Energy & Environment

House Appropriations may start markups in April
Markups have to begin in April or May at the latest to have any chance of bills passing on the floor in June

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., chair of the House Appropriations Committee walks across the Capitol from the House side for a meeting with House and Senate appropriators in an effort to revive spending talks and avert a second shutdown on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey and Democratic appropriators are looking at starting fiscal 2020 markups as soon as late April with the Defense, Labor-HHS-Education and Legislative Branch bills, people familiar with the process said.

The Military Construction-VA and Energy-Water bills also are on tap to be among the first five bills marked up, as part of an effort to begin advancing bills across the floor in June.

On the campaign trail, climate change can no longer be ignored
Democrats try to out-green each other as presidential race heats up

The Blue Cut Fire in San Bernardino County, California, destroyed 37,000 acres and more than 300 structures in August 2016. (David McNew/Getty Images)

The 2020 elections are still many months away, but 17-year-old Michael Minsk is already following it closely as more candidates enter the race. Eager to vote for the first time next year, the high school junior is looking for a candidate promising bold action on climate change.

“Climate change is definitely one of the issues I will be voting on along with other social and economic problems,” said Minsk, who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. “I am tired of corruption in government that prevents politicians from acting on it, so I want someone that will stand up and make changes.”

Visit by ‘Trump of the Tropics’ puts ‘America First’ in spotlight
Bolsonaro’s embrace gives Trump another chance to pitch himself as fighting socialism

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, left, poses with Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared iterim president Juan Guaido during a news conference in Brasilia on February 28. (Andressa Anholete/Getty Images)

A populist message built on a pledge to put his country “first.” Hardline immigration policies. A get-tough-on China stance. And a controversial relationship with conservative strategist Steve Bannon.

Though that description certainly applies to President Donald Trump, it could also describe the man with whom Trump will appear Tuesday in the White House Rose Garden: Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s new president.

Some climate change panel members are literally invested in the issue
Panel members have investments in fossil fuel companies, and at least two have ties to clean-energy industries

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., attends a House Oversight and Reform Committee business meeting in the Rayburn Building in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

One member of the House committee created to address climate change stands out for what he owns: hundreds of oil and gas wells in North Dakota oil fields worth millions of dollars.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, a Republican from North Dakota, received at least $400,000 from those wells and as much as $1.1 million in the previous year, as well as $75,000 in salary from Armstrong Corp., his family’s oil and gas business. He also owns at least 289 wells, worth between $2.9 million and $11.5 million, though in a recent interview Armstrong said he owns more than 300 wells.

Rep. Steve King posts meme bragging red states have ‘8 trillion bullets’
Post theorizing a hypothetical civil war comes at a time when leaders have called for more thoughtfulness

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, posted a meme to Facebook Saturday about a hypothetical civil war. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Steve King posted a meme Saturday about a hypothetical civil war between “blue states” fighting over which bathroom to use and “red states” with trillions of bullets.

The post is an image of two figures composed of traditionally Democratic-leaning and Republican-leaning states in fighting postures with text superimposed over top. The caption reads: “Folks keep talking about another civil war. One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use.”

Graves sees a positive role for GOP in new select climate committee
Louisiana Republican is optimistic some bipartisan ideas can come out of the panel

Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., right, here in May 2018 with Reps. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, and Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., is the ranking member on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Garret Graves says he wasn’t keen on joining the select committee to address climate change formed by the new Democratic House majority in January.

But on Feb. 28, weeks after the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis had been formed and long after the Democrats had announced their roster, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appointed the Louisiana Republican as co-chairman.

Conservatives back proposed gray wolf delisting as green groups howl
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said gray wolf populations recovered significantly after nearly disappearing

Crystal, a female gray wolf, roams the new wold enclosure during a sneak peak of the new American Trail at the Smithsonian National Zoo August 29, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (Allison Shelley/Getty Images)

The Department of Interior moved on Thursday to remove gray wolves from federal protection, pleasing congressional Republicans and rankling environmental organizations that plan to fight the decision in court.

“Glad to see it,” Montana Sen. Steve Daines who like many western Republicans supports less federal control over at-risk species, told CQ. “Any time we can move a species off the endangered species list should be a victory.”

Gardner burned by hometown paper for upholding Trump’s emergency declaration
The Denver Post’s 2014 endorsement of Gardner was viewed as a boon to the candidate

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., was the target of a scathing editorial in The Denver Post on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Denver Post ripped Sen. Cory Gardner’s Thursday decision to side with President Donald Trump on his national emergency declaration, calling the lawmaker “a political time-server interested only in professional security.”

