Hatch Calls ADA One of His Most Important Achievements
(August 4, 2015)
Lawmakers across the political spectrum have celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act over the past week — none more than Sen. Orrin G. Hatch.
The Utah Republican is one of the few who can offer a first-hand account of the tumultuous path the law took through Congress.
Take Five: Rep. Bruce Westerman
(August 4, 2015)
Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., talks about good Southern cooking and all things Arkansas.
Hill Climbers: From Hacks to Flacks
(July 29, 2015)
“I’ll just sort of talk. I know what it’s like. I’m not going to make you pull teeth, because I’m not a politician,” Richard Piatt, communications director for Utah Rep. Mia Love, said jokingly.
Piatt is used to interviews, but he’s spent most of his career on the other side of the table: He worked as a broadcast journalist for 27 years before arriving on Capitol Hill in January. Sixteen of those years were spent working for a Utah TV station, which is where he met Love.
Republicans Reach Planned Parenthood Deal (Video)
(July 28, 2015, with Matt Fleming and Niels Lesniewski)
A working group of Republican senators has reached a deal on the details of a bill to stop funding Planned Parenthood that will get a vote before the August recess.
Take Five: Rep. Linda Sanchez
(July 28, 2015)
Rep. Linda T. Sánchez talks about her family, baseball and her favorite movie.
Ted Cruz Promises to Bring Pork to the White House
(July 24, 2015)
It seems Sen. Ted Cruz has achieved Hollywood status.
A man with a handheld video camera, who identified himself as working for celebrity gossip outlet TMZ, approached the presidential candidate Thursday at an anti-Iran deal event just outside the White House.
Ted Cruz Debates Protesters at Anti-Iran Deal Event
(July 23, 2015)
As Secretary of State John Kerry testified Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, protesters gathered in the shade of Lafayette Square, just north of the White House, to voice their opinions on President Barack Obama’s Iran deal.
The event, slated to feature presidential hopeful Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, was hosted by the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee. Before either was scheduled to arrive, the situation had already devolved into mayhem.
Ted Cruz on Lindsey Graham-Donald Trump Feud: 'Who Cares?' (Audio)
(July 23, 2015)
Ted Cruz has a lot of “friends.”
The Texas firebrand known for throwing Republican leadership under the bus on a regular basis dismissed the feud between Lindsey Graham and Donald Trump in a scrum with reporters Wednesday. That feud, of course, includes Graham’s charge of Trump being a “jackass” and Trump’s retaliation of giving out the phone number for Graham’s old-fashioned flip-phone.
Amid Skepticism on Hill, Obama Steps Up Iran Deal Lobbying
(July 22, 2015)
With the United Nations Security Council officially backing the Iran deal earlier this week, the Obama administration is picking up its congressional outreach efforts in order to quell a potential August mutiny over the nuclear agreement.
While it would take a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate to stop the deal, Republican opposition has been immediate and steadfast — and Democratic support seems shaky, at best.
Take Five: Rep. Gary Palmer
(July 21, 2015)
Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., talks about living in the Capitol, baseball and Led Zeppelin.
Politics is a Family Affair for New Lankford Staffers
(July 21, 2015)
When Chloe Pickle was a little kid, she helped her family put up yard signs for then-Sen. Christopher S. Bond, R-Mo. She volunteered on campaigns with them in high school and college before embarking on her own career in politics.
Now the administrative director in Sen. James Lankford’s Washington, D.C., office, the 29-year-old is one of two recent staff changes to the Oklahoma Republican’s team. Patti Liles, who began working with Lankford in 2010, was recently promoted to office manager for his Sooner State offices.
Just How Long is the Senate's Highway Roadmap?
(July 20, 2015, with Niels Lesniewski)
The Senate might actually try to follow-up a long overdue education reauthorization with a real highway bill.
Just how long the Senate’s surface transportation bill will run remains a mystery, but Republicans and Democrats want to go much further than the House’s latest patch job.
Senators Moving Closer to Deal on Criminal Justice Bills
(July 14, 2015)
President Barack Obama’s stepped-up push for a criminal justice overhaul is in some ways playing catchup to congressional efforts already well underway.
