Michigan

Senate Finance Staff — Old and New — Ready for Tax Challenge
Staffers promoted to replace departed colleagues

From left, Senate Finance majority staffers Jay Khosla, Jeff Wrase, Jen Kuskowski, Julia Lawless, Chris Armstrong, Mark Prater, and Shane Warren in the committee’s Dirksen hearing room. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“A little bit like Bill Belichick.”

That’s how Jay Khosla, the new staff director for the Senate Finance Committee, described the personnel management style of Chairman Orrin G. Hatch.

Lawmakers Push Broad Review of Equifax Security
Democrats cite precedence of reaction to OPM data breach

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown wants Equifax to offer 10 years of free credit monitoring to those affected by the breach. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers are responding to credit-reporting company Equifax’s loss of data on up to 143 million customers with a flurry of proposed legislation, demands for explanations, hearings and calls for regulators to investigate.

Democrats are leading the charge on legislation and investigations while Republicans join in with demands for an explanation from the company and with plans to hold hearings. Members of both parties are seeking details of Equifax’s work for government agencies. Democrats are also trying to pressure Republicans to be at least as tough on Equifax as they were with a government agency that suffered its own breach.

Kid Rock’s United States of ’Merica
Detroit artist, aka Robert Ritchie, registering voters at concerts

ACM Guitarist of the Year Derek Wells and Singer/Songwriter Kid Rock perform during Charlie Worsham's Midnight Jam - Day 3 on June 10, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Musician and potential Michigan Senate candidate Kid Rock is registering voters at his shows in Detroit.

The musician, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, posted on Twitter that he would be registering voters during his stint at Detroit’s Little Caesar’s Arena, where he is performing six concerts.

GOP Sees Offensive Opening on Health Care for 2018
Republicans plan to tie all Democrats to “Medicare for all” proposals

Supporters waved signs Wednesday as Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As more and more Democrats come out in favor of some form of “Medicare for all” legislation, Republican campaign strategists are salivating.

In much the same way the GOP has tried to tie all Democrats to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in attack ads, they’re planning to tie all Democratic incumbents and challengers to different proposals from Vermont independent Bernie Sanders in the Senate and Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. in the House, regardless of whether they’ve personally embraced those policies.

House Begins Work on Over-the-Counter Drug Fees
FDA director: Consumers unprotected and manufacturers open to liability

(U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Scott Jackson)

The House began public deliberations Wednesday on a bill that would boost the Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of over-the-counter drugs in exchange for industry-paid fees.

A bipartisan draft bill released earlier this week has support from the FDA and the over-the-counter drug industry. Under the new proposal, drug manufacturers would pay an annual fee for their facilities and an extra fee each time they submit a request to review proposed changes related to their product.

Thune, Peters Divide Over Big Trucks in Driverless Vehicle Bill
“Highly-automated trucks are not ripe for inclusion”

Trucks of Otto, an autonomous trucking company acquired by Uber. (Courtesy Dllu/Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0)

Members of a key Senate committee are divided over whether to include large trucks in legislation that would guide driverless-vehicle regulation in a disagreement that pits safety against jobs in the trucking industry.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said at a hearing Wednesday that autonomous vehicles will improve safety and lower emissions. He said trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds should be included in the legislation. 

Michigan’s Dave Trott Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2018
11th District race is rated Likely Republican

Michigan Rep. Dave Trott won’t run for a third term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Michigan Republican Rep. Dave Trott announced Monday that he won’t seek re-election in 2018.

“I have decided that the best course for me is to spend more time with my family and return to the private sector,” the 11th District congressman said in a statement.

Northern Kentucky Chamber Tweets Massie ‘Piece of S--t’ After Harvey Vote
#sassywithmassie laughs off the incident by turning it on the bill he voted against

Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie was one of three members of the House who voted against the Hurricane Harvey recovery bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s president apologized Wednesday for the chamber’s account tweeting that Republican Rep. Thomas Massie was a “piece of s--t.”

The tweet, which was later deleted, came from the chamber’s account in response to news that Massie was one of three members of Congress who voted against aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. 

Five Top Energy and Environment Priorities as Congress Returns
Energy bill, drinking water, Yucca, nominations and WOTUS

Washington’s Maria Cantwell, left, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are eager to advance their bipartisan energy bill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

With lawmakers returning to kick off the fall working session, energy and environment policies won’t be high on their to-do list, but their champions aim to fill any floor schedule gaps with measures that could provide some legislative accomplishments.

Here are five priorities they will push this fall:

Word on the Hill: Warner and Kaine Honor Police From Baseball Practice Shooting
Look out for dinos and learn procedure

Virginia Sens. Mark Warner, left, and Tim Kaine, right, pose with police officers at the Alexandria Police Department on Tuesday. (Courtesy Warner and Kaine’s offices)

Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner spent some time in Alexandria, Virginia, on Tuesday night to honor the police officers who responded to the shooting at the congressional Republicans’ baseball practice in June.

They presented copies of a resolution adopted unanimously in the Senate in June to Alexandria Police Department officers. The resolution, led by Kaine and Warner and co-sponsored by the entire Senate, commended the department, Capitol Police and first responders for their heroism during the attack. It also recognized the survivors of the incident.