rhode island

Rep. David Cicilline’s Sister Let Off Hook on ‘Live PD’
Some viewers say she caught a break because of political connections

Officer Matt Moretti administers a field sobriety test to Susan Cicilline-Buonanno, sister of Rhode Island Democratic Rep. David Cicilline, during Friday’s broadcast of “Live PD.” (A&E)

A local Rhode Island police officer let Rep. David Cicilline’s sister, Susan Cicilline-Buonanno, go home without any troubles after pulling her over and administering a sobriety test — on television.

The encounter was broadcast on A&E’s “Live PD,” a program that follows roughly six police officers from around the country as they feed delayed video to the show.

Road Ahead: Senate Returning to DC for the Ides of August
Floor agenda will look familiar: judicial nominations and appropriation bills

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.,left, jokes with Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, as he walks down the Senate steps on Aug. 1 after the chamber’s last vote of the week. Risch was posing for photos with interns on the steps. Senators return Wednesday from their truncated district work period. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Thank goodness the Senate has “manufactured weather.”

That’s what Carrier called the system that was first installed to cool the chamber in the early 20th century. The modern air conditioning will be in full use this week as the Senate returns for a rare mid-August session.

Primary Elections? Sure, We Got ’Em
August might be a sleepy time for some, but not for the midterms

These folks, Public Advocate of the U.S. Inc, cannot wait for the Senate to come back and get to its hearing on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. On Wednesday, they hosted a live performance by the “Kavanaugh Singers” in front of the high court to promote the judge’s confirmation. The group sang “Confirm Brett” to the tune of Mary Poppins’ “Chim Chim Che-ree.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

August might be a sleepy time for legislation, the Senate’s capital busy-work period notwithstanding (See The Kicker below). But this is a midterm election year, and we are still in the thick of primary season.

Photos of the Week: Senate Summer Session Commences, and Breaks
The week of July 30 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., jokes with Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, as he walks down the Senate steps after the last vote of the week in the Senate on Wednesday. Risch was posing for a photo with interns on the steps. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate was at work this week passing a four-bill spending package, which completes the chamber’s 12 appropriations bills for the year. The House got its first week of summer recess under its belt, and by the end of the week, the Senate joined them. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is allowing for a truncated recess, with senators in their home states next week but expected back on the Hill on Wednesday, Aug. 15. 

Democrats Seek Probe of Air Force One Tours for Mar-a-Lago Members
Warren, others question special access for members of the president’s club

The request for inquiry stems from a BuzzFeed article alleging tours of the president’s plane were given to members of the national golf club owned by the president in Palm Beach, Fla. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Were members of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club given special tours of Air Force One?

That’s the question a group of Senate Democrats, led by Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, want two Pentagon inspectors general to find out.

Pelosi Urges House Democrats to ‘Own August’ Over Recess
Leadership introduces toolkit to help members draw an economic contrast with GOP

The office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee have sent a messaging toolkit to members to use in their districts over the August recess. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic recruits across the country may be running away from party leadership in their campaigns this summer, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has some messaging advice for her colleagues about painting a contrast between the parties ahead of November. 

In a “Dear Colleague” letter circulated Monday, marking 100 days from the midterms, Pelosi stressed the importance of contrasting the Democratic and Republican economic messages when lawmakers are in their districts over recess.

NDAA Races Through Congress at Historic Pace
Only twice in the last 33 years has the defense authorization wrapped before Oct. 1

House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, credits the two-year budget deal for this year’s speedy adoption of the defense authorization bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Advancing a defense authorization bill was as painless this year as it has been in decades, according to the people who wrote the measure.

The House adopted the fiscal 2019 NDAA conference report in a lopsided 359-54 vote on Thursday just before that chamber’s members left town for the August recess.

Groups Call for Fed Crackdown on Lawmaker Slush Funds
Petition to FEC asks for clarification that steak dinners, golf outings are personal expenses

Members of Congress cast shadows on the first tee for a rules briefing for the First Tee Congressional Challenge golf tournament at the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md.. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Watchdog groups asked federal officials Tuesday to crack down on lawmakers who use certain fundraising accounts to finance their golf outings and steak lunches.

Leadership political action committees are meant to help Congress members raise money for their colleagues — thus helping them climb leadership ranks. Because those accounts aren’t subject to the same spending restrictions as the ones candidates use for their own campaigns, they are prone to eyebrow-raising spending activity, or “used as slush funds to subsidize officeholders’ lifestyles,” the Campaign Legal Center and Issue One wrote in a petition to the FEC.

Maria Butina in Mind, Democratic Senators Want Treasury Documents About Russian Ties to NRA
Finance Committee members renew request in aftermath of arrest

Sen. Ron Wyden is seeking documents from the Treasury about potential connections between the NRA and Russia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Ron Wyden is again pushing the Treasury Department to hand over documents about Russians possibly funneling money to the National Rifle Association.

It’s a renewal of a request the Oregon Democrat first sent to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the beginning of February. And now, joined by fellow Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the query is expanding.

Vulnerable Senate Democrats Have Another Thing to Worry About: Diversity on Their Staffs
Conference voluntarily released data on its diversity statistics for the second year

Vulnerable Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin III, left, and Jon Tester have offices that are 93 percent and 92 percent white, an analysis of data released by Senate Democrats found. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic senators gearing up for competitive re-elections tend to have whiter staffs, according to a Roll Call analysis of data released by Senate Democrats.

Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, who finds himself in a race rated Tilts Democratic by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales, has a staff that is 93 percent white. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III, also in a Tilts Democratic contest, was just behind him, at 92 percent.