Gerald E Connolly

Manchin to Trump: Don't Make Marino the Drug Czar
Follows reports of legislative effort Justice Department decried

Rep. Tom Marino, the nominee to be the drug czar, is under fire for his legislative efforts on drug use. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratic senator from a state ravaged by opioid abuse wants President Donald Trump to pull back the nomination of Rep. Tom Marino to be the nation’s drug czar.

Citing reporting from the Washington Post, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin III said in a letter to Trump that he had concerns that Marino, a Republican from Pennsylvania, could be too favorable to the opioid industry if he were to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Harvey Aid Bill Creates Dilemma for Texas Republicans
Most oppose move to tack debt and CR to disaster relief

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer struck a rare deal with Republican President Donald Trump on Thursday (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A measure that would provide Hurricane Harvey disaster relief to Texas has politically perplexed members of the Lone Star State’s congressional delegation, some of whom plan to vote against it.

That’s because it includes a debt ceiling extension and only three months’ worth of government funding — a deal struck by President Donald Trump with House and Senate Democratic leaders.

Former House Staffers Indicted Over Nude Image Distribution
Charges involve private images of U.S. Virgin Islands delegate circulated last year

U.S. Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett said she was grateful to her constituents for their support during her family’s ordeal. (Courtesy Plaskett’s congressional website)

Two former staffers of U.S. Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett were indicted Thursday following an investigation into the circulation of nude photos and videos of the Democrat and her husband that one of the staffers found on her iPhone, the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia said in a statement.

Juan McCullum, 35, a legislative assistant for Plaskett in 2015 and 2016, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of cyberstalking for allegedly creating accounts on Hotmail and Facebook using a made-up name to distribute and post the photos and video in July 2016, the statement read.

Word on the Hill: Golf Day on Capitol Hill
Free pretzels and shuffling staffers

It's National Golf Day. Here is Florida Rep. Tom Rooney teeing off as Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper, California Rep. Duncan Hunter and Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle watch during the First Tee Congressional Challenge golf tournament in 2015. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s National Golf Day, which means golf industry leaders and PGA Tour winner Billy Hurley III will be on Capitol Hill.

A coalition of golf’s leading organizations, known as WE ARE GOLF, is scheduled to meet with members of Congress to discuss the sports economy and impact.

D.C. Area Lawmakers to Colleagues: Leave Our Airport Alone
Warn against easing restrictions on long-haul flights into Reagan National Airport

Lawmakers from the D.C. area are concerned about sending more air traffic to Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers from in and around Washington are warning their congressional colleagues against changing local airport rules in a bid to make it easier for them to get back to their home states.

A group of 15 members of Congress, led by Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia and Benjamin L. Cardin and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, along with Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., do not want to see any easing of restrictions on long-haul flights from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport — whose Arlington, Virginia, location is significantly closer to the Capitol building than either of the other major airports in the area.

Word on the Hill: Ready to Run
Make reservations to dine out for a good cause next week

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run is an annual race that passes monuments, such as the World War II Memorial, and runs along the Tidal Basin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Capitol Hill Competition is fast approaching.

Part of the larger Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run on April 2, it awards the fastest House or Senate congressional office with the Capitol Cup to display for a year.

GOP Plan Doesn’t Address Members, Staff Health Care
Unanswered questions on fate of 11,000 people

A sign from 2013 alerts Senate employees that representatives from DC Health Link are in the Hart Senate Office Building to help them with health insurance enrollment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As lawmakers delve into questions about the Republican health care plan, one big one will remain unanswered for the time being: What happens to health care for members of Congress and their staffs?

The 2010 health care law required members and their staff to enroll in health care programs created by the law. But it’s not clear if that requirement will continue, or whether lawmakers and staff will return to the coverage plans they had prior to the law taking effect.

Guest List: Who Members of Congress Are Taking to Trump’s Address
President to make first speech to joint session of Congress on Tuesday

The guest lists are out for President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump will hold his first joint session address to Congress on Tuesday and every member is able to bring a guest to sit in the gallery.

Oftentimes, those invited are a part of what is driving the news of the day.

Getting Metro Safety Back on Track
New commission will be empowered to adopt tough safety rules

Democratic lawmakers from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia are calling for Congress to approve the Metro Safety Commission promptly. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Washington Metro system has its good days and its bad ones. On its best, it carries hundreds of thousands of commuters and visitors around our metro area. On its worst, maintenance and safety issues have caused enraging delays and even heartbreaking accidents. The people living in our region and those visiting our nation’s capital deserve to know that when they get on Metro they will arrive at their destinations safely.

That’s why we introduced legislation last week to establish a new Metro Safety Commission, putting Metro on a path to safer operations. And today, we are sending a letter to the Government Accountability Office, asking them to analyze the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s funding and governance structure and issue recommendations for changes. WMATA is distinct among transit agencies in that it is governed by four separate entities, creating unique challenges for collective action on fundamental questions such as how to fund the system. A GAO deep-dive on these questions could yield valuable and objective insight.

Grassley Pitches Trump on Whistleblowers
Iowan says president should want to know about waste, abuse

Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley has a long-held interest in whistleblower protections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“Assuming Trump reads your stories, or somebody there reads your stories, tell them that they’ve got to deal with Chuck Grassley if they don’t treat whistleblowers right.” 

That’s the message Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley wants the White House to hear. And given how important the Iowa Republican is to advancing the agenda of President Donald Trump, his words carry weight.