Executive Branch

A portrait unveiling for ‘Alaskan of the Century,’ Uncle Ted Stevens
Senators reminisce about the late Alaska senator and his legendary salmon fishing trips

Catherine Stevens, far left, the widow of the late Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, attends the portrait unveiling for the senator, with family members, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., right, and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., second right, in the Old Senate Chamber on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Some senators are better fishermen than others.

When senior lawmakers gathered with many of their former colleagues to unveil the leadership portrait of former Senate President Pro Tempore Ted Stevens on Wednesday, it was inevitable that there would be plenty of discussion of the legendary salmon fishing trips hosted by the late Republican from Alaska.

Shelby: Next stopgap could last until February or March
Appropriations chairman says spending bills unlikely to become law before Thanksgiving break

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., departs from the Senate lunch in the Capitol on Wednesday, Oct. 16. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby said the next continuing resolution to fund government agencies beyond the current stopgap’s Nov. 21 expiration might have to run beyond the end of this calendar year — perhaps into early spring.

“Unless a miracle happens around here with the House and the Senate, we will have to come forth with another CR,” said Shelby, R-Ala., noting that next February or March is “probably in the ballpark.”

Jim Jordan: impeachment inquiry has ‘finally reached a boiling point’

Republican members of Congress call for access to depositions related to the House's impeachment inquiry at a news conference on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Several House Republicans, who gathered outside a secure room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor’s Center Wednesday made a public attempt to force themselves into a secure area of the House they had been barred from entering.

The area, known as the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), is where Republican and Democratic Members of the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees heard testimony from Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. Cooper is the latest witness to provide testimony to the panels leading the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.

Senate rejects repeal of state and local tax deduction cap rule

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell conducts a news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate rejected an attempt to repeal a Treasury Department rule that thwarts workarounds employed by several states to bypass the $10,000 limitation on state and local taxes that was a key feature of the 2017 tax code overhaul.

The 43-52 vote Wednesday was mostly along party lines, though Kentucky Republican Rand Paul crossed the aisle to vote for the Democrats’ measure, while Colorado’s Michael Bennet, a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, voted against it.

‘Dadvocates’ join fight for paid family leave
Reddit CEO Alexis Ohanian among dads calling for paid time off

Rep. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts Democrat, holds his daughter Emmy while Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat from Florida, talks with Reddit Founder and CEO Alexis Ohanian. (Clyde McGrady/CQ Roll Call)

They call themselves “Dadvocates,” men who say paid family leave is not just crucial for moms, but for dads who want to bond with their newborn and create more equity when it comes to child care expectations within the home.

Alexis Ohanian, venture capitalist, founder of Reddit and proud “business dad,” said it will be strange when he one day explains to his daughter that paid family leave was not always the law.

Republicans breeze past security protocols, occupy secure impeachment area
Cell phones in secure spaces and committee sit-in raises House Ethics questions

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., at podium, speaks during a news conference outside the Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense, deposition related to the House’s impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. The Republican members were calling for access to the deposition. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Defying established security protocols, a cadre of House Republicans led by Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Rep. Matt Gaetz stormed the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in the Capitol Visitor Center on Wednesday, where the top Pentagon official overseeing U.S. policy in Ukraine was giving her deposition for the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Hours into a standoff between frustrated Republicans and Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry, a handful of GOP members remained sitting in the SCIF, refusing to leave.

Facebook CEO grilled on anti-vaccine content
Rep. Bill Posey demands fairness for vaccine questioners

Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, arrives to testify during the House Financial Services hearing today. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A Republican congressman’s grilling of Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook’s approach to anti-vaccination content exposed the high-wire balancing act the platform now faces as it seeks to balance a public commitment to free expression with efforts to clamp down on disinformation.

At first glance, the line of questioning Wednesday by GOP Rep. Bill Posey of Florida appeared odd and out of step with a hearing dominated by a discussion of Libra, the digital cryptocurrency the company hopes to establish.

Trump to lift sanctions because Turkey-Kurd cease-fire is ‘permanent’
‘Let someone else fight over this long-bloodstained sand,’ president says

President Donald Trump says a “permanent” cease-fire has been reached between Turkish and Kurdish forces on Wednesday as Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo look on. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced what he called a longterm cease-fire between Turkish and Kurdish forces, saying he would lift economic sanctions he slapped on Ankara after its invasion of northern Syria.

Trump said a temporary cease-fire there “has held held, and held well,” adding it is “permanent.” He noted not much in the chaotic region can truly be, before adding: “I think it will be permanent.” Of the U.S. operation there, he said, “Now, we are getting out.”

Zuckerberg threatened with Facebook breakup
At hearing, lawmakers press founder and CEO over Libra cryptocurrency plan

Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify at House Financial Services hearing on its cryptocurrency proposal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans scramble to dispose of campaign cash from Giuliani associates
Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas plead not guilty Wednesday to violating campaign finance laws

President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has ties to two men indicted for campaign finance violations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican lawmakers unwittingly entangled in a campaign finance scandal have scrambled to get rid of contributions from two men at the center of the alleged wrongdoing, both of whom were back in court Wednesday.

Igor Fruman and and Lev Parnas pleaded not guilty to violating campaign finance laws when they appeared in federal court in New York for their arraignment. Fruman, Parnas and two other men were indicted earlier this month for “engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates.” The indictment alleged the two men did so to “buy potential influence with the candidates, campaigns, and the candidates’ governments.”