“Our endorsement of Cory Gardner was a mistake,” reads the headline of the Denver Post’s biting editorial published Thursday night. “Thursday’s vote was the last straw.”

Mitch McConnell sets up Senate vote on a Green New Deal resolution
Democrats have decried the majority leader's move as a partisan stunt

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, set up the vote on the Green New Deal for after the recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has followed through on his promise to call a test vote on a resolution supporting the Green New Deal, a vote that Democratic supporters have decried as a political stunt.

The Republican from Kentucky moved to limit debate on taking up a joint resolution supporting the Green New Deal, setting up a vote after the Senate recess next week.

Creation of a panel disputing climate change causes White House infighting
The Trump administration is considering establishing a cohort of scientists led by climate denier William Happer

Donald Trump's Environment advisor Myron Ebell arrives for a meeting at Downing Street on January 31, 2017, in London, England. Ebell has referred to the Environmental movement as the "greatest threat to freedom". (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Plans to create a White House panel to dispute established climate science are facing sharp opposition from within the building, according to an official familiar with the matter and an administration adviser.

The Trump administration is considering establishing a cohort of scientists at the National Security Council, led by Princeton physicist and climate change denier William Happer, to challenge established scientific conclusions of the severity of climate change and humanity’s contributions to it.

Trump acknowledges ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy ‘hurts people’
President also signals that he thought about Boeing’s export business before grounding jets

Supporters of President Donald Trump rally for the president during his visit to see the controversial border wall prototypes on March 13, 2018, San Diego, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday admitted his immigration policies are “hurting people,” and signaled he mulled Boeing’s export business before he bowed to pressure and grounded two models of its 737 airliners after a second deadly crash.

The president’s comments came in response to an Irish reporter in town with his country’s prime minister for annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities at the Capitol and White House. That reporter asked Trump in the Oval Office if he sees his own immigration policies as “cruel.”

O’Rourke gets early backing from former colleagues in Congress
Texas Democrat hits the campaign trail at Keokuk, Iowa, coffee shop

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke runs onto the stage at a campaign rally during his Senate race last year at the Gaslight Baker Theatre in Lockhart, Tezas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke gave a speech and took questions from supporters for the first time as a presidential candidate on Thursday in Keokuk, Iowa.

The 46-year-old Democrat spoke to supporters at a coffee shop just hours after he announced that he is seeking the party’s presidential nomination. His White House bid brings the number of Democrats running for the party’s nomination to a baker’s dozen.

Senate learns pushing back on Trump can be hard work
After rejecting U.S. role in Yemen war, senators will vote Thursday on terminating the border security emergency

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah., announced support for the termination resolution after President Donald Trump said he opposed a Lee measure to limit national emergencies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate is learning this week that exercising atrophied constitutional muscles can be hard work — and it comes with political repercussions.

Thursday’s chamber agenda features debate and votes on a joint resolution that would terminate President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency for border security, which is part of his attempt to move money around to build a wall at the border with Mexico. It will be considered under an expedited procedure that will allow for Senate passage without the need for 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.

Capitol Hill is buzzing: Architect of the Capitol rehomes bee colony
Massive bee hive and 10 pounds of honey removed from historic ash tree

An Architect of the Capitol ground crew removed a massive beehive from an ash tree on the Capitol campus Wednesday. (Photo: Architect of the Capitol)

Capitol Hill was buzzing Wednesday morning and it had nothing to do with Congress or news. An Architect of the Capitol ground crew removed a massive bee hive from an ash tree on the Capitol campus.

Images from the AOC show a large limb of the ash tree being removed, with the hive tucked inside. The team that removed the bee colony from the historic tree was made up of AOC arborists and a beekeeper, according to spokesperson Erin Courtney.

Ammar Campa-Najjar accuses GOP leadership of hypocrisy over anti-bigotry resolution
As his campaign takes shape, California Democrat hopes attacks on his heritage won’t distract from his message

Ammar Campa-Najjar, Democratic candidate for California’s 50th Congressional district, has called on Republican leadership to denounce Rep. Duncan Hunter for ads widely decried as playing up Islamaphobic fears. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ammar Campa-Najjar doesn’t want hate and bigotry to be a distraction this time.

The 30-year-old Democrat narrowly lost a campaign for the historically conservative 50th District in California last year. Now Campa-Najjar is seeking a rematch, and has renewed his demands that Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter be held accountable for anti-Muslim rhetoric.