Edward J Markey

Floor Charts for the Floor Show
Our favorite visual aids from a month of congressional floor-watching

Rep. Mark Takano declared April 26 as International Chart Day. (@FloorCharts screenshot of C-SPAN)

Bunny ears, definitions and big red signs made up the best of floor charts this month. But, more importantly, charts got their own day, which was announced through a ... you guessed it, floor chart. 

The Twitter handle @FloorCharts posts some of the daily highlights, and Roll Call provides a monthly roundup of the best of the best.

Senate Democrats Claim Small Victory on Net Neutrality
Will be taking the debate to the ballot box

Sen. Edward J. Markey has led the charge on the resolution that would effectively bring back net neutrality rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats won’t be scoring many legislative victories this year. So Wednesday’s win on a joint resolution that would upend the effort by the Federal Communications Commission to reverse Obama-era regulations on net neutrality was cause for mild celebration.

“A key question for anyone on the campaign trail in 2018 now will be: Do you support net neutrality?” Sen. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts said at a news conference with House and Senate Democratic leaders on the effort to block the Trump administration from rolling back the regulations.

Judicial, CIA Nominations Highlight May Congressional Agenda
House and Senate committees working on appropriations and defense policy bills

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer will likely be right back to work debating how to process judicial nominations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Congress returns this week for a work period that stretches to Memorial Day, the legislative agenda on the floors faces long odds of enactment even as broader issues surrounding the president’s judicial and executive nominees, as well as the annual Pentagon policy bill, compete for attention. 

Senators arrive in Washington on Monday evening for a three-week run highlighted by yet another batch of federal appeals court nominations.

Pompeo Confirms Mueller Interview
Secretary of state nominee testified before Senate Foreign Relations panel

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, right, President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State, greets Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo told senators at his confirmation hearing Thursday he has been questioned by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in his investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

Specifically, Mueller questioned the current CIA chief on a West Wing conversation last March with President Donald Trump and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in which the president reportedly asked Coats to get then-FBI head James B. Comey to drop his investigation into  former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Sunshine State Senator Seeks More Sunshine
Marco Rubio proposes year-round Daylight Saving Time

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wants to change time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Winters might not be quite so long and lonely if Sen. Marco Rubio gets his way.

The Sunshine State Republican wants to keep the sun out late, all year round.

Chao, Senate Democrats Spar on Infrastructure Proposal
Transportation secretary says ask the White House about gas tax increase

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao pushed back on Democrats' criticism about the administration's infrastructure plan, such as it is. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee sparred Thursday over environmental requirements and funding in the president’s infrastructure proposal, jousting over the contents of a plan that top Senate Republicans indicated this week isn’t likely to pass this year.

Chao repeatedly defended the plan from charges by committee Democrats that it would strip environmental protections, saying the administration only wanted to improve the process without sacrificing environmental quality. The administration wants to eliminate duplication and allow relevant agencies to conduct environmental reviews simultaneously rather than sequentially, she said.

Philly Cheesesteaks at Stake
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania lawmakers place bets on Super Bowl

Top: Betting on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII are, from left, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey and Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III. Bottom: Betting on the Philadelphia Eagles are, from left, Sens. Patrick J. Toomey and Bob Casey and Rep. Brendan F. Boyle.

Lawmakers from New England and the Philadelphia area are gearing up for Super Bowl LII by making bets with one another. And there are a lot of cheesesteaks involved.

The Philadelphia Eagles play the New England Patriots on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and both teams’ fan bases cross multiple delegations.

Amid Safety Concerns, Senators Plan Path for Driverless Car Bill
Blumenthal invokes Ralph Nader’s 1965 “Unsafe at Any Speed“

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, a co-sponsor of a driverless car bill, says he is working to address the reservations of his fellow Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The sponsors of a Senate bill to set the federal framework for driverless vehicles said Wednesday they were making progress on their effort to pass it by unanimous consent. But they resisted calls to amend the measure and said they may pursue a floor vote instead.

After a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee field hearing at the Washington Auto Show, Chairman John Thune told reporters he will continue to work through safety concerns that three Democratic senators had over the bill. But he said he wouldn’t cave to demands that would undermine the purpose of the legislation.

Markey, Lieu Push ‘First Strike’ Bill After Trump Taunts Kim
President to North Korean leader: My ‘nuclear button’ is ‘much bigger & more powerful’

A North Korean ballistic missile during "Victory Day" parade in 2013. (Wikimedia Commons)

Lawmakers are pushing legislation anew that would limit Donald Trump’s ability to launch nuclear weapons on his own after the president taunted North Korea’s leader over the size and lethality of his “nuclear button.”

After North Korean leader Kim Jong-un used part of his New Year's message to remind the world he has a “nuclear button,” Trump responded with a Tuesday evening tweet about his own atomic button.

Senate Democrats Doubt Validity of Puerto Rico Death Toll
Reports of full morgues may signal incomplete official count, senators say

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined 12 of her Democratic colleagues in signing a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke raising questions about the official death count in Puerto Rico. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

As Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló travels to Washington to meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday, a group of Senate Democrats is asking the administration about the accuracy of the island territory’s death toll.

Thirteen senators, led by Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have written a new letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke expressing concern that reports about morgues at Puerto Rican hospitals being full may signal that the official tally of 48 fatalities may be incomplete.