Niels Lesniewski

Former Rep. Maurice Hinchey Dies at 79
Longtime New York Democrat had frontotemporal dementia

Former Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey, a longtime Democratic congressman from New York, died Wednesday. He was 79.

He had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, or FTD, his family announced in June amid the debate over repealing the 2010 health care law.

Rand Paul Battled Pneumonia, Senator’s Wife Says
Kelley Paul said senator diagnosed upon return to Kentucky after voting in D.C.

Sen. Rand Paul has not had a good night’s sleep since being attacked outside his Kentucky home earlier this month.

That’s according to the Republican senator’s wife, Kelley Paul, who published an opinion piece outlining the serious medical predicament facing her husband.

Poll: Minority of Republicans Want Moore Out of Alabama Senate Race
Survey shows doubts about well-documented allegations

Just 30 percent of Republicans responding to a new national poll think former judge Roy Moore should end his bid for the Senate in Alabama.

That is despite detailed allegations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior.

Hatch Still Says He Plans to Seek Re-Election
Utah Republican cites remaining time as chairman of Finance Committee

As he prepares to bring the first tax code re-write since 1986 to the Senate floor, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah is saying his Senate service might not be nearing its end.

In a report published Tuesday, Hatch told the Wall Street Journal he does intend to seek another term.

White House Unlikely to Trash Roy Moore
Senior RNC and pro-Trump PAC adviser says voters in Alabama should decide

The White House isn’t likely to try to push Republican Roy Moore out of the Alabama Senate race.

That is according to a senior adviser to America First Policies, an outside spending group pushing for President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda.

Rand Paul, Still Ailing, Offers Thanksgiving Wishes
Kentucky Republican makes brief remarks in video statement

Sen. Rand Paul said in a video message released Friday that “he’s getting better” after a still-mysterious attack by a neighbor.

“Hey, everybody. Thanks for your concern, your prayers, and your thoughts, all of the get well cards,” Paul said in the video. “It’s been a rough couple weeks, but I’m starting to get better.”

Grassley Prepares to Bypass Franken to Move Trump Appeals Court Nominee
Rejects policy of allowing blue slip to be used as a veto

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley is ready to move forward with President Donald Trump’s appellate judicial nominees, even when home-state senators have formal objections.

Grassley is going to move ahead with confirmation hearings for Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to be a judge on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Politico reported ahead of a formal announcement by the chairman.

Judge Declares Mistrial in Menendez Case
Jurors said they were deadlocked on all counts

A federal judge is declaring a mistrial in the federal corruption case against Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, after a New Jersey jury was declared hopelessly deadlocked on all counts.

That’s according to a defense attorney, who informed reporters at the courthouse.

Ethics Committee Should Review Franken Allegations, McConnell Says
LA radio host accuses Franken of sexual misconduct

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for an investigation of sexual harassment allegations against Sen. Al Franken.

“As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter,” the Kentucky Republican said in a statement. “I hope the Democratic Leader will join me on this. Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable — in the workplace or anywhere else.”

Senate Backs New Anti-Sexual Harassment Training Rules
Adoption comes hours after allegations about Alabama Senate frontrunner

The Senate unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday mandating training for senators and staff to combat sexual harassment.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the ranking Democrat on the Rules and Administration Committee, sponsored the final version of the resolution.

Menendez Jury Will Have to Start Over
With juror leaving for vacation, alternate will step in next week

Jury deliberations in the federal corruption trial against Sen. Robert Menendez will have to start over.

That’s the word from the federal courthouse in Newark, N.J., where the Democratic senator has been on trial on a total of 18 counts related to alleged public corruption, including allegations he took a slew of gifts for official acts.

A Tax Bill in Plain English? Senate Finance Committee Is Already There
Panel has an unusual history of forgoing legislative language for simple terminology

Anyone looking for legislative text of the Senate’s tax code overhaul this week will be sorely disappointed.

But it should be no surprise, because unlike the rest of Congress — including their counterparts on the House Ways and Means Committee — members of the Senate Finance panel conduct their business in plain English. The conversion to legislative text takes place on the way to the floor.

Senate Resolution Would Mandate Training to Combat Sexual Harassment
Grassley and Feinstein among leaders of bipartisan effort

A bipartisan group of senators is moving to require employees of the Senate to be trained on addressing and avoiding sexual harassment in the workplace.

The effort, led by Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, takes the form of a Senate resolution that would require everyone from interns to lawmakers to complete training through the Office of Compliance or the Office of the Senate Chief Counsel for Employment within 60 days of starting work in the chamber.

GOP Cheerleading on Taxes Belies Conflicts
Pitch to repeal Obamacare mandate complicates calls for unity

Top members of President Donald Trump’s administration and Senate Republicans were upbeat about the progress on the Senate’s tax overhaul proposal Tuesday, even as there were signs of internal GOP conflict.

“Nothing is more important to the president’s economic agenda than tax reform and tax cuts,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday. “We couldn’t be more excited about where we are.”

Absences Could Complicate Senate Plans, McConnell Says
Rand Paul, Thad Cochran return timelines questionable

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Monday the potential extended absence of his Kentucky colleague Rand Paul from the Senate could complicate the Republican agenda.

“Any time a senator on our side is not there, it’s potentially challenging,” McConnell said at an event in Louisville.

Rand Paul Has Five Fractured Ribs, Uncertain Timeline for Return to D.C.
Senator was assaulted on Friday

Sen. Rand Paul’s injuries in the aftermath of Friday’s assault at his home in Kentucky appears to be much more serious than first thought.

“Senator Paul has five rib fractures including 3 displaced fractures. This type of injury is caused by high velocity severe force,” Doug Stafford, a senior adviser to the Kentucky Republican, said in a statement. “It is not clear exactly how soon he will return to work, as the pain is considerable as is the difficulty in getting around, including flying.”

Rand Paul Doing ‘Fine’ After Being Assaulted at Kentucky Home
Incident took place on Friday, arrest made

Sen. Rand Paul ‘is fine’ after facing a surprise attack at his home in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on Friday.

“Senator Paul was blindsided and the victim of an assault. The assailant was arrested and it is now a matter for the police,” a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Republican told Roll Call. “Senator Paul is fine.”

McConnell Skeptical of Mandatory Disclosures for Facebook, Twitter Ads
Top Republican casts it as free speech issue

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is casting doubt about the idea of enacting laws requiring disclosures for political ads on Facebook and Twitter.

“I’m a little skeptical of these disclosure-type proposals that are floating around, which strikes me would mostly penalize American citizens trying to use the internet and to advertise,” the Kentucky Republican said in an interview that aired Saturday.

Cardin: Trump Not Authorized to Nuke North Korea
But adds when Trump ‘makes orders obviously the military will follow those orders’

The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says Congress has not granted authorization for a pre-emptive first strike on North Korea.

“Congress has not authorized the use of force, so the president does not have the authority to pre-emptively use force,” Maryland Democratic Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin said when asked during an interview about legislative proposals from some Democrats to bar nuclear strikes against Kim Jong-un.

Top Republican Calls for Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training
Grassley: Training vitally important to productive work environment

An influential Senate Republican is adding to the chorus calling for increased training about sexual harassment and assault on Capitol Hill.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley wants mandatory training against sexual harassment in the workplace for all Senate employees.