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Democrats pan, Republicans applaud Kraninger's tenure at CFPB
Director mum on agency's need to exist

Kraninger was unwilling to say her agency needs to exist. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At a hearing Thursday, Democrats castigated Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathleen Kraninger, who wasn't willing to say that her agency needs to exist. 

And the Oscar goes to ... Barack and Michelle Obama?
Ex-president’s movie is up for an Academy Award, and that’s just the beginning

A documentary from Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company is among the nominees at this Sunday’s Academy Awards. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Network overhaul shores up House Wi-Fi for State of the Union
Bandwidth boosted after years of unreliable access

Media covering President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address had an improved internet situation. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

A massive revamp of internet infrastructure in the House chamber and press galleries ahead of Tuesday’s State of the Union was born out of chaos in preceding years and aimed to facilitate improved media coverage of the speech, spin and surrounding pomp and circumstance.

It seemed to make a difference Tuesday, allowing reporters to fire off tweets and file story updates during the speech from inside the chamber. That hasn’t been the case in previous years and was a pleasant surprise for those in the chamber.

Out of the impeachment, into the fallout
The trial ended Wednesday with acquittal, but investigations and court fights continue

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks with President Donald Trump as he departs from the House chamber Tuesday night after delivering his State of the Union address. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Impeachment news roundup: Feb. 5
Trump to get his verdict, Romney only senator to break with party

Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, considered the most vulnerable Senate incumbent up for reelection this year, announced Wednesday he would vote to convict Trump on both of the articles of impeachment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:38 p.m.

A day after President Donald Trump presented what amounted to a summary of how he’ll campaign for reelection, the Senate voted down both articles of impeachment against the president.

TV looks to fill the void where ‘Veep’ and ‘Scandal’ used to be
Political Washington is in the market for another reflection of itself

Actor Spencer Trinwith on set in Los Angeles for the filming of “King of K Street.” (Mike Adan / Courtesy of Mattie Moore)

It’s been a rough couple of years for fans of overstated political TV. First we said goodbye to “Scandal” and all its backroom sleaze. Then it was “House of Cards” and “Designated Survivor.”

We still can’t talk about the final season of “Veep,” which took the absurdities of Washington and reduced them to a single, never-ending cringe.

Trump popularity reigns in Ohio county tying its future to natural gas
‘I’m not tired of winning,’ car wash owner says

Many in Washington County, Ohio, see the region’s natural gas reserves as a bright point in its economy. (Jessica Wehrman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ohio — The oldest county in Ohio was founded two years before the other Washington — the nation’s capital.

Back then, the pioneers placed their hopes in a rich swath of unsettled land.

Cummings’ predecessor, Kweisi Mfume, wins Democratic nod in Maryland
Mfume last served in the House in 1996

Former Rep. Kweisi Mfume has won the Democratic nomination for Maryland’s 7th District, which has been vacant since Elijah E. Cummings died last fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former Rep. Kweisi Mfume, who last served in the House in 1996, has won the Democratic nomination for the seat vacated by his successor, the late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. Defeating 23 Democrats — including Cummings’ widow — he’s heavily favored to be the next member of Congress from the solidly Democratic Baltimore-area seat.

With nearly all the precincts reporting, Mfume had 43 percent of the vote. Cummings’ widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, was in second place with 17 percent, followed by state Sen. Jill Carter with 16 percent.

Trump State of the Union guests highlight reelection messaging
Taxes, immigration, abortion among issues expected on campaign trail

Vice President Mike Pence claps while Speaker Nancy Pelosi rips up a copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address after his remarks to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The guest lists for the 2020 State of the Union underscored both the messages for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and the way in which congressional Democrats will be on offense against him and his GOP supporters on Capitol Hill.

From an appeal to his base through a typical hard line on immigration and Iran to a broader audience through talk of the benefits of 2017 Republican-led tax cuts and the state of the economy, the president’s guests set up a series of bullet points for the speech-writing team behind the teleprompter text.

Lobbyists donate to presidential contenders, who then reject it
Democrats have policies against lobbyist cash

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., shown speaking at the Iowa State Fair in August 2019, does not accept lobbyist campaign donations. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic presidential contenders — including Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren — have official policies of rejecting campaign donations from registered federal lobbyists, but lobbyists still donated to all of them in recent months, new disclosures show. 

Some of the K Street cash has already been refunded to the contributors, lobbyists told CQ Roll Call. Other donations may be on their way back, as some of the campaigns said they would return any newly identified contributions from registered federal lobbyists.