John Conyers Jr

Negotiations Over Sexual Harassment Bills Continue, but No Timetable Yet
Lawmakers report progress on reconciling House, Senate approaches

House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper, R-Miss., says he and his colleagues are making progress on reconciling sexual harassment legislation from the two chambers, but a time frame for enactment is unclear. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even as lawmakers and staff work to reconcile legislation passed by the House and Senate to curb sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, a timeline for enacting the bills is unclear, months after they were fast-tracked for floor votes.

“We’re confident we are going to get there at some point. We’re not quite there,” House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper of Mississippi said.

What Lawmakers Do When They Leave After Harassment Allegations
Six have left so far this Congress

Former Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., here at a news conference in December 2016, resigned his seat last October amid revelations of an extramarital affair. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Six members of Congress have left office in the past few months after allegations ranging from firing female staffers who rejected sexual advances to pressuring a lover to get an abortion.

While their resignations mean they no longer have a vote in Congress, that doesn’t mean their careers are over. Former lawmakers are moving forward by flying under the radar, grabbing the sides of a lectern or sticking with politics.

Senate Anti-Harassment Bill Could See Fast Action
Lawmakers would be held personally liable for misconduct

Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo., says that victims of workplace harassment in the Senate are confronted by a process that is “stacked against them.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 6:34 p.m. | The Senate is moving to combat sexual harassment on Capitol Hill with a bill aimed at overhauling the process for reporting and resolving claims of harassment and discrimination, in addition to holding lawmakers personally liable for misconduct settlement payments.

The proposal, unveiled Wednesday, has the backing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer. And the chamber could pass it as early as Thursday. The House passed a sweeping overhaul of harassment procedures in February.

No Representative in Congress? Don’t Worry, the House Clerk Has Your Back
Undercover Capitol takes you inside the historic workplace — one video at a time

Conyers’ Son Fails to Make the Ballot
Former congressman’s great nephew challenges signatures on son’s application to run to replace him in the House

The son of former Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., and his great nephew hope to replace him in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The family feud to replace former Rep. John Conyers Jr. took another turn Wednesday when the Michigan Democrat’s son failed to qualify for the ballot.

The Wayne County Clerk’s elections staff said John Conyers III, the former congressman’s son, was ineligible because he fell short of the number of valid signatures on his application to run, the Detroit News reported.

A Steady Flow of Political Royal Blood to Congress
Hill dynasties don’t last so many generations any more, but plenty of family members still try to stay in electoral business

Greg Pence, Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, is seeking the Congressional seat once held by his younger brother, Vice President Mike Pence. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Saturday’s wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is creating another surge of American royal mania, and with a particular twist — besotted chatter about their offspring someday running for Congress, or even president, while remaining in the line of succession to the British throne.

It’s a fanciful notion, regardless of whether the Los Angeles actress retains dual citizenship after she passes her British citizenship test, because the Constitution prevents titled nobles from taking federal office.

Opinion: I’m Sorry You’re Not Sorry
An apology is not a sign of weakness — even inside the Beltway

The fastest way to end a controversy over an insensitive comment by a White House staffer about Arizona Sen. John McCain would have been a simple apology, Patricia Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We all know that the fastest way to diffuse tension or end a fight is to say “I’m sorry.” Not “I’m sorry if …” or “I’m sorry that you …” Just a simple, clean, “I’m sorry.”

It’s obvious to nearly everyone that an apology would have been the fastest way to end the controversy last week over a head-snapping leaked comment from White House staffer Kelly Sadler, who said ailing Sen. John McCain’s refusal to support President Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director won’t matter because “he’s dying anyway.”

House Experience Poised to Nose-Dive
Following a rash of retirements, incumbent losses in November could bring the body’s experience to a low not seen since the 1990s

Michigan Democratic Reps. John Conyers Jr. and Sander M. Levin and Texas Republican Reps. Joe L. Barton and Lamar Smith are the four most senior House members to end their service during the current Congress. (Bill Clark and Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos)

If this election year ushers in as big a wave as Democrats are hoping for, it could end not just with a new party in control of the House, but with a major brain drain in the chamber. Departing members take with them their institutional knowledge and experienced staff. The freshmen who replace them will not only be starting from scratch, but, like Tea Party members did in 2010, could arrive by virtue of an antagonistic attitude and may be reluctant to back established party leadership.

The 69 representatives who for one reason or another won’t be a part of the House membership next year represent a significant portion of the House’s cumulative experience, a combined 828 years of experience in the chamber — roughly a fifth of the House’s total at the time this Congress began. 

Hoyer Fine With Cárdenas Remaining in Leadership While Abuse Allegations Investigated
Democratic whip says his view would be different if Cárdenas were in a role where he spoke for the party

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are not calling on Rep. Tony Cardenas to step down from his leadership position amid child sex abuse allegations raised against him that he denies. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer does not believe that Tony Cárdenas needs to step down from his leadership role over allegations that he sexually abused a 16-year-old girl in 2007 when he was serving on the Los Angeles City Council.

Cárdenas, who has denied the allegations raised against him in a lawsuit filed last month, serves in an elected leadership position House Democrats created in 2016 for a member serving for five terms or less to have a seat at the leadership table. The California Democrat is the highest-ranking lawmaker to be accused of sexual misconduct to date.

With Debbie Lesko Sworn In, The House is Still Short Members
Chamber still has six vacancies, with some more on the way

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis.,left, holds a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony for Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., right, as her husband Joe holds the Bible on Monday, May 7, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Even with Republican Debbie Lesko of Arizona being sworn in after her special election victory last month, the whole number of the House is 429, still short of capacity.

Lesko of took her oath of office as a member of the House at 6:59 p.m. on Monday, as well as the traditional ceremonial swearing in with Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis.