Mark Walker

Former Rep. Robin Hayes indicted in North Carolina political money scandal
Indictment references a “Public Official A,” who allegedly met with those charged

Former Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C., and three other men were indicted in a bribery, fraud and political money scandal in North Carolina. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo).

A bribery, fraud and political money scandal in North Carolina rocked the state’s Republicans on Tuesday with federal indictments of party insiders, including former Rep. Robin Hayes, and the case may reverberate yet on Capitol Hill.

Federal prosecutors have charged Hayes, chairman of the state’s Republican party, and three others, including big donor Greg Lindberg, founder and chairman of Eli Global, in connection with an effort to bribe the state insurance commissioner with campaign donations, according to a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday.

Sen. Chris Murphy calls college athlete compensation a ‘civil rights issue’
UConn fan released first in a series of reports on the college sports industry

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., calls inequity in college sports a “civil rights issue.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Basketball fans across the country are stressing over their March Madness brackets for the NCAA tournament, but Connecticut Democrat Sen. Christopher S. Murphy is instead stressing the staggering inequity in college sports that he calls “a civil rights issue.”

Murphy released a report Thursday morning, titled Madness, Inc.: How is everyone getting rich off college sports — except the players, which is the first in a series he plans to put out on the state of the multi billion-dollar collegiate athletics industry. He plans to dig into how advertisers, executives, coaches, and college administrators reap the benefits from college sports, while the athletes who are competing receive no monetary compensation.

Republicans still might try to censure Omar, McCarthy suggests
Many in GOP unhappy with Democratic response to anti-Semitic comments from Minnesota freshman

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., center, thinks freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., should face a harsher punishment for anti-Semitic comments and would not close the door on Republicans introducing a censure resolution. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, slamming Democrats’ response to anti-Semitic comments from freshman Rep Ilhan Omar as inadequate, left the door open Friday to Republicans proposing their own rebuke. 

“No decision has been made on that yet,” the California Republican said when asked during his weekly press conference if the GOP will introduce a censure resolution against Omar or some other form of legislative rebuke that specifically names her. 

Rep. Mark Walker wades into fight over student-athlete compensation
His bill aims to free up NCAA athletes to profit from third-party use of their names

GOP starting pitcher Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., pitches during the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday, June 15, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Playing sports is almost like a full-time job for many big-name college athletes, but they’re routinely blocked from making money off their fame.

Rep. Mark Walker is hoping Congress can change that. The North Carolina Republican, a former college athlete himself, announced plans to introduce a bill next week that would let student-athletes be financially compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness in commercial products.

Congress has had it up to here with agencies not taking its spending advice
Departments have not implemented proposals that could save $87 billion, and now they will have to explain why

Aerial view of the Pentagon building photographed Sept. 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress is increasingly trying to force federal departments, especially the Pentagon, to quit disregarding audit recommendations on how to get more bang for billions of dollars in taxpayer bucks.

Starting next year, in fact, federal agencies will have to explain to Congress why they are letting thousands of good ideas gather dust.

Amid border wall debate, House and Senate Republicans aligned on spending issues, for once
GOP unity over border wall has lasted for seven-plus weeks now but could soon be tested

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, right, have largely been on the same page when it comes to border wall funding President Donald Trump, center, has advocated. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For years, House Republicans would blame the Senate if they didn’t get their way in spending negotiations. But now, amid an ongoing border wall funding dispute, GOP lawmakers in both chambers are finally on the same page.

The symbiotic relationship is oddly timed with House Republicans in the minority. In the previous two Congresses, Republicans held the majority in both chambers — first under former President Barack Obama and then under President Donald Trump — but rarely agreed on appropriations matters.

BLAKE Act targets future Blake Farentholds
Legislation is named for former congressman who reneged on repaying funds for sexual harassment settlement

The Bad Lawmakers Accountability and Key Emends Act is named for Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold might have resigned in disgrace, but he’s still making a mark on Capitol Hill.

The BLAKE Act, or the Bad Lawmakers Accountability and Key Emends Act, would bar any former member of Congress from behaving like Farenthold. Specifically, the legislation would prevent any member of Congress from cashing in on his time in office with a plum lobbying job if that member had used tax dollars to settle a sexual harassment claim and had not reimbursed federal coffers.

House Republicans came back from being written off before. They can again
Close 2018 midterm losses show a path for the GOP

The House Republican leadership team for the 116th Congress speaks to the media on Nov. 14, 2018. From left, Tom Emmer, R-Minn., Gary Palmer, R-Ala., Jason Smith, R-Mo., Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Steve Scalise, R-La., and Mark Walker, R-N.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Through much of 2018 and especially in the weeks following the midterm elections, many opinion writers and other political pundits enthusiastically declared the Republican Party dead or at least relegated to life support.

The commentary was eerily reminiscent of the post-2006 declarations that the GOP was finished … over … no longer a viable political party.

House Democrats pass government funding bills, Pelosi jokes she’d give Trump $1 for a wall
More seriously, Pelosi reiterates Democrats will not agree to wall as Republicans predict long shutdown

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., pictured greeting Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., during opening day proceedings of the 116th Congress Jan. 3, said Democrats will not agree to a border wall but joked she’d give President Donald Trump $1 for it. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The new House Democratic majority passed two government funding bills Thursday to open shuttered federal agencies that President Donald Trump has said he will not sign, as Republicans predicted the partial government shutdown will be a long one. 

Before the votes Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated that Democrats will not agree to a border wall but joked that she’d give Trump $1 for it.

Trump Will Not Sign Senate-Passed Stopgap Funding Bill, Paul Ryan Says
Shutdown starts getting closer with no path to passage

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., seen here Wednesday at the Library of Congress, says President Donald Trump is leaving Congress on his own terms, a rarity for a speaker. (Nathan Ouellette/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump has rejected a stopgap funding bill passed by the Senate, Speaker Paul D. Ryan said following a meeting at the White House. He said House GOP leaders will try to add border security to the Senate measure before a Friday night deadline.

“He will not sign this bill,” Ryan said outside the executive mansion.