rules-and-procedure

Judiciary Democrats may ask full House to formally approve their investigation into Trump
Jackson Lee says she thinks it is time for a resolution of investigation

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, says House Judiciary Committee Democrats may file a resolution of investigation to have the full House vote to approve the panel's probe into potential obstruction of justice and abuses of power by the Trump administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some Judiciary Committee Democrats, concerned about the Trump administration escalating its stonewalling into their investigation of potential obstruction of justice and abuses of power by the president and his associates, want the full House to approve their probe. 

“I believe we are at a point now that we should issue a resolution of investigation,” senior Judiciary member Shelia Jackson Lee said Thursday.

Election assistance agency pleads for more money ahead of 2020
“What we are working on is the infrastructure of our democracy”

Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt noted Wednesday that budget cuts at the Election Assistance Commission came during the Obama administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Officials from the Election Assistance Commission, a federal agency responsible for overseeing voting machines used in thousands of jurisdictions across the country and helping states adopt good election administration practices, pleaded with lawmakers for more money to do their jobs ahead of the 2020 elections.

The federal agency is working with a staff and budget that are about half what they were 10 years ago, officials said Wednesday as lawmakers grappled with how to beef up the agency.

Democrats learning their subpoenas are only as powerful as Trump allows
Congress has never faced the all-encompassing opposition to administrative oversight that president is putting up

“We’re fighting all the subpoenas” that Democrats want to throw at his White House and his business empire, President Donald Trump said last week. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

As Donald Trump vows to fight every congressional subpoena issued by House committees investigating his presidency and personal affairs, Democratic lawmakers and strategists are coming to grips with a new reality in which the subpoena might be obsolete.

“At this point, it’s just a piece of paper,” a former senior congressional investigative aide said. “It’s useless.”

Bernie Sanders makes plea for Senate to override Donald Trump’s Yemen veto
Senate will likely need to take procedural votes to dispense with joint resolution that would pull U.S. out of war in Yemen

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is asking colleagues to support overriding the Yemen resolution veto. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s veto of a joint resolution to put an end to U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen is going to kick the matter back to senators when they return to the Capitol next week.

With recess continuing this week, senators are in their home states, on congressional delegations abroad and on the presidential campaign trail. But Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders , one of the many Democratic presidential candidates, took a moment Monday to circulate a dear colleague letter seeking support for overriding the Trump veto.

The Senate lacks protections for LGBTQ staff. One group is demanding change
Existing laws for legislative branch workers don’t explicitly protect LGBTQ employees

A Senate staffer group is urging offices to adopt policy manuals that include protections for LGBTQ employees from discrimination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Congress considers expanding civil rights to encompass LGBTQ Americans, Senate staffers want their bosses to shore up such protections for the congressional workforce itself. 

In a letter sent April 8, the bipartisan Senate GLASS Caucus urged chamber offices to adopt policy manuals that include protections for LGBTQ employees from discrimination.

Fliers beware: House Ethics issues a refresher on private plane travel
Ethics Committee says it has received ‘numerous inquiries’ on the topic

The House Ethics Committee released a memo Wednesday reminding lawmakers and staff of rules for travel on private planes. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Back by popular demand: House Ethics rules on private plane usage.

The House Ethics Committee released a memo Wednesday reminding lawmakers and staff of rules for travel on private planes.

Elizabeth Warren: Eliminate Senate filibusters if a future GOP minority stops the Democratic agenda
2020 presidential hopeful says Mitch McConnell should not be allowed to block legislation

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., center, listens to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in February, seated behind, from left,  Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan, Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh. (Doug Mills/The New York Times/pool file photo)

Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren is ready to say that if a future Republican Senate minority were to try to thwart her agenda, it will be time to get rid of the filibuster.

“I’m not running for president just to talk about making real, structural change. I’m serious about getting it done. And part of getting it done means waking up to the reality of the United States Senate,” the Massachusetts Democratic senator is expected to say Friday.

Democrats pound Trump with subpoenas, capping most aggressive week of oversight yet
Democrats formally demand president’s tax returns, authorize subpoenas for full Mueller report and 9 administration officials

Chairman Elijah Cummings, right, speaks as ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, listens during the House Oversight and Reform Committee markup of a resolution authorizing issuance of subpoenas related to security clearances and the 2020 Census on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As President Donald Trump tried to move on this week from the special counsel’s Russia investigation, Democratic investigators mashed the gas pedal on their various oversight probes, authorizing subpoenas for the full Mueller report and for nine current and former Trump administration officials.

And on Wednesday afternoon, the House Ways and Means Committee formally kicked off its pursuit of the president’s tax returns, capping what has been the most aggressive week of this Congress’ oversight of the administration to date.

‘Nuclear’ fallout in Senate might take some time to register
Democrats show no immediate signs they are contemplating retaliation

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., decried the erosion of senators’ influence and ability to serve as advocates for their states in the latest move to alter the rules of Senate debate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate’s Geiger counters hardly registered Wednesday afternoon after the most recent deployments of the “nuclear option” to speed up confirmation of President Donald Trump’s nominees, although the long-term effects on the institution may very well be significant. 

The first nominee considered, Jeffrey Kessler to be an assistant secretary of Commerce, was ultimately confirmed by voice vote after the two hours of post-cloture debate allowed under the new process was declared expired.

Why we should care that the Senate will debate less
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 64

The Senate changed its rules, again, and the result will be less debate on judicial and executive nominees. The result could have ramifications for civil discourse. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)