Marcia L Fudge

Smithsonian has almost $1 billion in outstanding maintenance, committee told
Buildings with outstanding repair needs include the Castle and the National Air and Space Museum

Cathy L. Helm, inspector general of the Smithsonian Institute, testifies before the House Administration Committee on Oversight of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The Smithsonian Institution has almost $1 billion in outstanding maintenance needs across the more than 600 facilities it oversees, an issue that concerned lawmakers at Wednesday’s House Administration Committee hearing and one that the recently appointed head of the museum complex pledged to address.

Prominent Smithsonian buildings in need of deferred maintenance — maintenance and repairs that were not performed when they should have been — include the Smithsonian Institution Building, known as the Castle, the Arts and Industries Building and the National Air and Space Museum. The $937 million backlog for fiscal 2017 is an assessment of every building it oversees, according to to Cathy Helm, inspector general for the Smithsonian Institution.

Hearing on Congressional Research Service zeroes in on diversity issue
Rare look inside CRS at House Administration Committee

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, said the Congressional Research Service should have a more diverse staff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A rare public hearing on Thursday examining the Congressional Research Service revealed concerns about its lack of diversity in its leadership ranks, as members questioned its leader about hiring practices.

At Thursday’s House Administration Committee, Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., asked CRS Director Mary B. Mazanec about the staff closest to her, specifically if any were a person of color, which he defined as “African American, Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islander.” Mazanec said she had “about 12 direct reports,” and only one of them was a person of color.

The USDA violated rules trying to move agencies out of D.C., new House report finds
Rules including reprogramming department funds and not seeking public opinion were violated, a House Appropriations report says

Department of Agriculture sign in Washington, DC (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In its drive to move two research-related agencies out of Washington, the USDA violated rules for reprogramming department funds, never sought public opinion and ignored appropriators’ request for a cost-benefit analysis, according to a House report released Monday.

The report, which will accompany the draft fiscal 2020 spending bill for the Agriculture Department, offers background on why lawmakers included provisions in the bill to bar the use of appropriated funds for moving the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Federal court strikes down Ohio congressional map as partisan gerrymander
Republicans last year got 52 percent of the vote, won 12 of 16 districts

Ohio Rep. Rep. David Joyce defeated his Democratic challenger by more than 10 points last fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal three-judge panel on Friday struck down Ohio’s congressional map as a partisan gerrymander, providing fodder for voting rights advocates seeking a definitive Supreme Court ruling about the way electoral lines are drawn.

The ruling comes a week after a different federal court in Michigan also ordered district lines redrawn to address boundaries that unfairly benefitted one party. In both cases, the maps favored Republicans, and the decisions gave Democrats hope of making inroads in 2020.

Challenging food stamps rule, Rep. Marcia Fudge points to Hill workers
“Even this government doesn’t pay them enough to make a living”

Rep. Marcia L. Fudge cited Hill workers in challenging a USDA rule to restrict food stamp benefits for some working poor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcia L. Fudge on Wednesday challenged the Agriculture Department’s premise for a rule that would restrict food stamp benefits for some working poor, using as an example employees who clean Capitol Hill office buildings or serve lawmakers food in the cafeterias.

“Even this government doesn’t pay them enough to make a living,” said Fudge, who chairs the Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations, at a hearing on a proposed USDA rule that would restrict states’ ability to issue waivers for some able-bodied adults without dependents from food stamp time limits and work requirements.

Concerned about attacking Ilhan Omar, Democrats pivot on anti-Semitism resolution
Some concerned resolution is a distraction, others raise question about standards for rebuke

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and comments she made about Israel has been at the center of debate over a resolution responding to her comments. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An anti-Semitism resolution that Democratic leaders drafted to respond to comments by freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar has led to an intense debate in the Democratic Caucus about how the party can speak out against hate without personally attacking a colleague. 

Democrats seem to be coalescing around a broader resolution that would reject all forms of religious bigotry, racism and xenophobia. A vote on that could come as soon as this week.

There was just one thing missing from this voter reform hearing — a Republican
In a state like Georgia, the GOP will have to both acknowledge voter suppression and lead the effort to end it

When Stacey Abrams described a “systemic breakdown” in the electoral process, there were no Republicans around to hear her, Murphy writes. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — What are the chances that Republican lawmakers will work with Democrats to make changes to restrictive voting systems in the United States that have benefited Republicans in recent elections, either deliberately or accidentally?

That’s going to be the question going forward for the House Administration Elections Subcommittee, which is holding a series of field hearings around the country to examine the 2018 elections and the fundamental question of whether all U.S. citizens have equal and unfettered access to the right to vote, no matter their income or ethnicity.

Video shows Rep. Marcia Fudge confronted over her support of domestic abuser
Ohio congresswoman gets restraining order against accuser

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, talks with reporters outside of her Rayburn Building office on Nov. 16. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

A January confrontation between Rep. Marcia Fudge and the friend of a domestic violence victim whose abuser Fudge advocated for was shown in court on Wednesday as the congresswoman sought a restraining order against her accuser.

Mary Ann Lorient approached Fudge, an Ohio Democrat, as she left an upscale banquet hall in Bedford Heights, a suburb of Cleveland.

Stacey Abrams has already delivered her message
No matter what she says in her SOTU response, the Democrat is heralding a new era for her party

Democrats picked Stacey Abrams, who fell short in Georgia’s governor’s race, to respond to the State of the Union. The choice makes a lot of sense, Curtis writes. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — Move over Beto O’Rourke, the candidate who brought Texas Democrats closer than they had been for years in his eventually unsuccessful Senate race against GOP Sen. Ted Cruz last year.

Will he or won’t he run for president? That’s the question that’s been following him during his postelection adventures. But another Democrat who caught the attention of national leaders and celebrities in her midterm contest is getting ready for her moment on the national political stage.

For Steve King, colleagues continue calls for censure, resignation
Pelosi to rule Wednesday on two censure proposals

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, faced two reprimands already this week, and tougher punishments may be ahead. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Steve King has already faced two reprimands this week from his colleagues for his racist comments, but there could be tougher punishment ahead. Some Democrats are calling for an official censure, and a few fellow Republicans are calling for King’s resignation.

The clock is ticking down on two measures to officially censure King, offered Monday by Democratic Reps. Bobby L. Rush of Illinois and Tim Ryan of Ohio.