Joe Manchin III

Photos of the Week: Immigration Protests and the Congressional Women’s Softball Game
Photos of the week of June 18 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Aruna Miller, who is running for the Democratic nomination in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, talks with citizens during early voting at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg, Md., on Monday. She stands behind the electioneering line which prevents a candidate from being too close to a voting site. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As always, it was a busy week in Washington as the summer heat hits in full force. The issue of families being separated at the border dominated Hill hearings and led to several protests throughout the capital city.

The Congressional Women’s Softball Game took place on Wednesday with the press team defeating the Congress team 5-0 in a five-inning victory that was called due to rain.

Congressional Campaigns Weaponize Family Separation Policy
Democrats hope to bludgeon GOP while vulnerable Republicans try to distance themselves

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, seemingly changed his position on child separation at the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Candidates in both parties who are running in tight races want to weaponize the policy of separating child migrants from their parents at the U.S-Mexico border.

In Texas’ Senate race, Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, whose district includes El Paso, staged a march to the border crossing in Tornillo, where children of migrant families from Central America are being held. He was joined by Texas' Democratic candidate for governor Lupe Valdez.

With Immigration Controversy as Backdrop, GOP Senate Candidates Blast Democrats
Candidates in Missouri, West Virginia and Pennsylvania criticize Democratic bill to address separation policy

Patrick Morrisey, who is running against Sen. Joe Manchin III, is using the current immigration controversy to blast his Democratic opponent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While senators in both parties said Tuesday they want to solve the crisis of parents and children being separated before immigration cases are adjudicated, some Republican Senate candidates are focusing on criticizing Democratic incumbents who have signed on to a legislative fix.

At least three Senate nominees have come out on the attack against a proposal led by Judiciary ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California that would bar parents and children from being separated by the Homeland Security Department except in unusual cases, such as when the parent does not have custodial rights.

Trump Heads to Hill After Sowing Confusion on Immigration
President, Democrats in war of words over family separation policy

President Donald Trump will huddle with House Republicans on Tuesday afternoon to discuss two immigration overhaul bills. After signaling his opposition last week, he says he supports both. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Senior White House officials say Democrats enraged by the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families should negotiate with Donald Trump. Yet when the president heads to Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon, he will see only Republican faces.

White House aides want to use the meeting to allow the president, in his own words, to clear up confusion he sowed in the House GOP conference late last week over its dueling immigration bills. He is expected to endorse both measures, with senior administration officials contending both would address the migrant separation issue.

Ethics Office Nominee Easily Advances to Senate Floor
Tone from the top critical to fostering strong ethics culture, Rounds says

Emory Rounds cleared the latest hurdle, getting approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to becoming the next head of the Office of Government Ethics. (Courtesy C-SPAN screengrab)

Emory Rounds III is one crucial step closer to taking over the top spot at the Office of Government Ethics, an increasingly high-profile job in the Trump era.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved his nomination by voice vote Wednesday, paving the way for the full chamber to vote on Rounds’ nomination.

Senators: Convicted Lobbyists Need to Disclose Their Record
JACK is back, a measure aimed to increase transparency

The conviction of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, center, is attracting attention anew. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Curtailed Recess Puts Summer Fundraising, Lobbying in Flux
Senators may seek new campaign events in D.C. if they will be here anyway

Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran’s summer retreat fundraiser is slated for Aug. 12-14. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The official Senate calendar isn’t the only agenda in flux after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he would cancel much of the chamber’s cherished summer recess.

The change may also disrupt plans for fundraising events outside Washington — as well as the dockets of lobbyists, who typically take their annual respite along with the congressional recess.

Congress’ Focus on Opioids Misses Larger Crisis
‘All the bills are tinkering around the edges,’ one health official says

Targeting prescription opioids puts Congress years behind the crisis, which is largely driven by illicit nonprescription drugs. Above, heroin users at a New York City park in May. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By SANDHYA RAMAN, ANDREW SIDDONS and MARY ELLEN McINTIRE

Congress faced a startling public health and political problem throughout 2016 as the number of people dying from opioid addiction climbed. The number of Americans succumbing to drug overdoses more than tripled between 1999 and 2015, affecting a whiter and more geographically diverse population than previous drug crises. Lawmakers ultimately approved some modest policies aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse and provided $1 billion to support state efforts.

After Montana, Senate Matchups Nearly Set for November Battles
Biggest question marks in Arizona and Wisconsin

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is likely to face state Auditor Matt Rosendale or former district judge Russ Fagg in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After a year and half of wondering which senators might retire, if the parties would land star recruits, and how messy primaries would play out, the matchups in nearly all of the most competitive Senate races will be set after the votes are counted in Montana on Tuesday.

Republicans in Big Sky Country are likely to select either state Auditor Matt Rosendale or former district judge Russ Fagg to take on Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, leaving just a couple of unknowns on the broader Senate map, five months before Election Day.

Manchin Slams ‘West Virginia Wilder’ Reality Show
Show’s producer says senator is ‘just looking for attention’

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Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III is not only in the fight of his political life, but he is also fighting with producers of a reality TV show he thinks is demeaning to his state.