Congress

How Congress might rewrite Trump’s budget
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 103

Copies of President Donald Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020 are prepared for distribution at the Government Publishing Office in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Nadler: White House can’t claim executive privilege on Mueller report
Judiciary Committee chairman says administration waived that privilege ‘long ago’

House Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler said Tuesday it would be “unacceptable” for the White House to “edit” any of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s report before it is released. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The top House Democrat in the impending fight between the executive branch and Congress over the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s report to the public indicated Tuesday that he will strongly oppose White House lawyers’ efforts to redact some information.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler claimed Tuesday that the Trump administration waived any claims of executive privilege over Mueller’s eventual findings “long ago” when it agreed to cooperate with the probe.

House Appropriations may start markups in April
Markups have to begin in April or May at the latest to have any chance of bills passing on the floor in June

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., chair of the House Appropriations Committee walks across the Capitol from the House side for a meeting with House and Senate appropriators in an effort to revive spending talks and avert a second shutdown on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey and Democratic appropriators are looking at starting fiscal 2020 markups as soon as late April with the Defense, Labor-HHS-Education and Legislative Branch bills, people familiar with the process said.

The Military Construction-VA and Energy-Water bills also are on tap to be among the first five bills marked up, as part of an effort to begin advancing bills across the floor in June.

Rep. Devin Nunes says he’s suing Twitter, parody account pretending to be his mom
California congressman is seeking more than $250 million for emotional distress and damage to his reputation

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., filed a suit against two parody accounts Monday impersonating his mother and a cow. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Devin Nunes says he filed suit in Virginia state court on Monday against Twitter, a conservative political operative and two anonymous Twitter accounts, alleging a conspiracy to defame him and oust him from political office.

The California Republican seeks $250 million in compensatory and punitive damages for “pain, insult, embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress and mental suffering, and injury to his personal and professional reputations,” according to the complaint, which was first reported by Fox News.

On the campaign trail, climate change can no longer be ignored
Democrats try to out-green each other as presidential race heats up

The Blue Cut Fire in San Bernardino County, California, destroyed 37,000 acres and more than 300 structures in August 2016. (David McNew/Getty Images)

The 2020 elections are still many months away, but 17-year-old Michael Minsk is already following it closely as more candidates enter the race. Eager to vote for the first time next year, the high school junior is looking for a candidate promising bold action on climate change.

“Climate change is definitely one of the issues I will be voting on along with other social and economic problems,” said Minsk, who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. “I am tired of corruption in government that prevents politicians from acting on it, so I want someone that will stand up and make changes.”

Democrats expecting to receive ’tens of thousands’ of documents from Trump associates
Some of the people Judiciary panel sent requests to want to be subpoenaed before responding

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., says he’s “encouraged” by the responses the panel has received in response to its investigation into alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption and abuse of power by President Donald Trump and his associates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Judiciary Committee has been promised “tens of thousands” of documents from “a large number” of the 81 associates of President Donald Trump that it sent information requests to two weeks ago, according to a status update from Chairman Jerrold Nadler.

The New York Democrat’s update on the document requests comes on the due date the committee provided to the individuals and entities it contacted. The document requests represent the initial step in a House Judiciary investigation into alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption and abuse of power by Trump and his associates. 

House to vote on equal pay, VAWA, net neutrality bills, in next 3 weeks
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the upcoming votes in a “Dear Colleague” letter sent Monday

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced the major bills the House will consider over the next three-week work period in a dear colleague letter Monday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House will vote over the next three weeks on bills to help reduce the gender pay gap, reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and codify the Obama-era net neutrality rule.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the votes in a “Dear Colleague” letter Monday outlining plans for the three-week House work period beginning March 25.

Some voters labeled AOC the biggest ‘villain’ in loss of NYC’s HQ2, poll says
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was outspoken in opposition to locating the company’s second headquarters in Queens

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. seen during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing in Rayburn Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Some New Yorkers see Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others as “villains” in Amazon’s decision to cancel its planned New York City headquarters, a new poll released Monday shows.

“Amazon itself was seen as the biggest villain among Democrats, but Republicans and independents had Ocasio-Cortez as far and away the largest villain, followed by the local Queens activists,” said Siena College Pollster Steven Greenberg.

