Iowa

Ernst Only New Face on Congressional Softball Game Roster
Check out the members and media rosters ahead of the June 20 game

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pose with the members team before the 2017 Congressional Women’s Softball game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The rosters for the 10th annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game on June 20 are out and include one new face on the members team: Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa.

The members team will battle it out against the women of the Washington press corps, known as the Bad News Babes, who are the reigning champs after winning, 2-1, last year.

End of an Era on Senate Finance as Longtime Staffer Departs
Mark Prater was figure in major tax debates dating to the 1990s

Mark Prater, chief tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee and a veteran of major tax debates for decades, is retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mark Prater, a fixture in GOP tax policymaking on Capitol Hill, is leaving his post as chief tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee.

“Mark has played a vital role in every major tax debate in the last quarter century,” Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch announced Tuesday in a statement, noting Prater’s work on last year’s tax code overhaul, the Bush-era tax cuts and more. He joined the Finance Committee in January 1990. Tuesday was his last day with the panel.

Meet the Democrat Who’s Not Giving Up on Rural, Working-Class Districts
Charlie Kelly is executive director of House Majority PAC

Charlie Kelly, the executive director of House Majority PAC, controls tens of millions of TV spending for the fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By 7 a.m. on a recent Monday morning, Charlie Kelly was well into the weeds of America’s congressional districts and halfway through a cup of coffee.

Seated in a cramped conference room in downtown Washington, the executive director of House Majority PAC was meeting with each of his regional political desks. He rattled off candidates’ names — their strong suits, as well as their flaws — and dropped encyclopedic knowledge of each district.

DCCC Makes Initial TV Reservations for Fall Fight
Committee is the last of four biggest House-focused groups to make initial buy

DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., right, and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., conduct a news conference at the Capitol in February. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved more than $12.6 million in broadcast television ad time for the last month of the fall campaigns, according to a source familiar with the committee’s independent expenditure buy.

More ad reservations are certainly to come, considering the DCCC spent more than $66 million on TV ads during the 2016 cycle, in addition to an ongoing, seven-figure digital buy, according to the same source.

Trump Vows to Sign Compromise Prisons Bill
President made similar promise on immigration, then helped sink bipartisan measure

President Donald Trump addresses the press before departing for Dallas, Texas, on May 4. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Friday did little to help resolve lawmakers’ standoff over differing House and Senate prison overhaul bills, opting against using his bully pulpit to pressure either side.

Instead, Trump gave both sides leverage when he said his administration “strongly supports these efforts,” referring to each chambers’ bill. The remark was something of a shift for the president. Previously, his administration has voiced support for a measure awaiting House floor action but been cooler to a Senate version that includes proposed sentencing changes.

Photos of the Week: Rain, National Police Week and Smokey Robinson
The week of May 14 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

The dome of the U.S. Capitol is seen through rain drops on the skylight of the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A rainy week in Washington is coming to a close (though the rain seems intent on sticking around through the weekend). Some of the events this week on Capitol Hill included: a presidential visit to the GOP policy lunch, testimony from singer-songwriter legend Smokey Robinson, the premiere of Sen. John McCain's HBO documentary and oh, more rain.

Here's the entire week in photos:

John McCain’s Advice for the Next Immigration Battle
Memoir coming out next week, just as House members try to force floor debate

Sen. John McCain, right, has written advice for the lawmakers fighting the next immigration battle, highlighting his own with former Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s fitting that Sen. John McCain’s memoir, likely his last, will arrive just as a bipartisan contingent of House lawmakers is seeking to work around Republican leaders’ objections to moving an immigration bill.

McCain, a longtime supporter of overhauling immigration laws, has some advice for newer colleagues searching for the path to legislative victory, even when their own leadership may not be on board.

Smokey Robinson Tells Senate Committee to Update Music Copyright Laws
Motown musician said Music Modernization Act would help older musicians

Recording artist Smokey Robinson, left, gives Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a kiss as Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, looks on before the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Protecting and Promoting Music Creation for the 21st Century” on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Smokey Robinson asked the Senate Judiciary committee Tuesday to help older, struggling musicians by updating copyright laws.

“I know a lot of musicians and producers and writers who have fallen on hard times and we could really use that money,” the singer said. “It’s not just about music, it’s about lives.”

Photo of the Day: Smokey Robinson Cruisin’ on the Hill
The legendary singer-songwriter spoke to Congress about protecting music creation

Recording artist Smokey Robinson gives Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a kiss as Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, looks on before the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Protecting and Promoting Music Creation for the 21st Century” on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Can he get a second on that emotion? Singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson was on hand Tuesday morning at the Senate Judiciary hearing to make a plea to senators to protect music recorded before 1972.

Liberal Group Targets Swing Districts Over Tax Overhaul
Six-figure ad campaign airs in Iowa, Maine and Washington districts

Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., is having an ad in her district criticizing the new tax law for which she voted. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A liberal outside group is targeting incumbent Republicans for their vote in support of the tax legislation that was passed last year.

Tax March, a liberal group critical of the law, said the ad was part of a six-figure ad campaign.