senate

Senators Again Push Steamboat Exemption Despite Safety Warnings
Ship has taken on outsize significance on Capitol Hill

A group of senators wants to exempt the Delta Queen, a wooden steamboat, to operate as an overnight cruise ship despite safety concerns. (Al Behrman/AP file photo)

A group of senators have quietly inserted into a Coast Guard authorization bill a provision that would allow an old wooden steamboat to operate as an overnight cruise ship despite repeated official warnings that doing so would create a floating fire trap.

The Senate fell four votes short Wednesday of moving forward with the authorization measure. But the issue is not expected to die there.

Capitol Ink | Bold Prediction

Senate Changes Rules to Allow Babies on the Floor
Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth made Senate history when she gave birth last week

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., made Senate history last week when she gave birth to a daughter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate took a leap forward into modernity Wednesday, changing the rules to allow mothers to bring their infants onto the Senate floor.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the ranking Democrat on the Rules and Administration Committee, was among the lawmakers hailing the change, which was adopted by unanimous consent.

Nashville Hot Chicken Flies Off Table at Hill Charity Cook-Off
Winners included Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Sen. Angus King

People were lining up to try Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s Nashville-style hot chicken Tuesday evening.

The Tennessee Republican won the People’s Choice award at the March of Dimes Gourmet Gala, an annual fundraiser where lawmakers become celebrity chefs to the delight of attendees’ tastebuds. This year’s gala included 50 members of Congress — from both chambers and both sides of the aisle — sharing samples of their favorite recipe. Many took the opportunity to showcase delicacies specific to their hometowns.

‘Cardi B is Right’ Says Sen. Bernie Sanders
Sanders promotes Bodak Yellow rapper on supporting Social Security

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., greets demonstrators while attending a rally on the West Front of the Capitol to call on Congress to act on gun violence prevention during a national walkout by students. The Vermont Senator took to Twitter on saving Social Security Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Bernie Sanders got the attention of the internet for retweeting a Cardi B quote about improving Social Security.

Sanders endorsed the rapper’s statement about former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in which she praised Roosevelt for starting Social Security.

Flake Flip on NASA Nominee Followed Senate Tumult
Vote to break filibuster of Bridenstine briefly deadlocked

The nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., to lead NASA faced a brief hiccup on the Senate floor Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A confluence of events put President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead NASA on the verge of an unexpected blockade Wednesday afternoon.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona had initially voted against limiting debate on the nomination of GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, but after almost an hour, he switched his vote.

White House Presses Vulnerable Dems on Pompeo Nomination
Sen. Cotton dubs Foreign Relations Democrats ‘two-bit Talleyrands’

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., right, meets with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State, in the Capitol on March 19. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House circled the wagons Wednesday around CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to become secretary of State, arguing vulnerable red-state Democrats will feel “consequences” in November if they vote against him.

The Trump administration dispatched Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas to argue Pompeo is highly qualified for the top State Department position and to press Democrats running for re-election in states won by President Donald Trump to vote in favor of his nomination.

Corker Won’t Campaign Against Democratic Ex-Governor Who Wants to Succeed Him
Retiring Republican has contributed to Blackburn, but has long relationship with Bredesen

Sen. Bob Corker thinks the Democratic candidate is fairly well ahead in the race to succeed him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen has significant crossover appeal, but just how much may depend on whether Tennessee voters think control of the Senate is at stake.

That is the view of the retiring senator who Bredesen and Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn are seeking to replace, who thinks the Democrat might be ahead by six points today.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Fired up over the Farm bill fun, Beyonce shoutouts, and Little Big Town on the Hill

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks with reporters before the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Report: Trump Campaign Demands Rokita Take Down Yard Signs
Say they give a false impression Trump endorsed Indiana Senate candidate

Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., who is running for the Republican nomination for Senate in Indiana, addresses voters in South Bend, Indiana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign said Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita’s campaign signs give the false impression that Trump endorsed his Senate candidacy.

Two people told The Associated Press that Trump’s campaign wants Rokita's campaign to take down the signs.