Virginia

GOP Senators Dislike Trump’s Threat of Tariffs on Car Imports
“Any time you start raising taxes and tariffs, I’m not very happy about it,” Hatch says

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., says “a lot of people are upset” over President Donald Trump’s threat of tariffs on imported automobiles. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican senators expressed unease Thursday about the president’s threat of tariffs on imported automobiles during a Senate lunch with Vice President Mike Pence, amid a widening debate over contentious trade talks with a number of countries, including allies.

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch said the Commerce Department’s national security review of imported automobiles was “deeply misguided.”

After All That, Virginia’s Tom Garrett Seeking Re-Election
Freshman Republican addressed 2018 plans at end of rambling press conference

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett speaks to the press Thursday about his accomplishments as a lawmaker before announcing that he will be running for re-election. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett laid to rest rumors he wasn’t seeking re-election in a bizarre press conference Thursday afternoon. 

“There’s no way in heck I’m not going to be here in 2019,” the Republican lawmaker told a handful of print and TV reporters (and his Facebook followers on a livestream) from a Capitol Hill row house.

Senate Energy-Water Bill Advanced Amid Nuclear Weapons Debate
Concerns raised about funding low-yield nuclear weapon

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was the lone vote opposing a $43.8 billion draft Energy-Water fiscal 2019 spending measure that the Senate Appropriations Committee advanced Thursday.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced 30-1 Thursday a $43.8 billion draft Energy-Water fiscal 2019 spending measure before entering into a lengthy consideration of how to dispose of 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium and the development of new low-yield nuclear weapons.

The bill would boost spending for the Energy Department, Army Corps of Engineers and related programs by $566 million compared to fiscal 2018 enacted appropriations and is $7.2 billion more than the Trump administration requested. The House version would fund the same agencies at $44.7 billion.

Half of 2020 Map Makers Will Be Decided This Cycle
Experts say 2018 midterms are still important for upcoming redistricting

Gerrymandering activists Helenmary Ball, left, posing as Maryland’s 5th District, and Rachael Lemberg, posing as the 3rd District, gather on the steps of the Supreme Court as the court prepares to hear the Benisek v. Lamone case in March. The case challenges Maryland’s 2012 congressional redistricting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:00 p.m. | More than half of the state elected officials deciding new district lines in 2020 will be elected this year, a new study by the National Conference of State Legislatures found.

Three-fifths of governors and one-third of all state senators elected during the 2018 midterms will still be in office during the next redistricting cycle, the state government policy research group found. While redistricting seems a long way away, experts say the governorship and state races mean parties should be focusing on this year’s midterms.

Ernst Only New Face on Congressional Softball Game Roster
Check out the members and media rosters ahead of the June 20 game

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pose with the members team before the 2017 Congressional Women’s Softball game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The rosters for the 10th annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game on June 20 are out and include one new face on the members team: Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa.

The members team will battle it out against the women of the Washington press corps, known as the Bad News Babes, who are the reigning champs after winning, 2-1, last year.

Women on the Verge of a Breakthrough on House Appropriations
One-two punch on the panel would be the first since women led the House Beauty Shop Committee

Texas Rep. Kay Granger is one of five Republicans — and the only Republican woman — competing for the top spot on the Appropriations Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House of Representatives hasn’t had two women lead a committee since the Select Committee on the House Beauty Shop was eliminated in 1977.

All of that could change in January.

Virginia’s Tom Garrett Says He’s Not Resigning
Freshman Republican plans to address reports about possible retirement

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett says he has no plans to resign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Asked about Wednesday reports that he would not be running for re-election, Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett would only say he has no plans to leave Congress before the end of the session.

“I’m not resigning. I can tell you that definitively,” Garrett told Roll Call.

Bipartisan Breakout Gives Vulnerable Senators Wins Ahead of Recess
VA and banking bills headline measures heading to President Donald Trump

Sen. Jon Tester is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents will be scoring big legislative victories just in time for the Memorial Day parades.

The most timely outbreak of bipartisanship will come with passage, expected Wednesday afternoon, of a bill designed to improve health care access and options for veterans, known as the VA MISSION Act.

Take Five: Tom Garrett
Virginia Republican on missing a vote because of the wrong glasses

Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Va., says all bills should get a hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Virginia Republican Rep. Tom Garrett, 46, boasts about his peanut sauce, his college ties and a budding hip-hop battle with Sen. Marco Rubio. 

Q: What has surprised you so far about being in Congress?

Democrats Won’t Get Data on Trump Campaign Intel Source
WH spox: ‘Democrats have not requested that information’

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, will not be in the room when Justice Department officials reveal information about an intelligence source and the president’s 2016 campaign to GOP lawmakers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats will be shut out of a White House-brokered meeting during which Justice Department officials will tell two House GOP chairmen about an intelligence source who provided information about President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump asked White House chief of staff John Kelly to set up the meeting, which comes after Justice officials have for months been reluctant to hand over any information on the matter to Republican members. The order to broker the meeting, slated for Thursday, came after Trump met Monday with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a session the president on Tuesday described as “routine.”