Gerald E Connolly

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 22
Trump suggests impeachment effort will hurt Democrats, diplomat who questioned holding up Ukraine deal to testify

Bill Taylor, center, acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, arrives at the Capitol on Tuesday for a deposition in the House's impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call),

Acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday about President Donald Trump’s alleged efforts to coerce the new Ukrainian president to investigate Trump's political rivals in exchange for a meeting at the White House and a U.S. military aid package.

Taylor’s testimony put him at odds with Gordon Sondland, the Trump-appointed ambassador to the European Union who largely defended the president at his deposition last week.

Cummings unites lawmakers, for the moment, as impeachment inquiry trudges forward
Probe that late Maryland Democrat helped lead continued with witness depositions Thursday

A memorial for the late House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings is seen in the committee’s Rayburn Building hearing room on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House lawmakers dialed down the partisan rancor, at least for a day, as they honored the life of Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who died early Thursday at age 68. But the impeachment inquiry, of which the Maryland Democrat was a key leader, is forging ahead.

The investigation into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine has stoked anger among Republicans who view the probe as illegitimate. Democrats’ frustrations with the president’s conduct and his supporters in Congress are only growing. The death of Cummings, held in deep respect on both sides of the aisle, didn’t put the partisan fighting completely to rest, but it did quell the most inflammatory elements for the moment.

Democrats in tears after first caucus gathering since Cummings’ death
Leaders, members share memories of Baltimore Democrat during weekly whip meeting

Capitol workers lower the flag to half staff after the passing of Rep. Elijah Cummings on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Several House Democrats on Thursday left their first caucus gathering since the death of their colleague, Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, weeping or holding back tears. 

The House Oversight and Reform chairman’s death left Virginia Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, one of the panel’s subcommittee chairs, inconsolable. He exited Democrats’ weekly whip meeting Thursday in a stream of tears, not stopping to talk to colleagues or reporters as he usually would. 

Rep. Elijah Cummings fondly remembered by Democrats, Republicans
‘No better friend than Elijah Cummings,’ GOP Rep. Mark Meadows says of late Maryland Democrat

Then-ranking member Elijah Cummings laughs with then-chairman Jason Chaffetz during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee meeting at the beginning of the 115th Congress in 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died Thursday after longtime health complications, threaded a needle that few recent chairmen and chairwomen of high-profile investigative committees have been able to manage: He remained widely popular among his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

As chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform over the last 10 months and a key player in the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, Cummings has been on the receiving end of a stream of invective from a frustrated White House.

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.