Louisiana

A new era for the ERA?
Equal Rights Amendment measures gain traction in Congress and beyond after #MeToo

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., right, and Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., attend a June 2018 news conference in the House Triangle on the need to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a moment of reckoning for women’s equality, lawmakers and investors are teaming up to push for change in corporate boardrooms, executive suites, and across the country — and that’s generating renewed interest in an Equal Rights Amendment.

Propelled by the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, women are flexing their power to confront everything from gender pay disparities and harassment to the lack of legal protections and corporate diversity.

Federal money hasn’t reached disaster victims
Long after hurricanes, red tape leaves relief aid unspent

A man rides a bike in Loiza, Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria in 2017. The island’s nearly $20 billion in aid from a Department of Housing and Urban Development program has been mired in a clunky bureaucratic process. (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images file photo)

It’s been more than a year and a half since Hurricane Maria laid waste to Puerto Rico in September 2017, killing roughly 3,000 people and causing an estimated $90 billion in damages.

But federal money for any long-term rebuilding has yet to reach those in need in the U.S. territory, which was also battered by Hurricane Irma that same month.

Senate, House start to chip away at ‘kiddie tax’ hike
Increase for low-income children was an unintended consequence of 2017 tax overhaul

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., is leading the Senate effort to repeal the “kiddie tax” increase for military survivors in Gold Star families. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Both chambers are moving to reverse tax law changes that unintentionally subjected investment earnings of low-income children to the same tax rates paid by wealthier households.

The House, which under the Constitution must originate revenue bills, plans to act later this week on a broader retirement savings bill that would eliminate the full set of changes to the so-called kiddie tax made by Republicans in the 2017 tax overhaul.

After Iran briefings, Democrats in Congress want to know more, sooner
Republicans generally on board with Trump administration moves

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was among the Trump administration officials briefing lawmakers on Iran on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Intelligence briefings on U.S. relations with Iran Tuesday left Democrats in both the Senate and the House unsure of what the Trump administration’s objectives are following recent heightened tensions in the Middle East.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, along with acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, briefed lawmakers on their strategic campaign to push back against what he called “Iran’s malign activity” and described the country as participating in 40 years of terrorist activity.

Americans may vote in 2020 using old, unsecured machines

Despite widespread concern about the integrity of voting machines and their cyber security, many Americans will vote in 2020 using technology that is old, outdated and vulnerable to hacking. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The first primary in the 2020 presidential race is a little more than 250 days away, but lawmakers and experts worry that elections will be held on voting machines that are woefully outdated and that any tampering by adversaries could lead to disputed results.

Although states want to upgrade their voting systems, they don’t have the money to do so, election officials told lawmakers last week.

Where all 24 House Judiciary Democrats stand on impeachment
Majority says that may eventually need to launch an impeachment inquiry to get information

From left, Reps. Joe Neguse, Sylvia R. Garcia, Mary Gay Scanlon, Lou Correa and Val B. Demings attend a House Judiciary markup May 8. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

More than half of the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee say their panel may eventually need to open an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump if his administration’s efforts to stonewall congressional investigations continue.

CQ Roll Call talked to all but one of the 24 Democrats on the panel over the past two weeks about their views on impeachment in light of Trump, his administration and his allies deciding not to cooperate with their investigation into potential obstruction of justice, corruption and abuses of power. The Democrat not reached directly, California’s Eric Swalwell, a presidential candidate, weighed in on Twitter.

Yes, you can ride in a bow tie, and other lessons from Bike to Work Day
Rep. Earl Blumenauer joined packs of cyclists for the annual commute and free T-shirt frenzy

(Ed Felker/CQ Roll Call)

We caught up with Rep. Earl Blumenauer as he whizzed down the street during his Friday commute to Capitol Hill.

(And by “we” I mean my colleague and cycling enthusiast Ed Felker, who puts the pedal to the pavement rain or shine and kindly wore a GoPro for the occasion.)

Trump is Twitter-bashing 2020 hopeful and NY Mayor de Blasio. That puts him in a rare group
President has saved social media attacks for a handful of Democratic candidates

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio holds up a copy of “One NYC 2050” as he speaks about the city’s response to climate change at Hunters Point South Park on April 22. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump used insults to welcome New York Mayor Bill de Blasio into the 2020 presidential race, a strategy he has reserved for only a few Democratic candidates.

Trump wasted little time in slamming candidates like now-front-runner and former Vice President Joe Biden, former Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the 2016 Democratic runner-up. He has said very little about South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and California Sen. Kamala Harris, even though she drew a large crowd at her Oakland campaign kickoff event — noteworthy because the president often remarks on his rally crowds and those drawn by his rivals, which he typically claims are much smaller.

Geraldo Rivera — of all people — defends Rep. Tlaib over Holocaust comments
Democratic congresswoman’s original comments have been taken out of context ‘in a grotesque way,’ Republican Fox News commentator says

Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera defended comments about the Israel-Palestine conflict made by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Fox News correspondent and liberal  commentator Geraldo Rivera on Tuesday flew to the defense of Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who said on a podcast aired last week that the notion of Palestinians providing a haven for Holocaust victims after World War II has a “calming effect” for her.

Rivera, the prominent talk show host, echoed the Michigan Democratic freshman’s assertions that she has been taken out of context by people eager to unfairly smear her as an anti-Semite.

Trump targets 2020 Democrats as energy speech turns into campaign stop
A six-pack of eyebrow-raising POTUS quotes, just in time for happy hour

President Donald Trump turned an event in Louisiana into a chance to knock several potential 2020 rivals. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | President Donald Trump went to Louisiana to talk about his energy policies, but as frequently happens, an official White House event at times sounded a lot like a campaign stump speech.

Trump used parts of his speech to describe a booming economy with low unemployment — weeks after acknowledging to reporters he intends to run on the state of the economy. Of course, Trump did not bring up his trade “squabble” with China, which Democratic lawmakers and economists warn could help spawn an economic slowdown just as he revs up his reelection bid.