South Dakota

It’s still the year of the woman, if this pizza chef has her way
Every week Ruth Gresser will offer up a cheesy, saucy concoction inspired by female politicians

Ruth Gresser, right, is bringing back her pizza promotion celebrating women who lead. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

After last year’s elections swept a record number of women into office, they’re finally getting some dough. Literally.

“I’m sure there would be many people who would say that there shouldn’t be any politics in pizza,” said chef Ruth Gresser, who owns D.C. mainstay Pizzeria Paradiso. But that hasn’t stopped her from creating a yearlong homage to women who lead.

Fewer members taking the leap to governor
Don’t expect a chunk of House seats to open up because of people wanting to run

Louisiana Republican Rep. Ralph Abraham is currently the only member running for governor and he doesn’t have to give up his seat to do it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last cycle, nine members left Congress to try to become governor and five ended up winning the state’s top job. But this cycle will be a different story. While 38 states elected a governor in 2017 or 2018, just 14 states will elect a governor in the next two years. And fewer opportunities to move up will limit the exodus from the House.

Currently, there’s just one House member running for governor, and he doesn’t have to give up his seat to do it.

Lawmakers introduce bills to crack down on robocalls
Nuisance calls and scams went unmonitored during the shutdown, but harsher penalties could be coming

Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission, said earlier this week “We are not overseeing so many of the things that we do on a day to day basis” during the partial government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The federal regulators who typically track and alert the public to new robocall schemes were furloughed for more than a month during the partial government shutdown, exacerbating what some lawmakers call a “scourge” of phone scams.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in both chambers have introduced bills to strengthen the authority of federal agencies to crack down on pesky and sometimes illegal robocalls amid a surge of consumer complaints in recent years.

House GOP retreat postponed amid government shutdown
The Congressional Institute announced Wednesday it will postpone the three-day event

House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney is seen before the start of a news conference on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans’ annual retreat has become the latest victim of the partial government shutdown.

House Republicans had been scheduled to hold their retreat Jan. 30 through Feb. 1 at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. But the Congressional Institute announced Wednesday it will postpone the three-day event. 

Trump: ‘Major announcement’ on border security coming Saturday
Focus to be on ‘humanitarian crisis’ and the government shutdown

President Donald Trump is tweeting that a “major announcement” on border security is coming on Saturday. Here he is  flanked from left by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.., and Vice President Mike Pence . (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump will make a “major announcement” Saturday about border security on what by then will be the 29th day of the partial government shutdown.

Three minutes after the White House call a “lid” Friday night and reporters headed for the gate, the president fired off a tweet, saying his remarks will focus on “the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse.”

Photos of the week: Snow and a bus ride to nowhere as the shutdown continues
The week of Jan. 14 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md., takes questions from constituents during his town hall meeting on the government shutdown at the Largo-Kettering Branch Library in the Washington suburbs on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The shutdown is approaching its fifth week, seemingly with no end in sight. Lawmakers are planning to be in session next week, despite the typical annual recess following the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday.

The past week saw several town halls on the shutdown, a good deal of snow for the capital area and escalating tensions between the president and the speaker. 

John Thune’s new whip office staff learning the ropes and getting to work
Office features a mix of veteran Senate and House aides

Staffers for Sen. John Thune pose in his new whip office in the Capitol on Jan. 10. Front row, from left, David Cole, Scarlet Samp and Jason Van Beek; back row, from left, Cynthia Herrle, Geoffrey Antell, Brendon Plack and Nick Rossi. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate’s Republican majority has a new occupant of the whip’s office, and with it come some new people for senators and their staffs to interact with when trying to get legislation to the floor.

The leader of the operation for Majority Whip John Thune will be a familiar face from the South Dakota’s previous role as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

Frustrated by ‘my generals,’ Trump turns to ‘my actings’
Expert: ‘Irony is the politics are so favorable ... it suggests something more nefarious’

Senate Republicans like Wyoming’s John Barrasso, John Thune of South Dakota, Roy Blunt of Missouri and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, here at the Capitol on Wednesday, do not seem concerned about the number of acting Cabinet and lower-level officials in President Donald Trump's administration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump came into office enamored with, as he called them, “my generals.” But as he learned on the job, the commander in chief grew frustrated with and replaced those retired four-star military men. Two years later, the president’s Cabinet is now stocked with a group he calls “my actings.”

Experts say the Constitution, existing laws and department-specific guidelines give Trump the authority and legal cover to keep various acting Cabinet-level and other officials in place for over 200 days — or longer, in some cases. But the law is clear as mud when it comes to whether he could simply keep a favorite “acting” in place for the duration of his administration, legal scholars say.

Trump walks out of meeting as White House confab devolves
Day of meetings at Capitol and executive mansion produce only recriminations

President Donald Trump, flanked from left by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S. D., Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stops to speak to the cameras Wednesday following his lunch with Senate Republicans in the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A White House meeting Wednesday between President Donald Trump and his team and congressional leaders quickly devolved into another series of finger pointing as the Situation Room confab ended shortly after it began.

Trump “got up and walked out” of the short meeting about his border wall and a government shutdown at the White House, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said.

Trump, Democrats remain ‘far apart’ on shutdown deal as talks resume
Schumer compares president to ‘Jell-O.’ Sanders questions Pelosi before Friday meeting

President Donald Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, meets with Republican and Democratic congressional leadership on Wednesday in the Situation Room at the White House. They will meet again Friday to try to make progress on ending a partial government shutdown. (Shealah Craighead/White House)

President Donald Trump and congressional leaders, including top Democrats that oppose his proposed southern border wall, will try again Friday to make progress on ending a partial government shutdown. But the odds of a breakthrough appear small.

“Without a wall, you cannot have border security. Without a very strong form of barrier — call it what you will — but without a wall, you cannot have border security,” Trump said Thursday during a surprise visit to the White House briefing room, his first formal appearance there.