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9/11 survivor fund crosses key support threshold in the Senate
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand urges quick floor action

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., says the 9/11 first responders and survivors fund reauthorization has 60 co-sponsors. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Legislation to help victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has crossed a threshold of support that is key to move ahead in the Senate, according to New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.

A bipartisan group of 60 senators signed on to co-sponsor a reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which would make the fund permanent. Sixty votes are needed in the Senate to invoke cloture, or end debate on a bill. Without 60 votes, a bill can’t move forward to final passage. 

FEC fines Florida-based company for illegal contribution to support Rick Scott's 2018 campaign
Ring Power Corp. violated ban on campaign contributions from federal contractors

The New Republican PAC, which supported the 2018 campaign of Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott, shown, refunded a $50,000 contribution shortly after an FEC complaint alleged it violated a ban on donations from federal contractors. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Federal Election Commission fined a Florida company for making an illegal campaign contribution to support Florida Sen. Rick Scott's 2018 campaign, according to documents obtained by Roll Call Tuesday. 

The $9,500 fine levied against Ring Power Corp., which sells and leases industrial machinery, represents a rare penalty for a company found to have violated a 75-year-old ban on campaign contributions from federal contractors.

Poll: Democrats want an experienced politician as president, not an outsider
Seventy-three percent of Democratic voters said they would be ‘more excited’ to vote for a politically experienced candidate

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during his 2020 campaign kickoff rally at the Eakins Oval in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday, May 18, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Candidates in the historically diverse field for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination have highlighted their age, gender, race and military experience as defining traits separating them from their peers. 

But Democratic voters find none of those characteristics as important as a candidate’s experience in elected office, according to a new poll from The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs at the University of Chicago.

Prosecutors want to tell jury about Rep. Duncan Hunter affairs with women he worked with, including his own aide
Hunter says his support for Trump made him target of ‘political prosecutors’

Prosecutors say in court filings that Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., pursued five intimate relationships in total. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Duncan Hunter illegally used campaign donations to finance extramarital romantic relationships with women he worked alongside, including one of his aides, federal prosecutors allege in a court filing.

Hunter’s attorneys countered by accusing the prosecutors of a targeting the California Republican because of his early support for Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.

Melania Trump aide Grisham to be White House press secretary and communications director
Grisham replaces Sarah Huckabee Sanders, whose last day is Friday

Stephanie Grisham, right, communications director for first lady Melania Trump, and Emma Doyle, White House principal deputy chief of staff, return to the White House in March after President Donald Trump spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. The first lady announced Tuesday that Grisham will be the next White House press secretary. (Al Drago/Getty Images file photo)

Stephanie Grisham, who has been a top aide to first lady Melania Trump, will be the next White House press secretary and communications director.

The first lady announced the move in a tweet a week after Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that she would leave the post. Friday will be Sanders’ last day.

House’s Louisiana baseball stars reflect on their friendship, the 2017 shooting
This year’s game is on Wednesday, June 26

Minority Whip Steve Scalise, center, and Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, right, during the 2018 Congressional Baseball Game (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call).

“We call that lagniappe in Louisiana.” That’s how Minority Whip Steve Scalise described getting to play baseball on a major league field while fostering relationships with his congressional colleagues along the way. “Lagniappe, it means a little something extra.”

House Democrats offer changes to woo liberals on border funds
Bipartisan Senate measure moving in that chamber, adding to flux

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., talks with reporters before attending a meeting with other House Democrats to discuss potential border bill changes at the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:55 p.m. | House Democratic leaders sought to tamp down a rebellion among their party’s left flank Tuesday as they prepared for a floor vote on $4.5 billion in emergency funding for the surge of migrants at the U.S. southern border.

Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey offered a new manager’s amendment aimed at easing the concerns of Progressive Caucus and Hispanic Caucus members over the care of children who are in the custody of Customs and Border Protection. Her amendment would tack on requirements for CBP to develop standards for medical care, nutrition, hygiene and personnel training, as well as a plan to ensure access to translation services for individuals “encountered” by U.S. immigration agencies.

McConnell says no to delay on votes to accommodate Dem presidential hopefuls
Democrats had pushed for delay to give senators involved in presidential debates time to get back

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., does not want to delay votes on a defense policy bill so that Democratic senators can head to a series of presidential debates in Miami. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear Tuesday that Democrats are going to have to filibuster the fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill if they do not want final votes this week.

The Kentucky Republican opened the Senate with criticism of Monday afternoon’s statement by Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., that defense policy bill votes, including consideration of a key amendment regarding limitations on the use of funds for war with Iran, should be delayed until after this week’s Democratic presidential debates.

CBO: US debt growth is slowing, but is still headed for record highs
If debt growth continues, it will surpass the current record high set in fiscal 1946 after the massive World War II military buildup

The Congressional Budget Office in Washington, DC. The agency projected federal debt held by the public will nearly double as a share of the U.S. economy, from 78 percent today to 144 percent by fiscal 2049. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Federal debt held by the public will nearly double as a share of the U.S. economy, from 78 percent today to 144 percent by fiscal 2049, the Congressional Budget Office projected Tuesday.

By contrast, the record high currently stands at 106 percent of gross domestic product, in fiscal 1946 after the massive World War II military buildup; that record is likely to be breached in fiscal 2037 under the CBO’s updated scenario.

U.S.-Iran confrontation escalates as Trump threatens ‘obliteration’ after Rouhani’s insult
Schumer: ‘The danger of bumbling into war is acute‘

Then-Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., conduct a news conference in the Capitol after a briefing with senators on the Iran nuclear deal in September 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Responding to Iranian officials calling his White House “mentally retarded,” President Donald Trump called their latest statement “ignorant and insulting” before warning them he is prepared to use “great and overwhelming force” against their country.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani used the same televised Tuesday address that included an insult for Trump and his staff to say new sanctions the Trump administration slapped on some of their top leaders “useless.” He sharply criticized Trump’s hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, as “a source of belligerence and aggression” in the region. (Bolton for years has advocated a U.S. policy of seeking regime change in Tehran.)