Missouri

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

(Courtesy @FloorCharts screenshot of C-SPAN)

From tributes to senators to hours of testimony from a tech giant, spring has been a visual mixed bag in Congress.

Lawmakers like these oversized and sometimes garish visual aids because they help them get their point across. The Twitter handle @FloorCharts posts some of the daily highlights, and we’re doing a monthly roundup of the best of the best.

Opinion: When the World of Politics Collides With the Real One
New political forces may impact midterms

The March for Our Lives rally demonstrated that millennials and young people may be a force to be reckoned with in the midterms, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It is months away from November 2018, but that doesn’t stop predictions not only for the midterms but also for President Donald Trump’s re-election chances in 2020. But while the world of politics is preoccupied with whether a blue wave is inevitable or a figment of hopeful Democrats’ imagination, events outside the bubble might shift the electorate in unpredictable ways.

My Roll Call colleague Walter Shapiro explains, with examples from recent history, how politically fraught these pre-election prognostications can be. It’s also wise to remember how life and politics can be determined by “moments,” despite what consultants who make a living steering candidates and campaigns may say. And right now, America is in the middle of moments that could challenge conventional electoral wisdom.

Senators Again Push Steamboat Exemption Despite Safety Warnings
Ship has taken on outsize significance on Capitol Hill

A group of senators wants to exempt the Delta Queen, a wooden steamboat, to operate as an overnight cruise ship despite safety concerns. (Al Behrman/AP file photo)

A group of senators have quietly inserted into a Coast Guard authorization bill a provision that would allow an old wooden steamboat to operate as an overnight cruise ship despite repeated official warnings that doing so would create a floating fire trap.

The Senate fell four votes short Wednesday of moving forward with the authorization measure. But the issue is not expected to die there.

House Chaplain Patrick Conroy to Step Down In May
Jesuit priest has served in the role since 2011

House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy, right, attends a swearing-in ceremony for the new Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in 2016 with Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., center, and Roy Blunt, R-Mo. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The in-house chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives is stepping down next month after seven years in the post.

Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, 67, a Catholic priest of the Jesuit order, has served in the post since 2011, when then-Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pegged him for the post.

Roy Blunt: Playing the Inside Game and Scoring
Missouri’s GOP senator is proof the popular outsider play isn’t the only winning route

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., regained the chairmanship of the Rules and Administration Committee last week.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a political world where running against Washington has become one of the easiest paths to getting there, and where the ultimate outsider neophyte is president, Roy Blunt stands out as proof that the opposite approach sometimes still works.

Few in today’s Congress have succeeded as well, and for as long, at the inside game — where influence is cultivated and sustained by combining broad political and policy expertise along with deep interpersonal skill.

Meet the Dogs of the Senate, Round III
Canine friends in the offices of Blunt, Merkley, Kennedy and Ernst

Juneau’s smile adds one to the face of everyone in Sen. Jeff Merkley's office. (Courtesy Sen. Jeff Merkley’s office)

There are a lot of dogs available for belly rubs or paw-shaking roaming the halls of Congress.

We gave you another round of dogs of the House on Monday. And back by popular demand, here is another round of dogs of the Senate.

Photos of the Week: Ryan’s Done (Almost), Zuckerberg Testifies and 2 New Lawmakers Make Entrances
The week of April 9 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on the protection of user data on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress returned from its spring recess to a busy week, made busier when Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced he would not seek re-election in November.

Also this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent three days on the Hill meeting with lawmakers and testifying on improper use of his company’s customers’ data. And there’s a new senator — Mississippi Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith — and a new House member — Pennsylvania Democrat Conor Lamb — after two swearings-in this week. 

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Ex-Obama official ‘apologizes’ to Rand Paul, last looks at cherry blossoms, and Mullin celebrates his heritage

Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., takes a picture of the media before a House Energy and Commerce Committee in Rayburn Building on the protection of user data featuring testimony by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Hoyer Listening Tour Gathers Ideas for Unifying Economic Agenda
Latest iteration of Make It In America agenda can be used in quest for House majority

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., right, and Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., left, tour Culimeta-Saveguard, an exhaust insulation manufacturing facility in Eau Claire, Wis., last week during Hoyer’s Make It In America listening tour.(Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

MADISON, Wis. — As progressives and moderates battle it out in primaries, national Democrats like House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer are crafting an economic agenda their candidates can use to help them win back the House in November.

House Democrats across the political spectrum understand that without a strong economic message with crossover appeal, they will be relegated to another two years in the minority.

Richard Shelby Officially in as Senate Appropriations Chairman
GOP colleagues ratify powerful committee's vote

Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., is the new chairman of the Appropriations Committee, replacing Thad Cochran. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans officially chose Sen. Richard C. Shelby as Appropriations chairman on Tuesday after his fellow Republicans ratified the Committee’s Monday evening vote during a closed-door lunch.

David Popp, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., confirmed the Alabama Republican’s selection, as well as the approval of Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., as the new Rules chairman, replacing Shelby.