Roll Call Staff

America’s Largest Veterans Group Rains on Trump’s Parade
Trump appears to put blame for higher estimate on D.C. officials who ‘know a windfall when they see one’

Opponents to President Donald Trump’s plans for a costly military parade in Washington now include the American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization.

“The American Legion appreciates that our President wants to show in a dramatic fashion our nation’s support for our troops,” American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan said in a statement Thursday night. “However, until such time as we can celebrate victory in the War on Terrorism and bring our military home, we think the parade money would be better spent fully funding the Department of Veteran Affairs and giving our troops and their families the best care possible.”

Keith Ellison Easily Wins Primary for Minnesota AG Despite Abuse Allegations
Six-term congressman accused days before election of abusing ex-girlfriend

Rep. Keith Ellison won the Democratic-Farmer-Labor primary for Minnesota attorney general Tuesday night, despite allegations that he abused an ex-girlfriend surfacing just days before the election.

With 71 percent of precincts reporting, Ellison led a five-way field with 51 percent of the vote, according to The Associated Press. His closest challenger, state Rep. Debra Hilstrom, trailed with 18 percent. 

Congressional Budget Office Revises Economic Forecast Downward
Director warns that projections are ‘inherently uncertain’

The Congressional Budget Office projects the economy to grow at a rate of 3.1 percent in 2018, a slight revision to the 3.3 percent growth rate the agency forecast in April.

The CBO attributed the slight decline in its gross domestic product estimate this year to revised projections of discretionary spending and interest rates.

Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison Denies He Abused Ex-Girlfriend
Allegations surfaced Saturday against lawmaker running for state AG

Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison has denied that he was abusive to an ex-girlfriend. The accusations surfaced just days a primary vote on Tuesday that will decide whether he becomes his party's pick to run for state attorney general.

Ellison confirmed that he’d had a long-term relationship with Minneapolis resident Karen Monahan in a statement on Sunday, while denying the accusations. 

The Senate Calendar Still Is Not Updated to Reflect Canceled Recess
Official site and pdf still show chamber down for some state work period time

What You Should Know About Bob Dole at 95
Combat veteran, longtime lawmaker and former presidential candidate

Former Sen. Bob Dole turned 95 Sunday. The Kansas Republican — a decorated veteran who was grievously wounded in World War II —  served in Congress for more than 35 years and was his party’s presidential nominee in 1996.

Here are a few facts about one of the nation’s legendary lawmakers:

Senate Schedule for Next Week: VA Nominee and Appropriations

The Senate wrapped up its legislative business for the week on Thursday afternoon after ditching a vote on judicial nominee Ryan Bounds, whose nomination was subsequently withdrawn altogether by the White House, and a resolution disapproving of any attempts to make U.S. citizens available to Russian interrogators

The Senate will next convene at 3 p.m. on Monday, July 23, 2018. Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to executive session to consider the nomination of Robert L. Wilkie to be secretary of Veterans Affairs.

White House Pulls Circuit Court Nominee at Last Minute
Ryan Bounds nomination to 9th Circuit was set to be voted down

Facing imminent defeat even in a Republican-controlled Senate, the White House on Thursday withdrew the nomination of Ryan Wesley Bounds to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, an abrupt turn of events just moments before the chamber was set to vote on confirmation of the judge.

The late-breaking issue appeared to be writings that came to light and turned the tide against him with some Republicans. 

Texas Tough: Hensarling Hammers Trump Administration on Trade, Treatment of Allies
Comments made at opening of testimony with Treasury secretary

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling sharply rebuked the Trump administration Thursday over its treatment of allies and the handling of trade, urging it to unite with “traditional allies to confront China.”

Hensarling, R-Texas, made his comments at the opening of testimony by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and in the wake of President Donald Trump’s trip to Europe, where the president said both that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was strong and yet criticized its members, most of which are close trading partners.

Pool Coverage, Photo Ops Begin for Brett Kavanaugh
Supreme Court nominee Capitol appearance carefully orchestrated

The White House officially transmitted the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, just in time for the judge’s first go-around of visits to the Capitol.

