Rodney Davis

Legal pot makes it harder to recruit truck drivers, industry leader says
Companies find applicants withdraw when they learn of hair sample tests for drug use

Cannabis plants grow in the greenhouse Johnstown, N.Y. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

As the trucking industry struggles with a driver shortage, the president of a major lobby placed part of the blame on wider acceptance by states of marijuana use.

American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear told lawmakers at a Wednesday hearing that legalization of recreational marijuana by states is making it harder for the industry to find drug-free drivers. Still, low pay and poor working conditions are also hurdles to industry recruitment, according to a union leader.

Photos of the Week: Congress is back from recess, and we’ve got photos to prove it
The week of May 3 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

A poster of President Donald Trump and the wax figure of singer Whitney Houston are on display as a window washer cleans the windows at Madame Tussauds wax museum in Washington on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is back from recess, and we have the photos to prove it.

Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa to retire May 31
Top cop exits after a 34-year career in law enforcement

Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa will retire May 31. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa announced Wednesday that he will retire from the force on May 31, after a 34-year career in law enforcement and three years leading the force.

“One of the proudest days of my life was when I was sworn-in as Chief of Police. I want to thank the Capitol Police Board for giving me the opportunity to lead the employees of the United States Capitol Police. Leading the Department has been the capstone of my career. It has been an honor to serve the Congress and the Department since September 12, 1986,” he wrote in a letter to the Capitol Police Board.

Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Eveyln Sanguinetti announces House run in suburban Chicago
Vying to challenge freshman Democrat Sean Casten in key 6th District

Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti is challenging Democratic incumbent Sean Casten in the state’s 6th District. (Courtesy Sanguinetti’s campaign)

Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti announced Monday that she will run for the state’s 6th District, a longtime Republican stronghold captured last year by Democrat Sean Casten

“I really wanted to see Sean Casten be the voice this district needed when he won election last November,” the Republican said at a morning announcement in her hometown of Wheaton, according to a campaign press release. “Unfortunately, all we have is another politician cozying up to progressives and socialists in support of increased taxes and expanded government — when he should be fighting for the district he was sent to represent.”

Democrats launch Tax Day ad attack aimed at GOP overhaul
Effort on Facebook signals 2018 messaging on tax law is here to stay for 2020

The DCCC is attacking Texas Rep. Pete Olson in its latest round of digital ads (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

To coincide with Tax Day, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is rolling out digital ads on Monday attacking 12 Republicans for the GOP tax plan that passed during the 115th Congress.

The new Facebook ads, obtained first by Roll Call, signal Democrats will continue to use the 2017 tax overhaul, which passed with only Republican votes, as a key part of their economic message heading into 2020, when the party will be trying to protect their midterm gains and expand the map by investing heavily in such places as Texas.

House and Senate building superintendents placed on administrative leave
The high ranking Architect of the Capitol employees are under investigation

The House and Senate building superintendents, who work under acting Architect of the Capitol Christine Merdron, picture here, have been put on leave, pending an investigation into inappropriate emails. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two high ranking Architect of the Capitol employees charged with leading all operations of the House and Senate office buildings have been placed on administrative leave, an AOC spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

House Building Superintendent Bill Weidemeyer and Senate Building Superintendent Takis Tzamaras were placed on leave pending an investigation into inappropriate emails. Weidemeyer and Tzamaras both report to acting Architect of the Capitol Christine Merdon, who took the helm of the agency in late November 2018 after Stephen T. Ayers retired.

House set to approve committee funds; largest boost for House Ethics panel
Update of House Ethics Manual underway

The House on Tuesday approved funding levels for committee activities in the 116th Congress. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House is set to approve funding levels for committee activities in the 116th Congress later this week, providing the largest boost to the House Ethics Committee. 

The House resolution, advanced by the House Administration panel on Monday night, will authorize funding for all of the standing and select committee in the House, excluding the Appropriations Committee. It is expected on the floor before the end of the week. 

Jim Jordan seeks to block increased funds for Oversight panel he helps lead
Chairman Elijah Cummings wants to rebuild staffing, but his GOP counterpart does not

Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, right, and ranking member Jim Jordan are the only House committee leaders to disagree about funding levels for their panel. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As House Democrats ramp up their oversight investigations into President Donald Trump’s administration, businesses, and 2016 campaign, at least one Republican has found a new battleground to push back: funding for the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

That panel’s chairman, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, asked the House Administration Committee on Tuesday for a funding increase of 4 percent this year and 10 percent next year over funding levels from the previous, GOP-controlled 115th Congress.

Guidance for paying House interns adopted, as application deadlines fly by

House Administration Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., noted that she began her congressional career as an intern. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House offices now have guidance, however brief, on how to implement paid internships in their offices with the inaugural funding provided specifically for that purpose.

The House Administration Committee approved a resolution Tuesday afternoon by voice vote that outlines “interim regulations governing House paid internships.” 

The irritating sounds of air horns and Nickelback: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of March 4, 2019

Look, it’s easy for us to pile on Nickelback. They’ve long been the go-to band for jokes about things that nobody likes. But while everyone else was laughing, Rep. Rodney Davis staunchly defended the Canadian rockers on the House floor following a bruising from Rep. Mark Pocan.

Beyond the musical back-and-forth, this week saw air horns blasted in committee, gags about the Green New Deal and a handful of tributes to the legendary Rep. Don Young, who is now the longest-serving Republican in the House.