congressional-affairs

Trump Vows to Sign Compromise Prisons Bill
President made similar promise on immigration, then helped sink bipartisan measure

President Donald Trump addresses the press before departing for Dallas, Texas, on May 4. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Friday did little to help resolve lawmakers’ standoff over differing House and Senate prison overhaul bills, opting against using his bully pulpit to pressure either side.

Instead, Trump gave both sides leverage when he said his administration “strongly supports these efforts,” referring to each chambers’ bill. The remark was something of a shift for the president. Previously, his administration has voiced support for a measure awaiting House floor action but been cooler to a Senate version that includes proposed sentencing changes.

Rep. Espaillat Files Complaint Against Lawyer Who Unleashed Racially Charged Rant
Man in video identified as 42-year-old Aaron Schlossberg

Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., filed a grievance against lawyer Aaron Schlossberg on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat filed an official grievance through the state court system against a man who was filmed this week going on a racially charged rant in a Midtown Manhattan lunch market.

The video, in which the man berates two workers at the market for speaking Spanish and taking his money through the “welfare” system before threatening to call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to deport them, has since gone viral.

Analysis: Giuliani Escalates Effort to Erode Legitimacy of Mueller Probe
Trump lawyer attacks Sessions, Comey and casts president as victim of ‘crimes’

Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani prepares to speak at the Conference on Iran earlier this month shortly after being added to President Donald Trump’s legal team. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Former FBI Director James Comey is a “proven liar” and Attorney General Jeff Sessions “didn’t step up” to shut down an “unjustifiable investigation.” Those were just two of the claims made Friday by Rudy Giuliani, one of President Donald Trump’s lawyers, as he continued an escalating effort to erode the legitimacy of the Justice Department’s Russia probe.

As Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team continue their probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, possible coordination with the Trump-Pence campaign, and whether the president obstructed justice, Giuliani — joined by Trump and others — are executing a strategy intended to raise doubts about the necessity of the investigation, whether Mueller and the FBI are out to get Trump, and the special counsel’s tactics.

Emails Show Farenthold’s Pursuit of Lobbying Job
Disgraced former Texas congressman landed position shortly after leaving Congress

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, appeared to have started angling for a new job within a few weeks of leaving the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Emails between former Rep. Blake Farenthold and his new employer show the disgraced Texas Republican was angling for a lobbying job shortly after resigning from Congress.

The emails obtained by the Dallas Morning News through an open records request showed Farenthold was pushing for an answer on the lobbying job with the port authority in his former district.

Brooks Defends Blaming Falling Rocks for Rising Sea Levels
‘Erosion is the primary cause of sea level rise in the history of our planet,’ Alabama congressman says

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., argued with a climate scientist in a committee over the cause of rising sea levels. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks defended his statement saying falling rocks and erosion were the reason for rising sea levels.

Brooks earned national headlines when at a Wednesday House Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing, he argued with a climate scientist.

Staffer Survey: Getting Substantive Things Done in an Election Year
How the midterms affect congressional offices

Senate staffers and visitors pass by models of the Capitol in the Hart Senate Office Building. Roll Call surveyed congressional staff about how busy they are in an election year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Floor Charts for the Floor Show
Our favorite visual aids from a month of congressional floor-watching

Rep. Mark Takano declared April 26 as International Chart Day. (@FloorCharts screenshot of C-SPAN)

Bunny ears, definitions and big red signs made up the best of floor charts this month. But, more importantly, charts got their own day, which was announced through a ... you guessed it, floor chart. 

The Twitter handle @FloorCharts posts some of the daily highlights, and Roll Call provides a monthly roundup of the best of the best.

Flashback Friday: A Page Right Out of History
The Senate page program was started as a way to keep local kids out of trouble

A Senate page with Sen. Charles Sumner from Edmund Alton’s 1886 book “Among the Law-Makers.”

Here’s a congressional throwback — a phrase or part of Capitol Hill culture that a younger generation of Hill staffers may not know or appreciate.

Senate pages are high school juniors, at least 16 years old, who help deliver correspondence, transport bills and prepare the chamber, all while attending the U.S. Senate Page School.

Senate Confirms Gina Haspel to Lead CIA
Bipartisan vote does not follow partisan script

Senators confirmed Gina Haspel to become CIA director before finishing work for the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After a number of Democratic senators announced they would support President Donald Trump’s choice of Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to run the agency, she was easily confirmed Thursday afternoon.

In what has become a bit of a regular routine, Senate leaders reached an agreement to expedite votes on a key national security nominee and prevent any threat of a weekend session.

House Republicans Get Closer to Deal for Immigration Floor Votes
Agreement could pave way for farm bill passage as well

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., and his allies are getting closer to a deal on immigration votes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)