While Obama pushed for a broad overhaul bill to reach his desk this year in a Tuesday speech to the NAACP in Philadelphia, a working group of senators has been toiling away trying to agree on language — with various House pushes in progress.
Zack Space in a Better Space | Life After Congress
(July 14, 2015)
Even though he left Congress in 2011, not much has changed for former Rep. Zack Space, D-Ohio. He still lives in the Buckeye State. He still regularly travels to Washington. He still works on the issues he was involved in when in office.
There’s one major difference, though.
“I find what I do now very rewarding without having to deal with the hassles of asking all of my friends for money or dealing with politics and business as usual,” Space said with a laugh in a recent phone interview.
Rick Santorum Undeterred by Debate Format
(July 13, 2015)
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is at risk of being excluded when the presidential primary debates kick off next month, but that doesn’t mean he’s worried about his chances in 2016.
“I don’t really pay a whole lot of attention to things that go on this far ahead of a national vote,” the Republican White House hopeful told reporters Monday at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
Without Gas in the Tank, Senate Stays Course on Highways
(July 12, 2015, with Matt Fleming)
Senate Republicans are confident they’ll take up a highway extension this week — though the bill’s duration and pay-for are still up in the air.
Senators from both parties are mulling suggestions that range from a kick-the-can plan to fund the highway account through the 2016 elections to a more ambitious proposal that would include a short-term patch linked to a major tax overhaul designed to fund a full six-year extension.
Boehner Slams Syrian Rebel Program, Offers No New Strategy
(July 8, 2015, with Matt Fuller)
Speaker John A. Boehner stopped short of calling for U.S. ground troops to combat Islamic State terror group fighters, but the Ohio Republican made it clear Wednesday he doesn’t think President Barack Obama’s strategy in the Middle East is working.
At National Building Museum, Life's a Beach
(July 7, 2015)
For Hillites in need of an impromptu beach fix, the National Building Museum is happy to oblige, no swimsuits or sunblock required. The museum’s Great Hall, home to so many Hill fundraisers and galas, is hosting the BEACH, a monochromatic, indoor representation of the real thing.
GOP Women's Recruitment Effort Adapts for 2016
(July 6, 2015)
The Republican women’s recruitment effort is experiencing some growing pains.
Project GROW (which stands for Growing Republican Opportunities for Women) was launched in 2013 to try to elect more GOP women to Congress. But with the historic Republican majority in the House, the effort has a big challenge to address in its second cycle: limited room to grow.
Wounded Warriors Honored in Statuary Hall
(June 26, 2015)
The Capitol was packed on an already busy Wednesday, but it wasn’t because of the typical parade of tourists.
After touring the Capitol that morning, armed service members and veterans taking part in the 2015 Department of Defense Warrior Games were honored in a brief ceremony in Statuary Hall.
Republican Task Force Seeks Bridge to Millennial Generation
(June 24, 2015)
The Rayburn Building room hosting the House Republican Policy Committee hearing Tuesday on “Millennials and the GOP” was fittingly filled with a young audience that documented the event with Snapchat and iPhone photos — though one used a BlackBerry.
Chaired by New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who turns 31 next week and heads the RPC’s new Millennial Task Force, the hearing was the first in a series aimed at understanding, communicating with and proposing policies for the newest generation of workers (and voters).
Takano, Takai, Takei, and a Takaucus
(June 18, 2015)
Takano and Takai, who know Takei, are teaming up on the Takaucus, a project titled by Tonko.
“I hope you’re not getting confused,” Rep. Mark Takai, D-Hawaii, said with a laugh.
Takai and Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., share both Japanese-American heritage and similar names. The two Democrats are often mistaken for each other and have fun with the confusion.
So, in an effort to raise money and hold an event with their friend, actor George Takei of “Star Trek” fame, they recently formed a joint fundraising committee and dubbed it the “Takaucus."
Shelley Smith to Throw First Pitch at Congressional Women's Softball Game
(June 17, 2015)
ESPN reporter Shelley Smith will throw out the honorary first pitch at this year’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game.
