rules-and-procedure

Trump Won’t Follow Congressional Directives on Russia and Crimea
Defense authorization signing statement effectively discards restrictions on recognizing Crimea as Russian

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin answer questions about the 2016 U.S election collusion during a joint press conference after their summit in July. Trump now objects to efforts by Congress to prevent his administration from recognizing Crimea as part of Russia. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump objects to an effort by Congress to prevent his administration from recognizing Crimea as part of Russia.

Crimea is a region in Ukraine that has been occupied by Russia for several years, with the Russian Federation having claimed to have annexed the region in March 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed the territorial matter is settled, but many in Washington disagree.

Bipartisan Duo Proposes Prohibiting House Members From Serving on Public Company Boards
Resolution to amend House rules comes in wake of Chris Collins insider trading

Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., pictured, and Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., are proposing a change in House rules to prohibit members from serving on boards of publicly-traded companies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan New York duo is proposing a change in House rules that would prohibit members from serving on serving on the boards of publicly held companies, the latest fallout from the indictment of Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., for insider trading. 

Collins served on the board of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotechnology company, and allegedly shared inside knowledge about Innate’s drug trial results with his son, who then made timely stock trades. 

3 Eye-Popping Details in the Chris Collins Case Documents
Bad news at the White House, in-law joint indictments and prior knowledge

The events leading to Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., arrest are eye-catching. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins was arrested Wednesday on charges including insider trading and lying to authorities. The indictment documents and related complaint from the Securities and Exchange Commission illuminate a wild chain of events that led to the arrest.

Here are three of the most eye-popping details from the documents:

Speaker Ryan Strips Chris Collins of Committee Membership
Leadership move is not uncommon against scandal-plagued members

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., who was indicted Monday on securities fraud charges, attends a House Energy and Commerce Committee markup in Rayburn Building on June 28, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has removed Rep. Chris Collins from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, following Collins indictment Wednesday on charges of insider trading and lying to authorities.

“Insider trading is a clear violation of the public trust. Until this matter is settled, Rep. Collins will no longer be serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee,” Ryan said in a statement.

Speaker Race Could Hinge on Who Agrees to Change the Rules
House members have an ultimatum for those who covet the top spot: No changes, no gavel

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., is among the members demanding wholesale rules changes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Whichever party controls the House in 2019, the next speaker won’t secure the job easily and will likely have to promise major changes to how the institution operates, with members demanding that as a condition for support.

Frustration has grown among rank-and-file members for years as leadership usurped decision-making power from committees. Lawmakers have pushed to change House and caucus rules to return influence to individuals and committees, but with limited success.

Senators Working to Reinstate Mandatory Cyber Training
House mandated all staff training in 2015, while Senate lapsed in requirements

Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Roy Blunt and his colleagues on the panel are working to reinstate mandatory cybersecurity training for the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate staffers are not required to undergo information security or cybersecurity training, even as hackers target Congress.

“The cybersecurity threat is very real, and frankly we haven’t stepped up and done what I think we should do to deal with it — which should be an all government response,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said when asked Tuesday about attempted hacks of Senate networks.

McCaskill Staff Dodges Hack but Hill Security Still Lags
Staff thwarted the hack, but training isn’t mandatory

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., speaks at a press conference in the Capitol Thursday July 19, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Russian hackers targeted Sen. Claire McCaskill’s office, staffers did not take the bait.

That could mean the money Congress poured into improved training and a more robust information security posture for staff is working. But the legislative branch is still playing catch up to get ahead of threats.

Senators Plot New Russia Sanctions as Committee Leaders Plan Hearings
Russian election interference efforts could find time on August agenda

Sen. Lindsey Graham is among the lawmakers crafting new Russia sanctions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two of the Senate’s many Russia hawks outlined plans to draft new sanctions against the country, just as leaders of the committees of jurisdictions unveiled plans for hearings.

“Just as Vladimir Putin has made clear his intention to challenge American power, influence, and security interests at home and abroad, the United States must make it abundantly clear that we will defend our nation and not waver in our rejection of his effort to erode western democracy as a strategic imperative for Russia’s future,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

Rick Scott Thinks the Senate Should Work in Washington on Fridays
Florida governor is not the first Senate candidate to make such a plea

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants the Senate to work on Fridays on Capitol Hill. But his campaign pledge is much easier said than done. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida Gov. Rick Scott's latest Senate campaign pledge might not be so popular on Capitol Hill.

The Republican, who has been running on a platform highlighting operational changes he would like to see in Washington, on Monday rolled out a proposal for the Senate to perhaps work on Fridays. He also wants a permanent elimination of the August recess (which has already been cancelled for 2018).

Bill Meant to Clear Public Access to Congressional Reports Running Out of Time
Measure would require online portal for congressionally mandated reports

Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., sponsored a bill to create a single online portal for reports federal agencies submit to Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A bill meant to clear the way for public access to reports submitted to Congress is in danger of hitting a roadblock, government transparency advocates warned Thursday. 

The bipartisan Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act was approved without objection by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Administration Committee in February and April, clearing the way for consideration on the House floor.