Delaware

Legal fight expected for Trump’s national emergency declaration
Experts predict high court will back his power to do so, but maybe not accessing military monies

President Donald Trump, here addressing reporters on Jan. 10, will sign a government shutdown-avoiding bill and declare a national emergency at the border to access Pentagon funds for his proposed southern border barrier. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency at the southern border to redirect military funds to his border wall project after lawmakers gave him $4.3 billion less than his $5.7 billion ask. But the move is expected to bring court fights that could sink his plan. 

A House-Senate conference committee could only agree to give the president just shy of $1.4 billion for the barrier project as conferees struck a deal needed to avert another partial government shutdown. The president — who earlier this week said he couldn’t say he was happy about the contents of the compromise — reluctantly agreed to sign it into law after the Senate and House sign off during floor votes Thursday.

Asbestos removal set to begin in Russell, Dirksen buildings
Work will take place overnight and not during normal work hours

Asbestos removal set to begin in the Russell and Dirksen Senate office buildings. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Architect of the Capitol will begin removing materials containing asbestos from two Senate office buildings on Saturday, with some of the work expected to continue through April.

Workers on Saturday will be removing waterproofing that contains asbestos from the northwest terrace of the Russell Building at the corner of Delaware Avenue and C Street NE and floor tiles in the Dirksen Building, according to the Senate Superintendent’s office.

Photos of the week: A polar plunge, SOTU and hearings are in full swing
The week of Feb. 4 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Members react as acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker informs Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., his five minute questioning period was over during a House Judiciary Committee hearing. Whitaker was questioned about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation on Friday. Appearing from left are Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Nadler, Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and ranking member Doug Collins, R-Ga.( Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s February on Capitol Hill and that means that many of the organizing efforts of a new Congress are well underway, and committees have begun their work for the year. 

In addition to the State of the Union on Tuesday, members of the House Judiciary panel met Friday to question acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker about the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. 

Barr nomination to get votes on the Senate floor next week
Comes after 12-10 committee vote, which reflected concerns from Democrats about how he would handle the Justice Department’s special counsel investigation

William P. Barr, left, nominee for attorney general, greets former Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, upon arriving for his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. Hatch introduced Barr to the committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:18 p.m. | William P. Barr is on track to be confirmed as the next attorney general next week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to limit debate and cut off any filibuster threats against the Barr nomination Thursday, setting up votes as soon as the Senate finishes work on a bipartisan package of public lands bills.

Democrats unveil Green New Deal that would push government to make radical changes
The resolution would force lawmakers to take a position on the deal, and its goals of remaking the U.S. economy within a decade

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez listens as Sen. Ed Markey speaks as Democrats announce their Green New Deal resolution outside of the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A resolution outlining the goals of an ambitious progressive plan to overhaul the U.S. economy across all sectors, from finance to energy to social services, was rolled out Thursday with the aim of driving future legislation.

The Green New Deal resolution sponsored in the House by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and in the Senate by Massachusetts Democrat Edward J. Markey cites urgent warnings in two recent major climate reports to compel the federal government to act urgently on the radical changes they say would make the U.S. resilient and sustainable across all sectors.

Lawmakers, businesses warn of long-term damage of tariffs
“Tit-for-tat tariffs as a negotiating tactic are very, very dangerous”

Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey has a bill that would limit the ability of the president to impose levies for national security reasons. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration may have pushed trading partners to come to the negotiating table with tariffs, but a Delaware soybean farmer and a Virginia distillery owner say business people like them are paying a price for the tactic.

At a Wednesday press conference by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, Senate Republicans Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin joined Democrats Thomas R. Carper of Delaware and Mark Warner of Virginia in decrying the tariffs, which they said are squeezing businesses and could eventually take a bite out of the U.S. economy. Tariffs Hurt the Heartland represents 150 organizations from several industries.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls out dark money ‘shaping’ questions about reform bill
Ethics expert calls it a ‘fox guarding the henhouse situation’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., attends a House Financial Services Committee organizational meeting in Rayburn Building on Jan. 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a hearing about government ethics, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned the spotlight on her colleagues in the room.

Can members of Congress finance their campaigns with the aid of corporate PACs representing industries like fossil fuels and pharmaceuticals, and then legislate according to the interests of those industries?

Democrats running for president want presidential transitions to share security clearance applicant lists
Elizabeth Warren is among the headliners on the new legislation

Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., are seen during testimony by Judge Brett Kavanaugh during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most of the Senate Democrats running for president are headlining an effort to force presidential transitions to turn over lists of security clearance applicants to Congress.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is headlining the effort, and co-sponsors include potential or confirmed 2020 hopefuls like Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Senate Ethics Committee closes inquiry into Sen. Robert Menendez
New Jersey Democrat was ordered to reimburse friend $112,418.22 for travel and accommodations

A federal corruption case against New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez ended in a mistrial in 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Ethics Committee has closed an inquiry into Sen. Robert Menendez over allegations that he used his official position to benefit his friend, a Florida eye doctor.

The panel ended its investigation after the New Jersey Democrat reimbursed his friend and political ally for $112,418.22 in travel and accommodations costs incurred between 2006 and 2010, according to a letter dated Feb. 1.

Wheeler EPA nomination advances on party-line panel vote
Wheeler, currently the agency's deputy administrator, has been leading the agency in an acting role since July when Scott Pruitt resigned

Andrew Wheeler, nominee to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, arrives for his confirmation hearing in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Jan. 16, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 11-10 along party lines to advance the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to become administrator of the EPA.

He was among five of President Donald Trump’s nominees who moved a step closer to taking key administration jobs on Tuesday, including two for the EPA and one who would fill a two-year-old vacancy at the top of the Federal Highway Administration.