Some climate change panel members are literally invested in the issue
Panel members have investments in fossil fuel companies, and at least two have ties to clean-energy industries

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., attends a House Oversight and Reform Committee business meeting in the Rayburn Building in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

One member of the House committee created to address climate change stands out for what he owns: hundreds of oil and gas wells in North Dakota oil fields worth millions of dollars.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, a Republican from North Dakota, received at least $400,000 from those wells and as much as $1.1 million in the previous year, as well as $75,000 in salary from Armstrong Corp., his family’s oil and gas business. He also owns at least 289 wells, worth between $2.9 million and $11.5 million, though in a recent interview Armstrong said he owns more than 300 wells.

Rep. Steve King posts meme bragging red states have ‘8 trillion bullets’
Post theorizing a hypothetical civil war comes at a time when leaders have called for more thoughtfulness

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, posted a meme to Facebook Saturday about a hypothetical civil war. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Steve King posted a meme Saturday about a hypothetical civil war between “blue states” fighting over which bathroom to use and “red states” with trillions of bullets.

The post is an image of two figures composed of traditionally Democratic-leaning and Republican-leaning states in fighting postures with text superimposed over top. The caption reads: “Folks keep talking about another civil war. One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use.”

Graves sees a positive role for GOP in new select climate committee
Louisiana Republican is optimistic some bipartisan ideas can come out of the panel

Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., right, here in May 2018 with Reps. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, and Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., is the ranking member on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Garret Graves says he wasn’t keen on joining the select committee to address climate change formed by the new Democratic House majority in January.

But on Feb. 28, weeks after the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis had been formed and long after the Democrats had announced their roster, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appointed the Louisiana Republican as co-chairman.

Ph.D. student faces deportation to Liberia, where she has never lived
Trump administration has announced DED program will end March 31

Yatta Kiazolu has never lived in or visited Liberia, but she could be deported there if the Trump administration is successful in ending the DED program for Liberians. (Courtesy Yatta Kiazolu)

Yatta Kiazolu moved to Los Angeles from Delaware to pursue her dream of obtaining a Ph.D. in history at UCLA.

But as she approaches her final year of the program, her dreams of walking across the stage with her degree in hand seem further and further away as her temporary visa status will expire at the end of this month. And she could be deported to Liberia, a country in which she has never lived, or even visited.

Not green with envy: People who missed Friends of Ireland lunch

From left, Massachusetts Rep. Richard E. Neal, President Donald Trump, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Speaker Nancy Pelosi follow Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger and House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving down the House steps after the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Regardless of how you spend your St. Patrick’s Day, it’s not likely to be as awkward as the Friends of Ireland luncheon at the Capitol this year.

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar found himself Thursday in close quarters with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump, one day before the president vetoed a resolution Congress passed to terminate his national emergency declaration on the southern border. Amid all that, Trump found time to discuss Brexit, which the Irish are concerned will erect a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. 

Utah bill would give primary voters less say on who appears on special election ballots
Measure is latest development in yearslong struggle over party nomination process

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, right, with his wife, Sue, and Speaker Paul D. Ryan at his mock swearing-in ceremony in November 2017. Curtis won his special election after successfully petitioning to get on the GOP primary ballot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah voters would have fewer opportunities to weigh in on candidates to fill certain congressional seats under legislation that quietly passed the state Legislature this week. 

The bill, which has yet to be signed by the governor and has so far received little attention from local media, would change the process by which candidates appear on primary ballots in special elections to replace House members who resign in the middle of their terms. For those elections, only candidates nominated by delegates from either party would be able to run. Candidates would not be able to make the ballot by petitioning voters. 

Gohmert trashed on Twitter over his reaction to New Zealand massacre
Texas GOP rep said there are alternatives to ‘resolve controversies’ instead of ‘cold blooded murders’

Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert holds a news conference on border security outside of the Capitol in January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Louie Gohmert was skewered Friday for his statement after a white supremacist shot Muslims at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 49 people.

“There are courts, dispute resolutions, and legislatures to resolve controversies — there is no place for cold blooded murder,” the Texas Republican said in his statement.