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Cruz Accuses GOP Leadership of Playing Santa for Lobbyists

Cruz told the Friday rally that Republican leadership was "playing Santa Claus to the lobbyists and K Street and the special interests." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MECHANICSVILLE, Va. —  Minutes after taking a photo with Santa Claus and wishing him well on Christmas Eve, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz turned Grinch on Republicans on Capitol Hill who backed the omnibus spending bill that cleared earlier Friday.  

"Now, it's Christmastime, so it was Republican leadership playing Santa Claus to the lobbyists and K Street and the special interests, and it's why people are fed up with the Washington cartel," the Texas Republican told reporters before a packed house at the Life Church in suburban Richmond.  

What's 'Life After Congress' for a Temporary Senator?

Cowan talks with Sen. Angus King during the dedication event for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate in Boston on March 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BOSTON — Sporting a Red Sox cap and a fleece jacket emblazoned with the logo of his law firm, you wouldn't know that the man in the corner booth of a diner was a historic figure, one of just nine African-Americans to have ever served in the United States Senate.  

But retired Sen. William "Mo" Cowan of Massachusetts might well prefer it that way when he visits establishments such as Victoria's Diner in the Dorchester neighborhood here, since he never intended to be a senator in the first place.  

Senate Odd Couple Seeks Common Ground on Climate Change

Manchin, left, and Whitehouse measure fish as part of a Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management survey. (Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

POINT JUDITH, R.I. — A visit to the Ocean State's eroding shoreline didn't prompt West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III to change his mind about Environmental Protection Agency regulation of carbon emissions, but his host wasn't expecting that sort of evolution.  

RollCall-On-the-Road-Logo(300x300) "I didn't invite Sen. Manchin here thinking that he was suddenly going to have an epiphany and turn into a 'greenie' and come to the next climate march with me," Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse told reporters after the two Democrats took a daylong tour of coastal Rhode Island on Oct. 10.  

The Oklahoma Guide to Getting Along

Derick Brock, right, from Mercy Chefs helps a man fold a flag he found in the debris after the May 2013 tornado. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

RollCall-On-the-Road-Logo(150x150) OKLAHOMA CITY — This is a state that knows what it's like to recover from a disaster.  

From the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, to the destruction wreaked by two of the largest tornadoes ever recorded tearing through its suburbs, there has been a thread running through the tragedies: Oklahomans pull together .  

The Complexity of the U.S. Border Crisis, in 7 Photos

A migrant trail near Nogales, Ariz. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

NOGALES, Ariz. — Didn't get to the border during your August recess to do research for your boss? We have you covered.  

In the days before they last left town, the House rallied to pass an appropriations bill aiming to curtail the influx of child migrants — legislation that's going to hit a wall in the Senate whether or not the president takes any executive action.  

McCain: Senate Shouldn't Leave Without Authorizing Use of Force Against ISIS (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:03 p.m. | NORFOLK, Va. — Sen. John McCain said Wednesday that Congress shouldn't leave Washington for the mid-term election break until authorizing the use of force against ISIS.  

Speaking with reporters after a campaign event for GOP Senate candidate Ed Gillespie at a VFW hall, the Arizonan dismissed the idea that the Senate is only scheduled to be in session for two weeks in September, where advancing a continuing resolution to keep the government running will highlight the agenda.  

Dreamers Ambush Paul Ryan at Colorado Book Signing (Video)

Protesters confronted Ryan at his book signing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:56 p.m. |  THORNTON, Colo. — Immigration protesters ambushed Rep. Paul D. Ryan Wednesday as the Wisconsin Republican signed books at a Barnes & Noble here.  

Ryan was confronted by Greisa Martinez, a national organizer with United We Dream. Martinez and three companions bought books and waited in line for Ryan. But once Martinez reached the front of the line, she asked Ryan questions about the lack of congressional action on immigration.  

Paul Ryan Rules Out Another Government Shutdown

Ryan, kicking off his book tour in Philadelphia, ruled out another government shutdown. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

PHILADELPHIA — House Republicans won't shut down the government in September, Heritage Action is "constructive at the end of the day" and a person can write a book without necessarily running for president.  

Those were some of the points Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., hit home during an exclusive interview with CQ Roll Call Wednesday afternoon from the ornate Union League Building in downtown Philadelphia.  

Vilsack, Shaheen Visit the Farm

Vilsack joined Shaheen for Tuesday's announcement in New Hampshire. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

LOUDON, N.H. | Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen at a hilltop farm here Tuesday to tout new federal grants.  

"We have one of the highest percentages in the country of our farmers engaging directly with consumers who buy their products, and the whole farm-to-table movement has been very influential, I think, in encouraging people to ... make sure that they buy much as they can directly from the farm," Shaheen said.  

Behind the Camera in Ferguson

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I had also heard reports of street blockades and journalist arrests. I wasn’t familiar with the area from a logistical standpoint, I didn’t feel like dealing with the hassle of getting there.  

Around the time I was thinking about it, Photo Editor Bill Clark sent me an email floating the idea of checking it out and that was all I needed to get going. I did some searches and found what I thought was the QuikTrip that had been looted on West Florissant Avenue and made my way there. It was the wrong one, but a woman pointed me down the street to where the protests were happening.