capitol-hill

Senate Armed Services Committee Republicans have a new look for the 116th
5 GOP freshmen got spots on the panel, coveted by lawmakers from states with defense industry presences

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., attends the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for William P. Barr, nominee for attorney general, in Hart Building on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As the Senate Armed Services Committee sets about its work in the 116th Congress, a handful of new faces will help shape the national security debate on the Republican side of the dais.

Five GOP freshmen have landed spots on the panel, an unusually high number for a committee that is particularly coveted among members whose states have military or defense industry presences.

Does the Capitol Dome have a leak? Not quite
Yellow buckets in Rotunda collect dripping water

The Capitol Rotunda was dripping Tuesday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On day 32 of the longest government shutdown in modern history, it looked like an iconic symbol of American democracy had sprung a leak.

The Capitol Dome, which reaches 287 feet tall, recently underwent a $60 million restoration. But something was amiss Tuesday morning. 

MAGA hat ban ‘joke’ leads to Twitter skewering of House Democrat
Kentucky Rep. Yarmuth was riffing on Trump’s campaign promise to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., was "ratioed" on Twitter for jokingly suggesting that lawmakers ban MAGA hats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Well, that joke went over people’s heads.

Twitter — usually not the best medium for conveying sarcasm — raked Rep. John Yarmuth over the coals this weekend after he suggested lawmakers impose a “total and complete shutdown of teenagers wearing MAGA hats until we can figure out what is going on.”

Pelosi spokesman says White House leaked commercial travel plans to Afghanistan
Alternate plan was canceled after State Department warned against it

A bus is seen of the East Front of the Capitol after members of the House disembarked, after an overseas CODEL was postponed by President Trump on Thursday, January 17, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The shutdown feud between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump escalated Friday after the California Democrat’s office revealed it had made commercial travel arrangements to continue an Afghanistan trip the president tried to cancel — but the administration leaked their plans.

There was already a security risk with the speaker and her congressional delegation continuing the overseas troop visit after Trump announced Thursday where they’d be going. But the heightened threat from Trump leaking the commercial travel plans led the delegation to call off the trip for now, a Pelosi spokesman said.

Rep. Steve King blames ‘unhinged left’ in new fundraising email
Amid backlash over racist comments, the Iowa Republican asked supporters for donations

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, sent a fundraising email to supporters this week in which he claims the recent controversy can be attributed to the “unhinged left.” (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite growing calls for Steve King to resign after making racist comments, the Iowa Republican sent an email Thursday urging supporters for new donations. 

“The unhinged left has teamed up with Republican ‘NeverTrumpers’ and is pulling out all the stops to destroy me,” King said in the email, the Des Moines Register reported.

Two weeks after being sworn in, Tom Marino announces resignation from Congress
Pennsylvania Republican will depart Jan. 23 for private sector

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., leaves the U.S. Capitol building after final votes of the week on Friday, June 15, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino announced Thursday he would be resigning from Congress. 

The Republican lawmaker, who represents the 12th District in northeast and central Pennsylvania, said he will be leaving his post Jan. 23 for a job in the private sector.

Pelosi holds firm on delaying State of the Union until government reopens
The speaker, asked if she thinks a steel slat fence is the same as a wall, said ”Isn't it all in the president's mind?”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sledders cheer up Capitol Hill while shutdown stalemate continues

Children cut the rancorous mood in Washington and flew down Capitol Hill on sleds.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When up to a foot of snow walloped Washington over the weekend, it gave joyful kids a reason to play, sledding down Capitol Hill and cutting the rancorous mood over the partial government shutdown. 

Furloughed federal workers have been stuck at home for weeks, and those required to work are going without paychecks. But many found that sledding down the massive slope on the West Front under the Capitol Dome is a great way to blow off steam. And it doesn’t cost a thing.

Assessing the bleak options for ending the shutdown
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 94

The shutdown is now the longest in modern history. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the longest shutdown in modern history enters its fourth week, CQ’s fiscal policy reporter Doug Sword assesses the options for ending the spending impasse. But none appear promising, as President Donald Trump has rejected the latest proposals.

3 yards and a cloud of shutdown
What’s next in the partial government shutdown border wall standoff? Who knows?

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., speaks with a reporter as he boards the Senate subway in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Three yards and a cloud of dust was how Ohio State University coach Woody Hayes described his style of football, a steady, if unglamorous and gritty, progress toward the goal line.

The negotiations over the partial government shutdown — although the term negotiation is used loosely here — could be described as minus-three yards and a cloud of dust. Instead of progress, the president and the Senate Judiciary chairman say a national emergency should be invoked, despite the legal tenuousness of such a move.