washington-dc

USDA official says agencies can find new staff after they move to Kansas City
Research chief also disputes reports that USDA is burying climate science research

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced new homes for the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A top Agriculture Department research official told a Senate committee that two agencies slated for a contested move out of Washington can recover from an exodus of employees and denied media reports the department has hidden agency documents on climate change.

Scott Hutchins, deputy undersecretary for research, education and economics, said Thursday that many employees eligible to move to the Kansas City metropolitan area with either the Economic Research Service or National Institute of Food and Agriculture have notified USDA that they will stay in Washington. Employees who have agreed to move have until Sept. 30 to make the trek west, where the agencies will operate out of a temporary space until USDA finds a long-term landlord.

Rep. Will Hurd ‘honored’ to shave constituent’s head
Lisa Sanders, who lost her daughter in 2007 to a brain tumor, ‘braved the shave’ for cancer research fundraiser

Rep. Will Hurd shaves Lisa Sanders' head at a fundraiser for childhood cancer research on Tuesday. (Courtesy St. Baldrick's Foundation)

Rep. Will Hurd helped a hometown hero “brave the shave” Tuesday at a fundraiser for childhood cancer research.

The Texas Republican shaved the head of Lisa Sanders from Helotes, Texas, at a “46 Mommas” event hosted by St. Baldrick's Foundation — a volunteer- and donor-powered charity focused on curing childhood cancer, according to its website.

Competitive Tennessee Senate primary likely after Haslam decision not to run
Hagerty and Kustoff could run, while Green and Black have passed on the race

Former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will not be running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced Wednesday he will sit out the race for Senate this cycle, teeing up a competitive Republican primary in the contest to succeed retiring GOP incumbent Lamar Alexander.

Haslam, 60, described his choice to forgo another bid for public office as “the hardest vocational decision of my life” in a letter published in The Tennessean

DC’s ‘acting’ bug spreads to the Hill
House Freedom Caucus is getting in on the act

House Freedom Caucus members, from left, Reps. Mark Meadows, Thomas Massie, and Jim Jordan have a new acting communications director. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Freedom Caucus now has an acting communications director as the outgoing flack takes a new position with Vice President Mike Pence.

The position adds to the long list of “actings” in President Donald Trump’s D.C. If you’re keeping count there’s an acting White House chief of staff, secretary of Homeland Security, secretary of Defense, secretary of the Navy, as well as the heads of the Small Business Association and the Office of Management and Budget.

Harry Reid in winter: Still grappling, and dabbling, in politics
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 81

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks with CQ Roll Call about Nevada politics, the presidential race and baseball in his office at the Bellagio in Las Vegas on July 2. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Harry Reid might have retired from the Senate in 2017 and started battling cancer a year later, but the former Senate Democratic leader doesn’t seem to be the retiring type, especially when it comes to Nevada politics.

“I’m a political junkie, to say the least,” he tells our own Niels Lesniewski in a wide-ranging interview in Las Vegas that we’ve excerpted for this edition of the Political Theater podcast.

Former Illinois Rep. Bobby Schilling announces he’s running in Iowa
Former congressman moved across the river from his old district in 2017

Former Illinois Rep. Bobby Schilling, who lost to DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos after district lines were redrawn, is running for the seat that Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack is retiring from in Iowa . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Illinois Rep. Bobby Schilling announced that he’s running for the open seat in Iowa’s 2nd District, across the Mississippi River from his old district.

Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack announced in April that he would retire at the end of his seventh term next year. The race could be competitive: President Donald Trump carried the district in 2016.

Photos of the day: July Fourth in Washington
The holiday as captured by Roll Call's photojournalist Caroline Brehman

People watch President Donald Trump’s “Salute to America” at an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Thursday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Crowds gathered Thursday on the National Mall in Washington for President Donald Trump’s “A Salute to America” celebration.

2020 hopefuls say Nevada Fourth of July celebration more American than the one in D.C.
Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Seth Moulton flip pancakes in Boulder City

Presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., watches as a pancake slips off his spatula while manning the grill at the Rotary Club of Boulder City pancake breakfast before the start of the Boulder City Damboree Celebration 4th of July parade in Boulder City, Nev. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BOULDER CITY, Nev. ⁠— The Democratic presidential candidates who made the trip to the “Damboree” on the morning of the Fourth of July say that this classic Nevada celebration better represents America than the military showcase headlined by President Donald Trump back in Washington, D.C.

After flipping pancakes and marching in a parade, Sen. Cory Booker praised the atmosphere, which featured supporters of a handful of 2020 Democratic candidates.

You may now Kinzinger the bride
Illinois congressman liked it so he put a ring on it

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger announced his engagement Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Adam Kinzinger kicked off the weekend ahead of the Fourth of July with his own set of fireworks. Per his latest Instagram post, the Illinois Republican is engaged.

“She said: yes!” reads the caption.

EPA rule lets political officials block FOIA document requests
Rulemaking follows Interior Department actions that drew congressional criticism

Environmental Protection Agency prepares regulations on how it responds to freedom of information requests (CQ Roll Call photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A new EPA rule would allow political appointees to review and withhold documents requested by the public under the Freedom of Information Act. 

The final rule, published Wednesday in the Federal Register, was signed by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on June 14 and takes effect July 25. It was not preceded by a public comment period.