first ever NHL championship

A Capitol Police officer takes a selfie with the NHL's Stanley Cup in the Capitol on Wednesday. The Cup, which was won by the Washington Capitals in June, made a few stops on the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When the Stanley Cup was in the Capitol, true Washington Capitals fans stood apart from other hockey fans taking a quick break from their jobs during a recess day to see the famous trophy.

Many were wearing their allegiance on their chest.

Kavanaugh Undeterred by Sexual Assault Allegations
Trump and Senate Republicans stood by him Monday

Protesters assemble at the Supreme Court on Monday to oppose the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after new allegations of sexual misconduct emerged. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans showed no signs of faltering in their support for embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who again insisted Monday that he wanted to clear his name at a public hearing this week after a second allegation of sexual misconduct emerged Sunday night.

As hundreds of protesters gathered at different spots on Capitol Hill to oppose his confirmation, Kavanaugh sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee to say he would not withdraw his nomination and looks forward to the hearing set for Thursday. The federal appeals court judge characterized allegations of sexual misconduct against him as “smears, pure and simple.”

National Mall Softball Reprieve Was Example of D.C.-Federal Communication
D.C. delegate to Congress praises National Park Service for listening

A member of “The Branch” softball team jumps up to catch the ball while warming up before a game against “Torthogs” on the grass of the National Mall on Wednesday, June 3, 2009. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

In November, the National Park Service stunned many when it announced that it would be closing wide swaths of the National Mall to organized sports and would be raising fees elsewhere.

But in a partial victory for sports on the Mall, the park service now says it is withdrawing that proposed ban and will instead conduct a formal study to come up with a “comprehensive” new plan.

Shooting of Capitol Police Officers Was Turning Point for Department
20 years later, department has seen budget nearly quadruple as concerns rose

Members of the United States Capitol Police honor guard stand with a wreath during the annual United States Capitol Police memorial service on May 8 honoring the four USCP officers who have died in the line of duty. This year is the 20th anniversary of the deaths of Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson while protecting the U.S. Capitol from a gunman'’s attack on July 24, 1998. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It has been 20 years since a man with a gun walked into the U.S. Capitol and went on a shooting rampage that killed two Capitol Police personnel and set off two decades of hardening security around Capitol Hill.

Security protocols have ramped up everywhere from airports to museums, and much of the change is attributed to the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. But on Capitol Hill, the deaths of Detective John M. Gibson and Officer Jacob J. Chestnut on July 24, 1998, prompted big changes even before the attacks on New York and the Pentagon.