Gerald E Connolly

Blood donations drop as memory of 2017 baseball shooting fades

A donor holds a foam Capitol dome during a blood drive in the foyer of the Rayburn Building in 2017, held to honor those injured when a gunman opened fire on a Republican team baseball practice. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The third annual congressional blood drive, hosted Monday by Virginia Reps. Gerald E. Connolly, Donald S. Beyer Jr. and Jennifer Wexton, raised 62 units this year. The total is down almost 72 percent from 2017, when the drive was started in the wake of a shooting at a GOP baseball practice. The following year, the blood drive collected 127 units.

“Donors are easier to engage in the wake of a tragedy,” according to Terri Craddock, the head of Inova Blood Donor Services, which collected Monday’s donations. Craddock added that the 62 units were “not bad” for a Monday in the middle of the summer.

When Mueller time comes at 8:30 in the morning
What’s happening in D.C. the week of July 22-28

Special counsel Robert Mueller is headed to the Hill this week, and D.C. bars are opening their doors early. Really early. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Virginia Reps. Gerald E. Connolly, Donald S. Beyer and Jennifer Wexton are hosting the third annual congressional blood drive on Monday. Stop by the Rayburn foyer from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to donate whole blood, red cells, platelets and plasma. The drive got its start after 2017’s shooting at a GOP baseball practice, and more than 300 donors have rolled up their sleeves since then, according to the hosts. 

A theatrical tribute to the late Texas governor Ann Richards is running at Arena Stage through Aug. 11. The one-woman show is billed as a “no-holds-barred comedy chronicling Richards’ legacy and how she was determined to make her mark on the world.” A feminist known for her quick wit, Richards’ most famous quip was a dig at then-Vice President George H.W. Bush during the 1988 Democratic National Convention: “Poor George, he can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.” The Bush family would get its revenge when Dubya thwarted Richards’ bid for reelection as Texas governor in 1994.

House Oversight Dems call on Trump to pay D.C. for Independence Day, inauguration
Cummings, Norton lead charge seeking to replenish D.C. security fund

Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., holds the gavel during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are calling on President Donald Trump to commit to paying the District of Columbia back for providing public safety support for federal events in the city after Mayor Muriel Bowser said that Trump’s “Salute to America” drained it.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, of Maryland, and D.C. Democratic Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton wrote to the White House Friday asking Trump to reimburse the district’s Emergency Planning and Security Fund for his inauguration and Fourth of July celebration. Bowser has said the account is expected to not only be empty before the end of the year, but will incur overages of $6 million.

Republicans signal opposition to defense bill as floor debate kicks off
Amendments approved Wednesday included one to prohibit Pentagon from naming new DoD assets after confederate leaders or Civil War victories

“There is virtually no opportunity to improve the bill,” said Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, ranking member on the Armed Services Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House will continue its debate Thursday on the more than 300 remaining amendments offered to a wide-ranging defense policy bill, after adopting more than 100 noncontroversial amendments Wednesday.

Powerful Republicans signaled their displeasure with the typically bipartisan defense authorization bill, and with the amendments Democrats allowed for floor debate.

‘Reluctant impeachment’: Will Pelosi ever be swayed to go there?
Democrats understand the speaker’s cautious approach to impeachment but believe she can be convinced

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leaves a House Democratic Caucus meeting Wednesday, May 22, 2019 in which her members debated whether it’s time to open an impeachment inquiry. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Will Speaker Nancy Pelosi ever come to a point where she is ready to lead her caucus in opening an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump?

The California Democrat hasn’t ruled it out, despite strong signals she wants to avoid the divisive move and let the voters decide in 2020 whether to punish Trump for his alleged misdeeds. 

Trump aide sees room for talks on Democrats’ opioid bill
Trump’s top drug control official left the door open to a bipartisan deal on a bill authorizing billions to address opioid crisis

From left, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Reps. Peter Welch, D-Vt., Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., conduct a news conference in the Capitol on January 10, 2019. Cummings and Elizabeth Warren released a draft bill Wednesday that would authorize $100 billion over a decade to address the opioid crisis. Trump’s aide left the door open Thursday for a bipartisan solution with the bill’s sponsors. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats got a surprising compliment from the Trump administration’s top drug control official at a Thursday hearing as they discussed boosting opioid addiction treatment funding, while Republicans promoted efforts to stem illegal drugs through securing the southern border.

House Oversight and Reform Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., who presided at the full committee hearing, touted a draft bill that Chairman Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland released with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday that would authorize $100 billion over 10 years to address the crisis. The bill, which is supported by all of the committee’s Democrats, faces a tough path to becoming law without Republican support.

Fines? Jail time? Democrats leave all options on the table for enforcing subpoenas
As administration stonewalls Congress, Democrats consider using historical ‘inherent contempt’ power

House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings says Democrats should consider all tools available them to force administration compliance with congressional subpoenas and oversight requests, including fines or jail time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Administration officials could face fines or jail time for ignoring congressional subpoenas, as House Democrats say they’re seriously considering reviving a congressional power that has not been used since the 1930s.

President Donald Trump has publicly urged administration officials not to comply with congressional subpoenas, and some have started heeding the advice. House Democrats have made no formal decisions about how to respond to the Trump administration’s stonewalling of their oversight investigations, but one option on the table is the historical process of “inherent contempt.”

Trump slams Puerto Rican officials, calls Nadler a hypocrite
Rep. Beyer alleges that Trump is ‘lying’ about how much aid has gone to island

Hurricane survivors receive food and water being given out by volunteers and municipal police as they deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017 in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump continued his attacks Tuesday morning on Puerto Rican leaders over hurricane aid and blasted a top House Democrat over what he described as hypocrisy over special Justice Department investigations.

Trump fired off a number of tweets Monday night blasting Senate Democrats for shooting down a disaster relief bill over their concerns it provided too little for the hurricane-torn U.S. commonwealth. In one of those evening tweets, the president made the claim — yet another without support — that Puerto Rico was set before that measure was even crafted “to receive more hurricane relief funding than any ‘place’ in history.”

Members of Congress are rich with student debt
Reauthorization of Higher Education Act could affect repayment, affordability

68 members, or 13 percent of Congress, reported that either they or their family members have student loan debt. (Illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

As lawmakers look to reshape the federal loan process in the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a cohort knows firsthand the pain of rising college costs — 68 members, or 13 percent of Congress, reported that either they or their family members are mired in student debt.

Collectively, the 44 Democrats and 24 Republicans have higher education liabilities of $2.5 million, according to recent financial disclosures. The median student loan debt is $15,000, while average debt is $37,000.

Some House Oversight Democrats pumping the brakes on interviews with Trump family members
Some members feel a public spectacle might not be the best place for following threads from Michael Cohen’s testimony

President Donald Trump points to the crowd after accepting the GOP nomination for president at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Behind him are, from left, daughter Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner, daughter in law Vanessa Trump, and son Donald Trump Jr. The president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, implicated three of Trump’s children and Kushner in possible criminal activity Wednesday in a House Oversight Committee hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After Chairman Elijah Cummings suggested earlier this week that his House Committee on Oversight and Reform could try to schedule interviews with members of the Trump family, including the president’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric and daughter Ivanka, some Democrats urged caution about making such moves.

The president’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen implicated Trump’s family members in multiple crimes in his public testimony on Wednesday. Specifically, Cohen described Donald Jr. and Eric’s involvement in an illegal hush money scheme to buy the silence of two of the president’s former mistresses, onetime Playboy model Karen McDougal and pornographic film actress Stephanie Clifford, better known by her stage name Stormy Daniels.