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Trump Wants $5 Billion for Border Wall Amid Shutdown Threat
President continues to peg immigration issue as a winner for the GOP

Hundreds of women crowd the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building to protest President Trump's immigration policy on June 28. On Monday, he called for $3.4 billion more for his southern border wall than GOP and Democratic senators are proposing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump laid down a key marker for the autumn federal funding debate, saying Monday he wants around $5 billion this year for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall. The demand could increase the odds of a government shutdown.

The amount he endorsed during a White House immigration event, which he also touted last week at a fundraiser in Utica, N.Y., is the same as that proposed in a House Homeland Security funding measure for next fiscal year. But there’s a catch: the Senate’s version of that funding measure proposes only $1.6 billion for the project.

FiscalNote Finalizes $180 Million Acquisition of CQ Roll Call
Deal brings together rapidly-growing technology company with two of the oldest brands in Washington journalism

CQ Roll Call was acquired Monday by FiscalNote, a rapidly growing Washington-based company that uses technology to track and analyze legislation around the world. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Russian Oligarch Bought Maryland’s Election Vendor. Now These Senators Are Questioning the Rules
Letter to Rules Committee follows request to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin

Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Benjamin L. Cardin are concerned about Russian ownership of a Maryland election contractor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Maryland’s Democratic senators want a Senate committee to require disclosures of foreign investments in U.S. election systems, an alarm bell set off by a Russian oligarch’s connection to their state’s voter registration system. 

The request to the Rules and Administration Committee comes from Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin and Sen. Chris Van Hollen. Van Hollen is also the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

These GOP Lawmakers Gave Money to California Gas Tax Repeal Push
Party leaders open their campaign committee wallets for an issue that could energize Republican voters

The campaign committee for Mimi Walters and an associated PAC have loaned or contributed $339,000 to Yes on 6. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A handful of Republican House members are among the largest contributors to a campaign to repeal California’s gas tax boost, one that could draw party voters to the polls in competitive congressional districts.

The seven lawmakers include House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and second-term Rep. Mimi Walters of California. They have contributed or loaned more than $1 million of the $2.2 million received by a group called “Yes on 6, Repeal the Gas Tax,” according to second-quarter state election reports filed July 31.

Dems Want to Know If Bolton Told White House About Contact With Alleged Spy
National security adviser appeared with Butina at gun rights roundtable when he worked for NRA

National Security Adviser John Bolton reportedly appeared with alleged Russian spy Maria Butina when he was a top official with the National Rifle Association. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Top Democrats on the House Oversight Committee want to know if National Security Adviser John Bolton told the White House about his reported contact with alleged Russian spy Maria Butina before he was appointed by President Trump. 

Bolton appeared with Butina in a video roundtable discussion about gun rights, reportedly sponsored by the Russian organization Right to Bear Arms, in his previous position as a top National Rifle Association official, Democrats Elijah Cummings and Stephen Lynch wrote in a letter to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly delivered Monday. 

On Their Pre-Election Checklist? Getting Married
Heller and Heinrich staffers tied the knot Saturday

Scarlet Doyle and Tony Samp met in 2013 through work. (Courtesy of Samp)

Aides from the offices of Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich and Republican Sen. Dean Heller did more than reach across the aisle Saturday. They walked all the way down it.

Tony Samp, 34, Heinrich’s senior policy adviser, and Scarlet Doyle, 27, Heller’s senior legislative assistant, got married at City Winery in D.C.’s Ivy City neighborhood.

Trump Administration Hears Day One of China Tariff Pleas
Six public hearings on import duties began Monday amid worries, hopes

President Donald Trump departs the White House on July 31. His administration kicked off six days of hearings on proposed tariffs on imports from China. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

Importers told government officials Monday that very little product manufacturing will return to the United States, saying Chinese manufacturers have the expertise to produce at high volume and lower prices.

The comments came as the Trump administration began public hearings on proposed tariffs on $200 billion in imports from China. While business leaders in some industries are hopeful that the tariffs will offer protection against competitors using cheaper imported Chinese goods, others worry about potential financial hardships.

Brennan Fracas Could Rip Through Senate’s Defense Spending Debate
Security clearances, abortion among amendment topics floated

Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner, here with Chairman Richard Burr, says he plans to introduce an amendment to the 2019 defense spending bill that would block the president from revoking security clearances. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate is ready to start voting on amendments to the fiscal 2019 Defense spending bill, possibly including several that could stir spirited debate.

Senators have only agreed so far to vote on two relatively uncontroversial amendments to the the two-bill package that includes both the $675 billion Defense bill and the $179.3 billion Labor-HHS-Education measure. Those first two votes are scheduled for Monday evening.

Report: Farenthold Tried to Steer Contract to Businessman Who Later Got Him Lucrative Job
Disgraced congressman complained of ‘f-tards’ who drove him out of office amid #metoo scandal

Former Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, continues to attract controversy months after he resigned in disgrace amid a sexual harassment scandal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Blake Farenthold, who resigned from Congress in disgrace amid a sexual harassment scandal, tried to steer a federal contract to a business owned by the chairman of a Texas port authority who donated almost $20,000 to his campaign and later gave him a job, according to a local newspaper investigation published Monday. 

The Calhoun Port Authority’s secret decision to award Farenthold that  $13,333-a-month lobbying gig shortly after his May ouster from Congress has sparked local controversy and is at the center of a lawsuit filed by The Victoria Advocate.