2018

At the Races: Desert Drama
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

The primary in the race to replace GOP Rep. Trent Franks is Tuesday. Franks resigned in December amid allegations of sexual harassment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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House Cancels Votes for Billy Graham to Lie in Honor in Capitol Rotunda
Senate will remain in session Wednesday and Thursday

Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Inouye lies in state on Dec. 20, 2012, on Capitol Hill. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House is shortening its Feb. 26 work week, canceling votes that Wednesday and Thursday, for the late Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.

“As is traditional, votes are no longer expected in the House on Wednesday, February 28, or Thursday, March 1,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office announced. “Last votes next week will now occur during the evening hours of Tuesday, February 27.”

‘Harden’ Schools to Combat Shooters, Trump Says
Calls for offensive measures, training and arming teachers

Washington, D.C., area students and supporters protest against gun violence outside the White House on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump wants to “harden” schools to secure them like banks, but the security guards he envisions would be teachers and other school employees.

For the second consecutive day, the president pitched the notion of giving firearms and specialized training to some teachers and school staffers so they could combat individuals who enter schools with the intent of killing people. He further drove home that he opposes existing laws allowing individuals under the age of 21 to purchase assault rifles.

Woman Linked to Murphy’s Affair to Challenge Doyle
Shannon Edwards says she expects her relationship to former Pennsylvania congressman to come up in campaign

Shannon Edwards, who was an independent before registering as a Republican, said she is moderate on social issues. (Courtesy Shannon Edwards via Facebook)

Shannon Edwards, the woman linked to the affair that brought down former Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, plans to challenge Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle in Pennsylvania.

Murphy resigned last year after it was revealed that he had pressured Edwards to get an abortion during a pregnancy scare.

Trump Backs Minimum Age of 21 for Some Gun Buys
Rubio also opposes allowing 18 year olds to buy assault weapons

Washington, D.C., area students and supporters protest against gun violence with a lie-in outside of the White House on Monday. President Trump is pushing new age restrictions on some gun purchases. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Thursday endorsed setting an age restriction of 21 on certain gun purchases, his most aggressive move yet in endorsing gun access changes after last week’s Florida high school massacre.

The president is eager to do something in the wake of last week’s gun massacre in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and teachers dead, aides say. Until late Wednesday afternoon, Trump had mostly focused on enhancing the background check system, improving information sharing among local, state and federal law enforcement, and addressing mental health problems that plague many mass shooters.

Report: Blum Failed to Disclose Ownership of New Company
‘This is a textbook case of making a mountain out of a molehill for political gain,’ Iowa congressman says

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, failed to disclose his ownership of an internet company while serving in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Iowa Rep. Rod Blum failed to disclose his ownership role in a new internet company of which he is one of two directors, according to a report.

Blum was listed as a director of the Tin Moon Corp when it was incorporated in May 2016, The Associated Press reported. One of the services the company offers is helping businesses rebound after Food and Drug Administration safety violations by burying warning letters under positive internet search results.

House Oversight Probes Scott Pruitt’s Travel Expenses
EPA administrator has been under fire for first-class travel and luxury hotel stays

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is among several Trump administration officials under scrutiny for possible travel violations . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As questions about the official travel habits of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt mount, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is demanding documents and other information on his first-class flights, as it looks into whether federal laws were broken.

Pruitt has for several months been under fire for incurring high travel costs at taxpayer expense. After recent news reports of Pruitt’s use of expensive first-class flights and stays at luxury hotels, an EPA spokesman said the administrator had been given a “blanket waiver” to fly first class for security reasons.

Justices Air Differences on Value of Congressional Reports
High court appears as divided as ever on giving weight to legislative history

While the Supreme Court agreed unanimously on Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections, justices disagreed on the reliability of congressional committee reports. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An opinion Wednesday shows the Supreme Court is as divided as ever on whether congressional committee reports should be used to help understand what Congress meant when drafting and enacting a law.

All the justices agreed that the 2010 Dodd-Frank law only protects whistleblowers who tell the Securities and Exchange Commission about corporate wrongdoing. But the decision became a platform for justices to air their judicial philosophies about the long-contested idea of whether to give weight to legislative history.

GOP Rep. Tenney: Mass Murderers Often ‘End Up Being Democrats’
New York Republican was speaking about recent Florida shooting

New York Rep. Claudia Tenney is once again drawing heat from Democrats for her remarks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:13 p.m. | Many mass murders are perpetrated by Democrats, New York Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney said Wednesday in a radio discussion on gun control following the recent mass shooting at a Florida high school. 

“Obviously, there’s a lot of politics in it,” the congresswoman told the “Focus on the State Capitol” podcast hosted by Fred Dicker. “And it’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats, but we don’t want to, the media doesn’t talk about that either.”

Shooting Survivors, Victims’ Families Tell Trump Emotional Stories
Father of Parkland victim: ‘I’m pissed … I’m never, ever going to see my kid again’

Students calling for Congress to act on gun control demonstrate on the East Lawn of the Capitol on Wednesday. Later, President Trump met with survivors of three school shootings at the White House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:38 p.m. | President Donald Trump heard powerful testimonials Wednesday from survivors and family members of teenagers killed in last week’s Florida high school shooting massacre. But he signaled his focus is on related issues, not gun control.

The president started an emotional “listening session” at the White House vowing to be “very strong on background checks” and “very strong” on tackling mental health issues. He initially only vaguely referred to also being strong on “other things,” but later floated ideas such as arming specially trained school workers, setting age restrictions on some guns and opening new mental institutions.