Elijah E Cummings

Trump Uses Justice IG Report to Continue Attack on Comey
Dems’ counter-narrative: Report shows FBI aided Trump’s campaign

President Trump says a Justice Department IG report is a “total disaster” for former FBI Director James B. Comey]. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday suggested a Justice Department inspector general report that faulted the FBI for its actions during the 2016 campaign shows James B. Comey is not credible as the president tries to sow doubts about the agency’s Russia probe.

The department released the IG’s final report on the FBI’s handling of a probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of State, which contained an anecdote from one senior agent involved in that case texting another about the prospect of then-businessman and reality television star Trump becoming president: “We’ll stop it.”

Congress’ Focus on Opioids Misses Larger Crisis
‘All the bills are tinkering around the edges,’ one health official says

Targeting prescription opioids puts Congress years behind the crisis, which is largely driven by illicit nonprescription drugs. Above, heroin users at a New York City park in May. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By SANDHYA RAMAN, ANDREW SIDDONS and MARY ELLEN McINTIRE

Congress faced a startling public health and political problem throughout 2016 as the number of people dying from opioid addiction climbed. The number of Americans succumbing to drug overdoses more than tripled between 1999 and 2015, affecting a whiter and more geographically diverse population than previous drug crises. Lawmakers ultimately approved some modest policies aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse and provided $1 billion to support state efforts.

Pruitt Aide Sought Apartment, Old Trump Hotel Mattress for Boss
EPA Administrator allegedly talked to hotel about purchasing old mattress

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies during a Senate Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing in Dirksen Building on the proposed FY2019 budget for the EPA on May 16, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A top EPA aide to Administrator Scott Pruitt detailed a litany of personal tasks she performed on Pruitt’s behalf over the past year, including an exhaustive Washington apartment search and an effort to procure an “old mattress” from the Trump hotel, according to excerpts of an interview released by leading House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee Democrats Monday.

In the letter the Democrats ask the Republican chairman of the committee, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, to issue a subpoena for the EPA to submit all pertinent documents to the panel for review in the latest congressional response to Pruitt’s security, spending and housing issues that have dominated headlines.

Trump Targets Drug Pricing in Trade Agreements
‘It’s unfair, it’s ridiculous and it’s not going to happen any longer’

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar testifies during a Ways and Means Committee hearing on the FY2019 budget for HHS in Longworth Building on February 14, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump has instructed trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer to grant the drug industry’s wish of making pharmaceutical prices a “top priority” in negotiations with other countries.

Trump revealed the instruction during a Friday announcement unveiling the administration’s overall strategy for lowering drug costs.

Committees Tackle Politically Powerful Issue of Opioids Legislation
Senate HELP panel advanced bipartisan package Tuesday

Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, chairs the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, which will consider over 60 bills to address the opioids crisis at a Wednesday markup. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House heads into a marathon opioid markup Wednesday, a day after the Senate health committee approved bipartisan legislation of its own addressing the crisis. Both chambers are eager to advance bills to combat the crisis under an aggressive timeline, with an eye toward demonstrating action before the midterms on an issue that affects voters representing most demographics and districts.

“Even though this epidemic is worse in some parts of the country than others, find me a congressional district where this isn’t an issue,” said Keith Humphreys, a drug policy expert at Stanford. “Absolutely, they do not want to go into an election and have their constituents mad at them.”

Three Big Hurdles for D.C. as Advocates Lobby for Statehood
Any form of Congress’ voting power would still have a few problems to overcome

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., speaks during a press conference to commemorate the renaming of the historic U.S. Post Office located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE in honor of Dr. Dorothy I. Height. Norton has been a longtime advocate of D.C. statehood. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call file photo)

Washington advocates used the leadup to Monday’s D.C. Emancipation Day celebrations to push once again for the District of Columbia to become a state.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., has been a leader in the D.C. statehood effort for decades — she’s known for asking to be referred around the Capitol as representative, despite her non-voting status. Norton spoke about D.C. statehood in Congress again Thursday night ahead of Emancipation Day.

Trey Gowdy, the Reluctant Congressman
Reclusive yet often in the limelight, retiring S.C. lawmaker is eyeing his next move

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy has been talking about leaving Congress ever since he arrived seven years ago. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Trey Gowdy has been talking about leaving Congress since he arrived seven years ago.

It’s what came to his mind when he ran into an old friend in the weeks after he was first sworn into office in 2011: “I hate this place,” he told Republican strategist Luke Byars that January. “I want to go home.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings Resting at Home After Knee Operation, Rehab
Maryland Dem has been away from Congress for 10 weeks for recovery

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., is at home resting after a 10-week stint at the hospital and a rehabilitation clinic. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings is back home in Baltimore after a 10-week stay at the hospital and an in-patient rehabilitation center for treatment and rehab on his knee.

The Maryland Democrat has not worked on Capitol Hill since last year after doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital discovered an infection in his knee on Dec. 29. After his surgery, the congressman moved to Hopkins’ in-patient rehabilitation center.

Reps. Gowdy, Goodlatte Call for Special Counsel on DOJ Bias, FISA Abuse
Request stems from allegations in Nunes FISA memo

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., above, sent a letter with Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a special counsel to investigate potential FISA abuses. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two Republican chairmen of powerful House committees have asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel to investigate “potential bias” within the FBI in 2016 and 2017 as the bureau obtained surveillance warrants related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

“The public interest requires the appointment of a Special Counsel” to investigate “certain decisions made and not made by the Department of Justice and FBI in 2016 and 2017” due to potential political conflicts of interest, Reps. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Bob Goodlatte of Virginia wrote in a letter to Sessions and Rosenstein on Tuesday.

Rep. Elijah Cummings Hospitalized With Infection
Wife of Maryland Democrat suspends gubernatorial campaign

Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings is resting comfortably after a minor procedure to address a knee infection, his office said. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings was hospitalized Friday for a knee infection.

“Congressman Cummings was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital for a bacterial infection in his knee,” the Maryland Democrat’s office said in a statement.