Griffin Connolly

Rep. Tipton Files Resolution for Return of North Korea-Seized U.S. Ship
USS Pueblo has been on display in North Korea since its capture in 1968

Rep. Scott Tipton introduced a resolution in the House this week seeking the return of a U.S. Navy spy vessel that has been in North Korean captivity for more than half a century.

Tipton’s request for the North Korean government to return the USS Pueblo comes less than a month before the planned summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong-Un on June 12 in Singapore.

Rep. Espaillat Files Complaint Against Lawyer Who Unleashed Racially Charged Rant
Man in video identified as 42-year-old Aaron Schlossberg

New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat filed an official grievance through the state court system against a man who was filmed this week going on a racially charged rant in a Midtown Manhattan lunch market.

The video, in which the man berates two workers at the market for speaking Spanish and taking his money through the “welfare” system before threatening to call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to deport them, has since gone viral.

New House Bill Would Prohibit Lawmakers from Sleeping in Offices
Speaker Ryan, who sleeps in his office, won’t support bill, spokeswoman says

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi introduced a bill Thursday to prohibit House members from sleeping overnight in their congressional offices as a way to save money.

The bill also would grant members a tax deduction for living expenses so they can better afford to make second homes in Washington during the work week while they're away from their home districts.

Donovan Aligns with Trump in First TV Ad
New York Republican expecting endorsement from Giuliani as he faces challenge from former Rep. Grimm

Rep. Dan Donovan, widely seen as the moderate in the primary against his predecessor, Michael Grimm, used his first television ad of the campaign to position himself as an ally in the House to President Donald Trump.

“I am working with Donald Trump to deport dangerous illegal aliens, build the wall, and end sanctuary cities,” Donovan, a New York Republican serving his first full term, says in the ad hitting the airwaves this week, Spectrum News 1 in New York reported.

Virginia GOP Primaries Overwhelmed by Personal Attacks, Candidates Say
Racist attacks on candidates’ names, fake blog posts on penis enlargement among the attacks

The Republican primaries in Virginia have become a haven for schoolyard bully tactics as candidates unleash personal attacks on each other in ways and to a degree seldom seen in American politics.

One candidate blazing that trail is Senate hopeful and President Donald Trump’s former state campaign chairman Corey Stewart.

Former Rep. Bentivolio Suing Opponent to Defend Military Record
Michigan Republican seeking $10 million from rival in race for Trott’s seat

Former Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, running for his old seat in Michigan’s 11th District, is suing one of his fellow GOP primary challengers for $10 million for allegedly defaming his military record by questioning its authenticity.

Bentivolio and his lawyer are claiming that Rocky Raczkowski — another Republican in the crowded primary field for what could be one of the nation’s most hotly contested House races in November — has a history of waging a “malicious defamation campaign … telling multiple third parties that Bentivolio’s military record is fraudulent and fake,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

Trump Taps McConnell Brother-in-Law, Big GOP Donor, for Labor Post
Tech entrepreneur nominated to lead Labor Department pension agency

Family connections can help when you’re applying for a new job — especially in Washington.

Just ask one of President Donald Trump’s latest executive branch nominees, who is married to the sister of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who’s married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. 

In Rare Public Comments, Frelinghuysen Sounds Ready to Get out of D.C.
House Appropriations Committee chairman is retiring at end of his 12th term

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, in a rare public appearance in his district on Monday, sounded more than ready to leave the chaos of government behind, saying he’s keeping his “head down” amid “all sorts of sideshows” in his final eight months in Congress.

The New Jersey Republican, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, announced in January that he would retire at the end of his 12th term.

Green Peeved at Pelosi for ‘Trivializing’ Democrats’ Impeachment Pleas
Texas congressman and some colleagues want to impeach Trump over policies ‘based on his bigotry’

Rep. Al Green took issue with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for downplaying some Democrats’ efforts to impeach President Donald Trump.

Green and at least a few dozen of his other House Democratic colleagues have spearheaded an effort to impeach the president over policies “based on his bigotry,” such as a ban on entry to the United States for citizens of majority-Muslim countries and the rollback of a program to protect immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children but who have grown up here.

A Long Fight Ahead for the Wisconsin GOP Senate Nomination
State Sen. Vukmir wins state GOP endorsement, but Nicholson not backing down

Wisconsin Senate candidate Leah Vukmir scored a crucial victory at the state GOP convention on Saturday, taking home the party’s endorsement with 72 percent of the vote.

