Paul D Ryan

Campus Notebook: President nominates pick for Architect of the Capitol

The Cannon House Office Building renovation will be a tough issue to grapple with for Blanton. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Monday nominated J. Brett Blanton to be the next Architect of the Capitol for a 10-year stint.

If confirmed by the Senate, Blanton would provide stability to the helm of an agency that has been led by a succession of acting directors. Christine Merdon, an acting director, announced her resignation in August and was replaced by Thomas Carroll, who worked in the same capacity. The Architect of the Capitol is responsible for maintaining the facilities on the Capitol complex as well as renovations.

Stefanik seizes the spotlight at Trump impeachment proceedings
New York Republican trends on Twitter and is praised by Trump as ‘new Republican star’

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik questions former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch on Friday during a House Intelligence hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

She went out of her way to confront Adam B. Schiff

The House Intelligence Committee had gathered Friday for its second open hearing of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump when Rep. Elise Stefanik stormed into the spotlight.

One of Government Publishing Office’s most important customers might soon be in charge
Hugh Halpern has confirmation hearing to be GPO director

Hugh Halpern, nominee to serve as director of the Government Publishing Office, testified at the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Not every nominee shows up for a confirmation hearing ready to show off his own personal copy of the House Manual. Then again, not every nominee is Hugh Halpern.

Halpern, the longtime Republican staff director of the House Rules Committee and subsequently director of floor operations for Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, is President Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Government Publishing Office.

Paul Ryan PAC provides seed money for new nonprofit group

Former Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., attends the unveiling of his House Budget Committee chairman portrait in the Capitol on November 29, 2018. The portrait was painted by Minnesota artist Leslie Bowman. He unveiled details of a new organization he will lead. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former House Speaker Paul D. Ryan unveiled new details Monday about his fledgling organization, the American Idea Foundation. Though the nonprofit organization won’t need to publicly disclose most of its donors, one is already known: Ryan’s own political coffers.

Prosperity Action, the Wisconsin Republican’s leadership PAC, transferred $1.6 million to the new group in installments in March, April and June of this year, federal election disclosures show. After those payments, Prosperity Action reported about $334,000 cash on hand. Leadership PACs offer lawmakers an additional way to raise money and support candidates.

Setting partisanship aside, colleagues gather to honor Cummings
Leaders from both parties praise Baltimore lawmaker's hometown commitment

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, widow of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, pauses at his casket in Statuary Hall during his memorial service on Thursday, October 24, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers joined in bipartisan unity Thursday to remember their colleague, friend and confidante Elijah E. Cummings at a memorial service in the Capitol.

Members of Congress from both chambers and both parties shed tears together as they honored the Maryland Democrat's life and legacy. House votes and impeachment depositions were canceled so that Congress could gather to mourn the African-American lawmaker in a ceremony in Statuary Hall.

Mick Mulvaney, from Washington reformer to chief of graft
No matter what he says, don’t get over it, America

Mick Mulvaney is now at the center of an international corruption scandal he not only tolerated, but may have championed, Murphy writes. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

OPINION — In 2008, days after political newcomer Mick Mulvaney won a seat in the South Carolina state Senate, he told a local newspaper that many voters had suggested that he run for the U.S. House seat held by Democrat John Spratt instead. “I couldn’t stop laughing,” Mulvaney said. “I’m perfectly happy being in the Senate.”

But within a year, Mulvaney was not only challenging Spratt, he defeated him handily in 2010 on a message of reforming Washington and slashing federal spending. “There’s a few things I just think we all believe,” he said in one campaign ad. “We cannot continue to spend money we don’t have.”

Some lawmakers question amount of time spent in committees
How sustainable are members’ often packed and chaotic schedules?

California Rep. Mark DeSaulnier sits on four committees and seven subcommittees, one of the most packed rosters in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House parliamentarian brought the hammer down on the Education and Labor Committee in April, ending a long-standing practice that allowed panel members from both parties to vote on bills in committee on a flexible schedule — a violation of the House ban on proxy voting.

Members say their schedules have become so hectic and compressed that the courtesy, which the committee has extended for years, is needed. But the practice raises a bigger question: How sustainable are members’ often packed and chaotic schedules?

Trump nominates director of Government Publishing Office
If confirmed, Hugh Halpern would be first permanent director since 2017

Copies of President Donald Trump's budget for fiscal 2020 run through the binding process at the Government Publishing Office in Washington. Trump nominated Hugh Nathanial Halpern to be director of the agency Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The agency responsible for producing U.S. passports has been plagued by leadership instability since 2017, but President Donald Trump’s move to nominate Hugh Nathanial Halpern of Virginia to be the Government Publishing Office’s director Tuesday could end that streak.

Halpern worked as the director of floor operations for House Speaker Paul D. Ryan before Halpern retired in January. He was the staff director for the House Rules Committee and worked on several other committees, including the House Financial Services Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee over the course of 30 years.

Biggs to replace Meadows as Freedom Caucus chairman, effective Oct. 1
Meadows, who’d planned to transition out of the chairmanship this fall, will remain on caucus board

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, left, has been elected to serve as the third chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. Also pictured, California Rep. Tom McClintock at a House Judiciary hearing in July. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs will serve as the third chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, after the group of roughly three dozen hard-line conservatives elected him to take over its leadership effective Oct. 1.

The sophomore congressman will replace North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows next month — a fall leadership transition that Meadows had long been planning. Meadows has served as the group’s chairman for the past two and a half years following the two-year tenure of Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the founding chairman.

Term limit rules targeted by Trump aren’t tipping scale on House GOP retirements
POTUS wants to discourage retirements, but life in the minority is also a factor

President Trump blamed the wave of retirements on a GOP conference rule that term limits committee chairmen. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, is one member who said losing his top committee spot impacted his choice to not seek reelection. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump has an idea he thinks would quell the growing list of House Republicans who say they won’t run for another term, but the president’s proposal might not get to the root of the GOP retirements.

In a tweet early Monday, Trump urged House GOP leaders to alter conference rules to allow committee chairs (and ranking members if in the minority) to hold their posts for more than six years.