2018

Time Running Out on Hill Sexual Harassment Reforms, Former Staffers Warn
One year after #metoo movement spurred Congress to action, House and Senate bills could expire

Senate staffers and visitors pass by the plexiglass-enclosed displays of the various U.S. Capitol building design models in the Hart Senate Office Building on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress will forfeit a passed bill from each chamber aimed at curbing sexual harassment unless lawmakers can come together before year’s end.

“Time is running out,” said Kristin Nicholson, co-founder of Congress Too, a group of former Hill staffers that has sought to reform the way Congress approaches staff training and response to sexual harassment allegations. “We really want all that progress not to go to waste, and for that to happen, we need something to be passed this year.”

As Hate Crimes Climb for Third Straight Year, Democrats Prepare Hearings
Examining rise in hate crimes since Trump took office is priority for incoming House Judiciary Chairman Nadler

House Judiciary ranking member Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., wants to hold a hearing on the increase in hate crimes when Democrats take over the House in January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The number of incidents involving hate crimes increased for a third straight year in 2017, the FBI reported in charts and data released Tuesday, a trend that House Democrats have been clamoring to examine for months as they prepare for hearings on the issue when they take back the House on Jan. 3.

Hate crime incidents rose by 17 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. From 2015 to 2016, the FBI reported a 5 percent increase.

Chuck Schumer Says Florida Recount Votes Should Be Counted Past Sunday if Needed
Minority leader appeared alongside incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson on Tuesday

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., arrive to make statements about the ballot recount in the Florida Senate race on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“We will not have a re-run of 2000.”

That was what Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Tuesday, speaking of the handling of the recounting of ballots in Florida.

Maybe Stu Rothenberg Isn’t So Bad at This After All
2016 was a disaster, 2018 not so much

From left, Sen.-elect Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen.-elect Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., talk during a photo-op in Schumer’s office in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boy, I stunk up the joint in 2016. I was sure that Donald Trump wouldn’t — couldn’t — win the presidency, and I said so without any “ifs” or “buts.” I didn’t pay enough attention to the possibility that Trump could lose the popular vote badly but still win an Electoral College majority. I tried to explain my mistakes as completely as I could in an end-of-the-year Washington Post column.

But this year, watching the midterms from 10,000 feet instead of being in the weeds, I feel pretty good about my analysis throughout the cycle. Maybe it was dumb luck. Maybe it was years of watching campaigns and candidates. Maybe it was some of each.

Poliquin Sues to Stop Maine’s Ranked Choice Voting
Poliquin could lose his narrow lead under new system

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin is suing to stop the state’s ranked-choice voting system from going forward in his 2nd District re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin has sued state Attorney General Matthew Dunlap seeking an injunction to stop the tabulation of ballots under the state’s ranked-choice voting system, which is being used in his race against Democrat Jared Golden in the 2nd District.

Since no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, the state’s ranked-choice voting system kicked in last week. This year is the first time it’s being used at the federal level in Maine, and the 2nd District will likely be the first House race in the country to be decided under this process.

Ocasio-Cortez Joins Protesters at Pelosi’s Office
Environment groups want commitment from Democratic to take urgent action on climate change

Democratic Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined about 100 protesters who took over Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi’s office over climate change. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images file photo)

Protesters, joined by Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, took over Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office Tuesday and staged a sit-in calling for her to commit to urgent action on climate change.

The group of more than 100 people was organized by the environmental group Sunrise and Justice Democrats.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger ‘Disgusted’ By Trump Mocking Unseated Republicans
‘Some of them lost because people, frankly, were voting against the president,’ GOP congressman says

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger said some Republicans suffered losses on Election Day because of backlash to the president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As President Donald Trump the day after Election Day read off a list of defeated Republicans whose losses he attributed to not embracing his endorsement on the campaign trail, Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger watched in disgust.

“I wish the president had shown some more grace in that and said ‘Thank you for your service,’ instead of ‘It’s because you didn’t back me,’” the 16th District congressman said in an interview with CNN Tuesday. “I was very disgusted when I heard that.” 

10 House Races, 1 Senate Race Still Uncalled One Week After Elections
Meanwhile, recount in Florida Senate race goes on

Florida Gov. Rick Scott addresses his election night party in Naples, where he declared victory in the Florida Senate race with incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson on Nov. 6. Scott and Nelson are now locked in a recount a week after Election Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A week after the midterm elections, officials have yet to determine the winners in one Senate contest and 10 House races.

If the 2000 presidential race is an indication, we could be waiting weeks for the outcome of the Florida Senate race as state election personnel recount votes for Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who trailed in the initial tally by less than 15,000 votes to his challenger, GOP Gov. Rick Scott.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Will ‘Relish’ Time in New York Before DC Move
Mark Pocan to incoming members with DC housing concerns: ‘She and everyone is welcome to crash at my place’

In recent days conservative media’s criticism of New York Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has centered on a more parochial subject than most political dustups: her rent. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Incoming New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress last week, but she is in no hurry to move to the nation’s capital. 

“I don’t need to move to DC until work starts anyway, and I am really taking this time to relish the last couple of months that I have full time with my communities in the Bronx and Queens,” Ocasio-Cortez said Monday at a news conference held by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Reuters reported.

Coast Guard Bill Returns ‘Delta Queen’ Steamboat to Spotlight
Senate reauthorization measure would exempt boat from safety regulations

A provision in the Senate’s Coast Guard authorization bill would allow the Delta Queen, a wooden steamboat, to operate as an overnight cruise ship despite safety concerns. (Al Behrman/AP file photo)

Senate votes this week will help determine whether a 91-year-old wooden steamboat can be revived as an overnight river cruise ship — even though the Department of Homeland Security calls that prospect an “unacceptable” fire risk.

A provision buried deep in a recently modified version of the Senate’s Coast Guard authorization bill would exempt the Delta Queen paddle wheel boat from federal law and Coast Guard regulations that require vessels with overnight accommodations for 50 or more passengers to be made of fireproof materials. The boat’s owner envisions the vessel as a Mississippi River cruise vessel for up to 174 passengers.