The House on Wednesday adopted by voice vote a resolution that would require all House employees — including all members — to be trained annually on workplace harassment and discrimination.
The bipartisan measure comes on the heels of allegations against Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, the longest serving member in Congress, and Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota. As those cases work through the congressional ethics process, there’s a renewed focus on how sexual harassment can be reported on Capitol Hill.
The Federal Election Commission on Thursday approved by voice vote a request to allow House members to use campaign contributions for certain types of security.
The action by the five commission members follows the shooting at a Republican baseball practice last month, in which House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was wounded, along with four others.
Lawmakers could soon use campaign contributions to for security, according to a draft advisory opinion released by the Federal Elections Commission.
The proposal would grant a blanket allowance for members of congress to use campaign funds to install or upgrade residential security systems, as long as the primary purpose is not to increase the value of the members’ homes.
House appropriators have approved a fiscal 2018 Legislative Branch spending bill that would boost security both at the Capitol and in members’ districts.
The House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee at a brief meeting on Friday approved by voice vote the $3.58 billion fiscal 2018 Legislative Branch measure. No amendments were offered.
Language is being drafted that would allow rank-and-file House members to spend money from their office accounts on personal security expenses, in the wake of Wednesday’s shooting attack on Republican lawmakers, according to House Appropriations Committee staff.
The language is under consideration for possible inclusion in the fiscal 2018 House Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, staff said. The measure, which has yet to be made public, funds members’ official expenses, the Capitol Police, the Library of Congress and other Capitol Hill offices.
Updated 5:00 p.m. | The Capitol Police and the Library of Congress would both get a boost in the $4.4 billion Legislative Branch title of the fiscal 2017 omnibus bill released early Monday. The bill would provide an additional $77 million compared to the fiscal 2016 level.
The bill would provide $632 million for the Library of Congress, which is $32 million more than the fiscal 2016 enacted level. The extra funds would be used to upgrade the library’s technology infrastructure to support growing storage needs and for increased cybersecurity measures for the institution, according to House Democrat and Republican summaries.
President Donald Trump welcomed the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots to the White House Wednesday, along with his longtime friend and Patriots owner, Robert Kraft.
“They’ve won more division titles, conference championships, and Super Bowl wins than any other team. No team has been this good for this long,” the president said.
House officers, the Capitol Police, the Library of Congress and the Architect of the Capitol have all made cybersecurity a top priority for fiscal 2018, officials told a House committee at hearings through Tuesday on their Legislative Branch spending bill budget goals.
“The increased amount of state-sponsored activity waged against the United States underscores the serious threat posed by malicious actors, constantly attempting to exploit IT vulnerabilities,” House Chief Administrative Officer Philip G. Kiko told the House Administration Committee. “There is no doubt that we are a target.”
The House on Friday passed, 233-175, the $3.5 billion fiscal 2017 Legislative Branch spending bill with substantially less support than the last year's version, as election-year tensions over immigration caused rifts on even the smallest of the annual appropriations bills.
The amended measure was the first appropriations bill this year to come to the House floor under a structured rule that limited amendments to just 13. This was seen as abandonment of an open amendment process promised by Republican leadership, but structured rules have been typical on Legislative Branch spending in previous years.
The Library of Congress will have to use the term “illegal alien” to describe undocumented immigrants under language included in the House Appropriations Committee report on the $3.5 billion fiscal 2017 Legislative Branch spending bill released Monday.
In late March, the library announced that it would fine-tune search terms , including changing the term “aliens” to “noncitizens” and “illegal immigration” to “unauthorized immigration.”
Lawmakers questioned transportation and government officials about the May 12 Amtrak derailment outside of Philadelphia at Tuesday’s House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing.
The veneer of civility between party leaders on the House floor is thinning.
The House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Space approved legislation to reauthorize NASA for two years, calling for $16.9 billion annually for the agency.
The draft bill, advanced 11-9, would authorize $2.1 billion less than the agency received in its last authorization and $800 million less than President Barack Obama requested for fiscal 2014.
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