Smith, who has worked at the sports network since 1997, returned to work two months ago after battling breast cancer. She had been undergoing treatment for the past year.
Lindsey Graham Welcomes Donald Trump to the Race
(June 16, 2015)
Lindsey Graham didn’t sound worried by Donald Trump entering the 2016 presidential race Tuesday.
“I think it is a dream come true for people in the business,” he said of the newest entrant into the crowded GOP field, causing a pack of reporters to break out in laughter.
Lamar Alexander Special Airing Sunday
(June 5, 2015)
With his lengthy history in public service, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander is bound to have plenty of tales to tell. He’ll get the chance Sunday when a special on his career airs as part of the American Artifacts series on C-SPAN’s American History TV.
Pot Bills Stalled Despite Increased Support
(August 3, 2015, by Matt Fleming)
Even though Senate support for a medical marijuana bill is building, it’s not getting the backing it needs to advance.
Democrats Look to Pivot From Milestone's to Today's Priorities
(July 30, 2015, by Bridget Bowman)
Wielding the gavel he held nearly 50 years ago to the day, former Rep. John D. Dingell told a group gathered in the Capitol Visitor Center Wednesday, “We did it! Now let’s see some real enthusiasm,” adding, “They fought us all the way.”
Ted Cruz Gets One Wrong on Iran Deal
(July 23, 2015, by Steven T. Dennis)
Sen. Ted Cruz flubbed one Thursday in his impromptu debate on the Iran deal.
While many believe Iran wants a nuclear weapon, Cruz declared Iran’s leaders have “explicitly said they are developing nuclear weapons” — something that simply hasn’t happened. “There is no doubt about it,” the Texas Republican added for emphasis.
David Perdue Emerging as Key Player on Foreign Relations
(July 22, 2015, by Niels Lesniewski)
David Perdue knew he wanted a seat on the Foreign Relations Committee before he became a senator, and joining the panel has positioned him well for having a voice in the debate over last week’s agreement with Iran about its nuclear program.
Graham Cell Phone Debacle Might Be Hassle for Senate Tech Team
(July 21, 2015, by Hannah Hess)
Because the cellphone number Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced to the world Tuesday was issued to Sen. Lindsey Graham by the Senate, Trump’s stunt has likely caused some extra work for the institution’s tech support team.
Democrats Delay McConnell Highway Bill (Video)
(July 21, 2015, by Niels Lesniewski)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s highway deal with Sen. Barbara Boxer hit a pothole Tuesday, as Democrats helped torpedo a vote to advance the 1,030-page bill about an hour after senators received it.
Schumer to Weigh In on Iran Deal After Review in 'Little Chair'
(July 17, 2015, by Niels Lesniewski)
Sen. Charles E. Schumer might have more to say about the deal with Iran about its nuclear development after some time in his “little chair.”
The New York Democrat could be the key to whether there are 67 votes in the Senate to override a veto by President Barack Obama of legislation disapproving the agreement the United States and its partners negotiated with Iran.
GOP Rewrite of 'No Child' Passes on Second Try
(July 8, 2015, by Emma Dumain and Matt Fuller)
The House passed an education overhaul bill on Wednesday night — barely.
In a nail-biting and lengthy vote sequence, Republican leaders and their allies succeeded in passing a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law, 218-213.
SCOTUS Scene Contrasts with Quiet Capitol
(June 26, 2015, by Bridget Bowman and Niels Lesniewski)
Except for some reporters and cameras on the East Front, the Capitol grounds were fairly quiet Friday morning, standing in stark contrast to the electric crowds across the street.
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry, with Justice Anthony Kennedy writing in the majority opinion that same-sex couples “ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
Obama Gets Trade Win: Democrats Give in on TAA
(June 24, 2015, by Emma Dumain)
That’s how several House Democrats and senior aides described the current feeling in the caucus regarding their efforts to stop “fast-track” trade authority for the White House.
Over the past two weeks, most members of the House Democratic Caucus have gone from opposing Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation — packaged with the related Trade Promotion Authority, a Republican and Obama administration priority — to acknowledging there’s little point in voting “no.”