Illinois

Four spending bills on the move; Democrats eye allocations deal
Leaders scramble to make headway on appropriations for fiscal year before stopgap measure runs dry

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., and Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill. (right), arrive for the House Democrats caucus meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic leaders Tuesday called for bicameral talks to reconcile competing spending allocations for long-delayed fiscal 2020 appropriations bills.

With barely five weeks left before the current stopgap funding measure runs dry, congressional leaders are scrambling to make headway on appropriations for the fiscal year that began on Oct.1. Lawmakers have already acknowledged that another stopgap could be needed to fund at least part of the government and avoid a shutdown before Thanksgiving.

Shrinking congressional districts look for federal help
Some districts may have lost 30,000 or more people through 2018

Flint, Mich., residents Virginia Mitchell, right, and her daughter-in-law, Tiara Williams, pictured in 2016 during the city’s lead contamination crisis. Flint is among communities that have lost population since 2010 and are seeking more federal dollars. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite explosive growth in other areas of the country since 2010, about 80 congressional districts have lost significant population over the decade — leaving many looking for help from the federal government. 

Some districts may have lost 30,000 or more people through 2018, many of them in manufacturing and mining areas in the Northeast, according to Census Bureau data released last month. Most of those districts are represented by Democrats but located in states President Donald Trump won in 2016 by promising new trade deals that have since taken a back seat in Washington.

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.

House panel to take up $10B vaping tax Wednesday
Measure would offset the cost of health care-related tax break proposals

Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., cited statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing 1,479 cases of lung illness and 33 deaths stemming from vaping and e-cigarette usage. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Legislation that would impose the first federal tax on vaping products is slated for a House Ways and Means Committee vote Wednesday, along with several other health care-related tax measures.

The bipartisan bill, from New York Reps. Tom Suozzi, a Democrat, and Republican Peter T. King, would tax “any nicotine which has been extracted, concentrated or synthesized” at the same rate cigarettes are currently taxed, or the equivalent of $50.33 per 1,810 milligrams of nicotine.

Democrats and Republicans criticize Trump after he calls impeachment a ‘lynching’
‘What the hell is wrong with you?’ Democratic Rep. Rush asks president

President Donald Trump makes remarks during the inaugural meeting of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council with Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy Joe Grogan, left, and council Executive Director Scott Turner in the Cabinet Room at the White House in April. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Conjuring memories of racially motivated murders and drawing an immediate bipartisan backlash, President Donald Trump on Tuesday described House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as a “lynching.”

Trump made the statement in a morning tweet that began with a warning that “if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights.”

Republican effort to censure Adam Schiff halted
The censure resolution was introduced by Arizona Republican Andy Biggs, who leads the House Freedom Caucus

House Republicans' attempt to censure Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., was tabled Monday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans tried to force a vote Monday evening to censure House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, accusing the California Democrat of purposely misleading the public in his comments on the Intelligence Committee’s interactions with a whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry.

The House voted 218-185 on a motion from House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer to table, or dispose with, the censure effort, without a direct vote on the substance of the Republicans’ claims.

Some Republicans inch closer to Trump impeachment after Mulvaney comments
Possible support for the ongoing probe comes as 2016 presidential candidate Kasich supports impeachment outright

Florida Rep. Francis Rooney, who is weighing retiring from Congress, has broken with his Republican colleagues on impeachment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Several Republicans grew more receptive this week to the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump after acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on Thursday said in a televised briefing that seeking help to investigate Democrats was part of the reason military aid to Ukraine was temporarily withheld.

While Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have signaled they’re eager to learn more from the impeachment investigation led by House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, 2016 GOP presidential candidate and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Friday that he is “across the Rubicon” and Trump should be impeached.

Commerce watchdog will monitor efforts to keep 2020 census secure
GAO and lawmakers have raised security concerns over Census Bureau’s IT systems

The Commerce Department inspector general will be monitoring the Census Bureau’s efforts to keep the 2020 census secure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Commerce Department’s internal watchdog will take a look at the Census Bureau’s efforts to keep the 2020 census secure, the inspector general said in a letter Thursday.

The announcement follows a trail of security concerns about Census Bureau systems for next year’s count from the Government Accountability Office and members of Congress. Next year’s census will allow an online response option for most of the country for the first time, along with traditional mail and phone response.

Partisan divide reaches into views of higher education
After years of similar views, a divergence in the last decade

Among the issues House Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. Scott must navigate with is a growing partisan divide on the value of higher education. Scott introduced the College Affordability Act on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Once, American colleges and universities enjoyed bipartisan support, and Republicans and Democrats alike believed in the value of higher education.

Today, not so much. And that could be a big issue as Congress considers reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, a version of which House Democrats unveiled Tuesday. 

John Yarmuth went from Roll Call pinup to Budget chairman
Kentucky Democrat started on the Hill as a staff replacement for Mitch McConnell

Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth holds a photo of himself as a staffer that was printed in Roll Call in 1971 as an April Fools’ joke. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

John Yarmuth got his start on Capitol Hill in 1971 after another young future lawmaker — Mitch McConnell — called and asked him to take his slot on the staff of their home-state senator, Kentucky’s Marlow Cook.

Now a Democratic congressman who represents Louisville, Yarmuth spoke to Roll Call recently about his early days as a Rockefeller Republican and his experience as an April Fools’ pinup for our publication.