It was a blow to Marine veteran and businessman Kevin Nicholson, the top spender so far in the Republican primary field.

McConnell Gets Head Start on 2020 Re-Election
Senate majority leader makes first campaign hire in Kentucky

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, ever the political tactician, isn’t one to wait around for others to make the first move — his 2020 campaign is already underway.

Last week, the Kentucky Republican hired Shane Noem, a senior political aide, to begin laying the groundwork for his campaign, nearly 2½ years before Election Day, Pure Politics in Kentucky reported.

Baldwin Challenger Vukmir Puts Her on ‘Team Terrorist’
Wisconsin Republicans angling for party endorsement at convention on Saturday

For many states, primary season is “Tell us how you really feel” season.

And Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate Leah Vukmir feels she’s on “Team America,” while Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin is on “Team Terrorist.”

Palin Disputes That McCain Regrets 2008 Vice President Pick
‘Like a perpetual gut punch’ every time she sees the assertion, former running mate says

Sarah Palin is disputing revelations from Sen. John McCain’s new book that he regrets choosing her to be his running mate on the GOP ticket in 2008.

“That’s not what Senator McCain has told me all these years,” the former Alaska governor told the Daily Mail on Thursday. “I attribute a lot of what we’re hearing and reading regarding McCain’s statements to his ghostwriter or ghostwriters.”

Trump Nuclear Summit With Kim Jong-Un Set for Singapore in June
Historic summit on denuclearization of Korean Peninsula set for June 12

The plans are set for President Donald Trump to meet North Korean President Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12 for a historic meeting between the leaders of the two nations.

Trump announced the date and location of the summit via Twitter, saying that he and Kim “will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!”

Potential FEC Violations Cast Shadow on Rice’s Possible AG Run
New York congresswoman’s old district attorney account has been used for

Rep. Kathleen Rice, a leading name to replace former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, could be dogged in the coming months by a batch of potential campaign finance violations involving her old district attorney campaign account.

Rice never deactivated the account from when she was elected Nassau County district attorney after she lost to Scheiderman in the 2010 Democratic primary for state attorney general. Since winning election to the House in New York’s 4th District in 2014, she has subsequently spent thousands of dollars from the DA campaign account on ads, consulting services, and donations to local Democratic groups that have actively worked on her elections to the House, according to a report by Crain’s New York.

Frozen, Canned Fruit Could Become Norm for Fresh Produce Program
Measure to ease restrictions on processed goods included in House farm bill

As the House GOP wrestles with whether to overhaul the food stamp program and tie it to work in the new farm bill that passed the Agriculture Committee in April, other small changes to the previous law stand out that could markedly affect longstanding federal nutrition programs.

Some lawmakers want to add frozen, canned, pureed and dried produce to the menus of the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for schoolchildren.

Trump Says Pompeo Secures Release of 3 American Detainees From North Korea
Scheduled to arrive back in U.S. early Thursday

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has secured the release of three American citizens detained in North Korea after meeting with that country's president, Kim Jong-Un, this week, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday.

Trump, who announced the detainees’ release via Twitter, will meet them and Pompeo at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland at 2 a.m. Thursday, he said.

Sinema’s Donations From Cárdenas Scrutinized
Arizona Senate candidate’s opponents seize on another contribution from someone touched by scandal

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is back under the microscope for her handling of campaign contributions from donors with checkered legal and ethical pasts.

This time, it’s the $11,000 the Arizona Democrat has accepted since 2012 from another House colleague, California Rep. Tony Cárdenas.

New Pot Super PAC Aims to Unseat Anti-Pot Rep. Sessions
Rules Committee chairman has repeatedly blocked bipartisan medical marijuana legislation from floor vote

One of the most seasoned pro-marijuana activists in the political world has created a super PAC with one goal this November: to unseat notoriously anti-pot Rep. Pete Sessions.

Sessions, the House Rules Committee chairman from Texas’ 32nd District, has for years blocked bipartisan legislation in the House to protect state-sanctioned medical marijuana vendors from federal crackdown, not letting it out of committee for a floor vote.

Ex-Rep. Jefferson, Free After 5-Year Prison Stint, Wants $392,000 Back
Criminal charges on which civil case rests have been thrown out

Former Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson, fresh off a five-year, five-month stay in federal prison for soliciting bribes and committing wire fraud, now wants $392,000 wiped from a civil court order.

A judge last fall threw out seven of the 10 original charges he was convicted of in 2009. Another has since been tossed. He began serving his sentence in 2012 and was released in October.