New Jersey

Even congressmen can’t pump their own gas in New Jersey
Gottheimer manned the squeegee at recent ‘Josh on the Job’ tour

New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer washes windshields as part of his “Josh on the Job” tour at a gas station over recess. (Courtesy Gottheimer’s office.)

Even a congressman can’t pump gas in New Jersey — the last state in the country where drivers can’t fuel up their own vehicles. 

Although the advisory for Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s March 16 “Josh on the Job” event at a Rochelle Park Amoco station said he’d be pumping gas for Jersey drivers, the sophomore Democrat was resigned to squeegeeing windshields.

Udall is retiring, but he will leave behind a weighty environmental legacy
Udall described environmental destruction to Earth as a crisis that demands pressing urgency in a retirement statement

Ranking member of the subcommittee Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M, attends a Senate Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing in Dirksen Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Sen. Tom Udall departs the Senate in 2021, he will leave behind a weighty environmental legacy built with bipartisan help, progressive principles, and a clarion call to tackle climate change.

In a statement on Monday announcing he would not seek re-election in 2020, the New Mexico Democrat described environmental destruction to Earth as a crisis that demands pressing urgency.

Road ahead: As Congress digests Mueller conclusions, it has plenty more on its plate
House will attempt to override Trump’s veto, while Senate takes up Green New Deal

A Capitol Visitor Center employee sets up a shade umbrella last Tuesday outside the CVC entrance. The Senate and House minority parties may need an umbrella to block the shade the majorities plan to throw at them this week amid votes on the Green New Deal and overriding a presidential veto. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Hill spent much of the weekend waiting to find out what special counsel Robert S. Mueller III discovered about Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 election. But as Congress digests the principal conclusions of his report, prepared by Attorney General William P. Barr, leaders will also try to get members to address other priorities.

Barr’s four-page letter sent to Congress on Sunday afternoon stated that Mueller “did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts.”

The ABCs of the Green New Deal
If climate change is the fulcrum propping up the plan, economic inequality is the foot stomping down on the raised end of the seesaw

For supporters of the Green New Deal resolution — sponsored by Sen. Edward J. Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — the threat of climate change is a fulcrum to tackle the country’s social, economic, racial and historical ills. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Since the dangers of greenhouse gases became clear, American politicians have whittled away at climate change in incremental steps: energy-efficiency policies, U.N. climate treaties, basic research, fuel-consumption standards.

But they have not enacted a comprehensive plan to address climate change at the scale and with the speed climate scientists say is required to insulate humanity from what is to come.

Trump spikes football, saying Mueller probe was ‘illegal takedown that failed’
Democrats signal that they don’t think the game is over yet

Supporters of President Donald Trump rally near Trump Tower in New York on Saturday. Grassroots pro-Trump organizations from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania called on supporters to gather, rally and network among members. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — “No collusion. No collusion,” President Donald Trump said before he had even reached a group of reporters last week on the White House’s South Lawn.

That was Wednesday. A few hours later, scuttlebutt began to circulate around Washington that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III was about to deliver his report on Russia’s 2016 election meddling and possible obstruction of justice by the president. Mueller did so two days later, and Attorney General William Barr summarized the former FBI director’s findings two days after that in a letter to lawmakers.

Congress is crawling with rich kids. I should know, I was one of them
Unpaid internships are breeding a crisis on the Hill

Paying interns would break the cycle of prep school privilege that dominates the Capitol, Freedman writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made headlines for one unprecedented move after another, from primarying a member of the Democratic leadership to introducing a Green New Deal. But perhaps her most shocking decision yet is also one that is painfully obvious: paying her staff and interns a living wage.

See, working for Congress should be an opportunity for Americans of every background to serve their country and elected leaders. Instead, the low — and in the case of interns, often nonexistent — pay for young people on the Hill makes working in Washington, D.C., prohibitively expensive for all but a wealthy and connected few. Or, as Ocasio-Cortez aide Dan Riffle put it when describing the Hill staffers he’s encountered, “These are careerists. These are people who grew up on [New York City’s affluent] Upper West Side and went to Ivy League schools.”

Suspect who mailed explosive devices to Trump critics pleads guilty, avoids trial
None of the devices exploded before being discovered

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., was among the critics of President Donald Trump who were mailed explosive devices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Florida man charged with mailing explosive devices to critics of President Donald Trump pleaded guilty Thursday before a federal judge in New York.

Cesar Sayoc Jr. was scheduled to go on trial this summer on charges including interstate transport of explosive devices, illegal mailing of explosives, threatening former presidents and assaulting federal officers. Sayoc was facing up to 58 years in prison.

Cory Booker explains why he is a reluctant filibuster warrior
The Democratic presidential hopeful might prefer to use budget reconciliation

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Presidential candidate and Sen. Cory Booker may have inched toward supporting elimination of the legislative filibuster, but the New Jersey Democrat shouldn’t expect the questions to stop.

In an interview for Wednesday’s episode of the “Pod Save America” podcast, Booker expanded on his long-held reservations about changing the Senate rules allowing contentious legislation to advance without needing 60 votes to get past procedural hurdles.

On the campaign trail, climate change can no longer be ignored
Democrats try to out-green each other as presidential race heats up

The Blue Cut Fire in San Bernardino County, California, destroyed 37,000 acres and more than 300 structures in August 2016. (David McNew/Getty Images)

The 2020 elections are still many months away, but 17-year-old Michael Minsk is already following it closely as more candidates enter the race. Eager to vote for the first time next year, the high school junior is looking for a candidate promising bold action on climate change.

“Climate change is definitely one of the issues I will be voting on along with other social and economic problems,” said Minsk, who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. “I am tired of corruption in government that prevents politicians from acting on it, so I want someone that will stand up and make changes.”

House to vote on equal pay, VAWA, net neutrality bills, in next 3 weeks
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the upcoming votes in a “Dear Colleague” letter sent Monday

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced the major bills the House will consider over the next three-week work period in a dear colleague letter Monday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House will vote over the next three weeks on bills to help reduce the gender pay gap, reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and codify the Obama-era net neutrality rule.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the votes in a “Dear Colleague” letter Monday outlining plans for the three-week House work period beginning March 25.