rules-and-procedure

Bill Meant to Clear Public Access to Congressional Reports Running Out of Time
Measure would require online portal for congressionally mandated reports

Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., sponsored a bill to create a single online portal for reports federal agencies submit to Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A bill meant to clear the way for public access to reports submitted to Congress is in danger of hitting a roadblock, government transparency advocates warned Thursday. 

The bipartisan Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act was approved without objection by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Administration Committee in February and April, clearing the way for consideration on the House floor. 

Senate Probe Continues to Back Up Intelligence on Trump-Russia
Latest update affirms ‘sound’ conclusions of the intelligence community

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner released their latest findings on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Intelligence Committee continues to back up the findings of the intelligence community about Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, according to a new update.

In a new document on the panel’s progress, the Intelligence Committee also said it would release its review of the U.S. government’s handling of the so-called “Dossier” in a future part of its investigation.

Senators Press Chief Justice Roberts for Faster Release of Supreme Court Audio
Letter comes as Roberts renews opposition to cameras in the Court

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., is facing a new call from key senators for faster release of Supreme Court audio. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The current chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and one of his predecessors have teamed up to press Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., to release audio of all arguments on the same day that they take place.

Iowa Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley and Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick J. Leahy made the request of the Supreme Court in a June 29 letter to Roberts that was publicly circulated on Monday.

With Only One Vote, McConnell Approves Treaty for the Blind
Majority leader used rare Senate procedure of the standing vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made use of a rare procedure to help approve the so-called Marrakesh Treaty. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A five-year campaign for a copyright exemption designed to make it easier for the blind and physically impaired to get access to foreign works of music and literature moved a step closer to being realized, under a rarely used Senate procedure.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday night engineered the approval of the so-called Marrakesh Treaty by using the chamber’s rarely used procedure of the standing vote.

Trump Talks Supreme Court Picks With Democrats Who Voted for Neil Gorsuch
Donnelly, Heitkamp and Manchin among White House invitees Thursday evening

Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly, seen here at a Senate Banking meeting last year, were among the attendees at a Thursday White House meeting in which the upcoming Supreme Court vacancy was discussed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Wednesday night, President Donald Trump was visiting North Dakota, attacking its junior senator, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, in the most recent of his campaign-style rallies ahead of the midterms.

“Heidi will vote ‘no’ on any pick we make,” the president said of Heitkamp’s vote on the next Supreme Court nominee to replace the retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. 

Kennedy Retirement Shuffles Senate’s Legislative and Campaign Agenda
Confirmation hearings could come in August, with floor debate in the fall

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who announced his retirement Wednesday, greets President Donald Trump in the House chamber after a joint session of Congress in February 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With a two-paragraph letter, Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy sent a shock to the Senate’s agenda — and perhaps the 2018 midterm elections.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said the debate over President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Kennedy, who announced his retirement Wednesday, will likely lead the headlines heading into November.

Ryan Yields to Conservatives on Resolution for DOJ to Produce FISA Documents
House expected to vote on resolution Thursday

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is expected to schedule a floor vote Thursday on a resolution demanding the Department of Justice hand over subpoenaed and requested documents related to potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan yielded to House conservatives this week by scheduling an expected vote for Thursday on a resolution demanding the Department of Justice hand over a trove of documents related to potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by department officials in 2016.

The resolution, which the House cannot enforce, would mark the first time the full chamber goes on the record requesting the DOJ documents.

Senate Intel Panel Moves to Improve Election Security
Intelligence authorization includes key changes to convoluted security clearance system.

Senate Intelligence Committee leaders Mark Warner, left, and Richard M. Burr, led their panel to approve a series of election security proposals. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Intelligence Committee took action Tuesday on its latest effort to bolster election security against threats from Russian and other adversaries, and also to improve the broken security clearance process.

“In the wake of foreign efforts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. elections, which this Committee continues to investigate, I am pleased to see this bill contains comprehensive measures to enhance our election security,” Chairman Richard M. Burr of North Carolina said in a statement. “It is vital that we ensure our voting process remains fair and free from undue influence.”

Flake Confirms He’s Stalling Trump’s Judicial Nominees Over Tariffs
Said Sunday he wants the Senate to respond to president’s trade policy

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has announced plans to hold up President Donald Trump’s judicial nominations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Jeff Flake has gone public with his threat to stall judicial nominations seeking action to rebuff President Donald Trump on tariffs.

It comes more than a week after the Arizona Republican first held up the nomination of Britt Grant to be a judge on the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals at the Judiciary Committee.

Opinion: 3 Ways to Defeat Dysfunction on the Hill
Recent bipartisan moves offer hope for a return to traditional legislating

The Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform must advance some recommendations for change, even if they do not address every issue, Daschle and Lott write. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Four years ago this month, we joined with 27 other Americans to release recommendations to reform how our government works, improve the management of our elections, and promote more civic engagement.

At the time, the Commission on Political Reform, or CPR, was grappling with how to enable our institutions to better function in an era marked by hyperpartisanship. We did not think the tone and dysfunction in Washington could get worse — and yet it has.