Virginia

Democrats Push Bill They Say Could Have Prevented Parkland Shooting
Measure would provide states grants for passing Gun Violence Restraining Order laws

California Rep. Salud Carbajal and other House Democrats are pushing a bill in the wake of a Florida high school shooting that would reward states that create laws to allow courts to authorize temporary removal of guns when an individual poses a threat to themselves or others. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group of House Democrats on Friday highlighted a bill they’ve authored that they say could have prevented Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 dead.

The bill would authorize a federal grant program for states that enact Gun Violence Restraining Order, or GVRO, laws. These statutes allow law enforcement or family members to petition courts to temporarily remove guns from a person’s possession if they pose a threat to themselves or others. If passed, a separate appropriation measure would be needed to provide the funding for the grants.

Grand Jury Indicts Russian Nationals for Election Interference
Operatives targeted Clinton, Rubio and Cruz, while largely supporting Trump and Sanders

The office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Friday announced indictments of Russian nationals for election interference. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:25 p.m. | The Justice Department charged Russian operatives Friday with a sweeping effort to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, spending millions of dollars to wage social media campaigns, buy political advertisements and pose as grass-roots organizers to spark political rallies on American soil.

The grand jury criminal indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies landed like a bombshell in Washington, where the debate has raged over the extent of Russia’s influence in the election while President Donald Trump has waged a campaign to quell special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.

House Budget Being Drafted Despite Nearly Insurmountable Obstacles
Topline spending levels, no path to reconciliation among reasons lawmakers to oppose

Budget Chairman Steve Womack, R-Ark., is writing a fiscal 2019 budget resolution despite major obstacles to passing it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Obstacles to House Republicans passing a fiscal 2019 budget resolution appear insurmountable and have some members questioning why the Budget Committee is even planning to write one. 

Exactly half of the 22 Republicans on the Budget panel — more than enough to block a partisan budget resolution — voted against last week’s budget deal that set fiscal 2019 topline spending levels of $647 billion for defense and $597 billion for nondefense. Under the agreement, House and Senate leaders committed that if their chambers decide to advance fiscal 2019 budget resolutions, they would write them to those topline numbers.

How Orrin Hatch Found His Twitter Groove
‘He has this incredible sense of humor, he loves self-deprecating humor, he loves age jokes’

Matt Whitlock, left, says the voice of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch’s Twitter account is the senator himself. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s not easy to create one of the most popular Twitter handles in Congress when you’re speaking in your 83-year-old boss’s voice.

But Matt Whitlock, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch’s communication director, has done just that. The Utah Republican has about 65,000 followers.

House Passes Bill Critics Say Would Undermine Disability Rights
U.S. Capitol Police remove people in wheelchairs from the gallery

Harriotte Ranvig, 71, of Somerville Mass., is escorted out of the House chamber on February 15, 2018, after she and a group of protesters disrupted the vote on The ADA Education and Reform Act on which makes it harder for disabled people to sue for discrimination. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday passed, 225-192, a bill that supporters say would deter predatory lawsuits filed under a landmark disability rights law, over objections from its critics that the bill would undermine decades of progress for access to places like restaurants, theaters and other private establishments.

The bill would require potential plaintiffs to notify businesses who aren’t in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act before filing a lawsuit. As originally written, it would give the businesses six months to demonstrate their intent to comply, but an amendment adopted on Thursday shortened that timeline to four months.

Nolan’s Former Campaign Manager Running for Minnesota’s 8th District
Joe Radinovich joins emerging DFL field

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan is not running for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan’s decision not to seek re-election has shaken up the race in one of the GOP’s top pickup opportunities, with the Democratic-Farmer-Labor field just beginning to take shape.

Former state Rep. Joe Radinovich, Nolan’s 2016 campaign manager, is getting into the race Thursday.

Post-#MeToo, Stalled Careers, Alienation Still Haunt Sexual Harassment Victims
Lawmakers say they are aware of challenges

Marion Brown, whose $27,000 sexual harassment settlement prompted the resignation of former Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr., wants to stay active in the #MeToo movement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Shortly after Marion Brown’s account of sexual harassment toppled a powerful congressman last fall, she returned to Washington on a frigid afternoon to ask for support from the lawmakers who had lauded her as a hero.

Wearing a smartly tilted fur cap, she left her business cards with aides who, to her, looked two generations her junior. She hoped for a reference, a lead on a new job, a bit of advice. She left the Capitol feeling disappointed, although lawmakers told Roll Call they want to do all they can to help.

Mixed Outcomes for Members Accused of Sexual Harassment in #MeToo Aftermath
Eight have either resigned or announced retirements in recent months

Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy, center, resigned in October following reports that he asked a woman with whom he’d had an extramarital affair to get an abortion. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Here’s a look at how several lawmakers have responded to accusations of sexual misconduct since the #MeToo movement began last year.

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., a member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, after reports that he had asked a woman with whom he’d had an extramarital affair to get an abortion. Announced Oct. 5, effective Oct. 21.

Ryan to House: Pass DACA Bill in March
'We clearly need to address this issue in March,' the speaker said

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wisc., suggests the March 5 deadline for Congress to act on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is flexible but a bill should move in March. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday Congress needs to pass legislation replacing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program by the end of March.

Ryan's imposed deadline for House action comes as the Republican whip team starts to count up votes for an immigration bill (HR 4760) by Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., to determine if it has enough support to bring to the floor.

Senators Latch Onto Olympic Snowboarder to Pump Immigration Agenda
Chloe Kim’s parents immigrated to U.S. from South Korea in 1982

Chloe Kim won a gold medal in the women’s snowboarding halfpipe in the Pyeongchang games. (TeamUSA.org)

Democratic senators and immigrant rights activists latched onto Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim’s Korean-American roots as they continue to push for immigration-friendly measures in Congress.

Kim, 17, whose parents moved to the United States in 1982 from South Korea, won the gold medal in the women’s snowboarding halfpipe competition in Pyeongchang.