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Democrats hope impeachment support grows but proceeding regardless of public sentiment
Public support is important but members' constitutional duty is more so, Democrats say

House Intelligence Chairman Adam B.  Schiff, D-Calif., joined by other House Democrats, speaks during a press conference after the House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats hope the open impeachment hearings they began Wednesday will convince the public that President Donald Trump has committed impeachable offenses, but if the proceedings fail to produce an increase in public support, it won’t stop or slow down their inquiry.

More than half a dozen Democrats interviewed Wednesday — as the Intelligence Committee held its first of what will be at least five days of public testimony from 11 witnesses — said their decisions on whether to impeach Trump will not be influenced by polls capturing public sentiment.

Save Our Seas 2.0 tackles global marine debris crisis
To save our oceans, there’s no time to waste

The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act aims to combat the global marine debris crisis. (Courtesy iStock)

OPINION — We may have plenty of political differences, but we come from coastal states. That means we have a front-row seat to the peril of plastic waste and marine debris flowing into our oceans at the rate of around 8 million metric tons per year. We understand what it will mean for our fishing and tourism industries when the weight of plastic in our oceans equals the weight of fish in the sea — something projected to happen by mid-century. We don’t have a moment to lose in confronting this problem.

That’s why we built a coalition in Congress and gathered input from environmental and industry stakeholders alike. Despite a divided Washington, that work resulted in a bill that won broad, bipartisan support. When the Save Our Seas Act became law last October, it was a moment of bipartisan progress on a vital issue — one to be celebrated.

Road ahead: Public impeachment hearings begin
Senate set to confirm new Homeland Security secretary

The first open impeachment hearings in over 20 years begin on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The public phase of the House impeachment inquiry begins this week, with three witnesses set to air concerns Wednesday and Friday that President Donald Trump attempted to tie Ukrainian military aid to an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential Democratic rival in 2020.

Much of the attention on Capitol Hill will be focused on the House Intelligence Committee as it opens up to televised questioning and testimony an investigation that so far had been conducted in a secure closed-door facility in the basement of the Capitol.

The unglamorous job of federal budgeting
New budget reform legislation would help restore a broken process

Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi has joined with Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and other colleagues to introduce the Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It is no secret that a vast majority of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing. Too often our political debates are characterized by hyperpartisanship, rather than achieving meaningful outcomes for the American people. Nowhere is this problem more acute than when it comes to our inability to address our country’s unsustainable fiscal course.

Our current budget process is broken, as evidenced by mounting debt and deficits, a patchwork of temporary spending bills, government shutdowns, and budgets that, if passed at all, are quickly ignored. While process reforms alone won’t solve our fiscal challenges, we believe that realigning incentives, creating a more predictable budget pathway and encouraging active engagement in fiscal outcomes are steps in the right direction.

Parker Poling’s job: Help win back the House for Republicans
As NRCC executive director she’s tasked with helping GOP pick up 19 seats needed to take back speaker’s gavel

NRCC executive director Parker Poling has tried to increase the committee’s outreach to House Republicans who don’t usually need help from the party’s campaign arm. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It was 2015 and Parker Poling was going all out to persuade fellow Republicans to support a top priority of President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

That sounds improbable, but at the time she was chief of staff to North Carolina Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, who was the chief deputy whip for the GOP majority. Republican leaders were trying to persuade skeptical lawmakers to give Obama fast-track authority to negotiate trade deals.

Road ahead: Impeachment to lead headlines, even with House away
Senate returns Tuesday to continue confirming judges

Impeachment will be making headlines at the Capitol, even with the House not in session. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House is not in session this week, and yet there might still be more attention on that side of the Capitol, with House committees led by the Intelligence panel continuing work on the impeachment inquiry.

The committees are seeking testimony from three officials Monday, but it is not yet clear who, if any, will appear for their scheduled closed-door depositions.

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 29
Trump launches preemptive strike on NSC staffer’s deposition, impeachment ground rules resolution coming

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director of European affairs at the National Security Council, arrives at the Capitol for his deposition as part of the House's impeachment inquiry on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two senior Senate Democrats, in a letter Tuesday to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, asked for details about the Pentagon’s role in freezing military aid to Ukraine for several weeks earlier this year.

The aid, which had been appropriated in law, is at the heart of the House impeachment inquiry amid allegations that President Donald Trump ordered the money withheld as a way to coerce Ukraine to help discredit Trump’s political rivals.

Photos of the Week: Amid impeachment battle, members pay respect to Cummings
The week of Oct. 25 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

House Judiciary Committee members, from left, Reps. David Cicilline, D-R.I., Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Joe Neguse, D-Colo., arrive for the House Democrats’ caucus meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

This week the Capitol was consumed with impeachment depositions, the storming of the SCIF, and a guy named Zuckerberg.

As NDAA talks drag on, Inhofe readies pared-down bill
Negotiators have largely stayed mum on unresolved conference issues

Senate Armed Services Chairman James M. Inhofe, left, and ranking member Sen. Jack Reed before the start of a confirmation hearing on July 31, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pentagon caught in a political fight over impeachment inquiry
Defense officials have rejected congressional demands for information on withholding of Ukraine aid

The Pentagon is a key player in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into Trump's dealings with Ukraine. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Rather than stay out of the fray, the Defense Department has taken sides in a bitter and historic partisan brawl, choosing to fortify President Donald Trump’s stonewall rather than cooperate with Congress.

The Pentagon is a key player in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. And defense officials, who have until now been largely unscathed by the investigation, have rejected congressional demands for information about their role in the White House decision to withhold $250 million in military aid to Ukraine.