Bonnie Watson Coleman

Lawrence Tells Women to ‘Speak Up’ Amid Reports She Ignored Harassment Complaints
Michigan Democrat’s chief of staff reportedly faces complaints about unwanted touching of women staffers

Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., denied hearing any sexual harassment complaints against her chief of staff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Hours before reports emerged that Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., ignored complaints from female staffers about her male chief of staff, the congresswoman was stressing the importance of speaking up about sexual harassment.

Lawrence’s chief of staff, Dwayne Duron Marshall, has been accused of unwanted touching, speaking about female staffers’ appearance in the office, and asking about their dating lives by three former female aides to Lawrence who spoke to Politico. All three said they told the congresswoman about their treatment.

Word on the Hill: Republicans Tour Jordan Airport
Pingree awarded, Veterans History Project discussion, and ‘The Long Road’

New York Rep. John Katko meets refugees at Zaatri refugee camp in northern Jordan. (Courtesy House Homeland Security Committee)

A delegation led by Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., over last week’s recess included a stop in Jordan. The group toured Queen Alia International Airport, the largest airport in the country, to observe aviation security procedures and employee screening.

The U.S. donated passenger screening equipment to Jordan and other countries in 2016 under the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act.

Pelosi Pledges to Use ‘Every Avenue’ Against Trump
House Democrats file censure of president over Charlottesville response

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi praised a resolution filed by House Democrats that aims to censure the president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pledged on Friday to use “every avenue” to challenge President Donald Trump after three House Democrats filed a resolution condemning how the president responded to the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The censure resolution denounces Trump for not immediately and specifically condemning neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups who took part in the protest and then doubling down on his comments days later, saying some of the far-right protesters were “very fine people.”

House Democrats Want to Use Minibus to Target Trump Ethics
Rules Committee likely to nix attempts to force issue

Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes says Democrats will use the tools at their disposal to force action on President Donald Trump's ethics. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats this week are trying to hitch a slate of amendments to the appropriations minibus, all targeting the business, family members and scandals of President Donald Trump.

The amendments, offered in the Rules Committee, are part of the minority party’s larger effort to tie their Republican colleagues to Trump’s possible conflicts of interest stemming from his business holdings and the government’s probe of alleged collusion by Trump campaign officials with Russia to influence the 2016 elections.

Four House Committees to Vote on Trump Controversies
To include: Comey, taxpayer money to Trump and Trump International Hotel lease

Labor union groups join anti-Trump protesters outside of the Trump International Hotel in Washington on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Protesters gathered outside of the hotel as Presidential candidate Donald Trump held a ribbon cutting ceremony inside to officially open the hotel for business in the Old Post Office Building. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Using an obscure tactic, House Democrats will force their GOP colleagues to take controversial committee votes this week over President Donald Trump’s business ties and the government’s widening Russia probe.

The votes also will deal with the firing of former FBI Director James B. Comey, taxpayer money to the Trump Organization and the government’s lease of the Old Post Office Building to the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

Energy Pipeline Permitting Bills Passed by House

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., authored a bill that would transfer pipeline permit authority from states to the federal government. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As Republicans rush to join the Trump administration’s efforts to boost oil and gas production, the House pushed two measures on Wednesday aimed at easing the permitting process for pipelines that cross state and international lines.

Lawmakers voted, 254-175, to pass a bill by Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., which would transfer authority to issue permits for pipelines and power transmission lines that cross international borders from the State Department to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Mullin and other Republicans argued the measure is necessary to keep politics out of the pipeline permitting process.

Opinion: African-American Women Call Out the Democratic National Committee
But are Democrats listening?

Then-Labor Secretary Tom Perez and California Rep. Maxine Waters at a news conference in April 2016. A group of African-American women have sent Perez, now chairman of the Democratic National Committee, a letter warning that most black voters feel the party takes them for granted. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

We crave the hard-to-get while ignoring the one who has stuck with us through thick and thin. In a letter to the DNC chair, a group of black women — activists, community leaders and elected officials — has accused the Democratic Party of falling into that too-often-true cliche. Who can blame them? 

Shades of “Moby-Dick” in the narrative that took hold after the party’s 2016 losses, with white working-class males replacing the elusive white whale of Melville’s imagination. Will the results for the Democrats be just as tragic as Captain Ahab’s if the party doubles down on that strategy for election cycles to come?

Word on the Hill: Focus on Girls
March Ratness and March Madness

Girl Scouts will be on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A briefing entitled “Creating Opportunities for Girls to Thrive and Learn” is taking place on Capitol Hill today. It’s co-sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Reps. Susan W. Brooks, R-Ind., and Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J.

The event is hosted by Girls Inc., YWCA USA, and Girl Scouts of the USA. The groups hope to create a series of briefings focused on issues facing girls and young women.

Word on the Hill: Week Three of Trump
House Democrats go on retreat this week

Showing this week: a film that looks back on Barack Obama’s presidency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We’ve entered into the third week of Donald Trump’s presidency.

This week on Capitol Hill might be a little lighter than last.

Dems Take Photos on House Floor to Protest Proposed GOP Fine
New House rules package includes $2,500 fine for such actions

Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, left, helps Massachusetts Rep. William Keating take a selfie on the House floor before the official swearing-in of the 115th Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Several Democrats took pictures Tuesday on the House floor as the chamber held a quorum call to kick off the 115th Congress — a violation of House rules that Republicans want to start punishing with a fine of up to $2,500.

Roll Call spotted Democrats taking photos in an apparent protest to the proposed fine, which the House adopted later on Tuesday as part of a vote on a package of rules governing operations of the lower chamber. However, the photos were snapped during the brief period at the start of a new Congress when the House has no rules in effect so technically, the Democrats did nothing wrong.