Katherine Tully-McManus

Opponent pounces after Duncan Hunter’s wife switches to guilty plea
“Those who know Hunter the most, trust him the least,” Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar says

The Democrat challenging indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter went on the attack Thursday after the California Republican’s wife entered a guilty plea in the federal campaign finance case against her and her husband. 

Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty Thursday to a single count of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The plea comes with a sentence of up to five years and a fine of $250,000. 

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s wife to plead out in case against the couple

Margaret Hunter, wife of California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, has agreed to change her plea of not guilty in the federal campaign finance case against her and her husband.

The couple were indicted last summer for allegedly using $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses and covering their tracks in campaign finance filings to the Federal Election Commission.

Food worker chases House member hustling to votes after she didn't pay
‘She didn’t pay me!’ shouted food service worker following Rep. Carolyn Maloney into House chamber

Updated 4:30 p.m. | House members hustled to surprise midday votes Wednesday, and in her haste, one lawmaker didn’t pay for her lunch.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney speed-walked into the chamber for the second surprise vote of the day carrying a takeout container brimming with food.

Democrats join Trump in whining about tariffs on wine
Feinstein, others call on administration to push for removing duties on U.S. wine

Concerns about tariffs on wine are leaving a sour taste both on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

But this wine isn’t skunked, it’s tainted by retaliatory Chinese tariffs, lawmakers say.

On congressional pay raise, maximum political pain and no gain
Hoyer optimistic, but McCarthy cool on member cost-of-living update

House Democratic leaders are learning the hard way that when it comes to the politically dicey issue of raising lawmaker pay, there is maximum risk with a minimum chance of gain. 

Amid the fallout from Democrats in the chamber abruptly pulling a legislative spending bill from a broader package, leaders on Tuesday were left to state an easy to articulate but difficult to achieve goal: that the only path to bigger paychecks was through bipartisan, bicameral negotiations.

GOP Rep. Justin Amash quits Freedom Caucus after Trump impeachment stance
Conservative group voted to condemn his remarks after that called the president’s actions impeachable

Rep. Justin Amash is an outlier among congressional Republicans according to the party's leader in the House.

Justin Amash can determine his own future, but I think in philosophical basis he’s probably in a different place than the majority of the conference,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said to reporters on Tuesday, citing Amash's breaks from Republican-majority votes.

Fight over pay raise for Congress causes Democrats to pull spending bill
Rules chairman says measure could return as early as next week

House Democrats have decided to pull the fiscal 2020 Legislative Branch spending bill out of a package moving on the floor this week, averting a politically toxic debate over salaries for members of Congress.

“We could have done this in a bipartisan fashion, but people were demagogues on this. I don’t want to leave my members who are in tough districts subjected to that,” House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer told reporters Monday evening.

Who protects whom? Depends on presidential candidate, congressional status
Kamala Harris incident in San Francisco prompts campaign security concerns

When a protester walked onstage and took the microphone from California Sen. Kamala Harris at an event earlier this month, it raised serious questions about who is in charge of protecting the Democratic presidential candidate and at what point in her campaign — and others’ — the Secret Service should step in. 

Harris remained calm, and security personnel at MoveOn’s Big Ideas Forum in San Francisco leaped onstage as the senator walked away. Harris’ husband, Douglas Emhoff, wrestled the microphone from the protester. But the incident brought with it a flurry of concern about how vulnerable candidates can be on the trail, and who is responsible for protecting them.

Road ahead: House tackles first spending package and NDAA endurance contest
House also set to vote on a ‘not quite contempt’ resolution Tuesday

The House has blockbuster floor action teed up this week, including votes on the first spending package for fiscal 2020 and a measure that would authorize the Judiciary Committee to pursue civil lawsuits against Attorney General William Barr and other administration officials.

House lawmakers have been warned that late-night votes are on the schedule as they work through floor consideration of a five-bill package that amounts to about $990 billion in discretionary spending for fiscal 2020.

Congressional pay raise amendments roil House
Five House lawmakers have offered amendments that would bar funding for a cost of living increase for members of Congress

A potential pay raise for Congress is stirring up debate on Capitol Hill, and with funding for the Legislative Branch on deck for floor action next week, at least four proposals to keep lawmaker pay frozen are on the table.

Five House lawmakers have offered amendments that would bar funding for a cost of living increase for members of Congress. The three Republicans and two Democrats are raising opposition to House appropriators excluding language barring cost-of-living raises in both the Financial Services and Legislative Branch fiscal 2020 spending bills.

