Jim Sensenbrenner

Civil Rights Commission Calls for Action on Voting Rights Fix
State actions since 2013 have hurt minority voting rights, new report says

Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, second from right, at a rally outside the Supreme Court in January to oppose an Ohio voter purge law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights urged Congress on Wednesday to update the landmark law that protects voter rights, finding in a new report that a 2013 Supreme Court decision helped lead to elections with voting measures in place that discriminate against minorities.

But opposition from Republican lawmakers has stalled legislation to change the Voting Rights Act of 1965 since the 5-4 decision in Shelby County v. Holder that struck down a key enforcement mechanism in the law. Current efforts appear stuck for the same reason.

Paul Ryan Backs Leah Vukmir Ahead of GOP Primary In Key Wisconsin Senate Race
State senator also picked up endorsement of longtime Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Leah Vukmir has friends in all the right places.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner endorsed the longtime Wisconsin state senator Monday as she faces businessman and political newcomer Kevin Nicholson in the GOP primary for the chance to go head-to-head against Sen. Tammy Baldwin in the general election.

The King of Town Halls Reflects on Face Time
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner talks about the mood of constituents, the most interesting questions and his smallest crowd

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner talks with some of his constituents in Watertown in February. (Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner via Instagram)

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is the king of town halls.

The Wisconsin Republican, who was first elected to the House in 1978, held the most of any member of Congress last year, when he racked up 115. Since 2011, he has held more than 500 meetings with constituents.

For Some in Congress, the Opioid Crisis Is Personal
Lawmakers share the stories behind their efforts to combat the epidemic

Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson lost his grandson to an opioid overdose. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As drug overdoses climb — rising 12 percent between October 2016 and October 2017 — Congress has floated dozens of proposals to combat opioid abuse.

Some lawmakers have deeply personal connections to the epidemic of addiction in America. These are their stories.

Wisconsin’s Nicholson Questions ‘Cognitive Thought Process’ of Democratic Veterans
The former Democrat seeks GOP Senate nomination

Kevin Nicholson gives a speech at the 2000 Democratic National Convention. (Courtesy C-SPAN)

Wisconsin Republican Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson said he questioned the “cognitive thought process” of military veterans in the Democratic Party.

Speaking in an interview on WTMJ-AM, Nicholson, who is running to challenge Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, defended his claim that his service in the Marines is a conservative value.

Randy Bryce to Face Paul Ryan Tuesday Night (Kind of)
Bryce was invited to the State of the Union by Rep. Mark Pocan

Randy Bryce, Democratic candidate for Wisconsin’’s 1st Congressional District, will attend the State of the Union. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

On Tuesday night, Speaker Paul D. Ryan will be seated directly behind President Donald Trump for Trump’s first State of the Union. And somewhere above the House floor, Randy Bryce will be sitting in the House gallery with his work boots on.

“The whole campaign has been, ‘Just be you,’” Bryce said, explaining his decision to dress casually. “That’s what I’ve been told: ‘Just be you.’ And that’s me. They’re comfortable.”

FISA Fight Marks Win for Intelligence Committee Over Judiciary

House Intelligence ranking member Adam B. Schiff, left and Chairman Devin Nunes largely got their way in the FISA fight. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Jan. 19 signing of legislation to reauthorize a government surveillance authority that has, in some cases, given intelligence and law enforcement agents access to Americans’ correspondence without a warrant, was a victory for security hawks over civil libertarians.

It also marked a win for the House Intelligence Committee over its counterpart, House Judiciary, and a shift in the balance of power on government surveillance from three years ago.

Supreme Court to Revisit Internet Sales Tax Ruling
Bipartisan group of lawmakers want previous decision overruled

From left, Sens. Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois want the Supreme Court to overrule a decision that prevented states from collecting sales tax on internet purchases. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court will decide whether businesses must collect sales tax on online transactions in states where they don’t have a physical presence, in a case closely watched by lawmakers, states and online retailers.

The case gives the justices a chance to reshape internet commerce, something Congress hasn’t done since the high court last ruled on the issue in 1992. Back then, the court barred states from collecting sales tax from vendors that were out of state.

With House Passage of FISA Measure, Action Moves to Senate
GOP leaders in chamber move to restrict amendments to reauthorization

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is part of a bipartisan group that has problems with the FISA reauthorization measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday approved 256-164 a bill to reauthorize provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for another six years, putting the measure in the Senate’s hands.

The bill, backed by the Trump administration and all the U.S. intelligence agencies, would preserve the FBI and the intelligence agencies’ ability to search a surveillance database for information on Americans with minimal warrant requirements.

Word on the Hill: Happy Halloween
Send your photos to HOH

Rene T., who declined to provide his full last name, wears a “Bill on Capitol Hill” costume as he jumps in the air while a friend takes photos on the U.S. Senate steps on Halloween last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Celebrate Halloween bipawtisan style.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., is hosting a Senate Halloween dog costume celebration, where dogs from various Senate offices will parade around in their hopefully politics-related outfits.