Virginia

Word on the Hill: Ayotte Joins Bono’s Board
Weekend plans?

Former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who helped shepherd the Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch earlier this year, has joined the ONE Campaign. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., joined the board of the ONE Campaign, an organization co-founded by U2 frontman Bono

The ONE Campaign bills itself as focusing on fighting poverty and extreme diseases. 

Blue Dog PAC Endorses Eight Democrats for 2018
Blue Dogs’ numbers ticked up in 2016

The Blue Dog PAC endorsed former Rep. Brad Ashford on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Blue Dog Coalition’s PAC backed eight Democratic House challengers Thursday in its first round of endorsements of the 2018 cycle. 

Endorsements come with a $5,000 check — the maximum a PAC is allowed to contribute to a federal candidate per election. The PAC can cut each candidate another $5,000 check if they clear the primary and run in the general election.

Beyer on the Words That Made His Spelling Bee Career
Virginia Democrat tries to win back his National Press Club Spelling Bee title

Members of the politicians’ team after the National Press Club Spelling Bee in 2015. From left, Rep. Brad Ashford of Nebraska, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey, the winner Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr. of Virginia, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota. (Courtesy Noel St. John/National Press Club)

In one of Washington’s most beloved nerdfests, members of Congress will take on members of the D.C. media in the National Press Club Spelling Bee on Tuesday.

Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., who won for the politicians’ team in 2015, has redemption on his mind.

McConnell Opens Door to Health Care Vote Next Week

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is pushing hard on his legislation to rework the U.S. health insurance system. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate leaders are preparing to hold a vote on an alternative to the 2010 health care law next week, although 50 Republicans have not confirmed they would vote for the proposal.

“It is the Leader’s intention to consider Graham-Cassidy on the floor next week,” Don Stewart, a spokesman for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said Wednesday in an email.

Republicans Cast Aside Previous Concerns in Latest Repeal Effort
Senators cite the flexibility included in the proposal as justification for the reversal

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is one of several GOP lawmakers who have expressed serious concerns about the impact of prior GOP proposals to repeal the 2010 health care law. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican senators face the prospect of retreating from their previous public stances in order to support fast-moving legislation that would significantly overhaul the U.S. health care system.

Concerns about the impact on people suffering from opioid addiction, drastic cuts to Medicaid and the lack of robust analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office appear to have vanished as the GOP hopes to advance a bill to repeal the 2010 health care law before the fast-track budget reconciliation mechanism they are using expires on Sept. 30.

‘Native Gardens’ Explores Race and Class Divides
Takes jabs at political climate

From left, Steve Hendrickson as Frank Butley, Jacqueline Correa as Tania Del Valle, Dan Domingues as Pablo Del Valle and Sally Wingert as Virginia Butley in Native Gardens, running September 15-October 22, 2017 at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. (Courtesy Dan Norman/Guthrie Theater)

As questions about immigration and identity surrounding who gets to be “American” continue to roil political debates, the play “Native Gardens” explores the divides of race, class and how they intertwine on a local level.

The play, showing at the Arena Stage, chronicles Pablo and Tania Del Valle, played by Dan Domingues and Jacqueline Correa, as they buy a fixer-upper home in a high-end Washington, D.C., neighborhood next to Frank and Virginia Butley.

Tennessee Republicans Prepare for Another Senate Primary
Field will grow if Bob Corker retires; Blackburn and Fincher could run

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is facing at least one primary challenger, with a few more looking at getting in the race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker asked President Donald Trump to campaign for Alabama Sen. Luther Strange ahead of next week’s Senate Republican runoff, he might have had a little self-preservation in mind. 

A win by Roy Moore, the controversial former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, would throw a wrench into the deliberative body in which the moderate Tennessee Republican serves. But a Moore victory could also embolden primary challengers to other sitting senators, like Corker.

Trump Encouraged Corker to Seek Another Term, Despite Recent Friction
Tennessee senator to decide legislative future ‘very, very soon’

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was encouraged to run for re-election by President Donald Trump in a face-to-face meeting last Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump encouraged Sen. Bob Corker to seek a third term in a face-to-face meeting last week even though the two butted heads throughout August and September, the Tennessean reported Monday.

The Tennessee Republican has asked multiple members of the GOP brass, including the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for advice as he weighs whether to re-up for another term or return to the private sector, where he was a construction and real estate titan before entering public service.

Full-Body Scanners Appear Outside House Chamber’s Gallery
Capitol Police are tightening security measures

Two security points on the third floor of the Capitol now feature full-body scanners like the one above at the Capitol Visitor Center in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Capitol Police is working on increasing Hill security, and one obvious addition includes two new, large body scanners on the third floor of the Capitol.

The third floor is usually occupied by tourists, journalists, Capitol Police officers, and the occasional member of Congress escorting tourists. There are a few security points on both the House and Senate sides from where tourists can enter the respective chamber’s gallery but must walk through metal detectors. 

Word on the Hill: Drawing a Line on Good Taste
Opioid discussion, one week until the Press Club’s spelling bee

From left, Steve Hendrickson as Frank Butley, Jacqueline Correa as Tania Del Valle, Dan Domingues as Pablo Del Valle, and Sally Wingert as Virginia Butley in “Native Gardens,” running through Oct. 22 at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. (Courtesy Dan Norman/Guthrie Theater)

Native Gardens” opened at the Mead Center for American Theater on Friday. The play runs until Oct. 22 at the center’s Arena Stage.

The comedy features actors Jacqueline Correa and Dan Domingues as Tania and Pablo Del Valle, a couple who move to Washington, D.C., next door to Frank and Virginia Butley, played by Steve Hendrickson and Sally Wingert. Pablo is a young lawyer and Tania is a pregnant Ph.D. candidate while the Butleys are a deeply rooted D.C. couple.