Kathleen Rice

Opinion: The Real Year of the Woman
Female lawmakers are playing outsize role in sexual harassment debate

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., resigned after he reportedly suggested that a female staffer carry his child for $5 million and then retaliated against her when she balked. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It takes a special kind of depravity for a congressman to suggest to a female staffer that she carry his child for $5 million and then retaliate against her when she declines the offer, as former Rep. Trent Franks reportedly did last year.

Nobody is winning a profile in courage award for asking female staff members to cuddle with him in his apartment and then firing them after they refuse, as former Rep. John Conyers Jr. was accused of doing before he resigned in disgrace. And you’d think that voters would somehow weed out a senator who apparently had a groping habit before he was ever in politics, but former Sen. Al Franken proved that conventional wisdom wrong.

Bipartisan Group Wants to End Taxpayer Money for Harassment Settlements
Members led by Rep. Ron Desantis also aim to disclose settlements dating back to 1995

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., is interviewed by a TV news crew outside of the House chamber. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of members announced legislation that would end the practice of using taxpayer money to settle claims of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.

Republican Reps. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Tennessee’s Marsha Blackburn were joined by Democratic Reps. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Jim Cooper also of Tennessee and Kathleen Rice of New York. 

Word on the Hill: This Isn’t ‘House of Cards’
Girls Nation, tennis and whisleblowers

Actor Paul Sparks spoke about being diagnosed with diabetes at 28-years-old at a Senate Aging Committee hearing Wednesday. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)

The author writing a book about Frank and Claire Underwood in Netflix’s “House of Cards” was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday — well, the actor who plays him was.

Paul Sparks, who plays Tom Yates on the show and also stars on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” testified before the Senate Aging Committee on diabetes research.

Word on the Hill: Week Ahead
Your social schedule for the week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican Conference continue debate over health care this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome back to another full legislative week.

It won’t be as hot as it has been after the temperature drops tonight, so you might actually want to get outside tomorrow.

Who’s Playing in Tonight’s Congressional Softball Game
The ninth annual game pits members of Congress against the media to raise money

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., celebrates with teammates after members defeated the media team, 10-5, in the 2014 Congressional Softball Game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress team up with the Washington press corps in the annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game Wednesday night to raise money for breast cancer.

This year’s game has seen interest and ticket sales soar after the shooting at last week’s Republican team practice before the Congressional Baseball Game, which set a record for attendance.

Gallagher Steals Fastest Lawmaker Title From Cotton
Blumenauer staffer first overall finisher

Texas Sen. John Cornyn runs in the ACLI Capital Challenge, a three-mile team race in Anacostia Park in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Rep. Mike Gallagher is the fastest lawmaker in Washington, beating Sen. Tom Cotton, who held the title for four years.

The 33-year-old Wisconsin Republican was the first member of Congress to finish the 36th annual ACLI Capital Challenge in Anacostia Park on Wednesday morning.

Duckworth Leads Capital Challenge Wheelchair Team to Keep Promise to Herself
Illinois Democrat pledged to do more after losing legs in Iraq

Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth competed in her first marathon four years after losing her legs in Iraq. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Serving as captain of the wheelchair team in the 36th annual ACLI Capital Challenge on Wednesday is part of a pledge that Sen. Tammy Duckworth made to herself after losing her legs while serving in Iraq.

“When I was in the hospital, I made a promise to do more than I could before I was wounded,” the Illinois Democrat said. “My recovery goal wasn’t just to get by — it was to go beyond what I thought I could ever do.”

Congressional Women’s Softball Prepares to Lose a Staple
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has played since game was started in 2009, announced retirement earlier

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is expected to play her final Congressional Women’s Softball Game next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After an election, there are always comings and goings from the Congressional Women’s Softball Game rosters. But the biggest news of the offseason this year was that the game will soon be losing Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

The Florida Republican has played in the charity event pitting female lawmakers against members of the media since the first one in 2009. But she announced last month that she will be retiring after her current term. 

Word on the Hill: Semi-Recess Week
Your social calendar for the week

A television monitor at the TV stakeout shows proceedings on the floor as the House votes to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House staffers get a bit of a break this week.

While the Senate is in session, the House is on recess following a long and stressful week that culminated with the passage of the Republican health care bill. 

Freedom Caucus Member’s Book Slams Money-Obsessed Politicians
In ‘Drain the Swamp,’ Ken Buck also takes aim at NRCC’s ‘pay-to-play’ culture

Colorado Rep. Ken Buck attributes criticism of the House Freedom Caucus to “just plain jealousy.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Freedom Caucus member Ken Buck describes a money-hungry, lobbyist-influenced Republican leadership in his first book “Drain the Swamp” but he told CQ Roll Call that life is better for the hard-line conservative faction under Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

The Colorado Republican, now in his second term, has few kind words in his book released this week for Ryan’s predecessor, Ohio’s John A. Boehner, whom conservative lawmakers worked to oust. Boehner has since set up a practice at the K Street firm Squire Patton Boggs, and his spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.