Hoyer and House appropriators back potential pay raise for Congress
Salaries for rank-and-file lawmakers have been frozen at $174,000 since 2010

House Democrats are making moves to lift the pay freeze that lawmakers have been living under since 2010. But the top Senate appropriator is not on board. 

House appropriators released their Financial Services fiscal 2020 spending bill earlier this week, striking a provision that blocked members or Congress from receiving an increase in pay that Republicans included in previous  Legislative Branch spending bills. The salary for rank-and-file House and Senate lawmakers is $174,000, but those with official leadership titles and responsibilities make more.

Romney maiden speech hammers administration’s foreign policy
Freshman senator also drilled into China’s ‘predation’

Mitt Romney’s first official speech in the Senate offered thinly veiled criticism of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy agenda, including China and Russia, without naming the president. He urged consistency with allies in Europe in Asia and caution and vigilance toward China and Russia.

The Utah Republican’s speech called for strengthening ties with traditional American allies, on the heels of a joint news conference the president held with outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May in London.

DC statehood bill set for hearing with new backing from Hoyer
House majority leader’s support means Democrats united, but action in GOP-led Senate unlikely

The District of Columbia statehood movement is heading to Capitol Hill this summer, now backed for the first time by Marylander and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer. The chamber’s Oversight and Reform Committee has scheduled a July 24 hearing on legislation that would make the District the 51st state.

The measure is sponsored by Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington’s nonvoting representative in the House, who announced the hearing Thursday at an event at the D.C. War Memorial on the National Mall. She was joined by the District’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

Freshman lashes out after House ethics rules bar promoting bone marrow drive
Rep. Katie Porter says rules favor lobbyists and interests over ‘ordinary people’

When a seriously ill constituent asked if Rep. Katie Porter could raise awareness of potentially life-saving bone marrow drives in her Southern California district this month, a simple constituent service turned into a sticky House ethics issue.

Now Porter is questioning whether rules designed to prevent misuse of taxpayer dollars need to be reviewed.

Rep. Nadler appears to ‘almost pass out,’ gets medical help at event
The New York Rep. was at a press conference with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler came close to collapse in his home state of New York while attending an event with Mayor Bill de Blasio.

At a Friday press conference in New York City, de Blasio came to Nadler’s aid, offering water and making sure the fellow Democrat was feeling alright. The press conference was held at P.S. 199 in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. 

What’s the state of play on intern pay on Capitol Hill?
Intern compensation funding is up for discussion again

Securing intern compensation funding last year was a huge victory for lawmakers and advocates. Now they just have to figure out how to get the word out and expand the pie. 

As interns descend on Capitol Hill for a summer of public service, more will be paid for their work than ever before. But widespread paid internships are still in their infancy in Congress. This is the first summer that House and Senate offices have dedicated funding available to cut checks.

Senate backs bill to stem flood of robocalls plaguing cell phones
Bipartisan effort would increase civil penalties to $10,000 per call

Lawmakers are fed up with the barrage of scam and nuisance calls plaguing them and their constituents and on Thursday, the Senate passed a bipartisan measure to combat robocalls.

Senators voted, 97-1, to pass a bill (S 151) designed to authenticate and block robocalls and enforce penalties on scammers who use automated equipment to pump phones full of bogus calls.

Exiting Capitol Police chief honored by Pelosi, McCarthy
Matthew Verderosa retiring after three decades on the force

After more than three decades on the force, Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa received recognition and a fond farewell from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on the House floor Wednesday.

“Police Chief Verderosa has proven himself as leader of the highest patriotism and professionalism who has proudly carried forth the Capitol Police’s nearly two centuries of storied service,” Pelosi said on the floor.

Infrastructure talks run off the road by latest Trump, Dem fracas

A White House meeting Wednesday on infrastructure between President Donald Trump and top congressional Democrats ended almost as soon as it began after the president pledged not to work with Democrats on any policy priorities until they ended investigations into his administration and campaign.

Trump left the meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer after just a few minutes, a move that the two Democrats said was staged ahead of time.

Road ahead: Will Congress get a disaster relief deal before Memorial Day?
House and Senate will keep full schedules as budget talks continue for this week and beyond

The big question for the week is whether Congress will actually act on long-awaited disaster relief before lawmakers head out for Memorial Day.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said such a vote is on the floor agenda for this week, but as senators left Thursday afternoon for the weekend, there was still no final agreement on any bipartisan package.