Senate Republican leaders set up strict contours for press coverage, including mandating pool coverage of Kavanaugh’s grip-and-grin photo opportunity with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Supreme Court Overturns 1977 Labor Union Ruling

A divided Supreme Court overturned a decades-old precedent that allowed unions to collect fees from teachers and other public-sector employees who were not in the union, dealing a financial blow to unions that often back Democratic candidates.

The 5-4 opinion in the major labor case was not a surprise. Conservatives on the court have for years expressed a willingness to overturn the 1977 ruling on the idea that requiring the fees forces employees who disagree with the union to subsidize its activities.

Congressional Baseball Game Highlights
57th annual Democrats vs. Republicans game for charities at Nationals Park in Washington

Democratic members of Congress beat their Republican counterparts, 21-5, Thursday in the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity at Nationals Park in Washington.

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond pitched a complete game for the Democrats, who won 11-2 last year. 

Brian Mast Among Candidates to be VA Secretary
Freshman lawmaker is combat veteran who served in Afghanistan

Rep. Brian Mast confirmed he has been under consideration for the nomination to be secretary of Veterans Affairs.

“It is an honor to be considered to serve my fellow veterans and their families at the highest possible level,” the Florida Republican said Thursday.

Senate Mourns Death of Assistant Parliamentarian Michael Beaver
Leader, chaplain floor comments focus on staffer who was typically behind the scenes

The Senate is mourning the death of Assistant Parliamentarian Michael Beaver. 

As the chamber convened Monday afternoon for the first time since its one week recess, Chaplain Barry Black noted Beaver’s loss in his opening prayer.

CQ Top Editor Steve Komarow Dies
Reporting ranged from the White House to the Khyber Pass

Steve Komarow, a veteran foreign correspondent and newsroom leader who served as senior vice president and executive editor at CQ Roll Call, died Sunday after a recent accident and long illness. He was 61.

“Steve and I joined CQ Roll Call in January 2015 and from the outset his intellect and encyclopedic knowledge of Washington was an enormous asset to our coverage and the development of new products,” said Paul McHale, CQ Roll Call’s president. “But that intellect never got in the way of what I will remember most about Steve, his humanity.”

House Resolution Misspells Name of Architect Who Dreamed Up Central Park
Frederick Law Olmsted designed the Summerhouse on NE side of Capitol

The House Administration committee introduced Thursday a measure, “Authorizing the printing of ‘United States Capitol Grounds: Landscape Architect Frederick Law Olmstead’s Design for Democracy” as a House document.

It’s Olmsted. No ‘A’. He’s a famous architect.

Scalise Says He Won’t Run Against McCarthy to Succeed Ryan
But Louisiana Republican’s phrasing appears to leave some wiggle room

It was the race that wasn’t.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise on Thursday threw his support behind Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to succeed Speaker Paul D. Ryan as the House GOP leader. 

Zuckerberg Testimony: 5 Things You Should Know So Far
Questioning ranges from chocolate to Palantir

“I’m sorry,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during his opening remarks to a Senate hearing. The social media wunderkind took responsibility for the violations of Facebook users’ data privacy.

It set the tone for the questioning, signaling to senators that Zuckerberg came to Washington to cooperate — or at least give the appearance of doing so. If a February deep dive by WIRED is true, Zuck and Co. are soul-searching.

While Demonstrators Call for Action on Gun Violence, Nobody’s Home at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Trump has ‘no public events scheduled’ at Mar-a-Lago

One notable resident on Pennsylvania Avenue — the nexus in Washington, D.C., for perhaps some 500,000 demonstrators who want action on gun violence — was out of town Saturday.

President Donald Trump left Washington on Friday after a news conference that featured testy and sometimes disjointed remarks on the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package, promising never to sign “another bill like this.”

Ethics Committee Finds Rush, Gutiérrez in Violation
Free office space and misuse of funds at issue

The House Ethics Committee released two separate findings Thursday involving Illinois Democrats implicated in separate infractions.

The panel found that Rep. Bobby L. Rush has improperly accepted free office space in a Chicago shopping center over the course of two decades, while Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez used his member’s representational allowance — his congressional office’s set budget — to pay former chief of staff, Doug Scofield, through his communications firm.